Carrickfergus football team, Barn United Youth FC, have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, as they are one of seven teams invited to be part of the team parade during The FA Community Shield 2017 supported by McDonald’s, this Sunday, August 6.
At the hotly anticipated match, players from Barn United Youth FC will form a guard of honour around the Wembley turf as Emirates FA Cup Winners Arsenal prepare to take on Premier League champions Chelsea, in front of an anticipated 80,000 fans.
The Carrickfergus grassroots team were given the opportunity to feature in the parade by local McDonald’s franchisee Des Lamph, who is a close supporter of the club as part of the McDonald’s Club Twinning Programme.
The McDonald’s Club Twinning Programme began in 2008 and has already seen over 1,000 grassroots clubs across the country twinned with McDonald’s restaurants.
Grassroots clubs across the country who are twinned with their local McDonald’s restaurants receive support through the provision of kit and equipment, business advice and assistance with hosting community football events.
Paul McCully, Coach at Barn United Youth FC, said: “The players and club are thrilled to have the chance to walk out onto the pitch at Wembley. Everyone is incredibly excited and can’t wait to see their heroes up close on the day. We are really grateful to McDonald’s and Des Lamph for providing us with this fantastic opportunity and for his ongoing support and dedication to the club.”
Des Lamph, who is a loyal supporter of grassroots football in the local area, said: “I’m delighted that Barn United Youth FC have the opportunity to take part in the team parade. I can’t wait to see them lined up proudly on the Wembley turf and I hope they all enjoy the day. They are a real community club and deserve this brilliant opportunity, as it’s a fantastic reward for all the hard work they put into grassroots football.”
This year marks the 15th anniversary of McDonald’s UK Community Football programme, which has consistently promoted a ‘football for all’ approach to community football. Together McDonald’s and The FA are helping accredited clubs raise the standards at grassroots level by rewarding thousands of hard-working football volunteers, helping clubs to grow by hosting Community Football Days and providing thousands of kits to accredited clubs.