The Groundsman

October 2015

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GRASSROOTS 19 the Groundsman October 2015 Visit for more information and digital editions In terms of the playing surface, more recently (April this year) Matt highlights how his attendance at an IOG-led workshop in his capacity as a member of the Cambridgeshire Grounds Association renewed his focus on pitch performance quality standards (PQS). Held at Saffron Walden Cricket Club and including presentations by Saffron Walden's grounds manager Graham Sneath, Matt continues to work with Graham to bring further improvements to the Foxton site. Maintaining/improving the quality of the pitch does not come cheap – hence the club's incessant fundraising activities – especially when you consider that this year's major renovations to the square involving levelling, re-dressing and re- seeding (an Aitkens fine rye mix is always used) reached a five-figure sum. Multi-sport surfaces Today, 61-year-old Matt and helpers also find time to maintain the recreation field (football pitches and hard tennis courts) that complements the cricket pitch on the 3.3 hectare site a few miles from Cambridge. "Those other areas used to be cut by a contractor on Fridays, but that never happened when it rained. So, I went to the parish council and suggested I do the cutting on behalf of Foxton CC – therefore keeping the money within the club and the local community. The council agreed and now we look after the grass banks surrounding the tennis courts, the adult and colt football pitches plus the neighbouring school field." The team use ageing Ransomes triples on the outfield and football pitches and equally 'well worn' Ransomes wicket mower and a Lloyds Paladin on the cricket square. The site also has a bowls rink, children's play area, BMX bicycle track and a picnic area. Matt would never admit that his groundscare expertise has transformed the cricket pitch, but a constant stream of compliments from players and visitors is evidence enough. In addition, the club enjoys good retention rates – "good players like good playing surfaces", he says – as well as year-on-year increases in participation levels with its two Saturday teams, plus teams for Under 11s and for Under 13s. l Matt Gray: "Good players like good surfaces" Simplify spraying with Gambetti Amenity sprayers Mini Demount Totally covered boom Watch the working video on ECO Sprayer Tel: 01361 883418 Email: NEW AFFORDABLE QUALITY Mini Demount c/w removable covers • NO DRIFT • 180 LT tank mounted on light aluminium frame • 12 volt pump • 3m booms with triple jets • Standard or pressure balanced controls UNBEATABLE VALUE

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