Martin Sampson

Martin Sampson

Lantra Sports Turf Maintenance Instructor & NPTC Instructor and Assessor for Spraying, Machinery and Equipment

Martin has over 30 years experience within the groundcare industry. In 1984 Martin commenced his career in the valleys of South Wales with Taff Ely Borough Council, where he learnt his trade as a groundsman. Working his way through the ranks and eventually achieving the post of Area Grounds Maintenance Officer for Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council, Martin departed Wales in 2000 to take over at Gosling Sports Park, Welwyn Garden City.

Martin went on to develop his career in the private sector, working in a variety of prestigious facilities:

Head Groundsman - NEC Harlequins

Director of Grounds - Epsom College

Grounds Maintenance Manager – Head Groundsman - Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, Twickenham

Recently Martin has decided to concentrate on sharing his knowledge and experience to become a freelance instructor. Delivering nationwide a variety of NPTC /City & Guilds Course covering Safe Use of Pesticides, Tractors Machinery and Hand Held Equipment, to groundsmen all around the country and recently becoming a NPTC/City & Guilds Pesticides Assessor. Martin also delivers a wide variety of Lantra Accredited Sports Ground Maintenance courses.

Martin holds a number of qualifications with regard to turf culture, including:

  • National Practical Certificate in the Science and Practice of Turf Culture and Sports Ground Management
  • National Technical Certificate in the Science of Turf Culture and Sports Ground Management
  • For 3 years he was an FA appointed Pitch Judge for the Groundsman of the Year Awards
Doug Price

Doug Price

NPTC Instructor and Assessor for Spraying, Machinery and Equipment

Doug Price has worked with the Pitchcare training team since its inception in 2007 and is one of our most enthusiastic and experienced Instructors and Assessors. He also makes a valuable contribution to the development of our training courses, most recently designing and delivering our Stem Injection course for the control of invasive species such as Japanese Knotweed.

Doug’s background is as an agricultural/horticultural and crop sprayer engineer, a path he followed for over 20 years. In 1996 Doug became Depot Manager for an agrochemical company and it was during this period that he commenced his training to become a City & Guilds registered Instructor. In 2000 he achieved his D32 qualification as an Assessor.

Doug achieves an enviably high pass rate with his learners, who appreciate his friendly, approachable nature, his enthusiasm, and his impressive knowledge of all the subjects he teaches.

Frank Newberry

Frank Newberry

Essential Management Skills Course Instructor

Frank Newberry is a gifted communicator who is as effective at energizing huge conferences as he is at coaching people one-to-one. With over 30 years line management, consulting and training experience in the public and private sectors Frank brings an innovative yet down-to-earth approach to training and development. Since 1992 Frank has worked as a self- employed Consultant and Conference Speaker. Prior to this he was employed by British Telecom in various roles, including Tutor and later Head of Group at BT Management Training College, and Senior Consultant in BT’s Consultancy Unit. Throughout his career Frank has worked extensively with groundsmen and greenkeepers and well understands the particular challenges faced by those in supervisory and management positions at sporting establishments, public schools etc.

Frank’s Key Professional Competencies include:

  • Master trainer (interpersonal skills, assertiveness, customer care)
  • Accredited Recruitment and Selection Assessor
  • Speed Reading/Speed Memory training design
  • Project Management training and design
  • Customer Service Training and design
  • Change management consultant
  • Consultancy Team leader
  • Conference Speaker
  • Trainer team leader
  • Meetings Facilitator
  • Executive Coach
Chris Parry

Chris Parry

Sports Turf Maintenance Course Instructor

Chris Parry has over 30 years’ experience as a groundsman and horticulturalist and is currently Head Groundsman at the Loughborough Endowed Schools. His experience is wide ranging and varied, including the maintenance and preparation of cricket squares and wickets, bowling greens, football, rugby and hockey pitches, grass tennis courts, athletics fields, golf course greens and tees, second and third generation synthetic grass surfaces, the installation and maintenance of drainage and irrigation systems and general estate maintenance. Chris was an FA pitch judge for their Groundsman of the Year Competition in 2004/5 and 7.

