Liam Balmer

Age: 28

Questions and Answers

I decided from a young age that I wanted to work outside and was aged 13 when I got my first taste of volunteer groundsmanship at my local football club Ashford Town (Middlesex) FC.
I left school in the summer of 2010, with reasonable GCSE results and decided to focus on pursuing a career in groundsmanship. After applying for many jobs, eventually I got offered a two-year, Level 2 Horticulture apprenticeship at Kingston Garden Services. I learned many aspects of groundsman in this role but the highlight was maintaining the 2012 Olympic rugby training pitch at St Marys University, Twickenham which was used my international players from Ireland, South Africa and China. In 2012, I made the move to the grounds team at the University of Surrey, in Guildford and during my time there the grounds team was presented with awards for one of the top four university grounds in the UK. It was a real privilege to be part of this team and to have our hard work recognised nationally.
• Level 2 Work Based Horticulture
• PA1 & PA6 Spraying Certificates
• Toro Machinery Training
• NPTC (National Proficiency Training Course) in various different machines include Ride-on-mowers, Tractors, ATV
• First Aid
I want to keep training and get as many qualifications as I can. I am currently looking into starting my Level 2 in sports turf and would like to also do my PA2 spraying certificate.
The maintenance of Motspur Park (Fulham FC training ground) pitches and the surrounding area of the club’s premises.
Keeping the pitches to the best possible standard throughout the year to help the club regain its Premier League status.
Getting good feedback from the players and staff on the quality of the pitches.
When I was asked to join the GMA Young Board of Directors, which was a wonderful feeling and also being part of the match-day ground staff St Mary’s Stadium - the home of Southampton FC.
I would like to have completed my Level 2 in sports turf and hopefully be taking the Level 3 qualification by then as well.
The professional groundsman across the country who produce amazing sports pitches on a weekly basis, the quality of which is broadcasted to thousands of people worldwide, they show why our industry is such a pleasure to be part of.
To be part of the GMA Young Board of Directors is a wonderful feeling – being surrounded by people who have the same love for the job as you. To be able to talk to people to get there ideas and views to help promote groundsmanship to the younger generation across the country.
Outside of work I love spending time with my partner and daughter doing things as a family. I also enjoy going to watch Southampton FC and my local club Ashford Town ‘Middlesex’ FC.