FA grant helps Nailers to continue U21s side

Dave Laughlin, Belper Town FC secretary
Dave Laughlin, Belper Town FC secretary

England U19s head coach Paul Simpson believes funding from The FA’s Retain the Game scheme could help to secure the long-term future of Belper Town Football Club.

The grant, which has been awarded to help aid the retention of adult male teams within grassroots football, will enable the Nailers to sustain their U21s team over the coming years.

Retain the Game is a programme funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation.

It awards grants of £750 to existing grassroots football clubs to boost their financial sustainability and allow them to continue offering playing opportunities in organised football.

Simpson said: “It’s great to see The FA and the Football Foundation supporting participation in the adult male game at the community level.

“Affordability has often been identified as a key barrier, so this grant will ease the financial burden placed on clubs and allow them to concentrate on providing access to competitive football.

“It is very pleasing to see Belper Town taking advantage of this pilot scheme and ensuring that they look forward to a bright future, providing regular opportunities for local people to enjoy the benefits of playing our national game.”

Money invested as part of Retain the Game will go towards covering core costs - including matchday and training facility hire - first aid training and new Nike kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.

The new scheme has further bolstered The FA’s efforts to increase participation in grassroots football.

Earlier this year, they also awarded grants of £1,500 as part of their Grow the Game programme, with particular emphasis placed on boosting the number of female and disabled grassroots football teams.

Nailers managing rirector Dave Laughlin added: “The financial help from the FA’s Retain the Game scheme has allowed the club to continue to operate our under-21 team for the foreseeable future.

“The under-21s have won their league in each of the last two seasons and have provided a steady supply of players into the first team squad.

“Under-21s manager, Fenwick Butcher, will be working closely with Grant Black to continue to provide a progression pathway for our younger players.”