Who needs a Saudi prince? City kids celebrate footie cash boost

Old Catton Junior Football Club now has a dedicated Weetabix Wildcats girl's development team

Old Catton Junior Football Club now has a dedicated Weetabix Wildcats girl's development team - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club

A thriving youth football club is seeing an influx of players as it benefits from new facilities, a cash injection and its first dedicated girl's team. 

Old Catton Junior Club successfully applied to the Norfolk County Football Association for a Weetabix Wildcats centre in the summer.

The Weetabix Wildcats team at Old Catton Junior Football Club 

The Weetabix Wildcats team at Old Catton Junior Football Club - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club 

This has enabled girls from the ages of 6-12 to play non-competitive football for the very first time.

Having had only one or two girls in the existing boys teams before the Weetabix centre has now seen a surge of interest in young girls taking up the sport.

There has been a rise in girls playing football in Old Catton thanks to the Wildcats 

There has been a rise in girls playing football in Old Catton thanks to the Wildcats - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club

Mark Winhall, operations and sponsorship manager for the club, said the sessions have been attracting a full allocation of girls every week.


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There is a cap of 25 girls per session. 

Newly installed floodlights at Old Catton Junior Football Club thanks to the hard work of volunteers

Newly installed floodlights at Old Catton Junior Football Club thanks to the hard work of volunteers - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club

Mr Winhall said: "Looking at the Wildcats girls, we are hoping to create another three girls teams going forward then there is also scope to extend the under 16s.

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"After the lockdowns, grassroot football is very good in helping the mental state of youngsters when they have been cooped up for so long." 

The Lavare Park club is flourishing post-lockdown with 326 players currently registered across the club overall.

New floodlights have been installed at Lavare Park, home of Old Catton Junior Football Club 

New floodlights have been installed at Lavare Park, home of Old Catton Junior Football Club - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club 

New 600-watt LED floodlights have been installed around the perimeter of Austin Way after the club successfully applied to Broadland District Council for planning permission. 

In addition to the floodlights, new sprinklers are in place thanks to the hard work and fundraising efforts of volunteers.

And a further boost has come in the form of £1,000 sponsorship from Norfolk Wealth Management. 

Old Catton Junior Football Club has had a cash injection from sponsors Norfolk Wealth Management

Old Catton Junior Football Club has had a cash injection from sponsors Norfolk Wealth Management - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club

Mr Winhall, who used to be a coach at the football club, said: "Anything over £500 would be classed as big for a junior football club. At grassroots level, this is massive and three teams will benefit from it.

"I think it will give us scope for attracting new players. Bearing in mind the football club has been here for 50 years, it has progressed really well over the last 10 years." 

Old Catton Junior Football Club is now thriving for both boys and girls 

Old Catton Junior Football Club is now thriving for both boys and girls - Credit: Old Catton Junior Football Club

Norfolk Wealth Management is sponsoring kits for the under 11s and under 10s teams. 

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