Local people in South Staffordshire are celebrating following the formal opening of a new £1.2m facility, funded with the help of a grant from the Football Foundation.
Former England international and current Director of Football Development at The FA, Sir Trevor Brooking officially opened Wyrley Junior Football Club’s new facilities on Monday (3 September).
The new facility includes a clubhouse, changing rooms and four new grass pitches. It will enable Wyrley Juniors FC to run up to 16 football teams as well as provide club members and local residents with a quasi-village hall, which will also be used for training future football coaches.
The club has links with Walsall Football Club and recently, six of their players have been signed by the League One club, highlighting the importance of the grassroots game for aspiring professional footballers.
The project was funded with the help of a huge £918,000 grant from the Football Foundation.
Funded by the Premier League, The FA, and the Government via Sport England, the Football Foundation is the nation’s largest sports charity. Since it was launched in 2000, the Foundation has awarded around 8,000 grants worth more than £420m towards improving grassroots sport, which it has used to attract additional partnership funding of over £520m. Across Staffordshire, the Football Foundation has funded 30 facility projects with grants worth over £9m.
Sir Trevor Brooking said: “It is important to be able to come to Football Foundation events like this one at Wyrley Juniors FC. Grassroots football is the lifeblood of the game – it is where we all start!
“The opening of this facility is fantastic for the club and the local community. It is extremely important that youngsters have regular access to high quality facilities to develop their personal skills. The funding from the Football Foundation has made that possible for the youngsters here in Staffordshire.”
Keith Hardy, Chairman of Wyrley Juniors FC, said: “The development took over ten years of hard graft, determination and a lot of fundraising to turn a dream into a reality. The new facility will allow the club to grow further and allow young people of any ability to enjoy football in a safe environment.”
Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “We are delighted that Wyrley Juniors FC and the local community will have access to these fantastic new facilities and commend the club and the Staffordshire FA for their hard work in making this happen.
“This is the latest example of thousands of projects across the country that the Football Foundation is supporting with money provided by our funding partners the Premier League, The FA and government.”
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