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Liberty Stadium Groundsman Crowned King Of The Turf

Liberty Stadium Groundsman Crowned King Of The Turf
Tuesday 05 May 2009 [12:32]
 
Bosses at Liberty Stadium have paid tribute to Groundsman Dan Duffy after the Australian was crowned Championship Groundsman of the Year 2008-09 at a Football League bash at Stoke City's Brittania Stadium.

The turf at the £27million home of the Ospreys and the Swans came out top of the league after Dr Stephen Baker, Head of Spoil and Sports Surface Science at the Sports Turf Research Institute, carried out an in depth analysis of the three pitches short-listed in each division.

All visiting managers and referees mark the pitch out of five for each game and at the end of February those marks are averaged out with the top three making the short-list. The Liberty Stadium came out ahead of last year's winner, Southampton's St Mary's Stadium, and Preston North End's Deepdale Stadium to take top prize in the Championship.
 
Liberty Stadium was the only dual purpose pitch hosting both football and rugby to be short-listed across the three divisions, and it is also the first time that a dual purpose pitch has ever taken top prize at the long running awards, making Dan's achievement even more impressive.

Andrew Davies, General Manager at the Liberty Stadium, said:

"This award is a fantastic achievement for Dan and his team, who put in such tremendous work to ensure that both the Ospreys and the Swans enjoy playing on a surface which is the envy of most sporting teams in the UK. Along with his assistants, Anthony Harry and Alby Hobson, Dan works around the clock to ensure that the pitch is of the highest possible quality, and for the Football League to describe it as 'superb' is a clear indication of the high standards that they work to, and which in many ways we have come to expect here.

"Everybody at the Liberty Stadium is immensely proud of this award, which is a richly deserved one, and is a just reward for Dan's efforts. The pitch here is his pride and joy, and for it to be recognised in this way must be incredibly satisfying. When you consider that this is the first time ever that a dual purpose stadium has been awarded this prize, then you really can appreciate what a tremendous job the ground staff are doing here at the Liberty Stadium, and what a fabulous facility we have here.

"It is not only the Ospreys and the Swans that have benefited from such a high quality playing surface though, International football and rugby has also been played here, whilst events such as the West Wales Cup final also being hosted at the Liberty Stadium. This means that even amateur footballers can enjoy the experience of playing on a pitch which is fit for the Premiership, and hopefully, before too long it will be a Premiership pitch."
 
 
Dan originally hails from Sydney in Australia, but moved to Wales in 1997 with his Welsh wife Kathryn who comes from Tenby, along with their daughter Sarah. He has worked at the £27m stadium in the post of head groundsman since construction was completed in 2005.

Speaking about his award, Dan commented:

"I'm delighted, especially when you consider we have dual codes using the pitch. I think the panel were impressed with the fact that despite hosting two codes we still managed to maintain a surface conducive to the way Roberto Martinez wants the game played. In fairness to Roberto and assistant Graeme Jones they really respect what we are trying to achieve for the pitch. I do appreciate the fact that they are helping me to help them.

"It's not just about me, I had a lot of help in the first three years from Dean Gilasbey, while Anthony Harry and Alby Hobson have helped carry on the good work."
 
 
Roberto Martinez also commented:
 
"Because of the way we play the game, a good playing surface is vital to our success. We have been lucky enough to enjoy a fantastic surface at the Liberty Stadium since the very first day we moved here from the old Vetch Field.  That has been down to the hard work and expertise of groundsman Dan Duffy, especially when you consider that he has to prepare the pitch for both football and rugby.

"Dan has done an amazing job and thoroughly deserves his award as 'Groundsman of the Year'. The recognition is long overdue.  As far as I am concerned, Dan is very much part of the Swansea City team.''

"Dan has done an amazing job and thoroughly deserves his award as 'Groundsman of the Year'. The recognition is long overdue.  As far as I am concerned, Dan is very much part of the Swansea City team.''

 
 

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liberty-stadium.com - Sat 18 Nov 2017 15:35:02