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principality stadium (2)

PRO Supplier

Principality Stadium relies on SISIS

When Cardiff’s Principality Stadium installed a 3G synthetic surface to the surround of the pitch, head groundsman Lee Evans knew there was only one company he would turn to when it came to maintaining the surface.

Lee’s journey to what he calls his ‘dream job’ has seen him managing sports turf throughout his whole career. After gaining his necessary qualifications, he entered the industry by maintaining sports pitches at a number of schools in the South East of England. He soon landed his first role in a stadium environment when he was offered a job at Fulham FC, which then led to a position at Aston Villa FC.

Twelve years ago, Lee got the opportunity to return to his native Wales when he was offered the head groundsman’s role at, what it was then called - the Millennium Stadium. In his time here, Lee became the youngest ever head groundsman to prepare a pitch for an FA Cup final and is already relishing the task of hosting the 2017 Champions League final at the Principality Stadium.

UEFA’s decision to select the Principality Stadium as the venue to host the final of one of sport’s most prestigious competitions, is testament to the great work undertaken by Lee and his team. In fact, the Principality Stadium is taking great strides in being counted among the most elite and modern stadiums in the world.

Sporting the first fully-retractable roof in the UK, the venue is at the leading edge as a multi-purpose, multi-faceted event venue. The installation of a partition drape system in July 2005 means that the bowl of the Principality Stadium can be used for multiple concert mode configurations and for staging exhibitions. The summer of 2015 also saw a brand new Desso pitch installed along with a 4.5 metre wide synthetic surface all the way around the pitch.

“When the synthetic surface was installed we needed a machine to maintain it. I didn’t look at anything else – SISIS are well known in the industry and they manufacture reliable machines. I’ve used SISIS before for different things: when we needed a one-off piece of kit to solve a problem we were having, they even tailor-built a machine to meet our requirements,” said Lee.

He decided that the SISIS Z Brush, also known as the SISIS Zig Zag Brush, would be the ideal piece of equipment. Available in 6ft or 8ft widths, these unique brushing units consist of four or five 2ft long brush sections, mounted on a main frame so that each brush is operating at an angle to the forward motion of the towing vehicle. This type of brushing has been found to improve the movement of top dressing material down to the base of the grass sward, with very few passes. Alternatively, and in Lee’s case, the Z Brush also is perfect for ‘working in’ the rubber crumb on synthetic surfaces.

“We use the Z brush and it keeps the synthetic surface in pristine condition. We use it once a week and the best feature is that it moves the rubber crumb around and it stands the fibres back up excellently.

“For me, the SISIS Z Brush certainly ticks all of our boxes.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact SISIS on 01332 824 777 or visit www.sisis.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow SISIS on Twitter @SISISMachinery and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/SISISMachinery. You can also view the latest SISIS videos by visiting www.youtube.com/SISISMachinery

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PRO Supplier

Lee Evans, head groundsman at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff, claims that the Dennis G860 is the ‘perfect machine’ for him and his grounds staff.

Since opening in June 1999, the Principality Stadium (formerly known as the Millennium Stadium) has welcomed, on average, over 1.3 million visitors per year. It has played host to two Rugby World Cups including the final in 1999, three Wales Grand Slam successes in the RBS Six Nations, six FA Cup Finals and also witnessed a multitude of concerts with some of the world’s leading artists in the music industry.

Since embarking on his role twelve years ago, head groundsman Lee has seen most of these events take place. With an impressive CV, including roles at Fulham FC and Aston Villa FC, it is safe to say that he knows how to get the very best out of a playing surface. Therefore, when Lee started his position at the Principality Stadium he knew exactly what turf maintenance equipment he needed.

“I’ve been using Dennis mowers for as long as I can remember but when I first came here we didn’t have any - so I soon changed that. Obviously there were other machines available but I preferred the Dennis Premier machine which I had previously been using. Compared to what we originally had, the Dennis Premier’s quite simply provide a better cut and finish.”

The Dennis Premier is available in 30” and 36” cutting widths. A three section rear roller and steering brake make it easy to manoeuvre giving an excellent stripe and rolling characteristics. Complete with a large diameter front roller with adjustable scraper, for precise height of cut control, the machine is easy to adjust on both sides with the use of a single spanner.

Lee purchased two Dennis Premier’s and soon added to his collection after seeing the Dennis G860 in action. Featuring an interchangeable cassette system, giving options to fit a variety of heads including scarifiers, verticutters, brushes, spikers, and slitters as well as 6 or 8 bladed cutter cassettes, the G860 is relied upon in stadium environments all over the world – and Lee hasn’t looked back since.

“I had heard a lot of good things about the G860 so I trialled one to see what it was like and I was really impressed. It’s basically a multitude of machines in one which is great and saves you a lot of time.”

“The best feature on the G860 is the flexibility it offers - you can simply change a cassette as opposed to buying a new machine. They are so reliable and seem to go forever. They also give a great cut, they are light and they leave an excellent stripe behind them.”

In fact, Lee thought that they were so good that he ended up purchasing three of them so that all three of the full-time grounds staff could have one each. Combined with their two Dennis Premier’s, Lee explained how the two machines perfectly complement one another in his pitch maintenance procedures.

“Leading up to a game, when we want to get a first class finish and stripe, we will introduce the Dennis G860’s. After starting with the G860’s we then take hardness readings with our Clegg hammer and if the pitch requires firming up a little bit more for any reason we use the Dennis Premier. Immediately after the game we then return to the G860 with the brush cassette to clear away any debris.”

“Aside from match day preparation we also use the G860 with the sorrel roller cassette in between games because it helps keep the surface open and prevents algae from forming. We even use it pre-season and prior to overseeding – just to get even more holes in the surface to let the seed in.”

“Overall it’s a fantastic piece of kit and is the perfect machine for us here.”

For further information or a no obligation demonstration, please contact Dennis 01332 824 777 or visit www.dennisuk.com

For more news, reviews and insightful views, you can follow Dennis on Twitter @DennisMowers and like the company’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/DennisMowersUK.You can also view the latest Dennis videos by visiting www.youtube.com/DennisMowers

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