FOOTBALL: Grays Athletic Youth have been praised by England football manager Gareth Southgate for their work in grassroots football.

The club has been awarded a £3,000 Grow the Game grant, which will provide a boost to grassroots football in Grays.

Grays Athletic Youth has set up two new boys’ teams and allowed them to provide excellent facilities, equipment and coaching for the players and managers involved.

“I am so pleased that Grays Athletic has secured this Grow the Game grant,” said Southgate, who is also a Football Foundation Ambassador.

“The club has worked very hard with Essex County FA and the Football Foundation to get more local people playing football so that they can enjoy the many physical and mental benefits that come with playing regular sport.”

Steve Skinner, the Grays chairman, said: “Since the club became supporter owned, we have made it one of our key objectives to re-engage with the community by providing the opportunity for local children to have access to football at their local club.

“This money will give us the ability to expand this offering.”