Youngsters at AFC Sudbury’s development centre are set to benefit from new kit and better coaching after the club received £3,000 to encourage local talent.
AFC Sudbury Grassroots has been handed the cash by the Lloyds Bank Community Fund after the public chose them in an open vote.
The club has been coaching youngsters for almost 10 years, growing from two teams to 14 and now boasting 140 signed-up players from the under-7s to the ladies.
Head coach Tony New and child welfare officer Liam Horkan have been deliberating over the details, but new training equipment and coaching qualifications for volunteers are high on the list.
“It is exciting – we can go out and buy equipment that we probably never could,” said Head. “It is absolutely mind-blowing that we can get this sort of funding — without this we can’t develop further.
“We have got a Saturday club so we are going to get sports equipment for that.
“We have got development sorted out for the coaches as well — level ones and level twos.
“We are also going to have some training kits for the girls and the ladies.”
Four good causes were nominated by staff in each community with more than 2.3 million votes cast in branches, online or by text message between September 23 and November 1.
AFC Sudbury Grassroots and The Bentley Group of Riding for the Disabled got the most votes and Head believes the victory was a welcome reward for the club’s 30 voluntary coaches.
“I was quite shocked really. We were elated,” he added. “Moving forward, being helped to develop will progress our club and it will progress the boys and girls.
“It is all about the development and about having fun.”
n Lloyds Bank provided funding to 1,332 community groups in England and Wales through its Community Fund in 2013.
To find out more about the community groups in the area, visit www.lloyds bank.com/communityfund