The Groundsman

March 2015

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estrel Sports Ground Contractors is offering a 'hybrid' installation system where a 3G surface could be installed at less than the cost of installing a traditional 3G from scratch; Domo Sports Grass has unveiled a new 100 per cent cork infill – a material that offers a range of claimed benefits compared to rubber crumb; and Redexim Charterhouse has demonstrated its new 26hp tractor with in- built folding brush for the easy and fast maintenance of synthetic surfaces. Speaking to the '3G in non-League football' seminar audience at Harlow Town FC – a Rymans League club that clearly owes its current financial success to its 3G pitch – Kestrel's managing director Billy Martin opened the proceedings with an insight into how Kestrel had installed the host club's new playing surface. Due to the fact that the original pitch construction featured appropriate foundations and drainage – Billy highlighted the unsuitability of soil-based pitches - Kestrel was able to install a new 3G surface using what he described as hybrid construction principles. K A trio of 3G developments Three exponents of 3G surfaces have announced developments that will further the appeal of artificial pitches and their ease of maintenance By: Colin Hoskins This involved removing only the upper layer of turf and organic matter (in Harlow's case, down to about 75mm - leaving some rootzone), then importing medium fine sand (to 150mm) and installing main perimeter drain before laying the semi-permeable shock pad (the Xcut Plus shock pad from Trocellen) and 3G carpet with 45 mm pile height. With a completely new 3G surface (and infrastructure) costing upwards of £500,000, this hybrid route could bring that cost down to less than £350,000 and gives the option of conversion back to a natural playing surface (if the football club changes leagues) at relatively low cost. Kestrel, a company well-versed in the construction and renovation of both natural and artificial turf playing surfaces, also pointed out the benefits of an 'envelope' design of pitches – as used at Harlow Town FC - where separate falls of a pitch starting from the centre are best suited to the removal of surface water - with the water moving across as well as vertically down through the rootzone. Drainage rate at Harlow is now 1,000mm/ hour. Regular maintenance is key In a separate presentation, Redexim Charterhouse's business development manager, Curtis Allen, pointed out the rewards of regular maintenance using the correct equipment – and provided on-the- pitch demonstrations of the company's RTC 26hp tractor that incorporates a 2m folding brush. This new unit has gained a lot of attention from users of synthetic surfaces due to its keen price and compact dimensions. Curtis also highlighted several good 3G 'housekeeping' aspects that users should always bear in mind, such as being mindful of the 'walkways' taken by the players when they go on/off the pitch. In Harlow's case, volunteer groundsman Brian Lane, aged 71, says the installation of the 3G pitch has made his life easier: "I simply drag and brush it every seven days – alternating the direction of brushing each week. We don't have any overhanging trees or suchlike, so the only 'foreign matter' we get on the pitch is that (if anything) left by the players. TECHNICAL UPDATE 16 the Groundsman March 2015 Visit www.iog.org for more information and digital editions

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