OXFORD ACADEMY – 3G COMMUNITY FOOTBALL PITCH.

Pupils benefit from a brand new 3G pitch thanks to a a grant from the Football Foundation.

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted to work in partnership with TigerTurf after winning a competitive tender; as the chosen contractor to construct and install a new full size 3G community football pitch at the Oxford Academy. The artificial pitch was officially opened on the 3rd October with special guests from Oxford United FC.

The 3G community football pitch was made possible by securing a £579,201 grant through the Football Foundation. The funding enabled the academy to replace an existing grass pitch with a state of the art 3G pitch built to FIFA Quality standards. The new facilities are expected to increase football participation in the area by 266% according to the Football Foundation. Pupils at the Oxford Academy will benefit from the new pitch in addition to partner clubs, Greater Leys FC, Florence Park FC, Oxford Blackbirds FC, Horsporth YFC, Union Street FC, Littlemore RFC and local primary schools.

The installation of the pitch by McArdle’s took approximately 14 weeks in total; and during the build, 5,000 tonnes of stone was imported, six floodlight columns were erected and a total of 7,420 square metres of TigerTurf Atomic Pro 60 artificial turf was laid.

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said:

“The Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund provides the investment necessary to improve grassroots football facilities. So, I am delighted to see the Oxford Academy join thousands of local clubs and organisations who have reaped its benefit, in this case through the opening of a new 3G community football pitch. My thanks go to Oxford United FC players who took the time to unveil the facility.
Having delivered over £1.4 billion of grassroots sports infrastructure projects, the Football Foundation has developed a network of accessible, first-class facilities in areas they will have the greatest impact – thanks to money from the Premier League, the FA and the Government via Sport England.
These facilities are more than places to play football at, these facilities are hubs of physical activity, the bedrock of local communities and ‘homes from home’ for so many who also use them as social outlets to learn new skills, gain work experience and other qualifications.”

“The Oxford Academy would like to thank the Football Foundation and the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund for the support and funding provide for this project. As a facility we have struggled to accommodate local sports clubs for their training and fixtures in recent years.
This new facility will enable us to provide a state-of-the-art facility, along with our current facilities, to local community clubs. As a school, one of our objectives is to serve the community in the evenings and weekends. This project has allowed us to take a step closer to achieving this.”

Matthew Brandish, Community Operations Manager for Oxford Academy

 

OUR SPORTS SURFACES

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

NETHERTON FOOTBALL CLUB 3G SPORTS PITCH, THE GRANGE IN PETERBOROUGH.

6 year old 3G Sports Pitch passes FIFA 1 star accreditation

McArdle Sport Tec were delighted that a 3G sports pitch originally installed for the Netherton Football Club in 2011 has recently passed the FIFA 1 Star accreditation.  The all-weather TigerTurf Soccer Real 60mm AGP built for Netherton FC at The Grange in Peterborough, measures 7526m2; and was extensively tested to pass the following areas to achieve the 1 Star FIFA standard:

  • Ball rebound
  • Ball roll
  • Force reduction
  • Vertical deformation
  • Rotational resistance
  • Surface regularity and dimensions

Ron Seddon, Chairman for The Netherton Football Club was delighted that the pitch has passed the FIFA 1 Star, the community pitch is used extensively; Ron himself participates in the Walking Football team.  The original Contracts Manager David and Site Manager Shaun, are long-standing and valued McArdle staff members; both have been involved in many prestigious pitch and athletics track projects.

Regular maintenance and care is vital to ensure longevity and performance for your 3G sports pitch.  Ensuring players wear the correct footwear using only moulded or screw in stud football boots prevents the turf compacting or flattening. Regular brushing will maintain the turf yarns/fibres to remain upright and protects the infill from compacting.  You can read our comprehensive 3G Pitch Maintenance guide for more information

Netherton Football Club have been stringent with ensuring that all regular and more intensive maintenance procedures including infill top ups have been carried out.  The clubs pitch care would have no doubt assisted the endurance and performance of their pitch resulting in successful testing and accreditation from FIFA.

