Young Robins hit the standard

Joseph Bulmer

Bideford AFC Youth has good reason to celebrate after achieving the coveted FA Charter Standard Award in their first season. The FA gives this award in recognition of the support that clubs like Bideford AFC Youth offer to the community in promoting best football practice, both on and off the pitch.

The Charter Standard Scheme is the guide that sets recommended standards of coaching, administration and child protection for all clubs outside the Football League and Premier League.

The Bideford club currently accommodates 50 young players in three age groups, who play on Sundays in the Westcountry Cleaning North Devon Youth League and who train at Bideford College.

Gary Smith, youth development manager, said: “It’s such an exciting time to be involved in the club, with new teams planned, new coaches, Futsal, success on and off the pitch and achieving our FA Charter Standard award in a short space of time. We will not be resting on our laurels and will continue to develop both players and coaches to help provide a better playing experience.”

Bob Lovelace, youth chairman, added: “ The club prides itself on striving to do things the right way. The Charter Standard is recognition that we, as a club in our first season, are on track and have created a platform from which we can build and challenge ourselves to improve further. With the help of Torridge District Council, Bideford Town Council, Bideford AFC, Devon FA and all those associated with the club, we really are setting ourselves up well for the future.”