The Spartans Community Football Academy
The Spartans Community Football Academy was set up in 2008 by representatives from Spartans F.C. and various people and companies from North Edinburgh. The Academy currently employs 11 full-time staff including Development Manager Douglas Samuel (former Spartans Captain and current Edinburgh University AFC Manager), Football Development Officer Debbi McCulloch (Ladies 1st Team Manager), Community Development Manager Kenny Cameron (Junior Team Coach), Head Groundsman Colin Hutchison (former Spartans Captain, Manager and Director) and Cafe-Bar Manager/ Community Coach Jack Beesley (1st Team Player). The Academy not only acts as a home for the football club and youth section but it also runs various community projects in North Edinburgh.
The Spartans Community Football Academy is located at 94 Pilton Drive, Edinburgh, EH5 2HF, Scotland. It is situated beside Ainslie Park Leisure Center and shares the same access road and car park. The ground which the facility was built on was formerly playing fields for Ainslie Park High School. The school closed down and Telford College took over the facility before it was abandoned, the building is now derelict.
The academy has one 11-a-side 3G pitch which can be divided up into three 7-a-side pitches which are divided by temporary 7-foot-high nets. The surface is a combination of plastic fibres and a rubber crumb. The pitch is maintained to a high standard and has been used for training by various football national teams and even some rugby national teams. Spartans' Junior side are now able to play on this pitch after is was 'signed off' by the Junior FA in 2010; this was done after the club purchased a temporary barrier which can be set up around the pitch.
The academy has a main stadium pitch which is grass although the academy plans to turn this into 'astro' as well in the summer of 2011. The new astroturf is likely to be similar to the one of Airdrie United F.C., which is made up of plastic fibres and a rubber crumb although the club plans to keep their sprinkler system which would make the surface one of the best of its kind in the UK. The floodlit pitch is currently near to maximum size and it has premier quality goals. The stand holds 504 seated plus additional space for wheelchairs.