When Manchester City’s medical team needed to upgrade its analogue radio system, it turned to Pennine and Hytera for a winning solution.
When you’re Manchester City, one of the world’s biggest and most ambitious professional football clubs, clear and reliable communications are crucial.
Home or away, if a player suffers a knock, medical staff need to quickly and clearly relay to the manager whether the injury requires a change of game plan.
This makes a reliable two way radio system a vital part of team kit says Mark Sertori, City’s soft tissue therapist:
“The medical team, the first aiders and the doctors have got to be contactable. It’s imperative we have a clear communication line for all the medical team.”
Having researched what the market had to offer and determining Hytera equipment was “the best out there”, he turned to the manufacturer’s North West-based Direct Dealer, Pennine, for further advice and support.
This resulted in the purchase of 32 compact X1p digital mobile radios, with the slimline handsets set up to serve separate staff groups
On matchdays such privacy is important as is being able to communicate quickly and clearly with the management team. For added confidence the Hytera handsets protect calls with encryption whilst discreet earpieces and microphones enable private communications between pitch to dug-out.
The Hytera kit is also used to communicate when players need to warm up, the distribution of recovery drinks and other tasks that help ensure the squad can perform optimally. That’s true whether the team is playing at the Etihad Stadium or an away ground trips with Pennine having programmed the handsets so they can be used across UK-wide channels.
In terms of ensuring 100% signal coverage Mark was also acutely aware when researching upgrade options that the sheer scale of City’s complex further complicated matters. Staff could be found within the 55,000-capacity stadium itself, at the neighbouring training facility – the impressive 7,000 seat City Football Academy – or elsewhere on the sprawling Etihad Campus.
Thankfully the Hytera radios met the challenge with ease. “I’ve gone all the way around the stadium and training complex and the coverage is fantastic, really good, with no blackspots,” he reports.The quality of communication also impresses him, especially given the nature of his workplace. “Remember you can have 55,000 fans screaming and cheering so the radio communication has to be really clear, reliably clear, and it is. The clarity’s very good, there’s a massive difference over the old system.” Because the X1p incorporates pseudo trunking the handsets can also handle more conversations simultaneously.
Mark enthuses that “the battery life’s good, they’re easy to use, waterproof and really robust – I’ve dropped mine three or four times now and it’s never been affected. It’s a really good piece of kit.”
He’s equally enthusiastic about the service he’s received from the Pennine-Hytera partnership: “Between them their staff have been brilliant, very helpful all the way through. Really, really good people, top class service from them all.”