England goalkeeper Robert Green opens Agripower redevelopment

World Cup goalkeeper Robert Green did not fail to see the irony when he opened a new state of the art football facility promoting grass roots football on artificial pitches.

The World Cup star wooed the crowds at the £500,000 Norfolk based Football Development Centre, redeveloped by sportsground contractors Agripower on the day he was called up to Fabio Capello's squad.

Green said: "It's a tremendous thing for Norfolk FA to introduce into the community. If this can encourage kids to improve their football, I'm sure it will prosper in a footballing sense as well as in a community sense. It's ironic that I'm here to promote grass roots football when it's not grass out there."

The state-of-the-art facility boasts 10 new 5-a-side pitches using the new Lano Sports FIFA 1* MSXi60 mm 3G surface, a ‘Wembley' show arena, changing facilities, function room and bar.

The work, including additional drainage, landscaping, fencing, car park and storage works area, was delivered on time by Buckinghamshire based contractors Agripower.

The centre was once a commercially run Powerleague 5-a-side complex.

It was acquired last summer by the Norfolk FA, who, with help from Norwich City Council and Agripower, transformed it into the FDC.

The cost of the redevelopment has been met partly by grants from the Football Foundation and Norfolk Youth Fund which will see the centre being used by up to 3,500 players per week by this time next year.

Chief Executive of Norfolk County FA Shaun Turner said the FDC was for the whole community and added that the centre is a unique development for grass roots football and was overjoyed that City College Norwich had agreed to become their official partner.

The partnership gives the college access to much needed outdoor facilities with their sports course currently being over-subscribed.


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