King of the courts

Neil Stubley, Head Groundsman Designate, The All England Club and Wimbledon Championships.'CREDIT: Bob Martin/AELTC'Copyright AELTC
Neil Stubley, Head Groundsman Designate, The All England Club and Wimbledon Championships.'CREDIT: Bob Martin/AELTC'Copyright AELTC
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WIMBLEDON fortnight always provides a challenging time for Myerscough College student, Neil Stubley, who is the Head Groundsman Designate at The All England Club.

Neil, who is studying the On-line Foundation Degree in Sportsturf, has been at Wimbledon for 16 years, the past nine as Senior Groundsman.

He was appointed Head Groundsman Designate in April in preparation for the intended retirement of current Head Groundsman, Eddie Seaward, who is a Myerscough College Fellow.

The weeks leading up to the championships are clearly a busy time for Neil and the team at Wimbledon, who are charged with keeping the club’s 41 grass courts and nine hard courts in pristine condition.

This involves a continuous programme of verticutting, hydro-jetting, wetting agent application, summer feeding, rolling and, of course, daily cutting to maintain the playing surfaces.

Dr Andrew Owen, who is the Course Leader for the On-Line Foundation Degree at Myerscough College, commented: “The surfaces at Wimbledon have never looked better and great credit must go to Neil and the team there, which includes several other ex-Myerscough students.

“Everybody at the College was delighted to hear that Neil was appointed Head Groundsman Designate and hopefully he can implement some of the things he has learnt through the College into his daily work.”

Neil will now continue to understudy Eddie Seaward until after the London 2012 Olympic Games after which he will take over the position of Head Groundsman.

Neil said: “It is an honour to have been appointed and I am delighted at the prospect of being able to build on the fantastic work done by Eddie Seward and the team.”