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Millwall FC goalkeeper Jordan Archer praises new Astley Cooper Estate football facility

Millwall FC goalkeeper Jordan Archer praises new Astley Cooper Estate football facility

Date published: 23/01/2019
Millwall FC goalkeeper Jordan Archer praises new Astley Cooper Estate football facility
Millwall Chief Executive, Steve Kavanagh (centre left) and goalkeeper, Jordan Archer (centre) were on hand to unveil the new 3G pitch in Southwark

Millwall FC Chief Executive, Steve Kavanagh and goalkeeper, Jordan Archer opened a new third generation (3G) artificial grass pitch (AGP) within the Astley Cooper Estate in South Bermondsey recently (Tuesday 22 January 2019). The upgraded facility was made possible thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation.

The grant enabled Southwark Council to refurbish an existing 36m x 21m hard court to create a new floodlit 3G AGP. Located in the heart of the Astley Cooper Estate, the new pitch is surrounded by almost 500 properties and is free to use all year round by residents and community groups.

The estate is located just a mile away from The Den and Millwall FC’s Community Trust will work in conjunction with Southwark Council to use the site to deliver football and coach education courses to young people and adults living on and around the estate.

Southwark Council were awarded a £42,068 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund towards the project. The council worked alongside the Football Foundation and the London FA to compile a five-year Football Development Plan, which is a vision of how sport will be played on site with an emphasis on increasing participation.

The new surface is set to support an increase of over 750 people playing football at the site over the next five years, which represents a growth of 1,056%. Of this, significant growth in the number of women playing football is also anticipated, with 232 new participants expected.

With the Millwall Community Trust delivering the football development plan, the aim is to establish a community entry level into the game which enhances the opportunities that are already in place. The new pitch will enable the Trust to encourage and improve the level of engagement and increase participation through additional sessions for veterans and disabled people throughout the year.

Since 2000, the Football Foundation Funding Partners’ investment has provided 341 grants worth £24.3m towards grassroots sports projects worth over £55m across the whole of London FA region.

Jordan Archer, Millwall FC goalkeeper, said: “It’s fantastic, it doesn’t seem too long ago when I was a kid playing football. We weren’t lucky enough to have facilities like this to play on and that’s testament to the Football Foundation and Southwark Council.

“I think it’s hugely important to have pitches like this that are easily accessible. Kids love playing football and if it keeps them off the streets then it can only be a positive thing. Since I’ve been at Millwall the club has always supported community projects and I’m grateful to be able to come to events like this and help put a smile on the kids’ faces.”

Paul Thorogood, Chief Executive of the Football Foundation, said: “Grassroots sport plays an important role in communities across the UK, creating opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds. That is why I am delighted that the Astley Cooper Estate has now opened their state-of-the-art 3G AGP in Southwark, thanks to investment from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund.

“Continuing to improve access to high-quality facilities like this one is a key aim for the Premier League, The FA and the Government. Delivered by the Football Foundation, their funding supports projects for clubs and organisations all over the country and is helping to boost the number of people benefiting from sport through better facilities.

“Grassroots football provides so many benefits for members of the community, not least of which is the opportunity to enjoy themselves. Love for our national game, something that can be found across the country, is an integral part of what drives the Foundation and its Funding Partners to keep increasing the standards and quality of our facilities.”

ENDS 

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“It’s fantastic, it doesn’t seem too long ago when I was a kid playing football. We weren’t lucky enough to have facilities like this to play on and that’s testament to the Football Foundation and Southwark Council.” - Jordan Archer, Millwall FC goalkeeper

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