BEMBRIDGE Youth Football Club has been awarded England Accredited Club status — a prestigious milestone which confirms the Isle of Wight club is an "accessible, safe and sustainable grassroots club dedicated to quality standards of youth football development".

The club, run entirely by volunteers and who play their home games at Steyne Park, says it has been "working tirelessly over the past 12 months to be recognised as a stand-out England accredited club."

Hampshire FA rubber-stamped the application last week, which is "a fantastic achievement for the club and the village as a whole," said James Hendy, chairman of Bembridge Youth FC.

"It has been a journey to get to this point, but everyone at the club is really proud to become an England accredited club.

"Beyond evidencing our commitment to providing a quality, safe and inclusive environment for young people to learn and love the game, we expect this milestone to help us continue to attract community support and investment, to develop the club further, including much-needed sports facilities.

"Massive credit goes to all our amazing volunteers at the club, who have invested their time, blood, sweat and tears to make this happen — and who continue to do so every weekend and behind the scenes."