Steve Gould, Facilities Manager, commented:

“The Grange, Peterborough, 3G sports pitch installed by McArdle’s as part of a Football Foundation project has since hand over in 2012 grown year on year. Managed by Netherton Community Sports Association the average footfall is now around 1000 people weekly, which is fantastic.

We have a wide range of users; Walking Footballers, Local Schools, Social Football, Charity Matches, Schools County Finals, Local League Finals, as well as regular training and matches. Usage has increased year on year. At a recent progress meeting with the football Foundation the facility, along with its Management received very positive feedback.

We are constantly receiving positive comments with regards to the Pitch some suggesting it is one of if not the best facility in the area and indeed further afield. We pride ourselves on maintaining the pitch to the highest possible standard and recently for the second successive period have achieved the FIFA 1 Star rating.

Our aim is to continue to grow and provide football for the local community whilst maintaining the 3G sports pitch facility to the highest standards possible.”

“When we heard that the original Netherton Football Club Pitch passed the recent FIFA 1 Star accreditation, I was delighted to see the test results.  It shows that as long as you install a stable engineered sub-base with a reputable and proven artificial turf supplier, as with all pitches providing the regular maintenance and care has taken place the results show in the condition of the pitch year after year.

David Darnell, Contracts Manager for McArdle Sport Tec

OUR SPORTS SURFACES

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

ENGLAND MANAGER GARETH SOUTHGATE OPENS OUR NEW PITCH AT BURTON ALBION FC

England football Manager, Gareth Southgate officially opened our newest 3G football pitch at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium in February 2017. This was a Football Association and Football Foundation project, where we worked with TigerTurf UK to install their Atomic Pro 60 3G surface.

3G sports pitch testing – FIFA guidelines

Guidelines and testing for third generation sports pitches

Third generation (3G) pitches are artificial sports pitches designed to mimic the look, characteristics and performance of real grass. 3G pitches are filled with both sand and rubber to keep the synthetic grass dense and upright.

FIFA’s guidelines are in place to ensure that all 3G pitches are designed, manufactured and installed with player safety at the forefront. The all-weather pitches allow players to play football in its traditional manner, all year round. Pitches are durable and resilient with a lifespan of around 10 years.

3G pitch testing

At McArdle Sport-tec, we work closely with our clients to make sure we stay focused on their needs and comply with FIFA’s 3G pitch guidelines. We work in partnership with Tiger Turf UK who comply with FIFA’s rigorous testing methods.

Sports pitches can be expected to withstand 40+ hours of play a week. 3G pitches must pass tests on a whole range of factors, including shock absorption and rotation resistance to prevent player injuries. There are 600 data points tested to determine the turf’s performance.

Take a look at the testing methods used.

3G pitch maintenance

3G pitches require a moderate level of care and maintenance in order to last the expected lifespan. There are a number of rules that should be put in place to safeguard the pitch’s quality, including what footwear should be used on the surface. Regular cleaning and attention should take place to ensure the synthetic grass is kept in good condition.

Having a well maintained 3G pitch will not only make it last longer and help prevent injuries. The pitches are designed to replicate every aspect of real grass, including ball/surface interaction. Making sure the synthetic fibres are kept in good condition will help make sure of this.

Sports pitches from McArdle

As specialists in sports pitch construction we ensure that all of our pitches are installed to comply with FIFA’s guidelines. We’ll carefully consider the best possible location on your site to minimise maintenance and prolong the lifespan of your pitch.

Find out more about our construction process.

all weather 3G sports pitch

England Manager, Gareth Southgate opens Burton Albion’s new sports pitch

Pirelli Stadium’s new 3G Pitch opening

Football Foundation Ambassador and England Manager, Gareth Southgate, was invited to open the newly constructed TigerTurf and McArdle Sport Tec football pitch in Burton today. We sent one of our team to the Pirelli Stadium to attend the Football Foundation’s official opening ceremony.

