Stuart Antell has been a long-term fan of Limagrain’s MM range of grass seed, using it throughout his whole career. There was no exception after he was appointed the Head Groundsman at his beloved Yeovil Town FC.
Prior to accepting the position in January this year, Stuart was enjoying a warmer climate in sunny La Manga, Spain. As much as he and his girlfriend had become accustomed to sun, sand and sangria, there were only two jobs that would tempt him back to the UK.
“It was lovely out in Spain and I enjoyed maintaining football pitches and cricket squares in the sun,” said Stuart. “However, when we first moved out there, I said to my girlfriend that there would only be two possibilities of us returning home – if I was ever offered a job at Lord’s – the home of cricket, or at Yeovil Town FC – the team I have supported my whole life.
“I couldn’t believe it when the Deputy Head Groundsman position at Lord’s and the Head Groundsman position at Yeovil both came up at the same time!”
Stuart admits that the opportunity to join his boyhood team was just too good to turn down. He started in January this year and after finding his feet, he was keen to make his mark.
When it came to the grass seed, he was keen to bring in a brand he was familiar with.
“The club was previously using another brand, but I’ve always used Limagrain’s MM seed because it has always worked for me,” he said. “The main reason I chose MM seed was because I conducted a seed trial back when I was an Assistant Groundsman at Bath Cricket Club.
“I carried out a test plot with three seed mixtures from three leading breeders. MM seed proved to be the best and was also the most cost effective.”
Following the trial, Stuart continued to use Limagrain’s MM seed in his next position at Hampshire County Cricket Club and even relied on it out in La Manga.
At Yeovil Town FC, Stuart chooses to use Limagrain’s MM60, which is the UK’s leading winter sports renovation mixture and can be attributed with playing a key role in many of the finest sporting venues you see today. The 100% Ryegrass formula, which is perfect for divot repair, is renowned for its extremely fast germination and its high wear tolerance. It produces fantastic aesthetic qualities, and its high disease resistance provides ultimate protection.
MM60 is also treated with HEADSTART® GOLD, which is a further development of the well-recognised Headstart treatment and has been developed using the latest scientific findings and field experience. It is a natural revolutionary grass seed treatment that ensures rapid germination.
“We did a mini renovation at the end of July and we overseeded with 11 bags of MM60,” said Stuart. “Not only do I use it for renovations, but it is a product I’ll use frequently throughout the season. After every game I’ll go over the pitch looking for any holes that have been kicked out – I’ll then apply a bit of seed to those areas just to keep on top of it. Even before a game I like to put some seed down in the goal mouth areas, which the keepers will then tread in and then after the game I’ll apply a light top dressing.
“I just cannot fault the seed at all,” continued Stuart. “It’s resilient, cost-effective and offers the best germination I’ve ever seen in a seed.”
Not only does Stuart tend to Yeovil Town FC’s stadium and training ground but, somehow, he also finds time to be the local pitch advisor for the Dorset Cricket Board.
“Through this position I carry out a handful of cricket renovations a year and I always use Limagrain’s MM50 which is perfect for cricket,” he said. “As a board we always recommend MM50 to all of the local cricket clubs.
“I have full confidence in Limagrain which is why I’ve used the MM brand throughout my career. I also like the fact that they are always looking to improve the mixtures by adding different cultivars.
“The customer service from Sam Horner (Limagrain Amenity Seed Sales Specialist) is great and he is always available if I need any advice. Everything just works – it’s the whole package.”