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Unstoppable Kent footballers get a leg up to the big league

An all-conquering football team have been given a welcome cash boost to help with their move up to the big league.

From Press releases - 27 August 2014 12:00 AM

An all-conquering football team have been given a welcome cash boost to help with their move up to the big league.

Aylesford Under-13s were invited to join the Kent Youth League this season after they won all their league matches last season. The money from UK Power Networks, the company which owns, manages and maintains the electricity distribution network in the South-East, will help fund new kit and footballs.

The grant comes from the company’s Team Sports Awards programme which donates money to local sports and community groups nominated by their employees.

Aylesford FC was nominated by Brent Roberts, a member of the fault repair team, who works for UK Power Networks in south London. His son Charlie is a midfielder with the under-13s and Brent has been helping out the team since Charlie first started playing for the under-7s.

“This money is brilliant news for the team. They’re stepping up to the county league this season and that means they have to have home and away kits. They also need some new footballs,” said Brent.

“I’ve been helping out with Charlie’s teams for the last few years and extra funding like this is always welcome. When I gave up playing football is was a great way to stay involved.”

The club, which runs 17 teams, including several girls’ teams, was founded in 1970. The club’s patron is Chelsea legend Ron “Chopper” Harris, who made almost 800 appearances for the top-flight club in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ray Buckingham, the Aylesford Under-13s manager, said: “We are delighted to receive this award as we are a local village team who have worked extremely hard to achieve Kent Youth League status where we will play against Kent’s top semi-professional youth academy teams.

“We were only invited because we won our very competitive Maidstone League by winning every match we played.

“We do not have the resources of these other teams so your very kind donation will go some way in ensuring that the team is fully equipped for the exciting challenge ahead.”

The Team Sport Award scheme is designed to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and is aimed at promoting healthy living, teamwork and development of sporting opportunities.

Hundreds of community and sports groups have benefited from grants since the scheme was set up. Last year nearly £13,000 was donated to sporting groups connected to UK Power Networks staff.