Stefan Cårebro in an interview with Aftonbladet
- "In the beginning we were skeptical to the lighting rig, wondering if it actually was as good as people said, says Stefan Cårebo. I would never have thought it was this good; it’s fantastic, look for yourself!"
- "We’ll have to locate the lawn mower soon, something we didn’t expect, cutting the grass this early of the year."
- "These results are very interesting looking at the debate around artificial turf."
- "The price is high, says Cårebro and adds: But at the same time these results are incredible. It’s growing in mid winter on the fields’ poorest areas where there is hardly any grass."
Interview: David Roxburgh, head groundsman, Ibrox Stadium, home of Glasgow Rangers Football Club
What problems were you experiencing with your pitch before using MLR’s system?
Before we started using MLR rigs to provide grass growth, we had to ensure our maintenance programme was dedicated to producing a strong healthy plant through the summer and autumn when light was at its peak. We then had to encourage the plant back into growth with the use of the undersoil heating in April to try and thicken up the sward for the last few weeks of the football season in Scotland. The programme was simple – we had to produce a grass sward to survive the winter without any light from October until April, resulting in a pitch that would become very thin and bare until natural growth returned in April/ May. This was very costly and results would fluctuate depending on the severity of the winter.
Were the problems you faced influenced by the climatic conditions in Scotland?
Ibrox Stadium is situated in the west coast of Scotland and is one of the darkest environments in which to try and produce a professional playing surface throughout the winter months, so if any stadium needed lighting rigs, Ibrox would be top of the list.
How did you find out about MLR?
When the decision was made to purchase lighting rigs, we looked at all the companies that had been supplying into the British market for a few years. As part of that process, we visited MLR, carried out a comprehensive review into the company’s ability to meet our high criteria, and in the end it was clear that they were able to meet all our requirements.
After you started using MLR’s system, how quickly did you notice any improvement in the playing surface?
The use of the three MLR 100s 1000W rigs was dramatic in that we went from having a pitch that supported only around 40% grass cover, to one that supported 85%-90% grass cover in the depth of winter. The turnaround from what we had to what we now have was way above my expectations.
What is your typical usage of the system?
We start using the rigs around the end of September until the end of October in a limited deployment sequence. From October until March, the rigs are deployed following games and are moved every 42 hours to a new position covering 90% of the pitch in three moves. From the end of March, the rigs are not required due to the superb condition of the paying surface that the MLR rigs help maintain throughout the winter period.
Why is the MLR system so effective?
The MLR 100s is very simple in its construction and design. For example it only takes three men approximately 1.5 hours to bring the three rigs in from the storage area in the car park, reel out the supply cables, and deploy the rigs into the required positions. Simplicity and a product that works incredibly well is the key to MLR’s success.
www.stadia-magazine.com 2011 Showcase
Head Groundsman at Ibrox Stadium-Rangers Football Club Plc
The pitch at Ibrox this year suffered one of the worst weather condition ever experienced within the stadium and there is absolute no doubt that without the technology used within our MLR 100s rigs we would have lost the grass cover completely due to the extreme cold.
Had it not been for our MLR 100s rig in conjunction with a planed feeding and maintenance programme the playing surface at Ibrox would have deteriorated to the point that we might have had to re- turf in season.
The use of our rigs gave me the confidence that no matter how severe the weather is, we have a tool at our disposal that not only maintains grass cover but does effectively develop grass even during severe cold condition.
MLR also want to congratulate Rangers Football Club to become the year's champion of the SPL.
Grounds Manager at Nottingham Forest F.C
My very first experience of lighting rigs was when MLR and Rigby Taylor arranged for me to take a MLR 12 baby rig in on a 3 month trial basis. We used it exclusively in the two goal areas moving it every 24 hours between the two and the results were amazing. The goal mouths became very thick with amazing rooting which hardly needed devoting during matches. The rest of the pitch started to thin out naturally during the colder weather but the goal areas just kept on growing and had a summer feel about them. The goal keepers made many positive comments about the goal areas and were hoping that I could bring in a baby rig on a permanent basis. The results were very clear to see and after walking over the pitch with one of the clubs directors who commented on the thickness of the goal area a baby rig was purchased.
The winter was extreme with several weeks where the training ground was frozen solid and unusable. Due to undersoil heating the main pitch was the only area available to the manager for training and as a result the pitch deteriorated very quickly. I was then asked by the clubs directors if we could recover the pitch with the use of bigger rigs. I was able to bring in two rigs on a hire basis from another football club in Norway which was arranged by MLR. We over seeded the pitch and covered it with a thin budget germination sheet and put the big MLR 100 rigs on top of the sheets. I was very skeptical of any success as we were trying to grow seed in minus temperatures. We had the rigs in for approximately 6 weeks and the results were incredible the grass germinated and matured very quickly and before long the pitch was back to its former glory. The results were so good that even after a season of extreme weather 46 matches and 16 hard training sessions the pitch ended the season looking as well as it did at the start and we were crowned winners of championship pitch of the year. I am in no doubt that without the use of these lighting rigs this Accolade would not have been achieved. I have been truly convinced by the technology and believe if we are able to bring in rigs to the city ground we will be able to produce a high quality playing surface all year around even in extreme weather conditions. It is now my hope to hire other rigs in the MLR range before one day purchasing the rigs that best suit us in Nottingham.
MLR also want to congratulate Ewan Hunter the Grounds Manager at Nottingham Forest F.C to be the winners of the IOG Groundman of the Year Award for the Championship