Manchester City’s Football Academy in the heart of East Manchester has chosen Toro again as it updates its fleet.
The supply of six Reelmaster 3575-D lightweight mowers continues a relationship with Cheshire Turf Machinery and Toro which spans 20 years.
For use across the 80 acres of grounds adjacent to the Etihad Stadium which is used for youth development and first team training, head groundsperson Lee Metcalfe has chosen Toro and the Reelmaster 3575-D mowers to replace its older Toro Reelmaster 5510-D machines.
“We needed to replace the RM5510-D fleet as they had a high number of hours on them,” he says. “This time we opted for the three-wheel RM3575-D mowers, so we wouldn’t have as much impact on the pitches. It’s been a wet winter and we felt this would deliver a better result considering the conditions.”
The RM3575-D machines are lightweight – just 2550lbs including the cutting units – and the front-to-back and side-to-side balance of weight produces a low centre of gravity which, when combined with turf-friendly tyres, reduces any potential turf compaction and damage.
The three-wheel drive system of the new machines will also help with the tight turns at the end of the pitches, says Lee: “These machines are easy to use and with the tight turn areas we have three wheels work very well. Cut is set at 30mm for the academy pitches and at 23mm for the first team pitches. Maintenance is daily by the MCFC staff and a couple of technicians from Cheshire Turf Machinery come out every Monday to check and maintain the machines too.”
The relationship between Manchester City and Cheshire Turf Machinery is almost two decades long as managing director Steve Halley explains: “We’ve worked with Manchester City Football Club for around 20 years, with Lee and grounds manager Roy Rigby. It’s our understanding that reliability of the brand is key and we trust that our support and the longevity of our relationship is too.
“This latest order addresses the club’s constant drive to improve turf quality without sacrificing productivity. As Lee says the three wheel configuration makes the machine very agile and means the team can make tight turns without damaging the turf.”
With the surfaces of the Academy taken care of, Lee, who has been at MCFC for 10 years and manages a team of 13, tells us what’s next: “We are always focused on how we can keep developing the grounds area and team. I’m constantly looking to see what the latest innovations are in terms of machinery and when it comes to our team, these are the people of the future. Everyone in the team is willing to learn and move forward which is very encouraging to see. They question things and attend many training courses to make them all better groundspeople.”