Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40COVER STORY onsıde| ISSUE 38 17 Additionally, the Essex FA are set to host a football festival for girls to coincide with the start of the new season. The purpose of the event is to bring together all girls, of primary school age, to take part in a day-long football tournament. During the tournament the girls will be introduced to two of Peter May Sports Centre’s largest partner clubs: Ridgeway Rovers FC and the Leyton Orient Advanced Soccer School (LOASS), both of who are actively looking to boost participation amongst their female membership. LOASS’s 25 teams also use the new pitch regularly with a particular emphasis on increasing their provision for disability football. Their girls’ Under-15 side will play at the site too, which will support progression to Under-21 and senior football. Several amateur teams who have a long association with the Centre will continue playing at the site too. Ridgeway Rovers FC, Ryan FC and Egbertians FC cater for 45 different teams of all ages and abilities between them. Forecasts predict that over the next five years, the number of teams at each of those clubs will increase by 40%, thanks in part to the introduction of a specialist small-sided Sunday morning offering, which seeks to promote the 5v5, 7v7 and 9v9 elements of the game in accordance with The FA’s strategy. Local schools are also heavily involved with Chingford-based Rushcroft Academy sending students from their two-year football course to complete training and assessments on the pitch. A partnership with a London hub of Doncaster University is also in the offing, which would see students use the pitch for four training sessions a week. If there was any doubt as to the importance of facilities like these up and down the country, Welsh sums it up best: “Harry is absolutely box office these days and I’m sure there are a lot of demands on his time, yet he came back to open the new pitch. That’s what it means to him.” Kane is living the dream of most boys and girls who start kicking a football – play professionally for the team you grew up supporting, but that dream cannot even begin without a facility like the new 3G AGP at the Peter May Sports Centre. “Not so long ago, I was just like those kids who are using the facility now, training hard and enjoying my football – we all start out in the grassroots game after all.”