The Daggers’ encounter with Pompey in the Sky Bet Football League Two - a 3:00pm kick-off at the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Stadium - is the figurehead for ‘Respect Week’ activities involving grassroots matches from Saturday 5th to Saturday 12th April inclusive. Clubs and leagues will be supporting the week with their own Respect fixtures.
‘Respect’ is the collective responsibility of everyone involved in football to create a fair, safe and enjoyable environment in which the game can take place. The programme was launched by The FA prior to the start of the 2010/11 season, and successful outcomes have been measured ever since. To heighten the merits of the programme, the Essex County FA have joined forces with Dagenham & Redbridge to raise further local awareness.
The Daggers have played a major part in planning Respect Week. On the day, they’ll be welcoming a youth team from local FA Charter Standard Community Club, Dagenham United FC, who will form a ‘guard of honour’ as the professional players enter the pitch.
Steve Thompson MBE, Dagenham & Redbridge FC’s Managing Director, commented: “We are very pleased to be working with the Essex County FA on this important campaign. The Respect agenda is something we fully support, with our Community Trust delivering Respect lessons to over 1,200 school children each year.”
Essex County FA representatives will be observing the proceedings from the stand, which will include a special guest appearance from football freestyler Colin Nell, who will keep the spectators entertained with his ball-juggling skills. A feature will appear in the official match day programme and there will be a physical Respect presence around the ground.
Elsewhere during Respect Week, the County FA will be supplying two youth leagues - the Echo and the Blackwater - with banners and other promotional items including flags, balloons, T-Shirts and marshal jackets to be displayed at their cup finals. Partner clubs will also be receiving packs of T-Shirts, flags, balloons and special branded anti-bullying wristbands featuring the Twitter hashtag #BullyFreeEssex.