Tara Sandford is our newest recruit to the grounds department at Arsenal, and she's also the very first woman to take on the role at the club.
"I'm one of the very few women to work in the industry and the first to do it for the Gunners," said Tara. "I've never had a female colleague doing what I do, so I guess it makes me quite unique. I couldn't be prouder!"
As a lifelong Gooner, Tara jumped at the opportunity to represent our club when the job role was advertised.
"I’m a huge Arsenal fan but I come from a family of big Tottenham supporters. My dad tried getting me to support Tottenham when I was younger, but I just wasn’t having any of it! I loved watching Arsenal play so I felt it was only right to support them.
"I just knew I never wanted to sit at a desk all day. I worked for Broxbourne Council for seven years and I needed a change, a new challenge. When I saw this job online, I thought, "I can't not apply for it!"
As Tara settled into a new role and a new challenge at London Colney, she recognised that her individual achievement had, in turn, made her a trailblazer in her field.
"I felt a bit of pressure as the first female groundskeeper, I'm not gonna lie! It was a lot to take in. Personally, I don't really have a lot of belief in myself a lot of the time so I think it just gave me a big confidence boost.
"It will be nice for the industry to have more women working in this kind of job. Maybe they just don't think the jobs are out there for them at the moment. If other women think they'd like to be in this kind of role, I'd say just go for it!
"It's an interesting job that varies day-to-day. It can be tiring - there are days when I go home and I'm absolutely knackered - but I wouldn't change it. I really love it."
There are undoubtedly perks to working for her childhood club but the pride Tara takes in her work goes beyond football.
"It's cool that I get to say that I work for Arsenal but at the same time, it's not just about that. It's about helping out and making things look nice.
"You want to look back on it and think okay, I've done a good job there. So when you see our players walking out onto the grounds, you really hope they think we've done a good job."
Learn about Tara's Arsenal journey by clicking play on the video above.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.