The FA’s new National Game Strategy will be unveiled on Wednesday, outlining plans for football at grassroots level over the next four years.
The new document will follow on from the previous strategy which covered 2010 to 2014.
And there is plenty to be proud of throughout the grassroots game during that time with participation in football up across the board.
Football already has the highest participation of any team sport in the country and The FA’s traditional remit has covered the structured game or ‘affiliated’ football. That includes over 119,000 teams made up of around 1.8 million children and adults.
But approximately 11 million people say they play some form of football in England, with 8.2 million of those being adults while 3.35 million are boys and girls. And the aim is to keep that figure rising.
A good start is with players aged 16 and below and there are now 5,000 more youth teams playing regular football all over the country. That includes a 17.9 per cent rise in mini-soccer teams for young players.
So, without even including school teams, there has been a increase in both male and female youth teams participating in football since 2010
The performance of England at this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada has generated more interest in the women’s game, but even prior to Mark Sampson’s side finishing third in the world, there was already a lift in girls playing football.
A two-year participation drive in recent seasons has resulted in 40,000 more girls and women playing regular football and that has been extended further to build on the growing popularity of The FA Women’s Super League and the Lionesses.
A 55 per cent growth in participation of disability football over the last four years comes as a real boost, as The FA continues to provide the best opportunities of football for all.
There are now over 1,700 disability teams, a rise of 600 over the last five seasons in what is a growing area of the national game.
We'll have more on the National Game Strategy throughout the week as we build up to Wednesday's launch.