Week 2 of Samantha Butler’s working trip abroad

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After a week in Ireland it was time to leave and fly to Manchester where I would meet the rest of the Campey team.

It has been a very busy week.

First up was a trip around Manchester with Ian Campbell, where we went to Old Trafford Cricket Ground. At the time there was a game being played so I was unable to have a look at the 16 wickets that they have on the ground. They were also completing some works around the practice and warm up areas behind the stadium. Overall the stadium and the facilities were very nice.

On my second day with Ian we travelled to the Lancashire FA grounds in Leyland. Keith Pownall who is the Head Groundsmen there, he sat down with us for a brew and explained a little about the wear of the ground this season and how they have managed to maintain a well presented pitch all season. He explained that they host a variety of games there from Blackburn and Bolton U/23 home games to County Football and Final Series. After having a good chat with Keith and learning a bit about the grounds it was time for me to head out east to Wilpshire Golf Club in Blackburn.

There has been many highlights for me this week and I am only 2 weeks in, I cannot wait to see what the rest of my time here at Campey’s brings.

One of these highlights was being able to travel to Clayton Wood, which is Stoke City’s Football Training Facility. Unfortunately I was unable to meet Andy Jackson who is the Head Groundsman for the Training Facility and the Main Stadium. However there is another Andy – Yes at first it was confusing. Andy was able to take John Campey and I around the facility and explain a little about their pitches there and the plans for the renovation season coming up. Currently Clayton Wood have 7 full size fields, 2 which have Desso in them which is a hybrid grass that blends with natural turf. These 2 fields belong to the First Team, and replicate the main stadiums playing surface. The remaining fields are soil based and are used by the Academy teams. Come renovation, every blade of grass will be removed and the process starts all again.

The other highlight for this week was going to Holland with Richard Campey and a party of 7 other gentleman to visit the Vredo Factory in Dodewaard and the Imants Factory in Turnhoutseweg.  Pieter-Teunis Hoogland who is Vredo’s Sales and Export Manager welcomed us with open arms at the Factory as did Felix Peters – Owner of Imants. What I must say is that it did not matter what factory you were in, you could see the quality being produced with all parts being made in house there in Holland at the factories. From the start of the process where everything starts as a sheet to going along the assembly line, all hand welded, all manually painted and all manually assembled. You could not fault the quality of the work or the equipment that they produce.

I must say I have had a pretty good week.

Stay tuned for next week I take on Scotland