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EDUCATIONAL ESTABLISHMENTS


Chorley Football Club


Groundsmanship and


greenkeeping have come a long way in recent


years and it’s a great industry to be in - if you are willing to work hard for it!


I


have been following Ben Kay on Twitter for a while now and have been impressed with the work and dedication he puts into his playing surfaces - full time at the Fulwood Academy and part time at National League side Chorley Football Club. This led me to get in contact with him to find out more.


I met Ben at the Fulwood Academy grounds where he gave me a warm welcome before we walked over to his workshop. Tucked away at the back is a cosy little room with a double sofa, which is where we sat down to discuss the finer points of Ben’s responsibilities and his career so far.


At the age of sixteen, Ben left school and joined Wigan Athletic Football Club, where he did a two-year youth training scheme which resulted in being offered a one-year playing professional contract. Unfortunately, at the end of that year, he was released by the club and was left with no job and no career path. Ben explains how he stumbled upon a career in the sports turf industry.


“To be honest, I didn’t really have any interest in the industry at the time, but there was a job available at Wigan Council in the grounds department. which I took on simply because ‘it was a job’. I spent thirteen years working for the council where I started as a general grass cutter; I was then moved up to a leading hand position, overseeing leisure pitches and schools’ contracts. I enjoyed how varied the job was from marking out football pitches, cutting hedges and working on bedding plant areas to cutting down trees. Whilst still working at the council, a friend of mine, Danny Mahoney, rang me to tell me there will be a position coming up at Fulwood Academy as he was leaving. So, I applied for the job straight away, and I have been here full time for a few years now.”


Ben also works at Chorley Football Club, who gained promotion to the National League at the end of last season, on a part-time basis. “I was good friends with Jamie Vermiglio who, at the time, was assistant manager under Matt Jansen. They


Academy natural pitch 90 PC August/September 2019


Academy 3G pitch





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