"Football Needs You" says English FA

FA logoThe English Football Association today challenged the nation's workforce to get into the beautiful game by telling them "Football Needs You".

The message came as the English game's governing body launched an ambitious campaign to encourage 50,000 new Level 1 coaches by 2011 and 8,000 new referees by 2012.

The FA hope to use the campaign to inspire mechanics, teachers, accountants, DJs and everyone who loves football to take their first steps to becoming a grassroots coach or referee.

Five 'real life' stars of the campaign were at the launch in London today, including prison officer Tracy Burnett and naval officer David McNamara.

They joined Chelsea and England star Graeme Le Saux, Sky Sports' new frontman Ben Shephard and members of the media for a coaching session led by the FA's Head of Grassroots Coaching Les Howie before getting the chance to take a training session themselves.

Howie told Club Website: "The campaign today is about trying to encourage anyone out there, no matter what your real job is, to give up some time and be a football coach, a football referee or a football volunteer.

"It's a fantastic way to put something back into our national sport and will help us encourage the next generation of coaches, referees and players on how they can develop in the future."

Club Website's Dan Pope was among those being put through his paces at the event and speaking to those involved, so watch this space for more reaction from the event.

To find out more about getting involved as a grassroots coach or referee visit TheFa.com/FootballNeedsMe.

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