THREE weeks after the announcement that he had become Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s head of grounds, Richard Robinson was still in a daze after landing his “dream job”.

“I didn’t think that I was going to get it as there were some really good candidates,” admitted the 52-year-old Keighley native.

However, the work that the Long Lee man had put in over eight years at Weetwood helped him to get the nod.

And instead of being in sole charge at the Leeds-Bradford MCCU venue, Robinson now heads a team at Headingley, albeit still having jurisdiction over Weetwood and Bradford Park Avenue, the latter venue being where groundsmanship all started for him.

Robinson admitted: “It (Headingley) is a big job but I had put in a lot of hard work at Weetwood, where we had changed the square around and put a lot of hybrid (pitches) in, tried a lot of new things, such as putting a marquee in etc.”

Now Robinson is using Weetwood as a proving ground for trying out things at Headingley.

He said: “We moved the square to get rid of thatch at Weetwood, instead of scarifying. Not everything works but we do have Weetwood to test things out, and we have a good connection with Leeds-Bradford MCCU there.”

As for the secret to being a good groundsman, Robinson said: “Moisture control is the key – keeping the wickets dry, fertilising the outfield enough to keep it looking green, as that is what people like. We try and blind people with greenness!”

Robinson could not be more in the spotlight than taking over in an Ashes year (Headingley stages the third Test on July 6-10), but the record run-scorer in Bradford Premier League history seems fairly relaxed.

He said: “It does not bother me that it is an Ashes year. In fact, it is great, but I will do things my way and if I fail, I fail, but I still have Andy Fogarty here, who is working four days a week and has been fantastic with me.

“I could not have hoped for much more really.”

Fogarty, who has known Robinson for 20 years, was his predecessor at Headingley, has been ECB Groundsman of the Year four times and runner-up on four other occasions, and is now working as a consultant.

Robinson explained: “I have a really good team under me – five or six of them, maybe one more. Physically it is easier because I was doing everything at Weetwood, whereas now I have a team of people under me and they know what they are doing.

“Jasmine (Nicholls, an international race walker), our new starter, has done 71 hours this week, but this has been the wettest March since 1981. It has been horrendous but we are okay now.

“The feedback from the players this week (for Yorkshire v Leeds-Bradford MCCU) has been good, and also from the coaching staff, and it is a nice place to be.”

When Robinson was a YTS student at Avenue he worked with then groundsman Jonathan Smith.

“He helped me a lot,” admitted Robinson, who has also worked on Bradford League grounds Undercliffe, Keighley, Yeadon, Gomersal, Farsley and Windhill.

Robinson, whose contemporaries as a player were Richard Kettleborough, Chris Silverwood and Michael Vaughan, expects his Bradford League record to fall this summer, with Northowram Fields’ Richard Gould set to usurp him.

But Robinson, who has scored 17,476 runs while playing for Keighley (two spells) Baildon, Brighouse and Yeadon is not worried and wishes Gould, who starts the campaign on 16,962, all the best.