Each month we’ll provide a summary of the work that’s being done to improve the facilities for football in Northamptonshire.
We’re focussing on making improvements “on the pitch” to grass pitches and 3G artificial pitches, whilst also supporting plans to improve off-pitch facilities too.
We’ll include details of pitch reports that have been done, clubs we’ve visited to offer advice and grants that have been awarded by the Football Foundation. We’ll also include an update on the NFA’s performance against our FA target of the number of “Grass pitches rated good or advanced.”
Highlights for September 2021, all of which form part of the Grass Pitch Improvement Strategy, include:
Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund
Two further sites will now benefit from the Football Foundation’s Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund after grant awards this month. Grange Park Rangers and Silverstone Recreation Association were both successful in applying for six years’ worth of funding to improve the maintenance of their pitches. The funding will pay for contractors to undertake specialist works such as decompaction, over-seeding, fertiliser and weed killing.
These two new sites take the total number of sites benefitting from the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund to 16. Applications are still open for eligible sites – please contact the NFA for advice before applying. Read more about the Grass Pitch Maintenance Fund.
Three sites have been awarded funding towards new or replacement goalposts through the Football Foundation’s small grants scheme this month. The fund provides grants of up to 75% of the total cost. The application form can take as little as five minutes to complete. Visit the Football Foundation site to apply now.
Two club sites have invested their time to learn more about their pitches by doing PitchPower inspections. Volunteers from Guilsborough Playing Fields and Gregory Celtic Football Club took a series of photos and measurements of their pitches and submitted them through the PitchPower website. Shortly after, they received a free, detailed report of recommendations for improving their pitches, maintenance practices and equipment with each pitch provided with a rating.
A PitchPower report is needed to access Football Foundation funding. Read the PitchPower Frequently Asked Questions and once you’re ready, visit the PitchPower website to start your journey towards improving your pitches.
Meetings with Unitary Councils
NFA representatives have met with staff and councillors of West Northamptonshire Council and North Northamptonshire Council during September to discuss improvements to facilities for football in the County. Positive discussions have taken place with both new unitary authorities and we’re confident this collaborative working relationship will bear fruit in time.
Key Performance Indicator progress
This live figure, collected through PitchPower reports, provides an ongoing progress report of how many pitches we have in Northamptonshire rated good or advanced.
New equipment to help with decompaction – the Oxyshot
The NFA and our grounds maintenance partners, Premiership Lawncare, have joined forces to secure an innovative piece of equipment to treat compaction in football pitches – the OxyShot from Redexim.
During periods of wet weather, soil compaction leads to football pitches becoming waterlogged and matches cancelled. The OxyShot is ideal for ‘on the spot’ treatment of problem areas such as goalmouths and centre circles.
The OxyShot uses a single 25mm probe to inject air into the soil in four directions, at a pressure of up to 110psi, to lift, expand and de-compact the soil, thus relieving compaction and improving drainage. For further information on the OxyShot, read our recent news article.
The NFA are committed to improving the facilities for grassroots football in the County. That’s why we’ve formed an official partnership with Premiership Lawncare to enhance our support. Why not contact them and see how they can help you?
We’re here to help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Leagues & Clubs Support Officer, Stuart Smith, to discuss your ideas or problems.
Leagues & Clubs Support Officer
Tel: 07983 537025