The Groundsman

November 2013

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GRASSROOTS 25 the Groundsman November 2013 James Talbot switches golf for football " It was gratifying to see that the choice was made to play on natural turf " Preparations for the palace game coincided with a very busy time for Tony and his Wembley grounds team; in the weeks before the game, Tony attended the SALTEX show, at Windsor Racecourse, where he joined the IOG's Ask The Expert sessions, fitting this and the work at the palace in with preparations for a forthcoming NFL (American football) fixture. That said, he said his team remains focused whatever the event: "We treat every game the same, so everything gets 100 per cent care - whether it's a company day, the Champions League final or a game at the palace. "It's an honour to have been involved in this event but it's not about us, it's about the volunteers who were recognised on the day." Full-time greenkeeper, at Alsager Golf & Country Club, James Talbot has also been the volunteer groundsman at Nantwich Town FC for the past seven years. After completing his 6am 'til 2.30pm shifts on the golf course, he spends a few hours at least two or three times a week on the Evo Stik Northern Premier League club's football pitch. "I'm helped a lot by my dad, who is retired and looks after much of the cutting," says 34-year-old James. The task is aided by a 36 inch Dennis mower and two 21 inch Hayter mowers. After gaining a National Diploma at Reaseheath College, James joined the grounds team at Crew Alexandra FC for two years before joining the Alsager Golf Club. "I wanted to keep my hand in with the care of football pitches and the opportunity came up to help out at Nantwich. I spent one year at the club's old ground before a new pitch was built (by contractors) six years ago at The Weaver Stadium." Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

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