February

 

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Welcome to our February edition of the blog ,sure you are all near to preparing your grounds slowly for the coming season ,please see below some ideas on the to do list for this month.

This month l though we would also look into how grounds are staffed and how this looks going forward ,as it is perceived groundsman are at the higher end of the age bracket ,hows does that reflect here down in Sussex?

I have done a very brief survey and at least in Sussex the picture is very mixed and very balanced ,there are gaps with bringing through generation y,but at most clubs l surveyed its is as l say a good balance of ages .

Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1980 and 1994. They are currently between 24-38 years old.

I would just say we all need to do our bit and try and encourage the next generation of colts ,players into what we do in the hope of sparking some interest .In my own experience  l have seen our role is more interesting to the younger generations that we would think and given a bit of encouragement and a bit of responsibility under our careful guidance it’s a win win.

Please see the below article which inspired the content of this month blog and if you have any views please leave a comment below.

https://cricketyorkshire.com/groundsmen-of-tomorrow/?fbclid=IwAR3qIsxBfC4VZtx-ynqJEQ_8Nzb1G7n2rQdLVrCSpMOOAwsw90PeANUnIC8

 

On the grounds

 

Antonio Stabile who is cutting his teeth as groundsman at Ifield CC ,answers a few interesting question below

Q-How did you get involved helping out at the ground .

1) So I originally would stay after training to help the main groundsman out with small duties like watering, brushing and rolling and it just progressed from their. This season I will be fully responsible for our second ground in Charlwood so that will be a steep learning curve I’m sure!

 

Q-What is the best and worse part of being a groundsman

2) So my favourite part of working on the ground is match prep – especially cutting the pitch, rolling it and marking it ready for play, especially if you get it spot on! My least favourite job has to be repairing the pitches, as being an inexperienced groundsman it’s difficult to know all the tips of the trade others have learnt over the years. Also keeping an eye on the weather and taking the covers on and off through the week isn’t the most fun job in the world.

 

Q-what the biggest lesson you have learnt as a groundsman

3) The biggest lesson I’ve learnt is just how big of a job it is to successfully keep a ground in order and the effort and time it takes to prepare and repair pitches for players who I’m not sure understand just how much effort and time has gone into it weeks/months before.

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Q-How do club and groundman encourage the next generation of groundman to come through.

4) I think it has to start from colt level, just giving the kids an understanding of the time and effort it takes so they can respect it first and understand, maybe give them jobs to do at the start/end of the match. I think if you don’t understand something you won’t grow to like it/want to do it. Also you need an older head to want to give an opportunity to the youngsters and trust them, as I’m sure they’re are many people who wouldn’t let a youngster touch their precious ground which I can understand but for the future generations more needs to be passed down and trust/guidance needs to be shown.

Q-what do you think you still need to learn and grow in your skill set as a groundman.

5) I think pitch repair is a must for me and how and when to repair it e.g footholes and crease markings. Also top dressing and quantity of how much to use before/after matches.

Maybe a timeline/to do list which splits the year/season/weeks apart and knowing what duties I should be doing and when.

Any other ‘old pros tricks’ too would be extremely helpful as I’m a novice working their way down a long road of groundsman progression!

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The Ifield team ,Antonio on the far right of picture .

 

Jobs for March

https://sussexcricket.co.uk/groundsmen

The above link has practical videos and a training opportunity ,this march for the below tasks.

Square up the corners of the square, identifying pitch positions etc.

Start pre season rolling ,building up the weight as the loam profile dries out.

Cutting and feeding to prepare the grass for the stresses of rolling and recovery after.

Last chance to get the mowers serviced

Brush and or verticutting of the square to keep the grass upright and remove dead grass /surface debris prior to rolling.

Worm control

Overseeding of any bare areas

Purchase Spring /Summer products such as seed,fertilser,line marker.

 

Training 

Sussex Association of Cricket Groundman

We are running a training day on Saturday 16 th of March ,topics included are square the corners of the square,pre season rolling ,early season pitch preparation and much much more and is being done in house to keeps costs to a minimum for members .

Really would like to encourage attendance to this ,it’s put on for you, non of us get paid for this it’s all for our members benefit and not to be missed .

click on the link for booking details

https://sussexcricket.co.uk/groundsmen

 

Thanks you all for reading.

 

Brian 🌱

 

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