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Grassroots Football Column
Dave Roberts, Sports Features
2017 FA Community Awards
How would you fancy being given free cash, well yet again that's what the Football Association are offering clubs who want to start new teams. Hot on the heals of last year's success with Grow The Game, The FA together with the Football Foundation are offering up to £1,500 to support start up costs for new teams.

The catch, well there is just one - new teams must be in the categories of women and girls, disability or male football from under 14 through to the veterans game. Applications are available until March 29th.

Also by Dave Roberts...
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Grassroots Football Column
There are more free things on offer from The FA, as those needing to renew Safeguarding checks can now do this free of charge online. The on-line safeguarding renewal process involves taking an interactive course that uses case studies and interviews. Again, if you do it online, it's free.

If you really love football, grassroots in particular, then being a County Football Development Manager could well be right up your street. Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA are currently inviting applications for the role.

Salary is between £32k to £34k and the right candidate will lead the Football Development workforce and co-ordinate and implement The FA's National Game Strategy within the County. If you feel you are the ideal person, then get onto Sheffield and Hallamshire FA pronto as the closing date for the vacancy is Friday 17th February.

Our congratulations go to Bedale Junior FC Head Coach Ian Cross who has been named Coach of the Year in the annual Hambleton District Council Sports Awards. Cross has been coaching at Bedale since 2010. He has achieved level 1 and 2 badges through North Riding and is currently working towards his level 3. The award was open to unpaid coaches of all sports working in the Hambleton area which covers an area from Stokesley to Easingwold.

Ian Cross Coach of the Year
We switch from coaching to refereeing and the first new FA Referee courses of the year are kicking off. Middlesbrough Welcomes its first batch of 2017 recruits this week. York follows Suit from March 8th and Scarborough does the same in April. If you fancy picking up the whistle, simply get in touch with your local County FA to find out where the nearest course is to you.

And finally for this month, the search has begun to find those Grassroots superheroes without whom local football could not survive.

The FA's 2017 Community Awards, with McDonalds, have just been launched and focus on the great local clubs, coaches and those special folks who make outstanding contributions to community football.

If you have a superhero, or heroes, in your midst, perhaps this year is the year to say a huge thank you by clicking onto - http://www.mcdonalds.co.uk/awards - and get nominating.

As usual, full details of all the stories covered this month can be found on your local county FA websites. Enjoy your football.
Grassroots Football Column, 14th February 2017, 12:31 PM