Tag Archive for: Staff

Experienced and Trainee Staff

The UK’s leading Golf & Sports Turf Construction Company is looking for Experienced and Trainee Staff to join our Golf, Sports & Landscape Teams on projects around the UK & Europe

Experienced and Trainee Staff

Experienced and Trainee Staff

These roles may suit individuals currently working in greenkeeping or grounds maintenance, landscaping or anyone who wants to develop a career in the turf construction industry.

Irrigation & Land Drainage Engineers

We are one of the leading installers of irrigation systems and land drainage networks in the UK’s Sports construction and landscape markets. With interesting and challenging projects, a distinguished history and a determined focus on quality, its an exciting time to join the MJ Abbott team.

We are looking for energetic additions to our ranks. No previous irrigation or drainage experience is necessary, but you will be eager to learn, prepared to get stuck in from day one and happy to work outdoors in all weathers.

You will be hard working and prepared to work outdoors in all weathers

You must be willing to travel and work away from home

Ideally you will hold a full UK driving licence

This is an exciting opportunity leading to a rewarding career with a well established yet dynamic company.

Excellent pay and benefits package for these permanent positions.

Please contact for an application pack
Jules Simmons – jules.simmons@mjabbott.co.uk

mjabbott.co.uk

MJ Abbott Ltd is an equal opportunities employer

ET Lander the extra staff member at Olympic Park

ET Lander the extra staff member at Olympic Park: The Etesia ET Lander electric utility vehicle is like having an extra member of staff according to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Head Gardener Gary Spreadbury.

Following a competitive procurement process, idverde was selected as a grounds maintenance partner for the Queen Elizabeth Park in in early 2012. Ever since then it has been responsible for park, plant and wildlife management and maintenance.

ET Lander the extra staff member at Olympic Park

ET Lander the extra staff member at Olympic Park

Gary Spreadbury has been the Head Gardener at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park since May this year, and he claims his working life has been made a little easier by the Etesia ET Lander.

“What I really like about the ET Lander is that it fits and can manoeuvre in tight spaces around the Olympic Park,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of small paths which big vehicles can’t fit down, so it’s very efficient and time saving. It’s used mainly for the transporting of materials around the site, especially during the winter and autumn months when it comes to the leaf clearing and for the mulching of the gardens.”

100% electric, spacious, well-equipped and user-friendly, the ET Lander is built on a robust chassis and has an array of options including a three-way tipper bed with dual control from the fully fitted two-seater cab or by remote control when outside the vehicle. With a length of just 3.72 meters, the ET Lander is very compact. Thanks to the power steering, the short turning radius of 4.40 meters and 360 ° visibility, it goes anywhere. The autonomy of the vehicle lasts for a full working day – without noise pollution, can transport loads of up to 940kgs and can also tow up to 750kgs.

The latest models are fully N1 homologation compliant meaning that the ET Landers are fully road legal along with being able to be used off road. They also feature lithium-ion batteries which ensures that the range of the ET Lander extends to 100km and have a charger system compatible with a standard type 2EV car charger.

“I’ve used battery powered vehicles before but in my opinion the ET Lander is the best by far,” continued Gary. “It runs a lot smoother and feels like you’re driving a car; it is so light that you could take it onto the pitch without causing damage and it just makes working life a lot easier. The ET Lander is like having an extra member of staff – it’s definitely earning its living and is well worth the money.”

Gary isn’t the only one at the Olympic Park who has been impressed with the ET Lander. Chris James, Contract Manager for idverde, is also upbeat about the innovative electric utility vehicle.

“Aside from its ability to manoeuvre, the ET Lander has lots of other great features such as reversing cameras and the option of adding things to it like PTO’s, salt spreaders and water tanks. I like the fact that it’s got some storage units within the vehicle underneath the body too.

“The all-round visibility from the cab is another key feature that we like about the ET Lander. We have around 6 million visitors through the park each year so it’s essential to be mindful of the public.

