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FOOTBALL


SGL lighting rigs


quite progressive. When I first came here, we had no machinery and, on my first day, I had to buy two Hayter Harriers as they were the only thing I could get to get the pitch cut, which sounds crazy at a Premier League club, but that was where it was at. I was allowed to go and buy whatever I wanted. The club basically said to me whatever you need just go and get it, we want to try and give you the best opportunity we can to help you succeed with the pitch. It was great; I got to handpick everything. So, straightaway, we got a Toro ProCore, Dennis


G860s and Dennis Premiers and we built up from there. The year after, we bought a tractor to give us more flexibility.” Scott and his team won the Premier League Pitch of the Year award for the 2017/2018 season, which is a significant achievement, given what had gone before. I asked how he felt when it was announced. “The awards don’t really mean a great deal to me; I come to work to produce a good pitch and the pride element comes on matchday when all the hard work pays off. Even though we won, it’s not the be all and


end all. You can’t get carried away by it or you would end up winning none of them. Winning was great for us, knowing where we had come from which, in theory, was the worst pitch in the Premier League to, within two seasons, being named the best pitch in the league. It was a testimony to how hard the lads had worked, the planning and the hours I put into it myself, and the investment the club made in us. It was something the whole club could be proud of.” Scott has four additional members of the team: Cameron Hutcheon, Deputy Head Groundsman - NVQ Level 2 and 3 plus spraying qualifications (3 years and 2 months served); Marcus Lilley, Groundsman - NVQ Level 2 and 3 (3 years and 2 months); Harry Volland-Butler, Groundsman - NVQ Level 2 (2 years and 8 months); and Conor Liddell, Groundsman - currently studying NVQ Level 2 (10 months).


The stadium is a Desso, which was reconstructed in 2012, and is the club’s second Desso pitch. The original was one of the first Desso pitches constructed at the time. The original irrigation system, fitted in 2012 with Rain Bird heads, has been changed this summer to Toro Infinity


There are not many head groundsmen you will see washing their own machines down at the end of the day, and they are spotless; it’s almost like he went over them with a toothbrush


Head Groundsman, Scott Tingley 98 PC August/September 2019





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