Club boosted by FA scheme

Bath Chronicle - - SPORT -

Wick Foot­ball Club Bris­tol have been boosted by a grant from the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion’s new Re­tain the Game fund­ing scheme. The grant has been awarded to sus­tain men’s teams in grass­roots foot­ball, and the club hope it will help their four se­nior teams over the com­ing years. Dave Beer, Wick FC Vice Chair­man, said: “This is fan­tas­tic news and will help us se­cure the longterm fu­ture of our club. We want to en­cour­age all our ex­ist­ing play­ers and any new play­ers to come along to train­ing and this grant will cer­tainly help al­low us to pro­vide safe and en­joy­able ses­sions dur­ing the win­ter months. Thanks so much to the Foot­ball Foun­da­tion for their kind do­na­tion.” Re­tain the Game is a pro­gramme funded by the FA and de­liv­ered by the Foot­ball Foun­da­tion. It awards grants of £750 to ex­ist­ing grass­roots foot­ball clubs to boost their fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity and al­low them to con­tinue of­fer­ing play­ers op­por­tu­ni­ties to take part in or­gan­ised foot­ball. Fund­ing has been tar­geted at clubs that op­er­ate with two or more male teams aged un­der-17 and above, and cur­rently hold the FA’S Adult Char­ter Stan­dard Award or com­mit to at­tain­ing the award within the next foot­balling sea­son. Com­ment­ing on the award, Paul Simp­son, Eng­land Un­der-19s head coach, said: “It’s great to see The FA and the Foot­ball Foun­da­tion sup­port­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion in the adult male game at the com­mu­nity level. Af­ford­abil­ity has of­ten been iden­ti­fied as a key bar­rier, so this grant will ease the fi­nan­cial bur­den placed on clubs and al­low them to con­cen­trate on pro­vid­ing ac­cess to com­pet­i­tive foot­ball. “It is very pleas­ing to see Wick FC tak­ing ad­van­tage of this pi­lot scheme and en­sur­ing that they look for­ward to a bright fu­ture, pro­vid­ing reg­u­lar op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal peo­ple to en­joy the ben­e­fits of play­ing our na­tional game.” Money in­vested as part of Re­tain the Game will go to­wards cov­er­ing core costs - in­clud­ing match­day and train­ing fa­cil­ity hire - first aid train­ing and new Nike kit and equip­ment through a be­spoke voucher. The new scheme aims to fur­ther bol­ster the FA’S ef­forts to in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion in grass­roots foot­ball. Ear­lier this year, they also awarded grants of £1,500 as part of their Grow the Game pro­gramme, with par­tic­u­lar em­pha­sis placed on boost­ing the num­ber of fe­male and dis­abled grass­roots foot­ball teams.

Bath City made it two cup suc­cesses in four days with a nar­row vic­tory over Bish­ops Ly­deard in the Som­er­set Premier Cup first round. It was, how­ever, a near un­recog­nis­able Ro­mans out­fit, who made 11 changes from Satur­day’s win over Lewes, with five mem­bers of the usual first team squad in­stalled along­side a col­lec­tion of academy play­ers and some with Bris­tol City links. For Bish­ops Ly­deard, it was their first visit to Tw­er­ton Park, and the high­est ranked side they’ve played in their his­tory. John Mills had City’s first open­ing, skew­ing a half vol­ley wide when picked out by James Mor­ton’s su­perbly dis­guised cross. Mark Clun­nie went closer a minute later for the Western Lea­guers. Pick­ing the ball up in mid­field, he drove a shot from dis­tance which shaved the top of Kieran Hodges’ cross­bar. The vis­i­tors took a shock lead on 24 min­utes. James Quick’s cross was deemed to have been han­dled de­lib­er­ately by Kevin Amankwaah just in­side the penalty area, and Clun­nie’s re­sult­ing penalty was slammed into the cor­ner, giv­ing Hodges no chance. Bath re­cov­ered well and lev­elled within five min­utes. Mor­ton, pulling the strings, picked out Mills again, and this time the front man con­fi­dently curled past Nathan Whately to open his ac­count. Whately kept his side in it with a fine save from Matt Richards’ pre­cise free-kick, but was pow­er­less to pre­vent a sec­ond a few min­utes be­fore the in­ter­val. A teas­ing ball in from the right was even­tu­ally met by Joe Hall, who did enough to stab the ball past the Ly­deard stop­per from close range. Mor­ton was rested for the sec­ond half, Alex O’neill re­plac­ing him. Mills, buoyed by his opener, was thwarted by Whately af­ter good work by the lively Kieran Smith, with youth winger Finn Coyle shoot­ing into the side net­ting hav­ing cut in­side of David Richard­son. It took un­til the 77 th minute for City to in­crease their ad­van­tage. Char­lie Wiles-richards lo­cated Mills who snuck in be­hind the vis­i­tors’ back­line and kept his com­po­sure to round Whately be­fore slam­ming into the un­guarded net. Rather than cave in, Bish­ops Ly­deard re­acted pos­i­tively, and de­servedly pulled one back with five min­utes of nor­mal time re­main­ing. Quick’s pre­ci­sion through-ball found sub­sti­tute Zac Ry­der in oceans of space to score.

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