Burnley FC’s Gawthorpe Training Centre has reached its next stage of development with a Desso Grassmaster pitch, reconstructed by J Mallinson (Ormskirk) and irrigation by Irrigation Control. The new ‘top pitch’ has 20 Rain Bird perimeter sprinklers and in-turf rotors. It has been integrated into Gawthorpe’s site wide irrigation system with the aim of providing water to any given pitch in the quickest time at lowest cost. This considers different surface types, sheltered or exposed areas, wind speeds, rainfall, sunlight and evapotranspiration rates.
Rain Bird control system’s cycle is based on calculations for the whole Gawthorpe site. Irrigation is overnight when temperatures and wind speeds are lowest and evapotranspiration rates are low. Through its laptop interface, the control system gives the information that groundstaff need. Ultimately it decides which sprinklers should be turned on/off, what irrigation flows need to be delivered to specified pitches at maximum efficiency.
“We enjoy long-term relationships with our pitch and irrigation system suppliers,” says Groundsman Barry O’Brien. “An understanding of what we are trying to achieve and familiarity with the site is vital. The continuity gives us peace of mind.”