“The ET Lander is an absolute must-have vehicle for any grounds maintenance contractor, but I believe that there are a lot of other industries out there that could make use of this vehicle as well.”

idverde purchased the Etesia ET Lander through RT Machinery, and Chris feels as though they are in good hands.

“The communication that I have had with the team at RT Machinery has always been positive and they are quick to respond to emails and questions. Some of our other contracts use RT machinery and they always speak highly of them. The availability and the quality of the products that they’re selling is 100%.”

To see the machine in action at the Olympic Park, please click here.

For further information, please contact Etesia UK on 01295 680120 or visit www.etlander.co.uk

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Etesia UK on Twitter @EtesiaUK and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/EtesiaUK. You can also view the latest Etesia videos by visiting www.youtube.com/EtesiaUK.

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Role of grounds staff is key

Role of grounds staff is key: With ‘no pitch no play’ one of the biggest barriers to levelling the playing field between women and men’s football, the success of the women’s game depends largely on the involvement of the grounds industry.

Ahead of speaking at SALTEX, the leading turf management show being held on Birmingham NEC from 02-03 November, on increasing pitch capacity for the women’s game, Hannah Buckley, senior facilities and project manager for the women’s professional game at The FA, shares why the importance of the pitch and ensuring the groundswell of forward movement for the womens’ and girls’ sport is not lost because of poor playing conditions.

Role of grounds staff is key

Role of grounds staff is key

“When any new sport or technology comes along, some people will be reluctant to embrace it, others will do so wholeheartedly. We all saw this with those who hosted women’s matches and practise for the Euros and those who didn’t.

“It’s important to remember the men’s game is over 150 years old, women’s is 50 and the young girls’ pro game is only 11 years old. At the start of our journey, all the infrastructure was built around 150 years of the men’s game.

“What’s important going forward is to remove the unknown entities when it comes to additional female users of any pitch. Everything is the same with regards to the pitch and its set up, it’s only the players who are different. Accommodating women’s sport causes far less damage than the men’s: the players weigh less, are smaller and therefore it is important to acknowledge different impacts against different users. Understanding differences provides opportunities for example professional training environments don’t need as much space in a natural pitch training environment – and that reduces the initial budget outlay and ongoing maintenance costs.

“Several women’s professional clubs have secured investment from the Premier League in the last three and a half years to improve pitch quality delivering new stitched and carpet hybrid products.

“Women’s football is here to stay and we’ve got to focus on the pitches we’ve got. England has its infrastructure challenges. We’re an island with limited land availability, with predominantly urban stadiums and training grounds. We are not going to start by building new pitches, so we need to understand the playing surface and the game and work with what we’ve got and make them work for the future of the sport. And all sports groundspeople have a role to play in this. The process starts in education settings, local authorities and clubs, and in.

“My talk at SALTEX in fact considers this very subject and looks at the impact of Leigh Sports Village in Wigan. This example shows the impact a focus on grass roots can have at its finest. The venue had the biggest investment in public sports, recreational and educational facilities in Wigan borough for many years and has transformed Leigh into one of the finest hubs of activity in the North West. Its multi-surfaces serve the whole community providing a range of activities for local people as well as hosting international sporting events. It attracts the next generation of sporting stars in the community but is also home to professional rugby league team Leigh Centurions and Manchester United’s Women’s, U23s and U19s teams. It’s been a host stadium for the Rugby League World Cup 2022 and UEFA Women’s Euro 2022. The plethora of sports they host is down to the quality of surfaces and I’ll look at the how and why they’re able to do that in my Learning LIVE seminar at SALTEX.

“It’s something we can all work together on too. And by that I don’t just mean by looking at the way other sports are incorporating this requirement into their plans going forward or even other countries, but how grounds teams need more diversity – opportunities exist for women in helping prepare the surfaces for the women’s sport, we need diversity to be reflected in that sector, there’s a whole career pathway that could be incredibly rewarding for women.

