In cooperation with


ESSMA Summit


ESSMA Head grounds managers seminar – Estadio do Dragao Porto (9-10 October 2013)

ESSMA will, in close cooperation with its pitch management partners CampeyImants, EVERRIS, DESSO GrassMaster, SGL and TERRAPLAS, organize its second ‘Head grounds manager seminar’ on October 9th – 10th 2013, at the Estadio Dragao in Porto.

After our first seminar in Barcelona, October 2012, we have chosen the Estadio Dragao, home of FC Porto to share the latest ideas on pitch management. This seminar will focus on the established pitch management cases of ESSMA, grounds managers sharing their concepts and practical visit to the stadium pitch and training centre.

‘Last year we focused on the status on how major stakeholders deal with pitch management, with our second seminar we would like to stress on the practical knowledge and discuss real problems in pitch management, like multi-use stadiums, budget management and importance of end of season renovation work’, comments Jonathan Calderwood, chairman of the ESSMA pitch management expert group.

‘The event will last over 2 days having leading European grounds managers together, from which we will benefit to learn from best practices and share our own ideas. In addition the networking opportunity ESSMA offers on European level is from a very high standard.’ Says Lee Jackson, member of the ESSMA pitch management expert group and head groundsman of Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

Venue Estadio Dragao – home of FC Porto

A winning Stadium

Ever since its establishment on the 16th of November of 2003, the Dragão Stadium has lived through the conquest of 19 titles, a more than two trophies a year average: seven Portuguese Leagues, one Champions League, one Europa League, four Portuguese Cups and six Portuguese Supercups.

Despite its young age, ‘the Dragon’ has been awarded several times. Best European Project in 2003 and Best Achievement (not-sportive) in 2010 along with being the first ever stadium in the world receiving the Integrated Quality/Environment Certificate, stand out as its biggest achievements.

During the 2011/12 season, this Stadium recycled 36 tons in paper and cardboard, preventing therefore the cut down of an estimated 720 trees, the equivalent to an area of approximately two football fields.



8th of October 

Hotel check-in

9th of October 

09h30   Welcome with coffee
10h00  Welcome by ESSMA (Jonathan Calderwood) and FC Porto (Ricardo Carvalho)
10h30  Keynote speaker Jerad Minnick – Maryland Soccerplex (USA)
11h30  ESSMA pitch management presentation by Jonathan Calderwood & Dimitri Huygen
12h00   Lunch break
13h30  ‘Multifunctionality of modern venues’ 
 ‘Budget control on pitch management’ by Sebastian Breuing VfL Bochum
14h30  Transfer to training centre
15h00  Visit training centre
17h00  Hotel transfer & check-in 



 Transfer to social evening activity

 Closing of social evening


10th of October  

10h00  FC Porto stadium tour
11h00  Presentation on ‘new season preparations’ by Maxim Kobzin, Donbass Arena
12h00  Closing words Jonathan
12h15  Closing lunch
14h00   Close

Attention: This event is only for ESSMA members grounds managers staff!! 

Jerad Minnick Maryland Soccerplex (USA) about the Head Grounds Managers meeting

“Evolution is changing the answer. A Revolution is changing the question."
We are in the middle of a revolution. A grass field revolution. The evolution of grass fields to sustain small increases of use no longer exists. Innovative technologies, techniques, and management philosophies are revolutionizing the level of durability and possibilities for natural grass fields. The supporting companies of ESSMA are the backbone of the grass field revolution. That fact makes it even more exciting for me to be able to be a part in the ESSMA Head Grounds Managers meeting in Porto”.


This event is made possible by following Stadium Partners


  • Campey-imants - Best quality maintenance equipment, landscaping machinery.
  • DESSO GrassMaster - Reinforced natural grass pitches.
  • EVERRIS - Seeds, fertilizer and high quality components for sports surfaces.
  • SGL Stadium Grow Lighting - Artificial light to activate the growth of grass in any environment.
  • TERRAPLAS - Covering system for turf protection during events such as concerts. Relevant articles:

Relevant articles

- Article of last years Head Grounds Managers seminar Barcelona

- ESSMA interview with Jonathan Calderwood

- ESSMA interview with Yves De Cocker

- ESSMA interview with Vicente Alpuente

Pictures of last years Head Grounds Managers seminar Barcelona

Short video of last years Head Grounds Managers seminar Barcelona