Juniors to paint the town blue in new away strips

Jeff Hope, who manages the AkzoNobel site in Ashington, with AE Phoenix Yellows U9s. Picture by Simon Williams/Crest Photography.
Jeff Hope, who manages the AkzoNobel site in Ashington, with AE Phoenix Yellows U9s. Picture by Simon Williams/Crest Photography.
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Ashington-based AE Phoenix Yellows Under 9s are celebrating after landing a new sponsorship deal.

The team, which plays at Darnley Road, has received new away strips and training jackets thanks to paint manufacturer AkzoNobel who are based 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 strong links with the team, as joint managers, Ross Phillips and Andy Darling both work at the firm.

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.

“I also know that AkzoNobel is guided by the principle of working with the community to create strong partnerships that have the potential to inspire and develop people to achieve great things.

“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 health and wellbeing for all AkzoNobel employees.

Dionne Clark, learning and community development manager at AkzoNobel, said: “It’s been a great way to get colleagues involved with activities and to 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.”