Ben Connell & Bacton Utd 89 Groundsman Roger Lawson 2018 1

Free grass pitch management event

SUFFOLK FA are holding a free Grass Football Pitch Management Evening.

SUFFOLK FA are holding a free Grass Football Pitch Management Evening.

The event is being run in conjunction with the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) and supported by Ben Connell, Head Groundsman at Ipswich Town FC. Ben is pictured (above left) with Bacton United 89 groundsman Roger Lawson.

It is taking place on Friday, December 7th from 6.30pm until 9pm at Ipswich Town’s Playford Road Training Centre in Rushmere St Andrew. Light refreshments will be provided.

Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Jodie Allard said: “The workshop is open to grassroots football groundsmen, club chairmen and secretaries, and aims to help give an insight on what is required to maintain football pitches and the challenges that their grounds staff face during the season.

“The specialised topic for the evening is ‘Dealing With Weather Extremes’ and will be delivered by Phil Jeggo from the Institute of Groundsmanship (IOG) with support of Ben Connell from Ipswich Town.

“We welcome clubs from across the county to take advantage of this fantastic opportunity to discuss tactics to improve their grass pitches, highlight funding that is available to support clubs as well as sharing examples of best practice.”

The aim of the evening is to talk about how best to deal with the changing weather patterns and what can be done to the county’s pitches to help them cope with such extremes and be better prepared in the future if these challenges arise again, being proactive rather than reactive is key to achieving this although sometimes you cannot beat the weather.

Other topics to be covered on the evening will include:


  • Aeration
  • Pre- match preparation/Post Match Repairs
  • In – Season Pitch Maintenance
  • Pest & Diseases
  • Fertilisers


The workshop is linked to the FA’s Pitch Improvement Programme led by Regional IOG Pitch Adviser Phil Jeggo, and FA Partners Redexim Charterhouse and Rigby Taylor will also be in attendance.

Phil Jeggo said: “This year has seen unprecedented weather extremes, from the Beast from the East to consistent rainfall for the first four months of the year.

“We then experienced one of the dry, warmest summers on record all of which had a massive impact on pitch renovations and preparations for the new season from the professional level down to the grassroots clubs and clubs are still feeling the impact from these conditions even now.

“We are extremely grateful to Ipswich Town FC and to Ben for allowing us to host the evening at their training ground.”


The session will involve some indoor discussion / presentations and then some outdoor practical elements, in addition to question and answer time with Ben and Phil. Please come dressed appropriately for the weather conditions.


To register for the event, please contact Jodie Allard, Football Development Manager at Suffolk FA via one of the following options:



T: 01449 616606                  

M: 07432 735961