A DREAM has come true for one Suffolk groundskeeper.
Trevor Chenery of Halesworth Town FC was invited to help prepare the pitch at Wembley Stadium ahead of the Lionesses’ game against the Netherlands.
The 51-year-old, who took over as groundskeeper at the club in 2020, enjoyed the experience of a lifetime after winning a competition run by the Premier League, The FA and Government’s Football Foundation.
The competition was run as part of the Get Your Pitch Match Fit campaign that celebrates the importance of grass pitches and the groundskeepers who maintain them for the grassroots game.
Trevor (pictured above) has been involved with the north-east Suffolk club since 2006, when he managed his son’s team. Since taking over as groundskeeper he has overseen a transformation in the quality of the club’s grass pitches, helped by grant funding from the Football Foundation.
Wembley Stadium Grounds Manager, Karl Standley, was on hand before the game to offer expert advice, show Trevor what’s involved in getting the hallowed turf match ready and help him put the finishing touches on England’s most prestigious pitch.
Trevor Chenery (centre) is pictured talking with Wembley Grounds Manager Karl Standley (right) on the pitch ahead of last Friday's game.
Trevor said: “Every football fan dreams of stepping out onto the Wembley pitch, so to be able to do that has been a dream come true.
“Groundskeeping is a real labour of love and today I’ve seen that it’s exactly the same for the top groundskeepers in the country. There’s so much I’ve learnt that’ll help me take my own pitch to the next level.
“I’d like to thank the Football Foundation for all the advice and funding I have received so far by using PitchPower and of course for the incredible opportunity today.”
After helping to prepare the pitch for last Friday’s UEFA Nations League tie, Trevor was joined by wife Claire to watch the Lionesses recover from being 2-0 down to win 3-2 .
Trevor was one of two groundskeepers selected at random from users of PitchPower – the Football Foundation’s free web app for inspecting and improving grass pitches.
Through PitchPower, anyone responsible for a grass pitch can inspect their pitches and receive bespoke advice from experts at the Grounds Management Association on how to improve them.
After receiving these recommendations, PitchPower users have the opportunity to apply for grants of up to £12,800 per pitch through the Foundation to put them into action.
Trevor Chenery (right) marking the Wembley pitch ahead of the Lionesses’ game against the Netherlands last Friday.
Karl Standley, Wembley Grounds Manager and a supporter of the Football Foundation, said: “Having a quality playing surface is vital, whether you’re playing in the World Cup final or Sunday League with your friends.
“The grassroots game couldn’t function without volunteer groundskeepers giving up their time for clubs across the country and I’m proud to help the Football Foundation shine a spotlight on the vital role they play.
“Thanks to the support of the Premier League, The FA and Government, the Foundation will be investing £21 million a year to get grass pitches across the country looking and playing their best.”
“I’d encourage anyone responsible for a grass pitch to keep an eye out on the Foundation’s social channels for tips and tricks on how to maintain their grass pitches and sign up to PitchPower to start their grass pitch transformation journey.”
Suffolk FA Football Development Manager Matt Stebbings said: “It is great to see the hard work of Trevor and Halesworth Town being recognised. There has been vast improvement in the quality of grass pitches across Halesworth, since the Football Foundation’s Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund was successfully applied for across multiple sites. A huge well done to all involved in Halesworth Town and Juniors.”
If any other clubs/organisations wish to improve their grass pitches they are asked to contact Matt Stebbings via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
To help more people enjoy all the benefits of grassroots sport, the Foundation has set the target of reaching 20,000 'good' quality grass pitches across the country by 2030.
For more information, visit the Football Foundation’s website via the below link.