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County honours for football stars

Teenager Jack Gray (left) receives his award from Barry Bright. Picture: BARRY CRAYFORD
Teenager Jack Gray (left) receives his award from Barry Bright. Picture: BARRY CRAYFORD

VOLUNTEERS in grassroots football across the county have been recognised by the Kent County Football Association in their annual awards night at Rochester.

Teenager Jack Gray and secretary Beverley Ferrell of Faversham Town Juniors, Sophie Wellings who plays for Herne Bay Harriers, and Faversham Strike Force manager Gary Axford, all received their awards from chairman Barry Bright at the ceremony at Roffen Social Club.

Jack, 15, manages and assists with coaching the Town’s Under-Nines and plans to take his level 1 certificate soon. He was named Club Manager of the Year last season.

Beverley has earned a reputation for being the first to arrive and the last to leave the club every week.

Apart from her usual duties, she also looks after reception, is the club’s fixtures secretary, car park attendant, cleans the toilets, mans the tea bar, orders equipment and looks after the storeroom.

Sophie is a very committed member of the Harriers team, and also helps out coaching, plays for Whitstable Ladies and trains with Charlton. Despite a busy life, juggling football, with schoolwork and other sporting commitments she has never missed a training session.

Gary formed Faversham Strike Force in 1999, and has since then dedicated his time to football development in the town, so youngsters can play in a safe and enjoyable environment.

Through his leadership, the club have attained FA Charter Standard status, and they are in the process of applying to for Charter Development.

As manager he has built the club into one of the most successful youth teams in East Kent, providing opportunities for boys and girls. He has also extended his interest by forging links with local schools with regular visits, and also coaches at the Gillingham Academy.

Gary has a strong management committee supporting the club, looking after finances and general management, and this led to the club backing a local charity and providing funding for a new mini bus.

He has already passed level one and two coaching certificates, and is also a fully qualified first aider.

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