Ahead of The Community Shield, supported by McDonald’s, the days were held to reflect Manchester City and Arsenal’s season curtain raiser at Wembley on Sunday. Both events helped raise awareness of The FA Charter Standard clubs within the local areas and the support that The FA and McDonald’s provide to the grassroots game.
Three-time Shield winner Ray Parlour and England legend Sir Geoff Hurst were at Longlane JFC in South London with ex-City man Dietmar Hamann returning to Manchester to attend the event at Burnage Metro F.C. in Didsbury.
World Cup winner Hurst and former Arsenal midfielder Parlour met with clubs and players in London, which featured tournaments and drop in football sessions for anyone who wanted to get involved.
Hurst, McDonald’s Director of Football, said: “Just like the FA Charter Standard programme itself, the great thing about this event was that it was open to anyone. Grassroots clubs like Longlane JFC are a fantastic example of how an FA Charter Standard club operates.
“The regular coaching sessions offered at clubs like this enables youngsters to gain those first, fundamental skills in a fun and friendly environment.”
McDonald’s Ambassador Parlour added: “It is vital that we provide grassroots clubs with the necessary support to offer football to as many people as possible.
“The more people we get involved in the game the more we will start to affect the numbers of quality English players in the top leagues. It was great to see so many young players enjoying themselves out there with passionate volunteers who bring so much to football at the grassroots level.
“I would encourage anyone who is thinking about signing up to their local club to get in touch with their nearest FA Charter Standard club now.”
Following the event in Manchester, former Germany international Hamann said he was impressed with the “quality” of the players he met.
“Just like the FA Charter Standard programme itself, the great thing about this event was that it was open to anyone” said Hamann.
“It’s important for youngsters to learn the fundamental skills they need to progress as footballers and clubs like Burnage Metro F.C provide a place for them to enjoy playing football in a safe environment on a regular basis.
“The quality of the young footballers that we have seen here today is a testament to the Manchester FA and McDonald’s commendable dedication to grassroots football.”
The Community Football Day is part of the new four year community partnership between The FA and McDonald’s which focuses on supporting accredited grassroots clubs and their volunteers.
To find out more about McDonald’s new partnership with The FA and how you can get involved in grassroots football visit www.mcdonalds.co.uk/betterplay.