The Groundsman

May 2014

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knew Jonathan Calderwood was settling into his new life in France as soon as we met. "Bonjour," he exclaimed as I entered the Parc des Princes Stadium, home of Paris Saint- German (PSG), the football club he joined in May last year as head groundsman after 13 years at Aston Villa's Villa Park stadium and Bodymoor Heath training complex. In groundsmanship terms, since his I Jonathan focuses on success in Paris Jonathan Calderwood's 'transfer' to France created football headlines when Paris Saint-Germain appointed him as groundsman. Colin Hoskins tracks how the multi-award winner is now focused on transforming the club's training club and stadium pitches By: Colin Hoskins arrival in Paris Jonathan modestly admits he has enjoyed celebrity-like status, among both the national media (TV, radio, magazines and newspapers) and the fans; paparazzi often pursue him to his car after matches, clamouring for quotes, while fans regularly queue for his autograph. He has also recently had to sign an image rights contract after taking the star role in a TV advert, and some of the players have even commented (in good heart) that he is getting far more media attention than them. "I think it's the first time that any French football club has employed a groundsman of its own," he says, "though 'groundsman is not a term that is generally recognised in France; they call me le roi des jardiniers (the king of gardeners). t IOG BEST PRACTICE 23 the Groundsman May 2014

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