MEN’s 11-a-side clubs in Gloucestershire and Bristol have an opportunity to receive a cash boost with a view to help keep them operating and flourishing – but time to apply is fast running out, writes Simon Parkinson.

Stay in the Game funding to the tune of a £750 grant is available from the Football Foundation to grassroots adult male set-ups striving to make ends meet in a challenging environment for so many.

The application window closes on Thursday, June 6 at 5pm and Gloucestershire FA senior development officer Scott Milne is urging club administrators in need of a financial leg-up to pitch in with their requests as quickly as possible.

He explained: “The Football Association has re-launched its adult male retention-focused funding scheme to support men’s 11-a-side community football teams in Gloucestershire and Bristol.

“The newly-titled Stay in the Game initiative offers existing clubs the opportunity to apply for grants of £750 to help cover the various associated costs of running a football team.

“Last year, under the name Retain the Game, the scheme helped to support the retention of 2,336 adult male teams across the country, supporting an estimated 55,000 community footballers.

“Clubs who benefitted from the grants last year were able to use the funding for matchday and training facility hire and first-aid training and new equipment, whilst also subsidising matchday fees for members of their respective squads.

“Supporting the retention of our existing adult male clubs is important and this financial support will be welcomed by many.”

Paul Simpson, England Under-20 head coach, said: “It’s no secret that we are seeing adult male players move from regular 11-a-side football into other more casual formats of the game.

“One of the main reasons is clubs lacking money for things like match fees, facilities hire and new kit and equipment, which can lead to their teams folding.

“Last year’s roll-out of the scheme saw some really positive strides and I hope we’ll see men’s 11-a-side teams across the country receiving a helping hand.”

Grants are available to adult male clubs operating with two or more teams in the under-18 to under-21 category, open-age adult sides and veterans teams. Clubs which received a Retain the Game grant in 2018 cannot apply.

Grassroots clubs holding an FA Charter Standard Award (Adult, Youth, Development or Community) will be eligible to apply, along with adult clubs committing to becoming FA Adult Charter Standard holders within season 2019-20 and clubs having the support of their County Football Association.

Clubs seeking more information on the programme, and clarification about who is eligible to apply for grants which will be paid over the next two seasons, should contact Scott Milne at Gloucestershire FA via or by visiting