England striker Danielle Carter is backing the new ‘Grow The Game’ programme to help unearth the next generation of female stars.
The Arsenal ace welcomes the latest initiative in the scheme, delivered by the Football Foundation and including a £1.5m investment from the FA.
It will see grants offered to grassroots football clubs that wish to create new teams for women and girls and disabled players, with the deadline for applications closing on Thursday 29 March.
And she hopes the programme will make the football pathway for many young players more straightforward than for many of her team-mates.
“As a footballer, one of the most rewarding things is seeing young supporters at the game and hoping that they too take up football after watching England play,” said Carter.
“I was lucky when I was a young girl as I joined Leyton Orient at the age of ten, but for many of my team-mates they were playing in boys teams until they were older.
“It’s great that Grow the Game will mean that more girls teams will be created and give more people the chance to play and enjoy football.”
The Grow the Game grants help to reduce the costs associated with starting new grassroots teams by making £1500 available for each one that a club creates.
Costs that the funding can help a club pay for includes coaching courses, league affiliation costs, referees’ fees, first aid kits and even football kit and equipment through a bespoke voucher.
Last year, the Football Foundation and FA initiative supported further growth in the game with the creation of 2,047 new teams, 10,016 female footballers, 18,941 male footballers and 7,407 new coaching qualifications.
The application window for Grow the Game applications is now open and closes on Thursday 29 March.