Paint firm donates new kit to young footballers

A young football team in the county has been given a new away strip and training jackets.

The AE Phoenix Yellows U9s team, which plays its home games at Darnley Road in Ashington, was gifted the kits by AkzoNobel, which has built one of the world’s most advanced paint manufacturing plants in the town.

The team is competing in only its second season in the Pin Point Recruitment Junior Football League U9s and is stepping out onto the pitch with pride in their official away blue colour kits, which were presented by AkzoNobel at a special handover event.

The company has links with the team, as joint managers, Ross Phillips and Andy Darling both work at the firm. The two, who stepped into the role half way through last season, also have a son each in the team – Ethan and Callum.

Ross, who is continuous improvement manager, said: “I played junior football throughout my entire school life so I know how fun it can be for the kids.

“I knew from Ethan how proud they would be to walk out onto a pitch with brand new strips just for them. Andy and I were delighted that with the support of AkzoNobel we could make this happen.

“We have no doubt that the new kit, which looks fantastic, will help make the players proud of themselves and the community they represent and that they will go from strength to strength on the football pitch.

“The kids were buzzing when they were given their new kits and training jackets and as long as they have fun, that’s all that really matters.”

AkzoNobel’s support for grassroots soccer has also recently extended to sponsorship of the ladies’ team, Ashington Woodhorn Lane and, more closely to home, the company is encouraging its own staff to take part in the company-wide Thrive Initiative, which supports the wellbeing of employees.

Dionne Clark, learning and community development manager at AkzoNobel, said: “It’s been a great way to get colleagues involved with activities and generally be healthier through things like regular staff football matches.”

We even played on the pitch at St. James’ Park recently and it’s brilliant to see staff getting involved in health and fitness both within our company and within our community.”