Groundsman of the Year 'unconcerned' about loss of pesticides

Ewan Hunter, who was presented the award by IoG president Alex Millar at IoG Saltex on Wednesday (3 Sept), said rain was more of a problem than the decreasing number of pesticides the EU is making available to groundsmen.

 IoG president Alex Millar with winner Ewan Hunter - Photo: HW
IoG president Alex Millar with winner Ewan Hunter - Photo: HW

The Nottingham Forest FC head groundsman, who is just 29 years old, said: We try not to use too many chemicals. We only use them as and when. We act on circumstances rather than spray for prevention. I’m not concerned about pesticides going. The industry is going from strength to strength.

My budgets and resources are going up. The only big issue at the moment is the weather. It’s a breeding ground for turf disease. You have to be on the ball to identify them. It’s tough for us because we don’t spray preventatively, only curatively.

We need to carry stocks of contact and systemic chemicals to do all the jobs," Hunter added.

"Fusarium patch is rife this time of year with it being so wet.

Hunter has sent turf for disease testing this month.

Formerly groundsman at  Rushden and Diamonds FC Hunter worked at golf courses before moving into football. Hunter trained at Otley and Moulton colleges.

FA Groundsman of the Year Award winners were:

The Premiership - Paul Burgess, Arsenal FC
The Championship - Andy Gray & Graeme Mills, Southampton FC
League One - Ewan Hunter, Nottingham Forest FC
In the National League Step 7 and below

First - Peter Conroy, Liverpool CFA Youth
Second - Joe Wilson Tockwith FC
Third - David Baker, Penryn Athletic FC
Highly Commended - Steve Finch, Wells Town FC & Paul Maddison, Millmoor Juniors FC

In the National League Steps 5 & 6

First - Bob Stretton, Massey Ferguson FC
Second - Glyn Rennocks, Clark Robinson & Ian Gowdridge, Coalville Town FC
Third - Ryan Binns, Parkgate FC
Highly Commended - Mark Freeman, Loughborough Dynamo FC & Raymond Chappell, AFC Emley

National League Steps 3 & 4 Isthmian League

First - Bryan Hyde, Metropolitan Police FC
Second - Alan Mitchell, Wingate & Finchley FC
Third - Daniel Hunter, Boreham Wood FC

Northern Premier League

First - Richard Cale, Garforth Town FC
Second - Phillip Varney, Belper Town FC
Third - Peter McGee, Skelmersdale United FC

Southern Football League

First - Paul Kuhn, Brackley Town FC
Second - Paddy Burton, Didcot Town FC
Third - Peter Howard, Farnborough FC

National League System Steps 3 & 4 Overall

First - Richard Cale, Garforth Town
Second - Phillip Varney, Belper Town FC
Third - Bryan Hyde, Metropolitan Police FC

Football Conference Award

First - Eddie Broadbent, Bognor Regis Town FC
Second - Nick Baldwin, Oxford Utd
Third - Bob Mills, Bishops Stortford FC

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