0 Improved grass pitches just the start for Rastrick Junior FC

Rastrick Junior FC have made significant improvements to their grass pitches thanks to funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government's Football Foundation. Now the club is set to benefit from fresh investment after being awarded a £247k grant to build a brand-new clubhouse at their Carr Green home in Rastrick, West Yorkshire.

With 24 teams, and over 400 players and counting, Rastrick JFC is a thriving junior football club located in West Yorkshire. The club caters for boys and girls across all junior age groups, from Mini Kickers to U17s.

Based at a council-owned site in Carr Green, Rastrick Juniors started their pitch improvement journey when they were approached to apply for a six-year tapered grant from the Football Foundation to carry out enhanced grass pitch maintenance. At the time, the club's 10 grass pitches were in very poor condition.

"Before our grass pitch maintenance grant, we had problems with drainage and the pitches were very compacted and full of weeds because of this. Grass coverage wasn't great and what grass we did have was quite long. Our pitches are also on three levels and this can be quite difficult as each level has to be treated differently so it was quite a challenge for us," Martin Ford, Chair of Rastrick JFC, explained.

In March 2020, the club were awarded a £77k grant to carry out the maintenance works recommend by experts at the Grounds Management Association (GMA) in their PitchPower Assessment Report.

"When we applied for the grant, the main thing we were trying to achieve was to make the playing surface better and minimise the number of postponements or need to move to 3G pitches elsewhere at a significant cost to the club. We're a charity, so it is vital to keep an eye on costs," Martin said.

Thanks to their grass pitch funding, Rastrick Juniors have been able to carry out significant maintenance work to improve their grass pitches and have been able to negotiate with their contractor to maximise the value of their grant:

"It's been pretty impressive the work we've been able to do. We've been able to put down fertiliser and carry out verti-draining, overseeding, top-dressing and selective weed-killing. Our contractor knows the money is there over a six-year period, and if he does a good job, we're not going to go to anyone else, so we've been able to negotiate with him on price to get the most out of our grant."


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