United Kingdom & EMEA

Harefield Academy

Harefield AcademyWatford  Football Club Academy uses Kenwood PMR446 radios to increase efficiency and safety at their unique facility

Watford Football Club’s Harefield Academy is a unique establishment in the highly competitive process of preparing the stars of tomorrow. Unlike the Academies of more fashionable Clubs, Watford have gone one step further by linking with a Secondary School to provide fully integrated Education, alongside the football Education of their youngsters.

For Academy players at other clubs, the boys must travel to training a few nights per week, putting a strain on their Education, their Parents and their general well being. However at the Harefield Academy, Education and Football training are effectively merged on one site, so that both parts are covered fully.

As pioneers of such a ground breaking scheme, you would expect Harefield Academy to be in the lead in other areas too and so it proves with Communications.

The Academy consists of a full sized school, with several outdoor pitches, indoor pitches, a gymnasium, Fitness Room and physio facilities. The area covers several acres in all. The coaches were finding that a lot of time was being spent running errands between these, wasting time and effort. So they contacted local suppliers of Radio equipment, Kenwood, for a solution.

Kenwood supplied six Protalk Radios, which are the market leader in Professional License Free Communications in the UK. The radios were quickly employed by Coaching and Medical staff at the Academy with excellent effect.

All areas of the facility are covered by the radios, due to their extreme sensitivity. Previous radios that had been tried suffered from interference from other users and did not cover the area. Both of these problems have been eliminated.

Dave Orton, Head Physio at the Academy said “I keep a radio with me at all times, as I am working with injured players. When there is an injury on the pitches I can be called immediately, rather than someone being sent to find me as before. In fact it used to be that we suspended physio sessions while training took place so that I could be on hand, but now both can run simultaneously, giving a major benefit to all concerned.”

Nick Cox, Assistant Academy Manager explained a recent situation, “We had a case where a player got the ball directly in the face. While I tried to stem bleeding, one of the other lads radioed the medical room and the physios could be here in half the time. It was not a serious injury, but it could have been. As we are training three times per day, there are lots of incidents like this and our general efficiency and safety has been greatly improved”.

An additional bonus is that the equipment can be used on match days for Coach to Physio contact on the pitch, so substitutions can be managed efficiently.