Burton Albion Community Trust applied for a funding grant which was approved and granted by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, and was delivered by the Football Foundation. McArdle Sport Tec, TigerTurf UK and Technical Surfaces were awarded the contract and worked together to design, build, manufacture and maintain a new artificial 3G football pitch for Burton Albion Community Trust. The pitch measures 97m x 61m and the scope of works included refurbishing the existing floodlighting system and installing new fencing and hardstandings. For the installation, TigerTurf manufactured the new artificial surface Atomic Pro 60, which conforms to the latest FIFA testing requirements. The carpet was laid upon a macadam pitch base.

The new pitch will allow BACT to gain extra revenue from hiring the pitches to local teams within the community, extending the hours of play to 50+ per week in comparison to a natural turf pitch, and the pitch can be utilised during the winter months. The income generated will greatly benefit the charity to extend its reach within the local community.

Scott Taylor, Football Development Officer at Burton Albion Community Trust commented: “The new TigerTurf pitch caters for people of all abilities and ages ranging from 5 to 90 years old who can benefit from a safe environment that meets the required standards. We’ve seen a large rise in the number of users, and this is set to increase over the coming months with more demand for pitch hiring during the daytime.

“We have projected an income of over £40,000 in usage between the months of September through to April as these are typically the most popular months for activities. This will provide a welcome boost to the trust’s income and can be used to further improve our ever-growing programme of activity.

“Another benefit of the quality surface provided is that it has allowed the caretaker to maintain the pitch with ease. Furthermore, we’ve benefitted from the adequate support on TigerTurf’s website which has helped maintain and improve the performance of the pitch, highlighting the most important processes.”

The Premier League & The Facilities Fund is delivered by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government, via Sport England. It is delivered by the Football Foundation, the country’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Football Foundation has awarded around 15,000 grants worth more that £580m towards improving grassroots sports, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £800m – over £1.3bn of investment into the grassroots game.

Football Foundation

3G Football Pitch – Which Boots?

To keep a 3G pitch looking its best, the correct footwear is vital.

In order to prolong the life of a 3G pitch it’s vital that players wear suitable footwear. All 3G pitches should have DOs and Don’ts boards detailing the acceptable footwear. As a general guide, see the illustration taken from the FA Guide to 3G Design & Layouts.

3G Suitable Pitch boots

Get Active in January

3G football pitch construction lets you train and play all year round

As Christmas becomes a distant memory, much of the nation will set and break their new year’s resolutions before January is over. Playing on a 3G football pitch can help you stick at being more active, enabling you to play and train all year.

As well as providing a pitch which can withstand more endurance, throughout the year, artificial pitches can generate an income for your club. FIFA have created new standards of testing to ensure 3G football pitch construction meets FIFA standards of play and quality assurance. McArdle Sport Tec install surfaces which meet FIFA ‘s Quality Programme for Football Turf.

Benefits from 3G football pitch construction for your club:

Third-generation pitches can be played on during the winter months – Meaning you won’t have to try to catch up on postponed matches. Some 3G surface systems are guaranteed for up to twenty-thousand playing hours. 3G pitches can withstand a much more intense schedule than natural turf pitches, they are ideal for hosting tournaments.

Income generation – 3G football pitch construction can not only improve your club’s facilities, but also generate money from hiring out the pitches to other local teams and schools. A 3G pitch can be split and hired in sections for training, full matches and even parties.

Superior durability – 3G pitches can be played on for many more hours each week without causing damage to the pitch area. 3G pitches can be played on throughout the day and evening and do not need time to rest and recover, unlike natural turf pitches.

Heavy maintenance to repair a damaged pitch surface is not required – A 3G pitch will require regular maintenance such as brushing, however won’t need mowing, fertilising, patching and regular line marking.

Controlled playing characteristics – FIFA standard 3G surfaces have been specially designed to mimic the characteristics of a natural turf pitch. 3G pitches hold the ball well giving players control over ball roll with complete freedom of movement.

Funding for 3G football pitch construction can be obtained from the Football Foundation & Sport England, should your club meet their requirements.

ST GEORGES PARK SHEFFIELD THORNCLIFFE

McArdle Sport Tec won a competitive tender for the construction of 2 new 3G pitches at the second site of the Sheffield’s Parklife Scheme, St George’s Park – Thorncliffe

In 2014, The Football Association unveiled its plan to build more than 150 new “football hubs” at over 30 major UK city locations. In order to achieve this, the FA pledged to invest more than £230 million into 3G football pitch construction by creating new “football hubs”.

