Lillington Juniors Football Club has been awarded charitable status, helping to secure its long-term future.
It has become one of only 28 clubs out of the 2,500 clubs affiliated to the Birmingham County FA to be awarded ‘FA Charter Standard Development Club’ status.
This will give the club access to Government grants and other support measures, enabling it to continue to grow and become one of the largest junior clubs in the area, according to founder Ryan Cranton.
He said: “This status opens things up for us and secures our growth moving forward in terms of funding and sponsorship.
“Charitable status gives us a bit more credibility as a club in terms of the community activities we run, too.
“We do just as much work off the pitch, such as anti-bullying sessions and fun days, and we are taking 170 people, members and their families, to Wembley for England’s game against Lithuania next month.”
The club was formed in November 2013 and now has more than 120 members.
There were just six children at the club’s very first session. “Four of those were mine,” added Mr Cranton.
“Our target was to have six teams, boys and girls, competing across the age groups by the end of our first year, but we now have eight.
“The aim is to have 20 teams within the next five years, which would make the club one of the biggest junior football clubs in Coventry and Warwickshire.
“We are currently based at North Leamington School but would love to have our own site with all our teams in one place to give it a real identity along with great facilities for the whole community.”