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20 November 2007
When the Grounds staff at Tottenham Hotspur FC began investigating the options for the maintenance of the Desso 3G Challenge Pro indoor surface recently installed at Spurs Lodge, the club’s training ground in Chigwell, Technical Surfaces were first on the scene with advice!
The pitch had been laid for approximately 7 months without receiving any maintenance, and although it still displayed the positive features of a high-quality surface, compaction of the rubber infill was becoming increasingly evident, with implications for ball bounce and general playing characteristics.
The grounds team at Spurs pride themselves on looking after the best pitches around – indeed, Grounds Manager Darren Baldwin was recently voted Barclay’s Premiership Groundsman of the Year for the season 2006-2007, one of the top honours granted in the industry and a reflection of the way his maintenance regime has kept the playing surface at White Hart Lane at peak condition throughout a gruelling season. It naturally follows that Darren and his staff wanted to replicate their achievements on their training facilities.
Technical Surfaces were invited to Spurs Lodge with fellow industry specialists Desso Sports Systems and Surfacing Standards, to present to Darren and his team an informal seminar on the importance and benefits of a well-balanced maintenance programme, and to demonstrate our professional de-compaction process. Using our dedicated SportsChamp equipment, the upper reaches of the surface were initially de-compacted using the specialist ‘rake’ attachment. This de-compaction then allowed rotary brushing and vacuuming of the upper 6 to 8mm of the surface to be completed. The processes ensured that compaction was effectively removed, whilst also allowing microscopic contamination particles to be eliminated, thus improving the playing and draining characteristics of the surface. Our operative also demonstrated the effectiveness of regularly sweeping the surface with a Drag Mat, to maintain the playability, safety and aesthetics of the facility.
Darren and his team were suitably impressed with both the demonstration and the presentations, a sentiment echoed by UK General Manager of Desso, Rick Thorley, who organised the day’s events: “It was encouraging to see both the grounds staff here and the other attendees from local councils and the FA taking notice that maintenance forms a crucial part of ensuring a long life from a synthetic sports surface, and is vital for sustaining it in peak condition. Desso are proud to have been involved in this installation project, working in close conjunction with Darren Baldwin at every stage, and together with Technical Surfaces we hope to see this playing surface continue performing at the highest level for the Tottenham Hotspur squad and the Academy team for many years to come.”
For more about Technical Surfaces please click [here].
Editor's note: Rick Thorley has since left Desso.
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