Q&A: Rob Ray, IT Director at The FA

We speak to Rob Ray, IT Director at The FA, about the £100 million sports facility that is due to open this summer.

Are there plans to use mobile technology at St. George's Park?

Mobile devices are playing an increasingly important role in many environments and I think we're only scratching the surface. If you go into any App Store, you'll find a lot of coaching apps. Some are average, some are good. There is room to deliver a lot there.

Our coaches continue to explore apps on our behalf and we are just about to deliver the Club England portal, which will support the coaching and operations staff.

There are a number of devices we could deploy here. The iPad is a very good device but we've got to look at things that are robust and we are considering a number of potential devices.

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How will the site play into The FA's broader IT strategy?

St George's Park will play a big role in delivering technology around the country. We will be using this site along with Wembley to host services.

Our main website does 20 million page views per month alone and during peak times, such as World Cup squad announcements, we get 200,000 hits per minute. St George's Park will help us manage demand during this time and also help support our other county websites.

Initially, there will be two to three IT support staff based at the site along with 70 at Wembley. The distribution of this may change over the time, we have to see what the demand is. A lot of the core services can be supported from London.

We aim to save a 1 million over the course of five years by delivering services from Wembley and St. George's Park and having resilience across the two sites.

Finally, will this facility help to end nearly 50 years of hurt at the World Cup?

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The senior team will use St George's Park for training before qualification matches and we expect them to come here for friendlies as well.

We certainly stand a better chance of winning the World Cup with all the facilities that are in place here.

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