With excitement reaching fever pitch surrounding Bournemouth Cherries’ soaring success, it could be said that Young Horticulturalist of the Year winner Tim Small has helped them to the Premier League…with his hands-on contribution to the team’s own pitch!
Nineteen year old Tim from Shaftesbury, has been doing work experience at AFC Bournemouth since September alongside Head Groundsman James Lathwell and three colleagues on a variety of tasks including mowing, fertilising, rolling, line marking and aerating.
Tim then studies at Kingston Maurward College in Dorchester three days a week towards his Level 3 Extended Diploma in Horticulture specialising in Sports Turf. Both James Lathwell and colleague Dan Sutherland also studied at Kingston Maurward College finishing in 2004 and 2011 respectively.
These unsung heroes work tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure the pitch is up to standard for the all-important match days, and with matches televised in HD the pitch is under intense scrutiny, as well as being watched by 12,000 people in the stands.
James Lathwell said: “Tim is a pleasure to have around – we all look forward to seeing him. Working at the grounds one day a week Tim has gained not only invaluable skills but in confidence too.”
Tim intends to gain more sports turf experience, and is applying for jobs at private schools and golf courses – although if AFC Bournemouth were in a position to offer him a full-time post he would be delighted.
Tim said: “I’m really proud of the team – to do my work experience here has been amazing and really helped me choose what I want to do in future. I’m glad to have been here to witness the Cherries’ rise to the top!”