Cheshire County Football Association has awarded Sandbach United Football Club the prestigious FA Charter Standard Community Club award for grassroots football.
The national FA Charter Standard Community Club award is the pinnacle of the FA Charter Standard programme and is presented to those clubs like Sandbach United FC who lead the field in developing football, raising standards in coaching, administration, player development and safeguarding children, and the promotion of best football practice, both on and off the pitch in grassroots football.
Terry Harrop, Cheshire County FA Chairman of Football Development Committee comments: “The FA Charter Standard Community Club award acknowledges the fantastic support that Sandbach United FC is providing within the local community and its efforts to provide opportunities for all players to develop their skills and play football in a safe and positive environment”.
Simon Gerrard the County Development Manager added “Congratulations to Sandbach United on attaining Charter Standard Community Club status this is a massive achievement for the club and there has been a lot of hard work put into attaining the award by very dedicated volunteers. The award proves to everyone that Sandbach United provides the best possible environment for children and adults to play in and I know the club will continue to develop very successfully.”
Sandbach United was formed in 2004 by the merger of Sandbach Albion and Sandbach Ramblers who joined forces in their quest to improve facilities in the town. United were initially awarded the FA Charter Standard in 2006 and have continued working to enhance their reputation. Now with over 30 teams and 600 players, including both boys and girls, United are one of the largest, most well run sports clubs in the area.
Councillor David Brown, Portfolio Holder for Community at Congleton Borough Council said: “I’d like to congratulate Sandbach United for achieving this prestigious status, we are all proud of their achievement and wish them every success for the future.”
Andrew Timms the United chairman said: "I am absolutely delighted that we have managed to secure Community Status with the FA. This is representative of the spirit of the club and the commitment of our volunteer committee, managers and assistants, coaches, fund raisers and team helpers, which has been acknowledged by the FA in giving Sandbach United this prestigious award. There are very few clubs that achieve this level, and I am therefore very proud to be Chairman of such a well structured club. We are committed to extending and improving the provision of football to all, and we have recently been acknowledged as a Deaf Friendly Football Club. I am sure there will be further benefits to our community as we develop our disability football section, as well as youth and adult football for both genders. Our football development plan will ensure that we will expand the provision of community football for all abilities in the future."
Sandbach Football Development Officer, Saul Furse said "This award is the culmination of 4 years hard work by everyone within the club, it should be celebrated by all our members and volunteer coaches who without their dedication and support, none of this would be achievable. Our coaches committed early in 2006 that all would qualify as FA recognised coaches and be CRB checked along with Child Protection and first aid training, this coach education has only been possible by individual coaches giving up their time for the good of their teams and the community and for that they should be very proud."
Saul added "The growth of the club has been exceptional over the last three years and has been made possible by the support of the community and local schools, we continue to work towards our own facility and our Facilities Manager Stuart Jones is working tirelessly with our partners Congleton Borough Council to make the dream of a community facility a reality. Our Commercial Manager Darren Mundey has over 60 under 6s attending his Sunday Soccer School at Sandbach C.P. School each week and it is our challenge to provide a community facility to ensure that these children have somewhere to play in the years to come. As part of the award we have received £200 in vouchers from The FA which has been used to buy training equipment for the teams.”