Date published: 17/09/2015
- State of the art 3G pitch is major boost football facilities in East Devon and Dorset
- New facilities allow local clubs to boost participation by expanding number of teams
- League Two Exeter City FC to use facility to coach academy team
The FA has unveiled a new all-weather artificial grass pitch that will boost playing and coaching opportunities in East Devon and Dorset.
The new £675,000 facility at Axe Valley Community College is the only full sized 3G pitch in a 15 mile radius and supports The FA’s new four year National Game strategy to boost participation, coaching and facilities launched last month.
FA Chairman Greg Dyke said: “The opening of this facility precisely meets the aspirations of The FA to ensure that grassroots football facilities are pulled up by their bootstraps and we ensure that clubs and players have an environment in which to grow and development – both in terms of participation and coaching for the next generation of English players.”
Former Torquay united Manager Leroy Rosenior, Exeter City Director of Football Steve Perryman and representatives of the Devon County FA - which was instrumental in steering the project - were on hand to run the rule over the new surface.
Rosenior said: “I used to play on a plastic pitch at QPR, thirty years ago and it was awful - whereas this is a wonder. To get more talent coming through, we need the facilities that give coaches and players the opportunity to get out there - in all weathers and at all times of the day. This facility will certainly give the local area a great boost in achieving this.”
Local clubs Axminster Town AFC and Millwey Rise have committed to increasing the number of teams provided within their football clubs - with the growth in girl’s participation and youth football being prioritised as a result of the added capacity the new facilities offer.
Nick Tregale, Youth Development Manager at Millwey Rise said: “Five years ago the club had no youth players, now we have 120 children. This new pitch can help us grow even more and support more young players coming through.”
And among the professional ranks, Exeter City plans to utilise the state-of-the-art facilities to coach their development teams.
The new pitch is the latest beneficiary of the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund. Its completion – in time for the new school year complements the onsite leisure facilities which include a sports hall, fitness suite, gym, grass football pitches and an adjacent swimming pool facility.
Martin Smith, Head of the Axe Valley Community College said: “The funding we received from The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund has enabled us to take the provision for sport we offer at Axe Valley Community College to another level.
“Our students returned to school this week to discover this wonderful new facility and couldn’t wait to christen it! And it is wonderful that the local community now has such a great facility on its doorstep as part of what must be one of the finest sports and leisure complexes in the local area.”
Notes to editors:
- Prior to the development of this facility, East Devon district did not have access to a full size 3G pitch.
- Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded 167 grants worth £11.3m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £23.1m across Devon.
- The new Floodlit 106m x 70m 3G FTP, located at Axe Valley Community College complements existing on-site leisure facilities which include a sports hall, fitness suite, gym, grass football pitches and an adjacent swimming pool facility.
- The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund is funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England and delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity.
- Nationally, the Foundation has awarded around 13,000 grants worth more than £530m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £740m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.
For more information contact Tony Snow, FA Senior Communications Manager on 07811 824 646 or email Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org.