Grassroots football

FA has finally taken an initiative that is aimed at developing grassroots football.

It took a visit to riverside pitch in Uxbridge for Greg Dyke, the FA chief, to realise that grassroots football has been a victim of FA’s neglect and needs immediate attention. Presently many football fields and grounds have been transformed into office blocks and residential developments which has severely damaged grassroots football.

As if the lack of grounds was not enough to damage the foundation of football, scarcity of necessary facilities has further worsened the situation. Local authorities have reduced the budget for sports and recreation by as much as 40%, which is to add to the gravity of the situation. All these factors have worked together to damage grassroots football and as a result, the sport as suffered from a decline in popularity. The percentage of footballers enthusiastic about making it to the top has been steeply declining. According to statistics released by FA, last year each grassroots football player had at least five of his games cancelled due to improper pitch conditions.

To make things right FA has proposed a 3G revolution which according to some has immense potential of success. Main focus of the solution proposed by FA is on increasing the availability of playable pitches and addressing the need of qualified football coaches. Though grassroots football has been neglected by FA for a long time and Greg Dyke is not the first FA president to attempt at making things right but his chances of success are surely brighter than that of his predecessors.

Despite the overall situation surrounding grassroots football appearing grim, improving the football structure does not seem to be a task that is completely impossible. The opening of St. Georges Park, FA’s national football centre, and the creation of a new modified coaching manual is surely a way forward in ensuring the provision of effective football coaching at the basic level. FA has invested a considerable amount of £100 million in the creation of St. Georges Park, which it has given the status of national football park. According to experts, St. Georges Pak can prove to be quite effective in improving the situation of grassroots football.

The training base extends over an area of 300 acre and is equipped with all the modern facilities, which makes it deserving of the title of national football centre.

Football needs to be redeemed at the grassroots level and only then we will be able to witness visible results and improvements. FA has finally come to realise this fact and the opening of St. Georges Park, overhaul of the coaching manual and investment in ‘football hubs’ are all a part of its 3G revolution scheme which is expected to set things in the right direction. Though much more needs to be done in order to save football from turning into a dying sport but FA’s initiative has re-ignited hope among avid football fans and enthusiasts.