Ashington Cougars Football Club was named the Sussex FA’s Charter Development club of the year in the FA Community Awards.
The award was presented by FA national game manager Kelly Simmons, MBE, to Cougars’ secretary Daniel Fuller-Smith and three of the club’s young referees and junior football leaders Joe Brooker, Adam Lamport and Timmy Moore.
Ashington are one of only 14 junior football clubs in Sussex that has achieved the Charter Standard Development status.
Links have been forged with Chelsea, who have attended match days and put together a team by team development plan and run a series of soccer schools that are open to the community.
The club is also developing its players for the future with four players having qualified as referees and 13 players attending the FA’s Junior Football Leaders course.
In addition, Cougars are one of the first clubs in Sussex to sign up for the Football Futures programme. They have 12 players who are volunteering their time to grassroots football, as well as playing for the club.
And fair play and sportsmanship is also something the club thinks is key in the development of players.