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Sudbury: Town’s community football team nets £3,000 cash boost

11:21 10 January 2014

Youngsters from AFC Sudbury Grassroots

Youngsters from AFC Sudbury Grassroots

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Fledgling footballers are set to benefit from new kit and better coaching after a club received thousands of pounds from a community fund to boost local talent.

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AFC Sudbury Grassroots has been handed £3,000 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 players from the under-sevens through to a ladies team.

Head coach Tony New and child welfare officer Liam Horkan have been deliberating where the funds should go and 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 Mr New.

“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. I can keep going – it is unbelievable what we need. We are just growing and growing.”

Four good causes were nominated by staff in each community where the fund is awarded, with more than 2.3million 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 in Babergh, and Mr New believes the result was a welcome reward for the club’s 30 voluntary coaches.

“I was quite shocked really. We were elated – it was brilliant. Everybody was so excited,” he added.

“Moving forward, being helped to develop – it will progress our club and it will progress the boys and girls. It is all about the development and about having fun.”

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 your area, visit www.lloydsbank.com/communityfund

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