“What really puts it into perspective is the moment when the Lionness’ won the Euros it was years in the making for those working in the womens’ game – it was the moment we’d all been waiting for, and it came on home turf. That feeling was indescribable and something we want more and more people in the industry to be a part of, experience and celebrate. We now have the world’s best sporting women’s league and everything to play for in terms of continuing the momentum. We need others to join in with those who supported us then, to support us in the next chapter as we work towards the next international event.”

Hannah joins Ted Mitchell of the Rugby Football Union, Iain James from the England and Wales Cricket Board and Ashleigh Seddon form the Rugby Football League at SALTEX on Thursday in theatre 1 at 1.45pm as they look at how groundspeople can increase pitch capacity for the women’s game. Register for a free ticket at saltex.org.uk / register here

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Turf Tank One relieves staff pressure

Turf Tank One relieves staff pressure: As far as jobs go, Eton College provides a unique challenge. As one of the most recognisable names in education with great historical significance, the school’s reputation from students to sports pitches is paramount.

Since May 2020, Eton’s 38 winter sports pitches and 1,500 acres of land spanning the M4 all the way to 2012 Olympic venue Dorney Lake have been under the control of Grounds Manager Lee Marshallsay.

Turf Tank One relieves staff pressure

Turf Tank One relieves staff pressure

His tenure has coincided with the Covid pandemic, which brought to light the number of man-hours his team spent line marking and the fact something needed to be done about it.

For context, Lee has a team of thirty. Eleven are groundsmen, with two on the college’s golf course full time and another pair dedicated to line marking. Over the summer, the line marking duo spent six to seven weeks marking out football and rugby pitches for the commencement of the school year, and in November, Lee checked his Turf Keeper records to discover his team spent over 850 hours marking.

The man-hours and pressure involved in completing this task between terms had Lee looking for alternative options. Despite being initially sceptical of a robotic line maker, he eventually turned to Turf Tank. https://turftank.com/en/

“It was also about helping the team, so they didn’t feel under pressure all the time. With the robot, where it’s taken us six or seven weeks to mark everything, we can effectively do that in a week now. Suddenly, the pressure has gone, and if we have staff on holiday or off sick, it keeps us out of trouble.

“We’ve got some projects lined up this summer that we are going to do in-house, and suddenly, that marker frees up two people, and we can put extra staff on the projects. That’s how we’ll use it as an aid and addition to the team to help plan workload and projects.”

With the Turf Tank One in place, Lee is looking to cut his marking hours by more than half. For him, this will increase pitch quality with additional aeration, cutting and finessing taking place. But choosing a robot and company that could provide everything he needed was critical.

The support from Alex and the Turf Tank team has been exemplary, with all questions answered quickly and I know that there is a full-time service engineer if I ever need hands-on assistance.”

“I think to be fair; the Turf Tank instantly ticked a lot of boxes for us. And it wasn’t just me, my team were there, and we tried other machines a week apart on the same pitch. We looked at line quality, how much paint it was putting out, how quick it was to set up, and there were similarities.

“But then we started to think about the differences. Do we want to be tied into a paint deal? Do we want an annual subscription fee? Turf Tank gave us that bit more flexibility.

“The other factor was the base station. You read a lot about the pros and cons, but to be honest as soon as I saw how it interacted with the machine, and how much more accurate the marking was, compared to those without using a base station, the whole team were like ‘it’s a no brainer, isn’t it?’ It blew us away, to be fair, and we bought the Turf Tank, and we now have base station points installed across the site, and it has worked really, really well.

“The Turf Tank records templates for initial marking and subsequent over-marking. Being able to get those templates was a significant point for us and nothing has been out of the remit of the robot. We’ve got most of the pitches loaded up now, including where the goals are actually smaller than a football goal, but we’ve managed to get the robot between the two posts and mark. Everything we’ve asked for has happened, and it has been great

“We want to teach our staff new skills and using and understanding the latest technology is very much part of Eton College’s ethos. I’m very much won-over and very impressed with the Turf Tank One line-marking robot. And if I were to move anywhere else, it is one of the first things I’d want to have in my fleet.”