Sheffield was selected as the first city to benefit from the “football hubs” and with backing from Sheffield City Council, the new project was to become known as “Parklife”. The Parklife project would see more than £6.8 million invested in football in Sheffield over a few sites across the city.

Planning permission was granted for the first two sites in 2015, Greg Dyke, Chairman for the FA said, “This is excellent news for grassroots football in Sheffield and a significant step towards making our vision of creating publicly accessible football hubs across all major cities by 2020 a reality.” “Introducing city hubs is a key recommendation of the Chairman’s Commission as a means of protecting football facilities from a potential downward spiral of declining quality brought about by inevitable reductions in local authority funding as fiscal budgets are squeezed.”

Paul Billington, Director of Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, also added “I’m really pleased that planning permission has been granted for the first of these new football facilities, which will significantly improve the quality of the grassroots football provision here in Sheffield,” he said. “As well as being a boost for those who already play football, this new partnership with The FA is expected to increase participation and, in the longer term, provide a financial saving to the council as more play is concentrated on fewer pitches.”

McArdle Sport Tec won a competitive tender for the 3G football pitch construction of the new pitches at the second site of the Sheffield’s Parklife Scheme, Thorncliffe Recreation Ground. The new football hub was to be built alongside the new £7 million North Active Leisure Centre and the project included the installation of two new, full size 3G pitches for football, each with specialist fencing and floodlighting, and two fully drained 11v11 natural grass pitches. It also included a changing room, coach education facility and social space.

The proposed third site in Sheffield is set to boast two full-sized 3G pitches and natural turf pitches, a fitness centre, changing rooms and an education facility. Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said, “This partnership with the FA is a great thing for our city. I’m delighted to see this grassroots scheme moving forward with the announcement of the third football hub site, which will also create a fantastic new public health facility in the south east of Sheffield.” She added, “Football is Sheffield’s biggest team sport with over 800 teams, the majority of which are junior and youth teams. It is significant for sports participation, community activity and associated health benefits.”

McArdle Sport Tec believe that more 3G football pitch construction, and the creation of football hubs across the UK should have a positive impact on grassroots football as all-weather pitches provide much longer playing times and are not weather dependant.

“The vision of building football hubs in up to 30 key cities and towns has begun and we applaud Sheffield for leading the way.” Kelly Simmons, The FA’s Director of Participation and Development

OUR SPORTS SURFACES

We offer a comprehensive service from conception and planning through to design and construction.

Filbert Fox Opens Our Latest All-Weather Pitch in Leicester

Filbert Fox joins Dion Dublin & Matt Elliott at the official opening of our latest all-weather pitch

McArdle Sport Tec are honoured to have had one of our latest all-weather football pitches at Wreake Valley Academy opened by some very special guests. Dion Dublin, a Football Foundation ambassador and former Leicester City player, was joined by ex-Leicester City skipper and teammate Matt Elliott as well as the clubs’ mascot Filbert Fox.

Dublin and Elliott cut the ribbon at the new floodlit pitch which received top reviews and Filbert Fox showed off his football skills on the pitch and posed for selfies with the crowd. Dion Dublin was clearly impressed with the new facilities and during an interview on-site he stated, “This new 3G surface is incredible when you compare it to the sort of run-down pitches that were being used here until recently,” “It will also become a home for local grassroots clubs and footballers from the wider community.”

The new facility can be played on throughout the year which was one of the main benefits to the local community. “The pitch will provide local grassroots footballers of all ages and abilities with a place to come and enjoy playing football,” said Matt Elliott. “The pitch that was here previously couldn’t keep pace with demand but that won’t be a problem with the new surface, which is also floodlit meaning play can continue even when the nights draw in early.”

Thanks to the new all-weather pitch, Wreake Valley Academy’s football development plan envisages a rise in the number of affiliated teams from 14 to 69 and an increase in participation at the site of 245% over the next five years. The new pitch be available for use by the Academy’s pupils and the wider community, Leicester City Community Trust, Leicester City Ladies and local teams inducing Syston Town Junior FC and Riverside FC clubs. The new pitch will also be utilized during the school holidays where Leicester City FC will hold school holiday courses. “The pitch will provide local grassroots footballers of all ages and abilities with a place to come and enjoy playing football,” said Matt Elliott.

