Pitch Improvement Programme

The FA Facilities & Investment Team are working in partnership with the Institute of Groundmanship to develop a grass pitch maintenance service which can be utilised by grassroots football clubs, with the simple aim of improving the quality of grass pitches.

The need for this service is more relevant now than ever, given the current economic times and the pressures facing grass roots football. The key principles behind the service are to provide football clubs with advice and practical solutions on a number of areas.

As a County FA we will be working with the IOG South West Pitch Advisor, Rob Donnelly to provide visits to local clubs in the county.   To qualify for a visit a club will need to own their own site or be responsible for maintenance of the grass pitches.


Programme Process

1. Clubs submit an Expression of Interest Form if they wish to receive a visit, via this link. Devon FA or the Pitch Advisor may select/target a number of clubs depending on the availability of the Pitch Advisor.
2. We will coordinate the time and date of the visit in conjunction with the selected club
3. We will notify the Pitch Advisor of visits, including contact details
4. A site visit is carried out, with the Devon County FA Development Manager in attendance if possible
5. A report is produced by the Pitch Advisor with a copy for the club and the County FA
6. Club follows recommendations
7. A revisit date is arranged to access the improvements made during a 12 month period


What does the Club Receive

• Visit undertaken by IOG RPA or other suitably qualified and agreed person – average visiting time is 90-minutes, although this will vary depending on the site.
• A Performance Quality Standard (PQS) test is conducted across the site, the results of which will be clearly detailed in the report.
• A Soil Analysis Test (SAT) conducted by Rigby Taylor Limited, the results of which will be clearlydetailed in the report
• A detailed report outlining key issues and practical solutions
• A suggested 12-month maintenance plan reflecting key issues and recommendations relating to machinery and product needs, as well as other useful operational and management information.
• Access to FA Official Suppliers schedule of rates, expertise and networks
• A revisit date agreed


Cost & Payment

The cost for the visit and report is £100 per visit.. Clubs will be required to pay the Devon County FA on receipt of an invoice.


Groundsman Workshops

In partnership with the Institute of Groundsman we will be running two seminars during each season:

• End of season renovation workshop – to be held in April or May
• Winter Workshop – to be held in November or December

To add yourself to the mailing list to keep up to date with all workshops please email chris.french@devonfa.com


Resources for Groundsman

The FA has been working in partnership with the IOG and SE to develop a website dedicated to natural turf groundsmanship. The website can be accessed via the following link www.groundsmanship.co.uk and will provide clubs and leagues access to a library of information including;

• Material
• Tasks & Equipment
• Seasonal Management
• Health & Safety
• Football News
• Alan Ferguson's Diary – A series of notes around key tasks to follow monthly


3G Pitches

From the 2014/15 season, if a 3G pitch is not on The FA's approved list then it cannot be used for affiliated football matches. The list continues to be added to as more 3G pitches are tested. The link below is to The FA's official register. Just select Devon from the drop down box (next to County FA heading) to see the pitches that have passed the 3G pitch test within the county. click here to browse the register.