Poppleton Junior Football Club is a well established and progressive club, with over eleven acres of training facilities and pitches in the village of Poppleton, west of York. An FA Charter Standard Community Club, Poppleton is home to boys’ teams from under 7’s to under 19’s, competing in various York leagues, girls’ teams from under 10’ to under 16’s who compete in the City of York Girls Football League and a Ladies’ open age team playing in the North Riding Women’s Premier League. In all, Poppleton has twenty-five teams competing at the various levels.
FA GROUNDSMAN OF THE YEAR
Maintaining the grounds is the work of Head Groundsman, Jim Ferguson, twice winner of the Football Association’s ‘Step 7 and Below’ Groundsman of the Year Award. He attributes much of the praise received for the high standard of the pitches and training grounds to the Wessex ProLine RMX 240 roller mower he uses. It replaced a 1.8m rotary mower and Jim reckons the sheer smoothness of the running has cut the mowing time in half, while producing a high quality finish.
Jim first spotted the RMX 240 roller mower at the BTME turf exhibition and a demonstration was set up for him by Wessex’s Greg Owen in conjunction with Yorkshire dealers, the Russell Group. Even with the mower attached to the club’s old tractor Jim was immediately impressed and having been left with the machine for an hour he knew he needed to look no further and cancelled the demonstration of another machine he had arranged. Price is always a consideration but a visit from the IOG, of which Jim is a member, resulted in a much-welcomed grant becoming available. The IOG suggested Poppleton would benefit greatly and the club is grateful to the Football Foundation for providing the means to acquire the Wessex RMX 240 and a new 48hp tractor.
“The club from the Chairman down is so pleased with the results, people have remarked on how much better the pitches are since we’ve had the Wessex. It’s in another league altogether. It has made all the difference to the club and the players, and the speed of the Wessex even means I have time to cut crossways for perfect pitch presentation.” says Jim.