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Pitch management at Forest Green with GrasPro

GrasPro Pitch Management System has become a vital data collection tool for Forest Green Rovers head groundsman, Adam Witchell.

Witchell is into his fourth season with the League Two football club, and he has used GrasPro throughout that time to record data from the club’s stadium pitch and training pitch.

The system has helped him save time recording data and generating reports, allowing him to concentrate on doing the work that is needed. He said:

I think it’s wonderful, it’s one of my main tools as a head groundsman, and I use it to manage a different site as well, I find it one of the most beneficial things I have. When I first went to Forest Green Rovers, it was one of the first things that I got because I needed a data management plan.

I’ve trialled other data collection systems and for me this is the best one. I was looking for a management system, and I was trialling a few, but really it was the ease of use because some data collection systems can take a while. It takes away data recording in the evening because it doesn’t take long to put it into the GrasPro system, so it saves me time and energy that I can concentrate on other parts of my job.

I use it for all of my monthly reviews and daily and weekly plans. And I can look back on things that worked and didn’t work by doing PQS’s on the pitch. For me, it’s massively helpful to be able to do that. I think I’m the only person in the world working with an organic vegan pitch and it’s very a difficult pitch. It’s a very heavy clay pitch, it has its problems, but with the weather that’s added to it, you can look at when disease might be in and then you can look at how the pitch performs with some of the products you’ve used and how it’s performed in the games in that month.

And then at other times when it might not be performing as well you can look back and think ‘ah, I didn’t do that when I’ve done that before.’ Also, when we’ve had disease, I can record the humidity, the temperature and things like that to so I can see if disease is coming. With the weather we’ve had, I can think I need to start using this product or feeding it a certain way because disease will be rife soon.

He said another part of it was getting to speak to Einar Brynjarsson at GrasPro.

We were looking at how we could improve the system for the future, and how it would best work with the systems I use already, which was very good and very detailed.

Working closely with Einar means if there are bits that aren’t in the system, then I can contact him. We’ve spoken about machinery because it didn’t have that before and I said I needed something for it. Now I can record the hours every month, and I can see when the next service is, when it’s due an oil change or maybe it’s time for machines to be ground or start looking at how the batteries are doing.

There wasn’t anything like that initially, and it was something I felt like I wanted, I discussed it with them, and they’ve come up with an excellent machinery section of the system which takes a lot of headache away. I have a lot of plate spinning in my job, and it’s something that I don’t have to worry about now, I don’t need to keep checking if it’s time for this to be serviced or putting lots of bits of paper down or notes all around my whiteboard.

GrasPro has been built by groundsmen for groundsmen. It has been developed as a time effective tool to help speed up data collection and allow users to quickly use and analyse data from their surfaces and machines to make informed statistical decisions.

@PanStadiaArena