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Grass roots thriving

Results released for season two of the Football Association’s National Game Strategy confirm that grass roots football in England is thriving.

The FA has met the majority of targets set in 2008 and has accomplished its aim of halting the decline of men’s 11v11 football.

Over 30,701 teams are now registered with leagues across the country and the ambition for this season is to grow that number to 30,995.

The FA is now looking forward and making good progress towards its ultimate goal of having a qualifed match official for every game, 2,332 new referees have been recruited and trained in the past year alone and 40 per cent of the grassroots community having seen their football experience improve thanks to The FA’s Respect Programme.

Kelly Simmons, The FA’s Head of National Game, said: “We are delighted by the continued progress we are making.

"I am particularly pleased that we have managed to stop the decline in men’s 11-a-side - the game at the heart of grassroots football.

"There is still much to do over the next two seasons but we are making a genuine, positive and sustained difference to the game we all love.”

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