FA recognition for first birthday

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Haverhill Town FC have been awarded Chartered Standard club status by the FA, as they celebrate their one-year anniversary.

Launched in 2001, The FA Charter Standard Programme is The FA’s accreditation scheme for grassroots clubs and leagues.

The FA Charter Standard accreditation is awarded to clubs and leagues rigorously adjudged to be well-run and sustainable — and which prioritise child protection, quality coaching and implementation of the Respect programme.

The youth club are ‘very proud’ to receive the status so early in their life.

Lee Wood, club chairman, said it was a ‘fantastic’ sign of where the club were and how quickly they’ve grown in just one year. He said: “I’m very proud to have achieved this so quickly, it’s the recognition from Suffolk and FA England that we are at a certain level.

“We applied at the end of last season with hope more than expectation and so it’s just the icing on the cake of a great first year.

“It’s just massive as it provides reassurance to the club and parents that we are doing the right thing — and that we know what we’re doing.

“And, of course, it’s now a platform for us to move towards the future.”

He said the status was the new benchmark for the club, to grow and develop even further across the year.

“We want to expand even further,” Wood said.

“We have a natural player pathway with not one but two clubs in Rovers and Borough and we’re also looking for a new home. I can’t say anything yet but we’re hopeful that will be soon.”

He said the club offered choice, and affordability, for parents in the area, as part of a growing number of clubs and facilities in Haverhill.

“There’s a lot of focus on boosting sport in town, it’s not just football,” he said.

“But it’s fantastic to see a rise in use of the numerous football pitches in town and we’ve been told we are welcome to use the 3G pitch at The New Croft too.”

The under-13 ‘Red Squad’ — for boys and girls in Year 8 or below — are also looking for a few more players to strengthen the side. Contact Andy Ferney for more information on 07940 353480.