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Sportsvibe Visits St. George’s Park
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NEWS St George’s Park, the £110 million facility that has been built to improve the England football team, but is that all it is? Sportsvibe traveled to the heart of the country to find out just what all the fuss is about. Located in Burton-Upon-Trent, St George’s Park is the home of the new National Football centre fitted with incredible facilities and state of the art technology to help produce a more successful National team.
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The complex takes over 30% of the land acquired by the FA, giving it the ability to expand at will, but what they have created so far is nothing short of impressive.
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Ferdinand Withdraws From England Squad Every major facility is exceptional these days but what sets St George’s Park aside is what you might not see straight away. Yes, the hotel is brilliant and the football pitches are great but the technology fitted helps bring it all together.
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Each of the of the training pitches is fitted with a selection of video cameras allowing the training sessions to be recorded at all times, but this is simply the tip of the iceberg.
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Hammers Want United Outcast Once you have the recording, coaches and players alike can access and annotate the session in the changing rooms off the monitors installed and, quite incredibly, this can then be sent to individual hotel rooms for them to watch in their own time.
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BLOG FA CIO Rob Ray says the technology can also be used to improve the standard of coaching, “We have content that comes straight from the training pitch and coaches are reviewing it 30 minutes later.
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“We can use the video content improve grass roots coaches by comparing their assessment with that of elite ones." St George’s Park is also the home of FA Learning and hopes to provide a platform for the Future Game philosophy, which focuses on the development on English football. However, it is not a facility that sits alone and if someone at Wembley needs to access content they can do so as the two sites sit on a wide area link courtesy of BT. Neil Pemberton, BT iNet CEO, explains how this works, “You have wide area link between St George’s Park and Wembley and that is a huge pipe which allows the data to go back and forth, so we can create a virtual environment and work off the same system." Crucially, he also revealed that the technology installed is ready to develop and evolve in the future, “What we have done so far is fit the plumbing. You have to put in a base infrastructure that can not only work today but one which will be as efficient in the future.”
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Aside of the technology, the pitches available to train on are of the highest standard. In particular the Desso pitch, which cost £1 million to lay, is the exact replica of Wembley and if you drop a ball from the same height on the two surfaces the ball will amazingly bounce to the exact same height. The indoor pitch isn’t too bad either - it meets the standards required to be able to host a Champions League game. St George’s Park wouldn’t be complete unless it had a Sports Science department to match the footballing facilities, and it does. Perform at St. George’s Park is a bespoke Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation and Performance centre operated as part of Spire Healthcare. It combines 25,000 square feet of cutting-edge technology with elite medical expertise, creating the most advanced Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation, and Performance Science and training centre in the UK. St George’s Park feels like it could be just a place just for top sportsman and women, but that is not its only function as the FA CIO said, “This is not a place simply for elite sportsman, we want to help the community whether your Nottingham Forest, Derby County, Aston Villa or an Under 11’s team, it does not matter. It’s about development at all levels and coaching philosophies”. Murial, 81, is a regular visitor of the Hydra Spa having had a hip replacement and adores what the places gives her and in essence, that is what makes St George’s Park a special place. By Stuart Gower
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