"This programme is on another level"

APNA Albion invited local Punjabi grassroots football clubs to Smethwick’s Guru Nanak Gurdwara for a coaching masterclass delivered by The Albion Foundation.

Albion's official Punjabi Supporters' Club has launched 'Apna Albion Grassroots Development Programme', with the aim of complementing current coaching taking place in the area with support from the Foundation.

Dave Lawrence, Head of Sport at the charity, sees a bright future in working closely with the amateur teams.

"We're really excited to be welcoming in some of the grassroots coaches from clubs that are connected to Apna Albion," said Dave.

"We've got a responsibility to support grassroots coaches in the area.

"We've got 33 coaches that are working in the Sport department of the Foundation and it would be selfish to keep our knowledge to ourselves.

"We want to share it, we want to open our doors, just like the Gurdwara has opened its doors to us today, and showcase that it's a partnership and hopefully one that will be long-term and successful."

The Foundation plans to work closely with the clubs, providing more tips and pointers to the coaches.

"Today's just the start. We hope to go out to the clubs, not to change their way of coaching or develop their players but to add value to what they're currently delivering.

"We want to provide opportunities to signpost some of their young players to some of our other opportunities within The Albion Foundation, likewise with coaches.

"What they are currently delivering I am sure is top-notch, we're very aware that a lot going on already is great.

"We're not looking to revolutionise their approach, we're here to support them."

Pritam Singh Mander, Smethwick Raiders Club Treausrer, is pleased to see the Club reaching out to its community.

"It's fantastic, it's a way of linking all of the other clubs in this community with a professional club.

"What we want is a continued and sustainable link.

"We're not looking for funding or free tickets, we are looking for the Albion to tell us about how we can coach better and how we can link up with the Club better."

The link between Apna Albion, the Foundation and the grassroots football clubs is another indicator of the Club reaching out to its community.

"The number of programmes we are currently offering into the community is really pleasing.

"I think the Apna Albion programme is on another level compared to what other clubs are able to deliver from a community cohesion perspective and we are really looking to capitalise on that with this programme."

For more information regarding Apna Albion and its projects, please email