Investing in youngsters
As you read the latest football news, it notes radical proposals for the restructuring of English football in the report of the FA commission. This is an important issue for us “If Football Association chairman Greg Dyke’s Commission really wants to study why fewer English youngsters are breaking through into the country’s top teams, it may want to consider the importance of the facilities on which the next generation of footballers depend”
In one of our recent projects at Tavistock Community Football Club, the principle aim has been to facilitate the development of essential football playing facilities and junior involvement for Tavistock and the surrounding areas of Devon.
We have created 12 new pitches with new ground levelling and grading works to encourage good natural drainage on the flat new playing fields.
The pitches redevelopment project remodelled the end of the swale to allow water to exit the field and to retain the features of the floodplain of the local area. Previously rainfall had run off the compacted plateau into the central swale and collected a considerable depth, causing a bund of soil at the end of the swale preventing escape.
The new Tavistock Community Football Club building creates a building that is easy to find your way around and allows the children to be easily monitored and controlled. Issues of child protection are very important in a scheme of this kind and the changing facilities have been developed in line with current Football Foundation guidelines to ensure the children’s safety, especially on days where the building is used by both the CRA and TFC.
As well as providing safe areas, by creating communal facilities and a combined entrance, the scheme encourages more integration between the clubs and the opportunity for junior players to feel they are part of an organisation, where they can progress to a higher level in the game as they develop. Communal facilities at first floor create areas for coaching and for new members evenings. They also create spaces where both clubs can come together for social events, something that is currently not possible, as the existing TFC Black and Red Club is a licensed facility and therefore not open to children.
A community room was provided giving the overall importance of this complex for football senior/junior coaching; social events; committee meetings; fund raising events. Its prime use is for football development in the area – however more widely it is able to house community and business functions as a whole to provide an income stream for football development.