Coventry Rugby Club
chairman Keith Fairbrother has said he is extremely confident" that the Coundon Road
club will secure a £100,000 grant next month.
Coventry have applied for a Sportsmatch grant, which provides funding of up to £50,000
to help clubs establish and improve youth development facilities.
First the clubs have to secure sponsorship of £50,000 which then allows them to
approach Sportsmatch to get that amount doubled.
Fairbrother believes it would be a huge boost for Coventry and is confident that
Sportsmatch will back the club.
"We already have £50,000 sponsorship in place from local businesses, which is
obviously subject to us getting it matched, but Rugby Lions received the grant last year
so I am confident.
"I think businesses have decided to back us because we are running a very tight
ship at the moment, and it appeals to people to see their money invested at grass roots
level and not just going straight into the players pockets."
This has been reinforced with the recent announcement that Coventry have turned losses
of £1 million into a profit this year, something which Fairbrother aims to continue.
"We want to put this club back into the position it was years ago and we are
starting to do that because we are getting things right off the field."
The grant money would see the club employ a youth development officer tasked with
finding potential talent and nurturing it up to first-team standard, a role Fairbrother
believes is vital.
"There are several talented Coventry kids that are playing all over the place
because they were allowed to slip through the net - that must stop.
"Players like Neil Back and Leon Lloyd are in the Leicester side and perhaps if
they had been signed by Coventry it would be us that were top of the league now.
"However, parents are seeing the effort that this club is making towards youth
development and more and more of the young stars in Coventry are opting to sign for their
home town club."
Coventry will be notified as to whether their Sportsmatch bid has been successful later