Excellence ON the Field, and Excellence IN the Field is the result of a close partnership between the Club and City Government Building a model of City and Community Partnership.
We are committed to building a club experience and soccer environment based on excellence in every aspect of the game and club management. This begins well before we step onto the field. Coaches are preparing, Concessions is planning, Uniforms are being ordered, and the Fields are being prepared.
We are part of the City of Deltona’s community recreation strategy. Deltona has opted to partner with local clubs to provide recreational sports services, rather than seek to manage this themselves. In so doing, they tap into the local enthusiasm and energy with people committed to the game. This partnership is a model for how city government and community organizations can work together to develop successful programs and services for the community.
Field Preparation goes well beyond lining and set-up before each game.
- Nets must be maintained and repaired, as the sun deteriorates nets over time, resulting in the need to repair the nets damaged by rocket shots.
- Goals must be anchored to prevent potential player injury.
- They must be moved in a manner that does not weaken their welds, for which we have installed 4 gliding wheels versus 2-wheels pick-up and drop movement method.
- They must be locked up requiring key management.
All of these systems have been developed and refined in order to minimize disruption and damage associated with missing locks or chains that damage city mower blades, when “found.” The result has been the development of systems that have dramatically extended the life of our goals, the ease of their movement, and reduced the impact on grounds keeping. Today, the club maintains the goals, as part of our commitment to maintaining mission critical equipment.
You may notice new team benches on the field in DELTONA BLUE. The next time you see a City Representative, thank them, as this is the city not just investing in their facility, but in cooperation with its soccer program.
Field Management means Grass Management
We play on the “best fields in the state.” This is not by luck or accident, but buy the decision and commitment to this goal but the City of Deltona’s Parks and Rec. This is a decision not a lucky outcome. To achieve this goal, the city manages the grass. It applies science and study to the care of the grass. Grass does not grow continuously. It has periods of hibernation during the winter, and suffers excessive damage when overly hot and dry in the summer. It responds to the wear of play better when used during the cooler portions of the day than the hot. It requires periodic treatments, during which times the fields are closed. Wear and tear associated with play, is monitored and managed, with fields being rotated as they tire so that they can be rested and rejuvenate, much as a coach manages his team through a tournament. The result, is a close cooperation between club schedulers, field maintenance, and parks and rec management to provide the beautiful fields we enjoy on a daily basis.
There is a cost however. This means that fields must be rested from time-to-time, during which time they are not played upon. What can look like an empty and available field is actually being allowed to rest and recover. From time to time, practice locations may shift from one field to another if a field is noted to be seeing wear.
We minimize on-field activity during the heat of summer between June and August and the cold of winter between December and February. This does not mean we are not playing, but rather that we are utilizing secondary fields around the area, so that these fields are available and pristine come our play seasons.
As soccer players, we may be able to play in a dirt field with a couple of goals and cones, but it sure is nice to step onto an immaculate field when we play. It is an expection to be on the fields and not hear a visiting team comment on the quality of our facility. The next time you see our grounds keeping staff, make sure to give them a tip-of-the-hat in appreciation for the part they quietly do to make where we play truly something special.
The city and club leadership work closely each season to plan fields and availability based on the projected size of the club. Conversations regarding needs and plans to make resources and fields available to meet the short-term (season) and long-term (strategic planning) demands of a growing club are discussed, developing, and adjusted on a regular basis, as club leadership and city management meet informally several times a month, and often weekly as we work together to judiciously manage lights, field care, safety and other resources. You may not realize it, but the City of Deltona has evaluated more than half a dozen locations as part of its efforts to plan for the future and the ongoing growth of soccer in Deltona.
Deltona Youth Soccer has doubled in size from 270 three-years ago, to more than 600 this year. This makes us one of the fastest growing clubs in the region. The growth in the “Love of the Game,” is no accident but the result of the efforts and commitment of coaches and club leaders through marketing, off-season programs, community out-reach to develop the club and its ability to provide soccer opportunities for every player based on their level of play.
You have likely seen “Harry and Tom” out on their City Golf Cart or Riding Mower caring for the facility. This goes well beyond the grass. These gentlemen are intricate parts of the club. It is not uncommon to see them bringing ice out to assist a player with an twisted ankle, or discussing aspects of the club with coaches or club leaders. The cooperation of our field support people extends the community caring. Of course, these gentlemen also have the unfortunate responsibility to close-the-fields each evening, which means managing coaches whose love of the game sees them seeking to use every available minute, right up to the lights going out (even given their 15 minute warning). Today the staff is part of the team, bleeding Blue and Gold, and celebrating our victories with us. These are the men that make these fields possible. These are the people that create, manage and maintain, the “best fields in the state.”
If you are reading this as a prospective club member, it takes just one walk onto the pitch to know you are about to play at a special place. Where every a commitment to excellence infuses every aspect of the game, and extends not throughout the club but also to its partnership with the City.