As England U21 head coach, Aidy Boothroyd is used to coaching the best of the country’s young talent throughout the season.
What is less well known though, is that the former Watford boss often spends his weekend mornings helping out with a local adult male grassroots team in the Midlands.
- Applications: 18 April - 30 May
- For: Adult male grassroots teams
- U17 - U21 football
- Open age football
- Veteran football
And Boothroyd has given his backing to a new £1m fund to help aid the retention of similar teams within grassroots clubs across England.
‘Retain The Game’ has been created in light of a recent decrease in the number of adult male grassroots league teams, offering existing grassroots clubs grants of £750 to continue offering valued playing opportunities in organised football.
“I am delighted that Retain the Game has been launched,” said Boothroyd.
“Adult male grassroots football is a fundamental part of the game and financial support provided through this scheme will have a fantastic impact in ensuring high levels of continued participation across the country.
“I would encourage all eligible teams to apply by visiting the Football Foundation website.”
This push to reverse the decline in adult male league football follows the recent Grow the Game scheme, which made £1.5m available for grassroots clubs looking to create new women and girls or disability football teams.
It was met by an overwhelming response and it is predicted that this year’s investment will create around 1000 new female and disability teams in the grassroots game.
‘Retain the Game’, which is funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation, will support clubs’ adult male teams in three age categories: U17- U21, open age and veterans.
The grants are designed to cover core costs that are incurred by grassroots clubs, including matchday and training facility hire, First Aid training and new Nike kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.
Grassroots clubs that meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply:-
• Adult clubs with two or more adult male teams that hold the FA’s Adult Charter Standard award, Charter Standard Development or Charter Standard Community Club award.
• Adult clubs with two or more adult male teams who commit to become Adult Charter Standard within the 2018-19 season.
Should the fund be oversubscribed, clubs that meet the following criteria will be prioritised:-
• Clubs in existence for ten or more seasons.
• Clubs in existence for between five and nine seasons.
• Clubs with three or more adult male teams.
• Clubs who operate in leagues employing The FA’s ‘Full Time’ system.
The application window for Retain the Game is now open and closes on Wednesday 30 May.
Retain the Game is inclusive of players from different ethnic backgrounds, faiths and sexual orientations.