As I rode my bicycle down the drive of Arsenal’s London Conley Training Facility I somewhat felt like I needed to pinch myself.
I couldn’t believe the time had come for me to start my time at Arsenal. Working in a facility like this, let alone at a Premier League Club on the other side of the world, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot believe how fortunate I am to be here.
It is the start of a new era here at Arsenal, so as I join Steve Braddock, Andrew Purser and the grounds team, I will be seeing how things change and riding the wave as they go through the transition of having a new coach. It is expected that the new coach will have new ideas, concepts and expectations that he would like met. How this impacts the grounds team will unfold over the next 12 months and potentially future years.
Prior to starting at Arsenal I had received a couple of friendly tips on what to expect and to be prepared for. The be prepared to work hard speech was definitely a common denominator and well within my first two weeks I think it is safe to say the next 3 months will be very exhausting. However I think every minute will be worth it.
In my first two weeks I have been rotated through all of the job tasks given out on a daily basis. The most challenging for me at the moment is learning to control the big Dennis cylinder mowers. There is a 30 inch and a 36 inch walk behind cylinder mower that we are currently using regularly.
This is a lot larger than the Mowmaster 8 inch cylinder mower I am use to back home. I am aware that the Mowmaster I am use to is designed for a different purpose and not cutting an entire football field.
So far I would like to think that working here for the 3 months will be a great learning curve. I am hoping that not only will I learn more about the type of machinery that they use and the different weather conditions that they experience, but I am also hoping that my work ethic will improve, as there is such a high expectation expected of each and every one us working here.
I have to say that being able to go to the staff restaurant every day for lunch has also been a pretty great experience. It is great not having to worry about what I need to pack or buy for lunch. Even speaking to some of the boys I work with say how great it is and the convenience of it.
Steve, Andy and all the boys have been very welcoming and I hope that the future weeks continue to be as good or even better. I am looking forward to continually being able to prove myself to the boys and learning along the way.
I have now settled into my new accommodation and the job so I am hoping that over the coming weeks when I am not at work I will be able to do some sightseeing and exploring of London. At the moment the weather is hot and sunny, it’s like being back at home over the summer. Most of the locals are not use to this sort of weather and are not equipped to deal with such heat. A great example of this is in my new accommodation there is under floor heating to warm the place but air conditioning or fan is unheard of!!