By Dec Campbell
The Football Association has fulfilled its promise of grassroots investment with the opening of their first Parklife centre in south Yorkshire.
The Sheffield pitches are all-weather 3G sports pitches designed to increase participation and provide young people and amateur clubs further opportunities to increase and expand their skills. It is the first of 30 centres the FA are opening all across England.
Following England’s poor showings at major tournaments, the Football Association had promised £200m to grassroots football over the next few years.
Dale Innes, 21, who plays for Yorkshire side Beeston Juniors FC, said: “I think personally it will help grassroots because, from my experience, there are too many pitches that aren’t maintained properly and come months such as November and December, games are cancelled often.”
Kevin Napier, 19, also of BJFC, is currently nursing a torn ACL due to an awkward landing during pre-season. He said: “Of course the new pitches are a good step forward because they can be dangerous as well as unplayable, as my injury proves, on a bobbly, un-managed pitch it can have serious consequences.”