MYA’s £750,000 redeveloped playing fields will host The Premier League Kicks Cup next week, showcasing a wealth of footballing talent throughout the country as over 600 teenagers from 50 clubs compete for victory.
The pavilion at Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields, in Long Lane, Fazakerley, was destroyed in an arson attack in April 2012. Since then the 2,000 youngsters in the Walton and Kirkdale Junior Football League who play on the pitches had been getting changed in temporary toilets before games.
Thanks to a £649,430 grant from the Premier League & The FA Facilities Fund, which is delivered by the Football Foundation, and £100,000 matched funding; the pavilion has been rebuilt featuring changing rooms, storage for quick-team turnarounds, an officials’ rooms, catering facilities, public toilets, multi-purpose community hall, a car park and secure fencing.
Liam Corcoran, MYA Operations Manager, said: “These playing fields are at the heart of an incredibly strong grassroots football community. We were devastated when the attack happened but the team has worked incredibly hard over the last two years, and I don’t think there’s a more fitting event to mark the official opening of the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields.”
The Kicks programme began in 2006 as a pilot project in London between the Premier League and the Metropolitan Police with the aim of using football to bring communities together and engage with young people. Today 50 Premier League and Football League clubs – including Liverpool FC and Everton FC – run local community-based clubs engaging with 250 Merseyside children and young people throughout the year.
The tournament will take place on 28th May, with the official playing field opening ceremony at 3.30pm. Throughout the day there will be marquees, workshops and professional coaches on hand to offer support and advice to participants.
Premier League’s Community Development Executive, Nick Perchard said: “We are delighted to be holding this year’s competition at one of MYA’s playing fields. Premier League Kicks is about connecting with communities, which complements the work MYA’s sports initiatives deliver throughout the year.
“Over the last twelve months the 50 professional football clubs delivering the programme have engaged 42,000 young people, so to mark the opening of the Jeffrey Humble Playing Fields by seeing 600 of them competing for the cup is very exciting.”