Week 8 of Samantha Butler’s working trip abroad

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Week 8 was another short week thanks to another Bank Holiday.

Dave and I travelled to Wycombe Wanderers to do a field renovation with Ben, with support from Steve of Turf Tonics and his team.

The pitch at Wycombe Wanderers is a combination of fine turf and a fibre technology called Desso GrassMaster. Desso GrassMaster is a long fibre that is stitched 8-10 inches into to playing surface to help bond the playing surface together. There has been many times I have seen this Desso GrassMaster over here and wondered if it would be able to be used in the same capacity back home at Spotless Stadium or any other sports turf playing surface. However, then I start asking myself questions and thinking is that not what we do already with our turf, I feel as though we use the principles of the idea.

Unfortunately we had some wet weather which made “Koro-ing” difficult. It made the organic matter and sand quite heavy making it hard to get a clean pass across the pitch first time.

After completing the renovation Dave and I made a quick detour via Arsenal Football Training Facility to drop off and pick up some machinery. Here I got a chance to meet Steve Braddock and have a glimpse at the facility. Meeting Steve prior to starting there in July has helped settle my nerves a little. I am really looking forward to working there.

After work on Friday I shot off to the airport as I was flying across to Ireland to spend some more time with the family, before starting my weeks’ worth of work here with Brain and Dave. Having the opportunity to be able to see this side of my family and get to know them has been a real pleasure. Also going to the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin with them was pretty amazing – the free pint and the tasters along the way made it even better. It was a fun day out. Next trip across will have to include a visit to the Jameson Distillery.

I have now been in the UK just over 8 weeks and I am gathering my ideas and thoughts on the equipment Campey Turf Care Systems supply and provide. To me the comparisons are so close but yet so far between the two climates of home (Sydney) and the UK. I have come across machines that instantly click in the brain with WOW! We could use this or this could be beneficial to us at Spotless Stadium. The first bit of equipment I fell for the idea and concept and what it could do before seeing one actually work, was the Air2G2.

On all the Air2G2 machines is a small saying – “air is everything to anything that lives” and well this is very true. I then got to see one work and depending on the level of compaction of the surface will depend how well you see it work. Upon my return to my job at Spotless Stadium in Sydney, I would love to trial this piece of equipment on the compacted areas after the install of our cricket wickets.

Next week I am hanging around in Ireland with Brian and Dave after the weekend with the family.