Previous positions include Head or Deputy Head Groundsman positions at:

  • Leicester City Football Club
  • Harlequins Rugby Football Club
  • The Dorsington Estates
  • Warwick University
Bill Clutterbuck

Bill Clutterbuck

Sports Turf Maintenance Course Instructor

Bill has clocked up over 40 years experience in groundsmanship, since he started out as a volunteer in the 1970s. In the early 1980s he became Head Groundsman and Cricket Coach at Liverpool College, moving on to a similar position at George Heriots School Edinburgh.

In 1996 Bill took up his present post as Head Groundsman at Guildford Cricket Club. Amongst other qualifications, Bill was appointed a National Cricket Association Advanced Coach in 1979 and was the NCA Staff Coach from 1980 to 1996.

Bill has achieved the following ECB Groundsman of the Year Awards:

  • 1997 Commendation
  • 2000 Runner-up (Outgrounds)
  • 2002 Runner-up (Outgrounds)
  • 2005 Ransomes/Jacobsen Tropy for Achievements in Cricket Groundsmanship

Bill is an ECB Pitch Advisor for Surrey and regularly delivers at conferences and seminars for Surrey Cricket Groundsman Association.

Melvin Pooley

Melvin Pooley

Sports Turf Maintenance Course Instructor

Mel is a Sports Surface Consultant involved in various projects in East Anglia and is currently a lecturer in Construction at the College of West Anglia. Mel joined the construction industry as an apprentice bricklayer in 1961, gained his City & Guilds craft certificates and then carried on with his studies to complete his HND at Cambridge College of Technology. He has held positions in construction management during most of his working life, where he gained his Industrial Management Qualifications.

In 1968 Mel became the Assistant Groundsman at March Town Cricket Club in Cambridgeshire, where he was a regular team member. Mel studied in his spare time to expand his knowledge of sports facilities and attended courses to gain his qualifications in groundsmanship. He became the Head Groundsman at March Town Cricket Club in 1975 and still holds this voluntary position. In 2003 Mel commenced his studies at Cranfield University and gained an MSc in Sports Surface Technology. He is a qualified NVQ Assessor and also an Internal Verifier for the City & Guilds Qualifications.

Mel has been lecturing in Sports Surface Construction and maintenance for six years and is a qualified teacher, having gaining his PGCE in 2005. He delivers all levels of sport surface courses but specialises in cricket. He is also an ECB pitch adviser for Cambridgeshire.

Richard Murray

Richard Murray

Sports Turf Maintenance Course Instructor

Richard started his career within the horticultural industry, covering all aspects of grounds and shrub maintenance and handling equipment of all types, eventually achieving the position of Leading Gardener at Reaseheath College, the leading specialist land-based College in the UK.

Building upon the knowledge and experience gained during his 7 years in horticulture, Richard then spent the following 10 years as an approved contractor, carrying out all aspects of tree surgery and landscaping for the commercial and private sectors and local government. Following a period of intensive training to update his skills, Richard then took responsibility for a team of local authority groundstaff, maintaining large areas of open space, shrubs and grass areas to new government standards.

After 40 years of working in horticulture, arboriculture and sports turf culture, Richard decided in May 2009 to channel his energies into passing on his knowledge and is now a freelance instructor within the ground care industry, delivering training courses ranging from in-house instruction to full nationally recognised qualifications including NPTC (National Proficiency Test Council), Lantra Awards (Pitchcare’s Turf Maintenance Courses), City & Guilds, and the Golf Training Council.

Bob Stretton

Bob Stretton

Sports Turf Maintenance Course Instructor

Bob is currently Head Groundsman at the Massey Ferguson Sports & Social Club, managing first class cricket and football facilities in the Midlands.

His main sporting interests are Football, Cricket and Golf. Bob has worked as a professional groundsman since the 1990s, including 5 years at Coventry and North Warwickshire Cricket Club and 3 years as Assistant Head Greenkeeper at North Warwickshire Golf Club.


  • HNC in Sports Turf and Golf Course Management
  • NVQ Level III Sports Turf Management
  • ECB Cricket Square Maintenance Levels I, II and III

Personal achievements:

  • 2008 FA National Groundsman of the Year Steps 5-6
  • 2009 FA National Groundsman of the Year League Nominee Steps 5-6
  • 2009 IOG Industry Awards Finalist, Grassroots Sports Ground of the Year