WARREN BARLOW'S JUNIOR FOOTBALL COLUMN - Changes could be nearby for our local scene

I RECENTLY met up with Brad Adams from Bolton Wanderers Community Trust in relation to an exciting project to bring two leagues of futsal to Bolton, one for those for 16 years and above and another for junior teams.

We are seeking to develop both these structures within the umbrella of the Bolton, Bury and District Football League, but I have two hurdles to overcome first as I need to take the proposal to the committee and, if that is successful take the proposal to the County FA to endorse.

I had a surreal moment when my phone went off and as I answered it was “Hello Warren, its David Flitcroft” the former Barnsley manager and director of FC Strikerz, who is aware more than most how football can be such an up-and-down sport.

David is looking to provide an insight into coaching and how we develop our players in order that they may be able to achieve the best possible standards.

I will be reading his column in this sports supplement each Tuesday with interest.

I recently met up with the CEO of Bolton Arena, Paul Bartle and the chair of Bolton Sports and Physical Activity Alliance (BoSPAA) Cllr Chris Peacock who are both keen to benefit the community in this area.

I attended a Football Development Group meeting with people from the local authority, Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and the Manchester and Lancashire FAs.

We are hoping this group grows and feeds into the whole sport plan in order that we can be a little more joined up when it comes to funding and support we give to our members.

We have seen Ladybridge FC develop there own 3G facility, Lostock Sports Club looking as though they will, at last, be getting a place they can call home and many other projects moving in the right direction in order that we can not only improve the sporting infrastructure, but we can leave a legacy that our children and grandchildren will benefit.

There are challenges ahead – as an example it is 13 years on and Horwich St Marys are still having to alter their plans to comply with planning changes for their development of Scholes Bank.

All this is costing the volunteers money to resolve and much stress and anguish and I am at a loss why planning of such things in this country is so time consuming and laborious.

I really do take my hat off to Lesley and Tom Allon for their resilience as lesser people would have given up and the people of Horwich would be poorer for it.

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