The embarrassment of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil left football fans across the nation questioning the lack of development in young players.The facilities available to local footballers have been heavily scrutinised since the turn of the century. England’s FA run grass roots football scheme received a £230m boost at the start of the year to help fund projects across thirty cities.
This five year project will see Bournemouth receive an increase in Level three coaches and artificial pitches. Local manager Tom Onions of Roebuck football club says he is sceptical about the use of artificial pitches “We all want to play a Barcelona style of football, but Sunday league football is entertaining in its own right”.
Onion’s went on to express his concerns about the costs of the artificial pitches “Let’s be honest, a local park run by the council will be a lot more affordable than an FA run complex.” In Sunday league football, the biggest concern to coaches and players is the weather. Roebuck had seven matches cancelled last season with one player receiving an injury as a result of uneven ground. Pete Morris, a player of Roebuck, claims his injury prevented him from playing semi-professional football “The injury kept me out for eight months, meaning I missed several trials for well established teams”.
With rival nations such as World Cup winners Germany already funding grass roots football, it will be refreshing to see youth team players develop as a direct result of coaching and facilities. While Bournemouth is not the only city in this expensive project, it will give local youth player’s hope of one day wearing the famous England shirt.
Interview with Tom Onions, manager of Roebuck Football club – http://buzz.bournemouth.ac.uk/grass-roots-football-interview/