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June Update: New Groundsman, lights and stand!

10 Jun 2020

The latest update as we go behind the scenes at Theobalds Lane (while maintaining a 2 meter distance...)

While Covid-19 has bought a halt to many activities, there has been plenty going on at Cheshunt FC. We take a look at the continuing improvements to the car park, and call in on Darren Atkins, the new groundsman as he seeks to coax a little more water from the storage tanks and onto the pitch.

Let there be Light!
Remember how dark the car park used to be in winter? No more searching for your car by the light of your smart phone. John has been busy building kerbs, levelling the changing room end, and installing new street lighting furniture. Look out for news of the big ‘Switch On’!

Meet Darren Atkins, Cheshunt FC Groundsman

Darren was busy re arranging the sprinklers when we entered the ground, the glorious weather of recent weeks has not been kind to the pitches, but Darren is confident the time being invested now will see all of the pitches be at their best when we finally get the new 20-21 season underway.

The EJA pitch has had work done to improve the drainage lines with additional scarifying to lower the lines.

On the top pitches the pigeons helped themselves to a lot of seed, you will now see Darren’s kites in the shape of a hawk flying over them to discourage a repeat.

Darren would like to see some rain on them and, once lockdown is over, those of you who know your geometry and measures are most welcome to come and help with marking out the various pitches, including the stadium pitch!

Talking to Darren it was clear he is very passionate about his role at Cheshunt FC, and knowledgable with it. He is very grateful to be playing a part in the future of the club, sharing the vision, and looking forward to enjoying the journey.

Discussing the condition of the stadium pitch Darren is keen to thicken up the grass, with deeper roots. Have you ever wondered why we have so many Magpies and Crows on the pitch? It was the Chafer grub and Leatherjacket beetles just under the surface they were looking for! Darren has treated the pitch to clear these pests recently and expects it to help improve the quality of the grass.

The discussion moving onto quality gave Darren the opportunity to explain the difference between cylinder and rotary mowers, and how his preference is for a regularly sharpened cylinder mower for the clean and even cut it gives, but that a rotary mower has its place especially when tidying up.

Of course there is no mower needed for the 3G pitch, however Darren advised the time required to keep the 3G at the quality we all enjoy, is the same as for grass if not more. It is regularly brushed, disinfected and cleaned, Darren has a request here, please can we stop disposing of chewing gum on the 3G please?

Look out for Darren the Groundsman when we all return, and say hello, he’s sure to have a tip for your lawn, if you ask.

And do please look out for the requests for volunteers later in the summer, many hands make light work and all that, there will be a job for all abilities.

We left Darren setting up the auto sprinklers, but not before checking out the 210 new seats in the East Stand, meeting the latest ground grade demands.

The future is bright, the future is Amber!

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