Common complaints across this region have traditonally revolved around the state of pitches and the lack of resources available for grassroots clubs.
And now players, coaches, referees, staff and volunteers will get their chance to tell the footballing authorities just what it’s like to be involved at grassroots level, thanks to the ‘most comprehensive’ survey the FA have ever undertaken.
FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn said: “We are on the cusp of a real revolution within grassroots football and, as we move forward, it is vital we ensure that we are listening to those that it impacts upon directly.
“Our new four year strategy has been designed to be adaptable to ensure that we are able to meet the key objectives we have set. This will be achieved through listening as well as acting.
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“The grassroots football audience consists of a cross section of diverse communities and this survey will help us ensure we service these groups efficiently via a range of methods, from inclusion initiatives to implementing technology.
“And, as we build on the increases in boys and girls participation and growth in disability football, feedback from such a large sample group will help us refine our goals and targets.”
The recommendations have been outlined in Greg Dyke’s Chairman’s Commission, which sets out the ambition to build football hubs in 30 cities, as well as a 50 per cent increase in the total number of full-size, publicly accessible 3G artificial grass pitches across England, to over 1000.
With matched funding by the Government, £4m per year will be invested in grassroots coaching and there will be a network of County Coaches, tasked with improving and supporting coaching across grassroots football with club mentoring programmes.
The extension of coach bursaries will get more women and people fromS minority ethnic and LGBT backgrounds into the profession and there will be a drive to get more top level grassroots coaches into the game.
And The FA is committing £48m directly through its funding of the Football Foundation, as well as investment in 100 new turf pitches and improvements to a further 2000 as part of The FA’s Pitch Improvement Plan.