Ryan Golding, Head Groundsperson for Leeds Rhinos, claims that a range of ICL products has helped the club to successfully navigate the busiest year on record.
He may have been at the club for nearly two decades, but Ryan has just witnessed the busiest ever year, in terms of pitch usage, at Headingley Stadium. In addition to the multitude of standard games and events, Headingley was also the most used pitch at the Rugby League World Cup last year.
With such heavy usage, Ryan explained how he and his three members of staff quite often have to go against the agronomical rule book and push the boundaries.
“We are one of the most highly used surfaces in professional sport and so we have to do things a little differently at times,” he said. “For example, we may need to apply a conventional fertiliser just before the snow comes because we need cover. There will also be times when we need to apply products in what might normally be considered to be less than ideal conditions. Unfortunately, with the time scales involved, we have to complete tasks whenever we can.”
Ryan knows that using the correct products is key to success.
“The response, quality, longevity, and variety of ICL products has allowed us to push our usage and quality of surface, as well as allowing us flexibility in the types of events that we can host.”
He pin-pointed three ICL products which have made a significant impact in the past year.
“ProTurf 15-5-15 (a controlled release fertiliser) always provides us with a good base. The longevity we get from the feed, and the colour and the response are first-class. It also gives us the room to apply a conventional whenever we need it.
“That’s where the Sportsmaster NK 12.0.9+Fe (a phosphate free compound fertiliser) comes in. It’s an old-school product, which I like, and the response we get from it is rapid. The colour it provides is fantastic and it is an ideal product for match preparation or recovery. How often we apply it really depends on the pitch, but I like to think of it as giving an athlete who is very tired a can of Red Bull.
“We’ve also used H2Pro TriSmart wetting agent,” continued Ryan. “We’ve seen great results from it retaining the moisture and it has had a good effect on our root depth, especially in being able to manage movement of the moisture throughout the profile.”
In addition to the good results he has reported from using the ICL products, Ryan was also keen to emphasise the importance of receiving excellent customer service.
“I’m given extra confidence by the support ICL show to both me and the club. I’ve been using ICL products ever since I took over as the Head Groundsperson and the communication from them has always been fantastic. That is throughout the whole organisation - whether it is the man on the ground like Craig Lalley who comes in and sees me, through to Ed Carter, Andy Owen, or Henry Bechelet – it is all of them that go above and beyond.”