It’s more than products with ICL
Warren Scott, Grounds Manager at Liverpool Football Club, has revealed why he chooses to work so closely with ICL.
Warren has been working for Liverpool FC for an incredible twenty-three years. He joined as an apprentice, worked his way up and now oversees the twenty-five members of grounds staff across four of the club’s sites including the legendary Anfield Stadium.
Warren admits to avoiding the limelight but his whole philosophy to grounds management is somewhat pioneering. His innovative methods could well be the blueprint for years to come according to Phil Collinson, North West Key Accounts Manager for ICL.
“I like coming in here because I always learn something new,” said Phil. “What Warren is trying to do is absolutely ground-breaking and in years’ to come his work should be influencing the whole industry.”
It goes without saying that Warren selects his turf maintenance products very carefully.
“I decided to test a range of ICL fertilisers against others we have previously used,” he said. “We collected data from our soil probes, took leaf tissue and soil samples and we found that a lot of the ICL products stood out in terms of longevity, performance, and also price.”
After Warren’s trials, he began speaking to Phil, and it became evident to him that ICL offers a whole lot more than just products.
“Phil started to go through how I work as a groundsman, how I look at growing grass, how I like to maintain the football pitches here – he wanted to learn about what I do and what I want, rather than just sell me products.
“I also wanted to work with a company that could help me to prove certain things I believe in,” he continued. “Personally, I think that as an industry we overuse fertilisers and so I was therefore surprised that a fertiliser company was willing to share their research and work with me on this – especially as I want to use less. For the past year that is what we have been doing together.”
Phil commented on this approach: “It is great to work closely with Warren on this. At ICL we only ever recommend applying exactly what is needed – we are very efficient with what we do. Fortunately, I work for a company that allows this technical approach, rather than being solely sales-led. It is essential to have knowledge of what the customer is trying to do, otherwise, you can’t have that relationship or help provide the correct solutions.”
Warren uses a wide range of ICL and Syngenta products across all the club’s sites and he offered a snapshot into how two of the products have performed.
“I think if you can keep the rootzone moisture even throughout the profile, then you will get a more uniformed growth pattern – and this is why we use Qualibra wetting agent.
We generally apply this product every three weeks and have had very good results.
“I also like the mix of Qualibra used with Vitalnova Links (a biostimulant formulation). This mix really impressed me last year and we saw better germination on the pitches where this was applied.”
Aside from the products, Warren was also quick to praise ICL’s commitment to education.
“A big factor in choosing to work with ICL is that you can get great education along with the products that we use,” he said. “I would never put a product down without knowing exactly what the product is, but many skilled grounds persons, not always by choice, don’t know this. Quite often they don’t get the chance or the time to do this kind of research. In this respect ICL frequently hold seminars and education days – they give people the opportunity to learn why they are applying certain products.”