The construction process took eleven weeks and was captured on our time-lapse camera. To see the all-weather pitch installation from start to finish click here.

The brand new all-weather pitch was made possible thanks to a grant from the Premier League and the FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

All-weather pitch

The FA’s Pilot Hubs in Sheffield

The 3G football pitch construction of 2 brand new pitches at Thorncliffe Recreation Ground

In 2014, The Football Association unveiled its plan to build more than 150 new “football hubs” at over 30 major UK city locations. In order to achieve this, the FA pledged to invest more than £230 million into 3G football pitch construction by creating new “football hubs”.

Sheffield was selected as the first city to benefit from the “football hubs” and with backing from Sheffield City Council, the new project was to become known as “Parklife”. The Parklife project would see more than £6.8 million invested in football in Sheffield over a few sites across the city.

Planning permission was granted for the first two sites in 2015, Greg Dyke, Chairman for the FA said, “This is excellent news for grassroots football in Sheffield and a significant step towards making our vision of creating publicly accessible football hubs across all major cities by 2020 a reality.” “Introducing city hubs is a key recommendation of the Chairman’s Commission as a means of protecting football facilities from a potential downward spiral of declining quality brought about by inevitable reductions in local authority funding as fiscal budgets are squeezed.”

Paul Billington, Director of Culture, Sport and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, also added “I’m really pleased that planning permission has been granted for the first of these new football facilities, which will significantly improve the quality of the grassroots football provision here in Sheffield,” he said. “As well as being a boost for those who already play football, this new partnership with The FA is expected to increase participation and, in the longer term, provide a financial saving to the council as more play is concentrated on fewer pitches.”

McArdle Sport Tec won a competitive tender for the 3G football pitch construction of the new pitches at the second site of the Sheffield’s Parklife Scheme, Thorncliffe Recreation Ground. The new football hub was to be built alongside the new £7 million North Active Leisure Centre and the project included the installation of two new, full size 3G pitches for football, each with specialist fencing and floodlighting, and two fully drained 11v11 natural grass pitches. It also included a changing room, coach education facility and social space.

The proposed third site in Sheffield is set to boast two full-sized 3G pitches and natural turf pitches, a fitness centre, changing rooms and an education facility. Councillor Sioned-Mair Richards, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Sheffield City Council, said, “This partnership with the FA is a great thing for our city. I’m delighted to see this grassroots scheme moving forward with the announcement of the third football hub site, which will also create a fantastic new public health facility in the south east of Sheffield.” She added, “Football is Sheffield’s biggest team sport with over 800 teams, the majority of which are junior and youth teams. It is significant for sports participation, community activity and associated health benefits.”

Kelly Simmons, The FA’s director of participation and development, said: “The vision of building football hubs in up to 30 key cities and towns has begun and we applaud Sheffield for leading the way.”

McArdle Sport Tec believe that more 3G football pitch construction, and the creation of football hubs across the UK should have a positive impact on grassroots football as all-weather pitches provide much longer playing times and are not weather dependant.

Bala Town Football Club Invest in New 3G Pitch

Maes Tegid is ready for new 3G football pitch construction

On Monday 4th July 2016, McArdle Sport Tec commenced the construction of Welsh Premier League team, Bala Town FC’s new 3G football pitch. The 3G football pitch construction project involves removing the existing grass surface and replacing it with a brand new, state-of-the-art 3G surface. For this project McArdle’s will be installing TigerTurf’s Soccer Real 50mm carpet, a popular third-generation, all-weather surface which McArdle Sport Tec have previously installed at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Jenner Park Stadium for Welsh League Team Barry Town United FC, at Wolverhampton Wonderers FC training ground and Airbus UK Broughton FC.

The 3G football pitch construction process will take approximately 12 weeks and includes clearing the site and removing the natural turf surface, removing topsoil, installing a drainage system, laying the new synthetic surface, installing specialist sports fencing, team dug outs and testing the pitch to ensure it meets FIFA standards.

