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Englands Square Contract with Willow Turf Care Agreed

26 Jan 2023

The Poulton Cricket Club Committee is excited to announce that terms have been agreed with Richie Woodmason and the team at Willow Turf Care to look after our square at Englands for the 2023 Season.

Richie has been a brilliant help to the club already, firstly getting the Englands square ready for the 2022 season in the immediate aftermath of the devastating loss of Wayne Tinson and then putting it to bed at the end of last season while also popping up to lend advice last summer. We welcome Richie and his team as full members and friends of the club. They will prepare wickets for all home games across our club teams and hopefully able to join our social events when they can. Willow Turf Care will also have a position on the committee. 

This is a major financial commitment for the club and one we intend to meet through fundraising as we aim to keep the financial hurdles to play our sport as low as possible while also maximising the chance to play on the best possible wickets. Our facilities are our biggest asset at Poulton Cricket Club and care for them is a core priority for everyone at the club.

The Englands square has long been a fantastic place to play the game but also requires a huge commitment from a large team of cordinated volunteers. Graham "Gramps" Clarke led this effort in the 2022 season producing well over 80 wickets in some of the toughest conditions in decades. The committee and wider club cannot thank him for everything he did to fill the groundskeeper portion of the enormous hole left by Wayne.  Getting through last summer while building our balance sheet ahead of this agreement was a major development goal for last season and Gramps took the wicket prep to new levels of commitment. He's been amazing and needs quite a few 'Old Speckled Hens' over the course of this summer from each of us to say thank you. 

Taking over from Gramps, this Willow Turf Care agreement will ensure that Englands has the best possible care for the 2023 Season and hopefully many years ahead, while being brilliant for Englands it will also free up several volunteers to help on the second ground at Ampney Crucis and around the club doing the much needed fundraising and working on the reorganisation of our youth section under Lucy Ireland. 

About Richie Woodmason: He studied Sports Turf Science and Management student at Myerscough College, University of Lancashire and has been working in groundsmanship and grass care since he was 15 which incuded spending two years in Perth, Australia being trained by Philip Petricevich. He was head curator at Willetton District Cricket Club and Western Suburbs Cricket Club and back in this country has been head groundsman at Frocester Cricket Club. Following this success, he secured a groundsman job at Bristol County Ground with the GCCC and went on to become Head Groundsman at Lansdown Cricket Club who play in Premier 2 1st XI league. He then moved to Nottingham to take on the role of Deputy Head Groundsman and has since ventured out self employed. He is also in charge at Hatherley & Reddings CC, Charlton King's CC, OCG, Woodmancote CC and Stroud CC. 

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