Giant-killers Marine have been buoyed by a vital cash injection that will allow them to develop and grow their female football section.

The Trident Community Foundation, established by grassroots sporting investment programme Pitching In, provides grants to clubs that allow them to shape and develop their own future.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Marine – who memorably reached the third round of the FA Cup last season – had already started work upon building up their girl’s football section.

And now with the help of the TCF grant, the club is moving full steam ahead with the plans.

Graeme Gardiner, community director at the club, said: “One of the areas we wanted to develop was girl’s football and we’d started to doing some work prior to the pandemic.
“We’d run some girls festivals, and we’d pushed and got a women’s football team at Marine.

“The pandemic then came along, stopped everything, wiped everything out and we’d had to pick up the pieces again.

“So my hope, come September, is we’re going to be able to continue delivering some of the coaching for girls that we were in school prior to the pandemic.

“We want to give girls free extracurricular coaching and from that we’ll link that into festivals and competitions with local schools

“And then on top of that, we hope to be able to start another women’s team around Under-18 level.”
Pitching In is a multi-million-pound grassroots sport investment programme set up by Ladbrokes with the support of its owner Entain.

With major Marine progress getting wiped out as a result of the pandemic, the crucial TCF grant came at the perfect for Neil Young’s side, helping them re-affirm their commitment to the women’s game.

And Gardiner stressed just how important the funding had been.

“The grants been huge because you know we are a small club,” added Gardiner, whose Mariners are one of over 30 clubs across the Pitching In Southern, Isthmian and Northern Premier Leagues to have so far benefited from the TCF grants.

“That will allow us to invest in some coaches to give consistency to that and run the festivals, hire the ground, get the medals and the trophies.

"Basically, they’ve set it up and we can run with it because money is scarce.”

Building and maintaining a sense of community has always been an integral part of Marine as a club.

And in the wake of the pandemic, both Gardiner and the club are excited to continue their stellar work in the community – both now and in the future.

“We’ve delivered a number of programmes,” he added.

“One of the programmes we delivered was with the VRP - the Violence Reduction Partnership - with boys to try and get them off the road of knife crime, doing festivals and then having talks afterwards.

“But everything stopped, money stopped and we stopped being able to do coaching in schools and it was a case of what can we do to get through the pandemic.

“The money from the TCF allows us to kickstart ourselves again.”

Ladbrokes, with the support of its owner Entain, has launched a multi-million pound investment programme, Pitching In, designed to support and promote grassroots sports. For more details see: