While the UK national and local authorities are reducing and withdrawing funding for team sports, a small village population 3,700 not far from Albufeira has raised the funds necessary to build a new facility for use by the local football club and all its age groups. It only opened in January this year and it not yet complete. The changing rooms are temporary, but the pitch is there, the floodlights are up and it works.
It replaced a very old ground which had the dreaded ‘terra batida’ or gravel pitch which are now banned.
Meanwhile kids in the UK can no longer play for weeks, even months, at a time as the places they use become mudheaps at the first sign of rain and the local councils, Football Association and all the rest don’t do a thing about it. Small wonder that less than half the players in the English Premier League are English and that when clubs want a young player they go to France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium etc where this type of setup is normal and they can practice two nights a week almost regardless of the weather. For the cost of two weeks of Wayne Rooney’s new wage packet, this type of ground can be built. Bit of course in the UK the neighbours would complain about the noise, the floodlights, the traffic etc etc then withdraw satisfied behind their curtains but fearful to go out as the local youth has nothing to do but hang about the streets.