The Groundsman

October 2014

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 26 the Groundsman October 2014 Visit for more information and digital editions hat Jersey Rugby Club's Myles Landick won the 2013 IOG Professional Rugby Union Groundsman of the Year Award belies the fact that the 25-year-old islander's true desire is to become a professional player. Currently a semi-pro for the team that has enjoyed a meteoric rise from the London South Divisions in 2005 to the second tier of the RFU Championship, Myles divides his day between training and gym conditioning – usually from 7/8am until 2pm – then devotes the remaining daylight hours to caring for the club's pitches; three full-size surfaces and a colts' pitch. Myles has had a foot in both playing and pitch care camps since his schooldays. His father, Steve, has more than 30 years' groundmanship experience, is a Jersey FA Pitch Advisor and is T Currently dividing his time between playing and pitch maintenance, Myles Landick's dream of becoming a professional rugby player hasn't stopped him winning a prestige groundsmanship award By: Colin Hoskins secretary of the IOG London East Region and Jersey Branch. As such, he is a well- known figure on the island for the expert maintenance of playing surfaces. "I still live with my parents at the Les Quennevais Playing Fields, where dad was head groundsman [before becoming playing fields manager for the States of Jersey – and now assistant manager, parks, fields and cleaning services] and have always had an interest in the work he did at the site. Often after school, for example, I would help him move the irrigation pipes," says Myles. "I was playing rugby for a local team when, aged 18, I was scouted by Jersey RFC. I weighed around 25 stones then, but the club sorted out my nutrition and training regime – which saw me lose five stones. At the end of that season the club asked me to become a semi-pro, dividing my time between playing and becoming the club's part-time groundsman, utilising the knowledge I had gained from dad. I immediately joined the IOG and attended an IOG Winter Pitches course, and gained the necessary sprayer certificates to add to my Stage 2 City & Guilds amenity horticulture accreditation. He continues: "I learn a lot from dad, of course – he's my rock - and through the IOG have made contact with, for example, Twickenham's Keith Kent. Keith, too, has been an invaluable source of information and help, and his advice last winter paid off when we were deluged with rain and two areas of the first team pitch in particular were suffering. Keith suggested we use soil augers on those areas to create lots of holes – which did the trick." Success on the pitch – in every way

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