A TOTAL of £100,500 will be invested into grassroots football in West Riding over the next year through funding schemes from The FA to support new and established clubs.

New investment provided by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation, will support the growth and maintenance of 206 teams in the area and is expected to cater for 4,440 footballers in local leagues.

Grow the Game, launched in 2010, offers grants of £1,500 towards community football clubs wishing to set up new teams and this year focused on catering for female and disabled players.

A large number of clubs in West Riding have been successful in securing investment from The FA through the Football Foundation.

Over the course of the next year, Grow the Game will support the growth of 36 female and two disabled teams.

Retain the Game is a brand-new scheme, which started in April, and is targeted at supporting existing adult male clubs to continue offering local opportunities to play.

Grants of £750 are made to support the essential costs of playing and training.

Funding from both grants can be used to help a club pay for FA coaching courses; FA league affiliation costs; referees’ fees; first aid kits; and even football kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.

Jo de Tute, head of football development at West Riding FA, said: “The level of investment that we have seen coming into West Riding is fantastic, with £57,000 to support the growth of new teams in the female and disability game and £43,500 to support the retention of adult male teams. As a County FA we are really proud of the hard work that all of our clubs and volunteers put in on a daily basis to continue the offer of local football and financial input like this just makes that process a little bit easier.”

Eccleshill-born Aidy Boothroyd, England Under-21s head coach, said: “It’s encouraging to see so many grassroots clubs up and down the country taking advantage of funding available through Retain the Game.

“Whilst the total number of adult male footballers in England has increased over the past few years, it is vital that regular playing opportunities continue to exist with teams in their local areas.

“I hope this new scheme will make a real difference across the country and help to maintain high levels of participation throughout the men’s game.”

Across the two campaigns, The FA has made £2.5 million available to grassroots clubs looking to either create or retain association football clubs for grassroots footballers across the country.

In West Riding, the Football Foundation’s Funding Partner investment has helped to support the development of 24 third generation artificial grass pitches, 131 real grass pitches and 48 changing pavilions.

A total of 58 adult male football clubs in West Riding have been accepted and received Retain the Game grants. These are: Boroughbridge AFC, Guiseley Juniors, Hunsworth, Shelf Juniors AFC, Woodlesford Galacticos, AFC Illingworth St Mary's, Dewsbury Rangers, Rimington, Thornton United, Horbury Town, Brighouse Town, Carlton Athletic, Battyeford Sporting Club, Holme Valley Academicals, Diggle, Junction, Norristhorpe, AFC Lindley, Baildon Trinity Athletic, Inter Batley, Old Centralians, AFC Titans, Shadwell United, Wrenthorpe Rangers, Leeds Modernians, Ventus Yeadon Celtic, Toller, Clifton Rangers, Bradford DFC, Tadcaster Magnet, Bingley Town, Kippax, Church Fenton.

The other clubs are: Robin Hood Athletic AFC, Otley Town Junior, Golcar United, Ripon City, Thorpe United, FC West Leeds, Harrogate & District Railway Athletic, Springhead, Amaranth, Hunslet Club, Britannia Sports, Leeds City, Oxenhope Recreation, Beeston St Anthony, Colton Athletic, Beldon Oddies, North Leeds, Morley Town AFC, Lepton Highlanders, South Park Rangers, Honley, Beckwithshaw Saints, Wyke Wanderers, St Bedes.

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