For more information on the Turf Tank One or to have a demonstration contact alex@turftank.co.uk (southern UK) or matt@turftank.co.uk (northern UK) Michael@turftank.co.uk (Scotland and Ireland)

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Recommendation for increase in golf staff salaries

Recommendation for increase in golf staff salaries: The Committee for Golf Club Salaries (CGCS) has recommended an increase in salaries of 5% for golf club staff.

The CGCS is made up of representatives from the key industry bodies in golf and meets annually to make recommendations for pay and conditions for greenkeepers and golf club managers.

Recommendation for increase in golf staff salaries

Recommendation for increase in golf staff salaries

The committee has created four salary calculators, one for club managers and three for roles in greenkeeping: course manager/head greenkeeper, deputy and assistant. The calculators are available at golfclubsalaries.org.uk/salary-calculators/

After a difficult 2021 that featured rising inflation and pressure on golf club staff to deliver the sport to record numbers of players, the CGCS has recommended an increase in salaries of 5%. This increase will be applied to the CGCS calculators in early January 2022.

The committee also emphasised that clubs must give serious consideration to the health and wellbeing of their staff as problems with mental health in particular are becoming worryingly prevalent.

The CGCS committee comprises representatives of The Professional Golfers’ Association, England Golf, the Golf Club Managers’ Association and the British & International Golf Greenkeepers Association.

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Hartlepool fans praise ground staff

Hartlepool fans praise ground staff: Hartlepool United’s National League match against Wealdstone went ahead as planned following a successful pitch inspection early on Saturday morning.

Read the full article from Hartlepool Mail here

Hartlepool fans praise ground staff

Hartlepool fans praise ground staff

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Brighton Staff Vow To Clear Names

Brighton Staff Vow To Clear Names: Three groundsmen sacked by Brighton and Hove Albion (BHAFC) over the leaking of team sheets have said they are fighting to clear their name.

Dean Massey, Ashley Smith and Jordan Woodsford were dismissed by the Premier League side last month.

Brighton Staff Vow To Clear Names

In a letter seen by the BBC, the trio was told the club had “lost all trust and confidence” in them.

A spokesperson for BHAFC previously said they would not comment on matters which it regards as confidential.

Mr Massey, Mr Smith and Mr Woodsford all claim they were not given the chance to appeal the decision to sack them following an investigation into the leak, which the club said began in October 2018.

All three men have said they are determined to prove their innocence through a court or tribunal.

Speaking to BBC South East, Mr Massey said: “The way they have gone about the situation is not what you expect from a Premier League club.

“I was distraught. I hadn’t done anything wrong. I just want the truth to come out.”

Ex-deputy head groundsman Mr Smith said he was told the club was going through a restructure and a change of culture, adding there were also suggestions he was removed due to being a fan of the club.

The 34-year-old said: “I feel like I have been treated terribly. You feel like a number or a piece of meat and not like a human being.

“I have been a fan since I was five. That’s not a real reason to sack someone.”

Mr Woodsford, 25, added: “It makes you feel like you are a criminal. It has been really stressful.”

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Ground Staff Furious Over Criticism

Ground Staff Furious Over Criticism: It was a remark by Mark Ramprakash, England’s former batting coach, after the recent Test series defeat by West Indies which pushed one first-class groundsman over the edge.

Ramprakash had just been asked why his batters had underperformed so woefully, and responded by assigning a chunk of the blame to the “inexplicable” preparation of county pitches. “I don’t know how groundsmen can possibly justify the pitches we are playing on at the moment,” the former England player told Sky Sports.

Ground Staff Furious Over Criticism

“The Mark Ramprakash comments were some of the worst I’ve ever read,” the groundsman told The Sunday Telegraph, on condition of anonymity. “Those kinds of throwaway comments, [coming] from people as well that you respect in the game …” He tailed off, too furious to finish his sentence. But that groundsman is far from alone. The Sunday Telegraph has spoken to a range of groundsmen on the county circuit, and discovered a growing well of frustration and resentment at being repeatedly made scapegoats when the cricket falls below expectations.