The project has been part-funded by Gwynedd Council, the Football Association of Wales and UEFA’s Hat Trick programme and has been co-ordinated by specialist sports pitch consultant Jonathan Smith of GEO Turf Consulting whom McArdle’s have worked closely with on previous projects.

The new 3G football pitch construction has created much excitement for the club, Chief Executive of Bala Town FC, Nigel Aykroyd said: “This is the culmination of over 2 years of hard work and dedication to arrive at this project commencement stage. It is a huge investment for the future of the younger generation of sporting participation in Bala and its surrounding areas. Bala Town must thank considerably the help we have received from all its partners in this project which has enabled this development to transform from a distant dream to actual reality.”

Ruth Crump, Club Secretary, “We have played on many artificial pitches over the last few seasons and are very impressed with the pitch conditions which can only improve playing standards for our team. The new pitch will be used primarily by our First team and our Academy teams ranging from seven years old up to nineteen years old. However, we are in the process of setting up a ladies’ team who will also have access to the facility along with our veterans. Bala Town will be employing a Community Officer who will set up a new league and also tournaments for both children and adults. The pitch will also be available for community use by local schools and colleges.”

McArdle Sport Tec Installing ‘Ecocept’ at Aberystwyth Town FC

After a competitive tender and interview process, 3G football pitch construction specialists, McArdle Sport Tec are delighted to have been awarded a contract by Welsh Premier League side Aberystwyth Town FC to install a state-of-the-art third-generation pitch at the club’s ground. McArdle Sport Tec offered the club a new and innovative sports surface base system by TigerTurf called TenCate Ecocept.

Ecocept is a one-of-a-kind base system which has been specifically developed for synthetic turf playing surfaces. The base is manufactured onsite using 80-90% recycled end-of-life waste plastics and rubber mixed with a binder to hold it together. The new base system meets both FIFA and World Rugby impact requirements so can be used for football and rugby surfaces. Using Ecocept reduces the need for a conventional thick layer of crushed stone, and the performance base drains rainwater laterally so that traditional drainage methods are not necessary.

The 3G football pitch construction project at Park Avenue Stadium will include removing the existing pitch surface and installing the specialist base system, installing kerbing the synthetic turf and specialist sports fencing. To see more about our 3G football pitch construction see our ‘how we do it page’. The work is due to be completed in time for Aberystwyth Town’s match against Bala Town on 11th October 2016. McArdle’s are also on-site at Bala Town FC constructing a 3G pitch at their home home ground Meas Tegid.

McArdle Sport Tec have previously installed an Ecocept pitch at Cheshunt FC at the end of 2015, the installation of Ecocept at the club in Hertfordshire has since gained recognition for TigerTurf for embracing new technology and leading the way for product design, having been named as a finalist in the SAPCA Awards 2016.  To read more about this innovative base-system, click here.

 

Changes to FIFA’s Pitch Certification

At the end of 2015, the FIFA Quality Programme released a new Test Manual containing more stringent requirements for football turf installations. With the release of the new manual a set of new Quality Marks were introduced – FIFA QUALITY and FIFA QUALITY PRO, which will replace the FIFA Recommended 1 Star and 2 Star marks.

 

Because all artificial surfaces and systems are different, FIFA developed a testing scheme to ensure there was a benchmark for artificial playing surfaces. An artificial pitch can only be called ‘football turf’ once it has been tested to FIFA’s stringent criteria in the laboratory and on the field. If an artificial turf playing surface fulfils FIFA’s quality requirements necessary for football in terms of Playing Performance, Safety, Durability and Quality Assurance, it will be awarded a FIFA quality mark.

The FIFA QUALITY mark, formerly FIFA RECOMMENDED 1 Star, is awarded to pitches that meet the standard for community and amateur fields with typically 40-60 playing hours per week.

The FIFA QUALITY PRO mark, formerly FIFA RECOMMENDED 2 Star, is awarded to fields that ensure the highest playing performance for professional-level football for typical usage of up to 20 playing hours per week.