Theo Walcott applauds £260m commitment to grassroots

Friday 14 Aug 2015
England and Arsenal star Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott has praised The FA’s recent investment into grassroots football and says it will benefit the game for generations to come.

It was announced on Wednesday that The FA would be investing more than a quarter of a billion pounds in grassroots football over the next four years as part of ‘The National Game Strategy for Participation and Development’.

And Walcott – who began his career with the now defunct grassroots outfit AFC Newbury – said the commitment shown by The FA can play a pivotal role in helping as many people as possible play the game. 


Download The FA National Game Strategy (pdf)

It’s all about the future,” he said in an exclusive interview with

“Grassroots football, and investment in grassroots football, is vitally important for the younger generation of players coming through.”

As well as a commitment to improving facilities, the investment will target a further three key areas of the amateur game over the next four years.

Coaching, participation and developing the football workforce will also be heavily supported - something, Walcott says, will benefit all levels of the football pyramid.

Martin Glenn

FA chief executive Martin Glenn unveiled the plans on Wednesday

“If we want our nation to do well then it’s important to make it right for the next generation,” he continued.

“I’m sure you’ll see the development side of things improve as a result. You’ll see more coaches and that’s a key thing.

“You’re making the game easier and more accessible to people.”

Over the next four years The FA will invest £48 million in new and improved facilities – creating 100 new artificial turf pitches and improving 2,000 grass surfaces.

A new and sustainable model for grassroots facilities in 30 cities through football hubs owned and operated by local communities will also be rolled out.

“Anything that makes it easier for as many people as possible to get involved can only be a good thing”

Theo Walcott, Arsenal and England

“So much of it is about the facilities,” the Gunners forward said.

“To be able to give these kids the facilities where there’s always somewhere to play, no matter what the conditions, is key to getting the kids off the streets and on to the football field.

“Football is the most popular sport in the country and anything that makes it easier for as many people as possible to get involved can only be a good thing.”

Theo Walcott, was speaking at an event with England Team Sponsor Vauxhall.

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By Jamie Reid Senior Writer