Watmore: Access to quality facilities makes all the difference

24 Apr 2016

Sunderland striker Duncan Watmore opens Facilities Fund pitch in Bishop Auckland

Related Articles
Ferguson praises PLFAFF support for football's grass roots
'I know how much new pitch will mean to community'
Jenas praises facilities that will benefit all of Nottingham

Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore stressed the importance of having quality facilities to play on after he opened a new pitch near to the club that was made possible by the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund (PLFAFF).

St John's School and Sixth Form College College, in Bishop Auckland, County Durham, has a floodlit artificial grass pitch, built with the help of a £214,950 grant from the PLFAFF, which is delivered by the Football Foundation. It replaces a dilapidated multi-use games area and part of a natural-grass playing field that was prone to waterlogging. 

Watmore, who was signed from non-league Altrincham by Sunderland, was impressed by the new facilities.

"There simply will not be a time when someone isn't using it, which is just brilliant," he said. "Not so long ago, I was playing at the lower levels of the game and I can tell you that having access to quality facilities, just like this one, makes all the difference when you are trying to improve as a player."

The pitch will encourage sports participation in the wider area. St Mary's Junior Football Club, one of the partner clubs on the site, will more than double the teams they cater for from 18 to 40, with most of the growth at boys and girls Under-10 to Under-18 level over the next five years.

With the pitch in place, the club also plans to introduce Under-11 and Under-18 disability teams and to give 26 of St John’s teachers and 36 junior sports leaders the chance to gain FA Level One coaching qualifications.

Kolo Toure opened a new PLFAFF pitch in Liverpool recently

"The facility has transformed the delivery of our PE curriculum and provides year-round access, ensuring that football and sport continue to thrive both within and beyond St John's," said St John's headteacher Lisa Byron.

There have been a number of new facilities funded by PLFAFF that have opened recently. For more click on the links below.

Broadgreen International School, Liverpool
3G artificial grass pitch opened by Kolo Toure, Alex Greenwood and Graeme Sharp
PLFAFF grant £269,093

Westfield Academy, Watford
3G artificial grass pitch opened by former Watford player Gifton Noel-Williams
PLFAFF grant £223,088

Holt Playing Field Association, Norfolk
Changing room pavilion opened by former Norwich City manager Nigel Worthington
PLFAFF grant £99,983

Chinnor Playing Fields, South Oxfordshire
Sports pavilion opened by Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley
PLFAFF grant £290,761

Northolt High School, Ealing, London
3G artificial grass pitch opened by Chris Powell
PLFAFF grant £288,034

Open Academy, Norwich
Football development centre works visited by Norwich City defender Russell Martin
PLFAFF grant £498,789

St John's Park, Bolton
Floodlights and maintenance equipment opened by former Bolton Wanderers player John McGinley
PLFAFF grant £56,276

Latest Videos

More Videos
19 Jul 2024

FPL Pod: Five free transfers 'one of best changes ever'

Sam Bonfield explains how the option to bank up to five free transfers in FPL 2024/25 will benefit every type of manager

You have been entered into the competition. You will receive email confirmation of your entry with further details.

You have already entered this competition. Please check your email for further information.

You have been entered into the competition. You will receive email confirmation of your entry with further details.

Create a Premier League account


You are logged in as

Enter your details to submit your entry.