The Groundsman

April 2016

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Visit for more information and digital editions IOG BEST PRACTICE 18 the Groundsman April 2016 fter arriving at Leicester City FC in January 2014, John Ledwidge explains how he spent his first few days at the club simply watching how people operated, and immediately set about building relationships not only with the existing grounds team but also with the club's coaches and management. "I immediately saw that the grounds team needed to be restructured and that A Leading from the front at Leicester The first team squad are not the only people at Leicester City FC who are league leaders, as head groundsman John Ledwidge has also built a grounds team of premier quality By: Colin Hoskins at the training ground certainly, bridges needed to be built between the grounds department and the coaching staff. I adopted a lead from the front approach, demonstrating to my team exactly how I wanted things done while also constantly supporting them along the way." It was, "an intense period with effectively everyone starting with a clean slate to begin their journey as a grounds team." In tandem, John had also investigated the quality of the pitches, particularly those used for training. "Within six weeks I was in front of the board of directors and coaching staff presenting a five-year pitch improvement programme, initially seeking (and subsequently gaining) a £1.2 million investment for the 24-acre training ground. It was effectively a business Kevin Barclay (centre) Leicester City FC's operations director, presents the IOG award to John Ledwidge and the grounds team, from left: Callum Allsop, Tyler Baker, Dave Lay, Simon Gibson, Andy Oakes, Paul Billington and Nathan Webb

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