New junior soccer club wins FA grant

December 20 2016

The Brunel Bantams are delighted to announce that they have been awarded a grant of £1,966 by the FA, as part of the “66 for 66” initiative. The grant is part of the FA’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup win, which aims to ensure that the legacy of that win lives on amongst today’s youth, and aims to support football development at grassroots level.

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The Brunel Bantams are delighted to announce that they have been awarded a grant of £1,966 by the FA, as part of the “66 for 66” initiative. The grant is part of the FA’s celebration of the 50th anniversary of England’s 1966 World Cup win, which aims to ensure that the legacy of  that win lives on amongst today’s youth, and aims to support football development at grassroots level.

Brunel Bantams' grant is all the more impressive given that the club have only been running for  just over a year, having  held their first  training session on November 15th 2015. It was established by parents of children at Brunel Field Primary school, who have worked tirelessly to turn it into a fully fledged local club despite holding down full time jobs, not to mention the daily challenges of bringing up children. The club has recently joined the Ashley Down Friendly League and this season have played their first competitive matches, and have even recorded their first wins.

Club Secretary Marcus Johnson said: “We are delighted with the progress that we have made in so little time, and the funding from the FA is going to help us to secure ourselves financially and continue to flourish. The club officers are still liaising with the parents to decide what to do with the grant. We would like to buy more goals and equipment, and would love to be able to have a ball for each child during training, and would also like to invest in FA level 1 training for the club's volunteer coaches, all of whom are parents and enthusiastic amateurs.” 

The club plays in a distinctive orange kit with a Bantam logo on the chest - a nod to the Total Football practiced by the Netherlands featuring such greats as Johann Cruyff perhaps?  Marcus adds: “Yes of course! But in all honesty the choice of colour came down entirely to affordability, as well as needing to be different from the kits of the clubs with whom we compete.”

The Brunel Bantams provide training and matches for teams of children from Year 1 to Year 5, and next year aim to have a Year 6 team. The club draws a lot of its players from boys and girls attending Brunel Field Primary School (part of the Ashley Down Schools Federation), but it is open to all children in the locality, not just Brunel Field students. 

Marcus explained: “We are still struggling for numbers to enable us to field full squads including substitutes, in years 4 and 5 particularly, and we would love to boost their numbers to give them the opportunity to get a couple of wins under their belts by the end of the season.”

Watching the training session from the sidelines, parent and assistant coach Dave Jarrett said: “These kids have worked together through the wind and rain of the Downs and come together as a club. It’s all about fun, learning together as well as learning to play as a team and enjoying themselves.” Watching an awkward tackle, he added: “They are really getting stuck in, I love seeing the kids getting competitive and every week we are getting new members, and the current kids welcome them and involve them in the teams immediately.”

Other parents of new members from Horfield C of E school said: “It’s a fantastic atmosphere, really enthusiastic coaches, and the kids are really having great fun. This cheque from the FA is just amazing, we’ve actually only been coming for a couple of weeks but our children love it.”

The club’s training and matches take place on Saturdays on the Downs between 10.30am - 12.00 and it is run entirely by volunteers who are parents of children playing at the club. New players are welcome, see https://brunelbantamsfc.com/contact-us-join-the-club.