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Tuesday June 27, 2017
England Boss Gareth praises Padiham FC Youth Setup

Padiham FC Youth Development is celebrating after being awarded a £4,500.00 Grow the Game grant, something that has attracted praise from England Manager Gareth Southgate.

The grant, which will provide a boost to grassroots football in Padiham, has paved the way for a Youth Development programme to build & create pathway and enable young players to play at a higher level football and hopefully one day play for Padiham Football Club in the North West Counties Football League.

England Manager and Football Foundation Ambassador, Gareth Southgate, said: “I am so pleased that Padiham FC Youth Development programme has secured this grows the Game grant. Mark Whitaker and his youth development team at the club has worked very hard with Lancashire FA and the Football Foundation to get more local people playing football so that they can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that come with playing regular sport. Grow the Game is mainly funded by The FA and delivered by the Football Foundation. This is money that is flowing from the very top of the game down to the lowest levels, to help clubs at the grassroots to bear the cost of starting up a new team, whether it be for a new kit, pitch hire or sending volunteers on FA accredited coaching courses.”

Padiham FC Academy Manager Mark Whitaker said they are very excited about their 3 step development programme for young players. Last season the club committee decided not to have a reserve team due to lack of young player recruitment. Chairman Shaun Astin and club secretary Alan Smith were very concerned about the lack of player development to support a reserve side and concerned about the lack of young players coming through to the 1st team and the benefits that brings to the club. The club has a three year plan to create a pathway from U16s to U21s football and they are working closely with the Lancashire Football Association to that end.

Mark Whitaker praised long serving Padiham FC committee member Alan Smith for his support and help in securing this Grant from the Foundation and he also thanked Neil Birchall, Iain Kay, Shaun Burke & Andrew Whitaker from the Lancashire FA for their help in supporting the application.

Eamonn McNamara.



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The Lancashire Sunday League encourages all referees to become members of the Referees Association and it is League policy to give priority of appointments to those referees who are an RA member.

Preston Referees Society is based at BAC Club, South Meadow Lane, Preston PR1 8JP, they meet on the first Monday of each month during the football season and everyone is welcome to attend their meetings. The meetings start at 7.30pm and usually finish around 9.00pm.

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Lancashire Sunday Football League is always happy to accept new referees to its list of officials. If you have any enquiries about refereeing on the League or would like to be added to the list of officials, please contact the League’s Referee Manager David McNamara here.

Mid Lancashire Football League operates on Saturday afternoons for Open Age clubs and they are also happy to accept new referees to its list of officials. If you have any enquiries about refereeing on the League or would like to be added to the list of officials, please contact the League’s Referee Secretary Tony Hawkes here.

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