Homegrown football coach unveils new £30K pitches at Ryhill FC

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Former Barnsley FC manager Paul Heckingbottom unveiled new pitches worth nearly £30,000 at Ryhill FC.

The club netted a £29,682 grant from the Football Foundation, to create new pitches on unused land at the site.

It is hoped that the grassroots investment will help to grow the club.

Former Leeds United head coach Mr Heckingbottom, who is currently managing Scottish Premier League side Hibernian manager, said: “I can remember playing on some really bad pitches growing up, but it was part of the game and learning my trade.

“For young players at all levels of the game it is only going to help having better pitches and facilities available to play on and it’s great to see this level of investment in my hometown.

“I think it is brilliant that the Premier League, FA and Government recognise the importance of improving grassroots facilities to help develop and shape the future of our national sport.

“I’m sure the improved grass pitches at Ryhill FC will play a huge role in helping to grow the club.” Gary Middleton, head coach at Ryhill, said: “This is a great day for Ryhill FC and I would like to thank Paul Heckingbottom for officially opening our new pitches which will enable the club to offer more young people the chance to participate.

“It’s been a real team effort from club volunteers and our supporters in the local community backed by the generous funding of the Football Foundation. Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA worked in close partnership alongside Ryhill Junior FC to focus on increasing participation through the growth of new teams and the introduction of the club’s first female team.

Ryhill is looking to grow the club from 13 to 17 teams in the next five years and introduce of two new girls’ teams.

The Football Foundation is the largest sports charity in the UK funded by the Premier League.