La Manga Club has stepped up its preparations for the 2020 cricket season by appointing Callum Bristow as new head groundsman as the Spanish resort prepares for its busiest-ever year hosting professional and amateur teams from all over the UK and Europe.
Bristow will bring a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role in Murcia having spent the last five years preparing pitches for county and international teams at Warwickshire County Cricket Club and, most recently, Desert Springs Resort in Spain.
In addition to overseeing the world-class cricket facilities at La Manga Club – which include its European Cricket Performance Centre – the multi-skilled groundsman will also be responsible for preparing the resort’s eight FIFA- regulation-sized football pitches, which are used by many international and club sides throughout the year.
Bristow said: “It’s a great honour to be working at La Manga Club, one of the most famous and respected names in world sport.
“Having had extensive experience preparing high-quality cricket and football pitches for a variety of first-class counties and international teams, both in the UK and in Mediterranean conditions, I feel I’m ideally suited to this new challenge. The facilities here are second to none and I’m looking forward to taking my career to the next level.”
Bristow took up his position at La Manga Club earlier this month and faces a busy opening few months with a host of high-profile cricket teams confirmed to visit in the build-up to the new season.
As well as Warwickshire, Gloucestershire and Glamorgan all staging warm-weather training camps at La Manga Club in March, the resort will host the second edition of the European Cricket League in May, while around 60 football sides from around the UK and Europe will visit for warm-weather training between now and April.
La Manga Club’s European Cricket Performance Centre is the only one of its kind and has been designed to help international teams, counties, clubs, schools, colleges and academies, as well as assisting with the development of players and coaches.
Its facilities include six first-class grass pitches, plus 23 grass and five artificial net lanes – all with 25-yard run-ups – a specialist grass fielding, catching and wicket-keeping areas, while the resort boasts two cricket grounds – the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Oval and the Gregory Peters Oval.
Nick Montgomery, general manager at La Manga Club, said: “La Manga Club is focused on providing the best cricket facilities in Europe. To have secured someone of Callum’s experience and knowledge is fantastic news, and we believe he will be a real asset to the resort in the coming years.”
Also the official overseas training base of the Lawn Tennis Association, La Manga Club’s unrivalled other facilities include three 18-hole golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and a 2,000sqm Wellness Centre. It also offers the choice of a five-star hotel, four-star serviced apartments and more than 15 bars and restaurants.