Last season, when wickets fell at a clatter and only a handful of batsmen reached 1,000 runs for the County Championship season, groundsmen were blamed for creating conditions which rewarded gentle seam bowling and reduced opening batsmen to nervous wrecks. This year batsmen have plundered runs by the bucketful – as was the England and Wales Cricket Board’s intention – and players such as Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely are lambasting “a really poor cricket wicket” on which “you can’t enjoy games”.

It has all stretched the patience of the groundsmen to breaking point.

“When a team does well on a pitch, it’s because the team has played well,” says the head groundsman of one first-class county. “When a team has not done so well, it’s the pitch. Players never just play bad shots.”

According to ECB regulations, pitches should be prepared to provide an “even contest between bat and ball and should allow all disciplines in the game to flourish”, and be judged on “how they play”. It is a lofty ideal, using quantitative criteria (a points system) to judge a qualitative outcome.

But several factors decide a pitch’s character, many beyond the control of groundsmen – from increasingly volatile weather to time constraints on preparation and changes in the weight of rollers (heavier ones are now mandatorily available for each match).

There is another, obvious, factor. Just as countries want their sides to win, so do counties. And ground staff are employed by their counties. “It really comes down to the coaches,” asserts one first-class groundsman. “What doesn’t get picked up on is that it is the coaches who prepare the pitches. We do as we’re told. We work as part of the [county] team.”

Another of his colleagues, at a rival county, agrees. “Unless he is told by the coach, the groundsman goes out to produce the best pitch possible. The less you get interfered with, the better pitches you’ll get. But groundsmen get interfered with a lot. The coaches need to win matches.”

“If the coach asks you to do something, they don’t know how to do it, so they want you to do it,” says another head groundsmen. “They don’t know if there’s 10mm of grass or 5mm. That’s the key sometimes, you have to pretend to tell them because they don’t know. It’s the only job I know where someone tells you how to do it even though they can’t.”

One groundsman recalls being told by his county’s director of cricket that if he won Groundsman of the Year, his side would not win the championship.

“And it’s true,” continues the groundsman. “My argument is, do not take any notice of your pitch marks. You can’t please everybody.”

The pressure from coaches and club may have been an unspoken truth in the past, but times are changing. Social media is full of criticism for the work of ground staff, often fuelled by the kind of remarks made by Ramprakash. The increasing predilection for identifying a scapegoat has left ground staff feeling they “don’t have the voice to respond to all of the criticism that we get”.

“It’s almost as though people think we’re going out to prepare poor pitches,” adds another first-class groundsman. “And we don’t. What I always say to everybody is, ‘I’m working with what I’ve got. As everyone else is in cricket.’ It’s not always right. It’s not always as you might want it to be. As a groundsmen’s group, I think we were very upset about the criticism we all got last year.”

The ground staff who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph understood that their work could be subject to scrutiny, but what came through most strongly was a plea for more understanding – and more sympathetic treatment from their employers and colleagues on the playing and coaching staff.

“The people that I should answer to are the people who pay their money to come in and see the game,” concluded one. “A lot of other groundsmen feel the same. We are there, a dedicated bunch of people who work hard.”

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Grounds Staff Surprise PSG Boss

Grounds Staff Surprise PSG Boss: PSG’s grounds staff went big in their attempts to lay on a special surprise for club manager Tomas Tuchel, who celebrated his 45th birthday on Wednesday.

Having come into work early at the club’s Camp des Loges training centre, Jonathan Calderwood and his team set about preparing a vast welcome for Tuchel in the only medium they truly understand: turf.

Grounds Staff Surprise PSG Boss

“Alles gute zum geburtstag,” read the enormo-message, which translates as ‘Happy Birthday’ for those of you who didn’t make it past the first week of GCSE German.

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