Andy Jackson, grounds manager at Stoke City FC, has reported ‘phenomenal’ results since incorporating the SISIS Osca tractor mounted oscillating brush into his synthetic surface maintenance programme.
It is safe to say that Andy Jackson is a one-club-man. Having started as an apprentice at Stoke City FC in 1994, he has since worked his way up the ladder and now sits in the hot seat as grounds manager in which he oversees the maintenance of the pitch at the bet365 Stadium and all of the facilities at Clayton Wood training ground.
Clayton Wood boasts a multitude of state of the art facilities including two and a half Desso Grassmaster pitches, five soil based pitches and two full size synthetic surfaces.
“Getting the right equipment for all the different textured pitches we have here is big task, and it’s key to how we go about our business,” says Andy. “The use on our synthetic pitches has become incredibly high so I needed to look at something which would combat that. I wanted a machine that was going to be effective and quick but to get a machine to do those two things I felt would be a hard task.”
Fortunately, Andy came across the SISIS Osca while attending the STMA Conference and Exhibition in San Diego last year and arranged for a demonstration to be undertaken as soon as he returned to home soil. The demonstration quickly revealed that Andy had found the machine he had been looking for.
The SISIS Osca is a tractor mounted powered oscillating brush with a 1.9 meter working width and is equally effective when used on synthetic turf with sand or rubber infill. The two oscillating brushes stand the carpet fibres up and redistributes the infill evenly, minimising compaction on the surface and improving its performance – giving consistent playing characteristics while preventing pile damage caused by reduced infill levels.
A contributory factor to the reduction of compaction is that the Osca’s working width will use fewer passes than other more conventional drag brushes to complete a pitch. Its aggressive brushing action agitates the upper infill level of the surface from side to side as well as brushing forward, helping reduce surface compaction and encourage the fibres to stand up straight which reduces the risk of contamination, drainage problems and leaves a consistent playing surface across the whole pitch.
“The Ocsa had everything we were looking for and the beauty is that it is extremely versatile. You can go deep into the pile or just take it lightly over the top – everything is adjustable to enable the machine to do exactly what is required.”
“The Oscillating brushes are the best feature for me because they get rid of any compaction problems and they provide a fantastic finish. Players at all levels, from seven year olds up to the first team, play on these pitches, so for me it is just important to have the synthetic surfaces as well presented as the natural pitches.”
Andy sets an hour aside each day to use the Osca and designates a fortnightly three hour time slot to carry out a more intensive clean. Since using the Osca he has noticed a significant improvement and he is not the only one.
“The Osca has brought our synthetic pitch to a new level and the feedback we’ve had from the staff, the coaches and the players has been really positive.”
“The results have been phenomenal and personally I think the Osca ticks all the boxes in getting synthetic turf to a level where it needs to be.”