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Get to Know the Groundsman - David Sans

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What’s your name and which club do you work at in what capacity?

I’m David Sans, I’ve just taken over as groundsman at Wollaton Sports Association in Nottingham. I’m currently in charge of looking after the cricket and the football and will shortly be taking on responsibility for maintaining the bowls green as well. This is a part time role; in the summer I’ll be doing over 20 hrs a week on the ground.

Helpers/volunteers wise at Wollaton, there’s Simon who cuts the field 2 to 3 times a week during cricket season, and football, there is the Chairman Bill, who marks out each week.

How did you become a Groundsman?

I became a groundsman just before I was 18, my dad was the secretary at Edmonton sports and social club in north London. They were looking for an assistant for the new groundsman and my dad put my name forward as I was looking for a job. I would never have said I was looking to do this sort of work at the time if I am honest, but 20 odd years later I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

In October 2017 the head groundsman left Edmonton and moved to Lincolnshire, at that time the sports club decided to go down the root of contractors, and I was made redundant. However, in the long term, this turned out to be big plus as the contractors decided to keep me on and I joined a wider ground maintenance team managing several sports grounds and schools across north London.

In 2019 my partner, daughter and I, spent a weekend in Nottingham, where we decided it was time for totally fresh start, and moved from Harlow in Essex, to Long Eaton. I had been due to take up a role with Carrington Cavaliers but COVID struck and after lockdown unfortunately travellers broke into the ground and drove over the Square, rendering it unplayable for the season.

I posted on Facebook page to see if there was any club in Nottingham looking for a groundsman. To my luck Dan Andrew the Wollaton 1st team captain contacted me and that is how I’ve ended up at Wollaton. I have been made to feel very welcome in the very short time been here.

What do you enjoy most about being a Groundsman?

I really enjoy being a groundsman, being outside in the fresh air, with usually gorgeous weather in Summer. You also can’t beat the end of the week when everything is all striped and marked out, ready to go. The bit I don’t like to be honest is divots it’s a boring job, but a must.

What’s your dream purchase in terms of kit to make your job easier?

With the current ground, it’s difficult to say what would be my dream kit for current job, as I’m still to see how wet the football pitch gets. I’d say a quadraplay with, roller, straight brush and spring tine rake and a seeder for the tractor as well. Then I’ve got all the machinery to do end of season renovations, save getting a contractor in with big cost.

What’s training or learning gaps would you like to bridge?

Training wise I did my NVQ 1 and 2 when I first started. There’s probably lots more I can learn on courses available, but I think the last 20 odd years has taught me a lot.

While you have a captive audience anything else you would like to say about being a Groundsman and the challenges this brings?

Being a groundsman, can bring you many challenges, just a few for example, improving the ground and machinery you have and improving the working relationship with the members and committees at the club you work at.

 

What’s your name and which club do you work at in what capacity? 

I’m David Sans, I’ve just taken over as groundsman at Wollaton Sports Association in Nottingham. I’m currently in charge of looking after the cricket and the football and will shortly be taking on responsibility for maintaining the bowls green as well. This is a part time role; in the summer I’ll be doing over 20 hrs a week on the ground. 

 

Helpers/volunteers wise at Wollaton, there’s Simon who cuts the field 2 to 3 times a week during cricket season, and football, there is the Chairman Bill, who marks out each week. 

 

How did you become a Groundsman? 

I became a groundsman just before I was 18, my dad was the secretary at Edmonton sports and social club in north London. They were looking for an assistant for the new groundsman and my dad put my name forward as I was looking for a job. I would never have said I was looking to do this sort of work at the time if I am honest, but 20 odd years later I wouldn’t want to do anything else. 

 

In October 2017 the head groundsman left Edmonton and moved to Lincolnshire, at that time the sports club decided to go down the root of contractors, and I was made redundantHowever, in the long term, this turned out to be big plus as the contractors decided to keep me on and I joined a wider ground maintenance team managing several sports grounds and schools across north London.  

 

In 2019 my partner, daughter and Ispent a weekend in Nottingham, where we decided it was time for totally fresh start, and moved from Harlow in Essex, to Long EatonI had been due to take up a role with Carrington Cavaliers but COVID struck and after lockdown unfortunately travellers broke into the ground and drove over the Square, rendering it unplayable for the season. 

 

I posted on Facebook page to see if there was any club in Nottingham looking for a groundsman. To my luck Dan Andrew the Wollaton 1st team captain contacted me and that is how I’ve ended up at Wollaton. I have been made to feel very welcome in the very short time been here. 

 

What do you enjoy most about being a Groundsman? 

really enjoy being a groundsman, being outside in the fresh air, with usually gorgeous weather in Summer. You also can’t beat the end of the week when everything is all striped and marked out, ready to go. The bit I don’t like to be honest is divots it’s a boring job, but a must. 

 

What’s your dream purchase in terms of kit to make your job easier? 

With the current groundit’s difficult to say what would be my dream kit for current job, as I’m still to see how wet the football pitch getsI’d say a quadraplay with, roller, straight brush and spring tine rake and a seeder for the tractor as well. Then I’ve got all the machinery to do end of season renovations, save getting a contractor in with big cost. 

 

What’s training or learning gaps would you like to bridge? 

Training wise I did my NVQ 1 and 2 when I first started. There’s probably lots more I can learn on courses available, but I think the last 20 odd years has taught me a lot. 

 

While you have a captive audience anything else you would like to say about being a Groundsman and the challenges this brings? 

Being a groundsman, can bring you many challenges, just a few for example, improving the ground and machinery you have and improving the working relationship with the members and committees at the club you work at.