One of the issues with any UK football pitch is ensuring that the playing surface is completely safe to play on, whatever the British weather throws at us. It is important that the ground is soft enough to allow players (and referees) to use the pitch without the risk of broken limbs from a fall on a hard playing surface. Equally, a pre-match pitch inspection may deem play unsafe if the ground is too waterlogged.
As any Groundsman knows, healthy turf with deep roots is more resilient and will recover from sporting action far better than unhealthy, poorly irrigated turf. No football club wants to cancel matches for any reason, especially not through an inadequate playing surface. The answer to these issues is to get the
correct irrigation system that is designed for accurate, controllable water coverage for large areas of turf.
Taunton Town Football Club needed an irrigation system that was affordable on a tight budget, effective, fast, and portable. The system also needed to be powerful enough to cover large areas quickly with minimum manpower. There was also little time for installation and the low water pressure from the supply to the ground also needed to be taken into consideration.
There are a number of ways that a sports ground can be irrigated and so choosing the right solution is where our expertise comes into play. For example, a ‘pop up’ or integrated irrigation system can be effective, but is very expensive and time consuming to install due to the amount of pipework required below ground level.
The Irrigation Solution
Taking into account all of the challenges for Taunton Town FC, and making a full assessment of their ground, soil type, water pressure, budget, and timescales. We suggested one of our portable Long Reach Irrigation Systems (LRI50) for the following reasons:
- Cost effective solution within their budget
- 100 Metre coverage from a single location to enable fast, wide coverage
- Portable, easy to manoeuvre unit, enabling concentration on problem areas
- Controllable fine spray with no puddling, preventing waterlogged areas
- No underground pipework required, so no lengthy installation time
The Winning Result
Having employed our services, Taunton Town FC were delighted with the irrigation solution that we provided them. Kevin Sturmey, Chairman, Chief Executive & Head Groundsman of Taunton Town Football Club Ltd said:
“We have been delighted with the LRI50 Long Reach Irrigator and would recommend any ambitious club and grounds team invest in one”
“There is no way the pitch would be where it is today without being able to water such a large area during the summer months and any dry spells.”
“The Irrigator is an invaluable part of the grounds team and has never let us down. It has to be seen as an investment, not a cost as without it; our pitch would be nowhere near as good as it is today”
“If you want to see the LRI50 in action or see the benefits at the Viridor Stadium the home of Taunton Town Football Club we would love to show you around.”
Since the installation of our irrigation system, Kevin Sturmey has won the ‘FA Groundsman of the Year’ award for the southern league two years in a row!
“In 2013-2014 & 2014-15 seasons I was named the FA Groundsman of the Year for the Southern League (68 Clubs) and also named the FA Groundsman of the Year for the whole of Steps 3 & 4 which comprises 208 clubs throughout the country. A National Award is an incredible achievement as there are only 8 given that starts at the Premiership and the likes of Aresenal, Manchester United etc whose budgets are what dreams are made of”
Kevin is up for the award again this season and we wish him every success to keep his title for a third year running.
Picture courtesy of Taunton Town FC
Further Advice and Help
If you are looking for advice on an irrigation system for your sports ground, please don’t hesitate to call us and speak to one of our expert advisors on 01460 68167.