Young Methley footballers set sights on new goals thanks to £5,000 Banks Group grant

April 10, 2014 | Community News

Young players at a West Yorkshire junior football club are setting their sights on new goals after receiving a £5,000 grant from the Banks Community Fund to pay for a wide range of new equipment.

Methley United Junior Football Club is set to take delivery of three new sets of foldaway aluminium goalposts for use both in training and matches, which can be assembled in just a few minutes and which will save up to an hour’s work every time they are used.

The club is also purchasing four portable substitutes’ benches and shelters, as well as new gazebos underneath which watching parents can stand during matches, and it is extending its provision of specialist training equipment to offer new skills development opportunities to its players.

A range of new equipment is also being purchased as part of the fit-out of its newly-opened clubhouse kitchen, which will extend the range of functions the club can host as well as the provisions it can offer to guests, and it has also joined with the Methley Warriors Rugby Club to jointly purchase a defibrillator that will be located on the Pinfold Lane ground in the town that the clubs share.

The purchases are being funded through a £5,000 grant from Banks Property, via the Banks Community Fund, and the club is aiming to have everything in place before the end of the current season.

Run by a team of dedicated volunteers, Methley United Junior Football Club encompasses ten teams, from under 5s to under 15s, and including an open age team and a girls teams.

Almost all of its players are now drawn from Methley itself, and teams compete in the Selby & District League and the Garforth League.

Club chairman Chris Paul, who also coaches the club’s Under 5s and Under 9s teams, says: “We’ve been really successful this season in increasing the number of children from the local area who choose to play for us, rather than other teams around the district, and it augers really well for the club’s future prospects.

“The goals that we currently have take over half an hour to both erect and dismantle, which then reduces the amount of time we can spend actually coaching the kids, so having these new goals in place will make a massive difference to the work we’re able to do with them during training and before matches.

“Our ground is quite exposed, so parents and players will very much welcome the shelter that they’ll all now be able to take from the worst of the weather, and the new kitchen equipment that we’re bringing in will give us the capacity to cater for tournaments, galas and other events that we’ve previously not had the facilities to host.

“The importance of having swift access to a defibrillator at sports grounds has become very clear over recent years, and while we hope we’ll never have to use it, it’s good to know that it’s be on hand.

“We carry out a lot of fundraising work through the year which takes a great deal of time and effort to organise, but having this amount of money available in one go has given us the chance to take a close look at what will make the best impact on everything that we do, and we’re extremely grateful to Banks for their very generous support.”

Leeds City Council leader and Kippax & Methley Ward Councillor Keith Wakefield adds: “I’ve been a big supporter of Methley United and Methley Warriors for over a decade now and it has been great to see the club grow as they provide positive activity for children and young people in the Village.

“The new equipment along with the changing facilities will also allow the club to raise money week in week out, which will hopefully give them a platform for even more success on and off the pitch.”

Banks Property is currently proposing a new £20m residential property scheme on Station Road Methley, which would encompass 181 new family homes being built on a 7.7 hectare site.

A range of community and environmental benefits worth over £2m forms part of the overall development offer, and Banks has developed plans which would, if the Station Road scheme is approved, see them invest £1.1m improving local flood defences around the River Aire, which was identified as the highest priority for local people for the allocation of these funds.

Other ideas provided by local people for community benefits funded by the proposed development included payments towards educational improvements, affordable housing and housing for the elderly, improved public transport, and enhancements to public open space and to green infrastructure.

Mark Dowdall, environment and community director at the Banks Group, adds: “Community sports clubs like Methley Juniors have a fantastic impact on young people, both in terms of the skills they develop and what they learn about teamwork, dedication and physical fitness, and we hope our support helps them to increase the number of local children on their books even further.”

Anyone interested in playing for Methley United Junior Football Club should contact Chris Paul on 07825 073690.

Projects, community groups, or voluntary organisations in the vicinity of Banks’ proposed Station Road, Methley development that are looking for funding should contact James Eaglesham at the Banks Community Fund on 0191 378 6342.

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