FORMER England international footballer Martin Keown visited future stars from Rotherfield United on Saturday to celebrate the club’s success.
The club won the FA Charter Standard Development Club award in last year’s FA Community Awards and Keown talked to players and coaches about the set up at Bishopswood Recreation Ground.
He also watched training sessions across the various age groups, took part in a question and answer session about his own grassroots career and also gave a pre-match team talk to the club’s senior reserve team before its match against Eldon Celtic.
Keown, who won 43 caps for his country, told the Standard he was impressed with the volunteers who have helped the club thrive.
He said: “It’s not an easy task, I can tell you, having to manage with the numbers and the weather conditions but they’ve all done really well.
“They’re doing this every Saturday and it’s a fantastic effort to get all these youngsters right from the age of five all the way to the men’s team.
“Fortunately here they own this site so they can play whenever they want to. They love their football and there was also some girls here. To see their faces was a pleasure for me.”
The FA Community Awards were sponsored by McDonalds.
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