COVER STORY: GARETH SOUTHGATE onsıde| ISSUE 39 17 ABOVE CENTRE: Gareth spoke to fellow FFAmbassador Georgie Bingham at the event. Gareth and his England Under-21 team win the Toulon Tournament – the first time since 1994 an England team has won it. MAY 2015 Gareth appointed Manager of England Men’s Senior Team. NOVEMBER 2016 Gareth unveils the Burton Albion Community Football Centre in his first Football Foundation Ambassador engagement since becoming England Manager. 14 FEBRUARY 2017 Here he was the architect as the sport’s governing body ratified its Youth Development Review proposals, a seminal moment for the grassroots game. The well thought out and logical programme enabled younger players to play in smaller teams, on smaller pitches, with smaller goals, and so get more touches of the ball during a match. Subsequently, the Football Foundation became a key part of the Review’s implementation, providing £1.5m towards the infrastructure roll-out. This included the distribution of junior goalposts and the reconfiguration of pitches to incorporate small-sided markings. Burton’s new pitch, with its provision for age appropriate football, is just one example of the Southgate’s grassroots legacy. He is right when he says: “Whether for pure enjoyment or for supporting the development of home-grown talent, the more of these fantastic sites we see built, the better.” With the Foundation’s work to build new, or refurbish, the country’s grassroots football facilities continuing unabated, combined with a custodian like Gareth at the top of the pyramid, the game is in rude health.