Grants are now available for clubs wanting to start up football teams on Wearside.
The Football Foundation scheme, Grow the Game, has been launched by Foundation ambassador and Sky Sports News anchor, Hayley McQueen.
Applications are now open for a share of £1.5m of funding, designed specifically for grassroots clubs to start new teams and qualify more coaches to cater for under-represented groups.
The scheme is designed to increase participation in football by helping clubs with the costs associated with creating new teams.
Funded by the Premier League and The FA, Grow the Game is delivered by the Football Foundation, the nation’s largest sports charity.
The fund will boost playing opportunities for three specific sections of society for whom the opportunities to play football have always been traditionally limited.
These are: women and girls; disabled players; and male teams of under-14s-and-upwards. Applications are only being accepted for teams within these target groups providing they meet the basic criteria.
The window for Grow the Game applications opened yesterday and closes on Thursday, March 10.
Clubs wanting more information should contact their local County FA or visit www.footballfoundation.org.uk/apply/grow-the-game/.
Hayley said: “The Grow the Game scheme is an excellent chance for grassroots clubs to expand and get coaches qualified.
“I think getting more people playing sport is very important so to give football teams the resources to do this is fantastic to see.”
The scheme began in 2010, and last year saw nearly 2,000 new teams created.