Mark Harrod Limited was named as a finalist at this year’s SAPCA Awards, thanks to a new football goal design that is set to save pitch managers, operators and clubs time and money and ensure equipment is used safely and has a long life. Called Devoshift, the new product has been designed to be easily moved around facilities – and also conforms to the latest British Standards, which only came into force in 2019.
The Devoshift – a wheeled goal system which can be rolled out onto synthetic and high-quality pitches – was revealed to the market in 2019. The launch comes 14 years after Mark Harrod Limited launched the Easylift goal – allowing equipment to be pushed and pulled around pitches by raising the frame above the playing surface. The DevoShift takes a leap forward from this, allowing multi-directional movement.
Standard lift and lower wheeled goals have been the mainstay of training pitches and have served the game well. The restricted movement of these goals, however, can often mean that players and coaches drag the goals sideways which can damage the pitch or the wheels – and even the goal frame. Standard systems can also be tricky to move around tight spaces and can be difficult to store.
To counter these issues, Mark Harrod Limited designed Devoshift to improve mobility and to allow site personnel to steer a full-sized goal through perimeter access gates as narrow as 6ft-7ft across.
“The Devoshift goal allows anyone to move it easily on and off pitches in a way simply not possible with existing products,” says Mark Harrod Limited’s R&D Developer Matt Page.
“Our third-generation innovation will be great news for everyone who knows how tricky it can be to move goals around. Schools will find it a godsend, while pitch facilities can expect far less downtime while goals are repositioned.”
Matt adds that a castor system – safely encased in a tough ABS plastic cowl and with a lift and lower mechanism – maximises operational ease and safety.
“The 80mm surface clearance is more than ample for synthetic and high-quality pitches,” Matt says. “The smoother differential also reduces any risk of snag and drag when moving it. The cowl’s streamlining gives the goal an impression of floating on air when moved.”
DevoShift has also been designed to meet the latest goal post standards introduced in 2019. The new European-wide BSEN16579 standard is set to replace two older standards – BS 8462 and BS 8461 – and has been introduced to improve the safety of football goalposts.
One of the first operators to have installed the new goals was Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers, which took delivery of a training goal in 2019. The club trialled it for eight months at its training centre, which is fitted with a number of full-size, premium Desso pitches.
For Wolves’ head groundsman Wayne Lumbard, the verdict has been decisive. “For groundsmen, this goal is a no-brainer,” Wayne says.
“The concept is beautifully simple and highly effective. Traditional wheeled goals are difficult to turn on grass and artificial surfaces, plus very large gateways are required to remove the goals from the pitch.
“Two people can quickly and easily swivel and push the DevoShift goals in any direction, not just forwards and backwards, as with current equipment.
“The full sized DevoShift aluminium goals, designed to conform to the latest British and European Standards, turn sideways and can be pushed/pulled through an access gate of only 2m to 3m wide.”
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