The Groundsman

January 2015

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IOG BEST PRACTICE 16 the Groundsman January 2015 Visit for more information and digital editions henever Bob Smith talks about his 16 years as head groundsman at Derby County's Baseball ground, he reflects as much about how much he enjoyed working with team manager Brian Clough as he does about his achievements in football pitch groundsmanship. Never mind the fact that, he says, he was the first groundsman to soil test on a regular basis, the first to use an automatic overseeder, the first to manage a sand- filled pitch and one with automatic pop- up sprinklers, and the first to sow a football pitch with pure ryegrass. Bob clearly prefers to spend as much time talking about his experiences under Cloughie. "Brian or 'Boss' as everyone called him, was a great manager and a great man," says Bob, now 72 years of age. "He was a very generous person and he considered and was concerned about everybody at the club – not just the players. There's no doubt he was, as they say, the greatest manager England never had." W Back to the future for Bob IOG stalwart Bob Smith looks back on his time as head groundsman at Derby County FC's Baseball Ground, and how his actions then have impacted many of today's groundscare routines By: Colin Hoskins Bob Smith in his early years (above) and present day (right)

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