Teenager becomes one of the first female Premier League grounds managers thanks to apprenticeship

A teenager who used to work in customer services has become one of the first women to work in grounds care for a Premier League football club.

Katie Croft and head groundsman Lee Metcalfe
Katie Croft and head groundsman Lee Metcalfe

Apprentice groundsman Katie Croft secured her dream role with Manchester City Football Club, beating nearly 200 others to the job.

The 19-year-old from Manchester moved from a job in customer services and is now studying horticulture (sportsturf) with Myerscough College on a 20-month course.

She maintains surfaces across the clubs facilities including the new City Football Academy complex in East Manchester.

She said: "I had spent the last few years working in customer service at a local airport. For some time I have wanted a change and when I came across this opportunity I decided to apply. I enjoy being outdoors and doing jobs where I can see the result of my efforts.’’

"So far things are going really well at Manchester City, and I am learning new skills almost every day. The new facilities are amazing and it’s great to think that my work can play a small part in the development and success of the club."

‘’So far things are going really well and I am learning new skills almost every day. The new facilities are amazing," she said.

Croft’s apprenticeship caught the eye of Paul Burgess, another ex-Myerscough College
apprentice and now grounds manager at Real Madrid CF who had this advice for her:

"Listen, work hard and to be prepared to learn from mistakes. There are fantastic opportunities in this industry for those who are meticulous, dedicated and have a true passion for the job. Good luck to Katie in her new career and I look forward to hearing of her progress."

Croft could now follow in the footsteps of Sarah Addison, who became the first woman to work on an international cricket ground after completing a Foundation Degree at Myerscough.

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