Alan considers innovation to be one of the most important aspects of his job. Like most groundsmen in multi event stadia the pressure he faces means he has to use the latest techniques available to meet demand.
By his own admission the Wembley turf is now grown almost completely artificially all year round, with the use of grow lights, TurfBreeze Fans and SubAir. Having to take this approach means the equipment has to be of the highest quality, because you only get one chance to grow a pitch in.
“New stadiums rarely offer good growing conditions,” Alan explains. “Priority is given to the spectator experience.
“The pressure is on groundsmen to replace the natural elements required by the grass plant and produce quality pitches. Many do this by using grow lights, but now with the fans and SubAir there is also an opportunity to replace the air flow, as well as ensuring the sward is well oxygenated.