The chairman of the Football Association has thrown his support behind ambitious plans to build a ¬£1.6 million centre of excellence, right here at Telford College!
Greg Clarke visited the college, where the Shropshire FA is currently working in partnership with us to create a facility which is hoped to become a mini version of the national football training base at St George’s Park.
The plans include grass pitches at the entrance to the, a second full-sized outdoor 3G pitch, an indoor half-sized 3G pitch in our indoor sports dome, tailor-made indoor futsal facilities and an education block, specifically for football development.
Mr Clarke said he was hugely impressed with the plans, after being given a tour of the site and pledged to do everything he could to help the project get off the ground. He said: “Towns like Telford, with 200,000 people, have got to have facilities like the ones that are proposed. It’s not just about the future of football. It’s about inclusion, physical health and mental health. If we are going to fight obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression, getting people involved in sport and making new friends is the way forward.”
“This is about everybody, it doesn’t matter what ethnicity you are, if you have a disability, what gender you are. It’s about getting people healthy, enjoying themselves and enjoying playing sport.”
The FA has already expressed its desire to build a centre of excellence in each county in a bid to improve grass roots football. He added, “The national board runs the amateur game and the grass roots game in England. Their job is to fund the projects. My job is to get them as much money as possible – that is what I work on.”
“My job is to support projects like this, drum up more sponsorship money and find innovative ways we can improve grassroots facilities in this country. This is one of those innovative projects. It ticks a lot of boxes. It is right in the centre of a community that is short of football facilities.”
Jason Jones, one of our sports tutors, said: “We’ve had a long partnership with the Shropshire FA. This has included the Shropshire FA using our facilities such as the 3G football pitch, dome, sports hall and classrooms.”
“We have hosted events like the FA People’s Cup qualifying rounds and young leaders’ days, along with their FA Level 1 and FA Level 2 coaching qualifications.”
“The football hub plan will take things to the next level, as this will not only help with the development of the college’s facilities but also allow the community to increase participation within football and futsal. This is a fantastic partnership, that can only help the college and the community grow. There are very exciting times ahead.”
Anthony Bealey, one of our level 3 BTEC students on the Wolves pathway said, “It was really good. We walked around and I spoke to him about what we are doing on our course and what we are going to be doing next year.”
If you want to join us next year, as we move forward with this exciting venture, check out our sports courses, including our special collaboration with Wolverhampton Wanderers FC or visit us at our next open event 23 January.