Crosspool Juniors Football Club secures funding for specialist goalkeeper training

Crosspool Juniors Football Club (CJFC) have secured two successful grant applications to fund specialist goalkeeper training and improvements to pitch security.

The club received a total of £3,292 from two grant applications, one from the Aviva Community Fund and the second from South Yorkshire Community Grants Programme.

Of the 900 applicants who asked for the Aviva Fund, CJFC were among the 400 finalists who received £1,000 of funding.

The club has teams for both genders, and the grant from Aviva will go towards specialist goalkeeper training for their rapidly expanding girls side.

Matt Franklin, the club Secretary, said the club created the girls team only four years ago and now they have eight teams.

He said: “Things have changed with girls football and it’s incredible. It’s finally on TV so it’s just huge and it’s amazing to see.

“That certainly comes from the media coverage. It was so different five years ago, it just wasn’t out there.”

While the Football Association requires all coaches to have level one training, specialist goalkeeping is not covered in basic modules and young players who wish to specialise might not currently get the most out of weekly training sessions.

Mr Franklin said: “Ultimately in an hour session it’s more about, are there enough balls? Are shoe laces tied? It’s more looking after the kids rather than the actual coaching.

“So with goalkeeper training it’ll make a huge difference because they’re going from their weekly training where they might be getting a bit of goalkeeper training to getting an hour a week.”

The club also received £2,292 from South Yorkshire Community Foundation, which has already been put towards getting better security for the Myers Grove training pitch in Stannington.

Fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour in the area were causing problems for the club, with quad bikes regularly being driven on the pitch and causing the quality to deteriorate.

The money has been put towards a new perimeter fence which was built last week and will hopefully prevent further damage being caused.

Mr Franklin said: “We just need to keep off cars and quad bikes and hopefully just get the message across that these are football pitches for kids. It’s not good leaving litter up there or broken glass.”

With the girls’ teams growing in size, Mr Franklin said the club is looking to the future with the hope of injecting money into bigger pitch improvement projects to meet the rising demand.