For nine months of the year pitches at elite football stadiums are given daily love and attention to allow for perfect playing conditions.

Then come May they’re ripped up and re-laid in time for another long, hard season. Before that though, it’s the perfect opportunity for clubs to hire out the turf for events like fan matches and five-a-side tournaments.

UCFB Wembley student Shanna Ellis spent time with Premier League side Crystal Palace towards the end of the 2017/18 season, after they had secured survival, as a Pitch Hire Event Coordinator. Her role, along with other members of the commercial team, was to help organise and run the pitch day experience for clients before the turf was torn up.

Crystal Palace’s eagle mascot had a role to play in Shanna’s events at Selhurst Park.

Shanna, who studies BA (Hons) International Football Business, spent just under a month at Selhurst Park helping to promote the experiences, ensure they ran smoothly on the day and even organise her own tournament on the famous turf. She also had the chance to operate the stadium’s tannoy system and play the Eagles pitch entrance music – Glad All Over by The Dave Clarke Five.

Shanna said: “The job was testing at times and often required a lot of quick thinking to solve unexpected problems, but overall I enjoyed my experience and I believe it has taught me a great deal about what it is like to work in the football industry.

“I was lucky enough to experience many different areas while working at the club and I learnt so much from the entire team at Selhurst Park for which I am very grateful. This opportunity has affirmed that I’d like to spend more time working in the commercial area of the sports industry, so studying BA (Hons) International Football Business at UCFB should be the perfect aid in furthering my knowledge of it.”