Young players at Ace Elite Football Club are celebrating an award for new training kit.

Craig Smith, manager of the Under-8s team, nominated the squad for his employer, UK Power Networks’ Team Sport Award scheme, to buy new balls, poles and other training kit.

Craig, an electricity substation fitter for the electricity company, gives his free time to manage the team. His son, Joshua, is their top goal scorer.

The Team Sport Award scheme aims to encourage staff to volunteer in the community and to promote healthy living, teamwork and developing sports opportunities.

So far this year, more than 70 local sports teams connected to UK Power Networks’ staff have benefitted.

Ace Elite Football Club normally train on Thursdays at Sutton Common Recreation Ground, Sutton Common Road, and usually play matches on Sunday mornings in a non-competitive league.

Speaking to Sutton Guardian, Craig Smith said: “This makes a massive difference.

"It gives us an opportunity to buy extra kit we can’t afford because we are a relatively new club and still have a lot of costs.

“The club has only been around for two seasons and we are still learning what kit we need to keep developing the players, so they enjoy themselves and continue learning.

“The players build bonds with the other kids and it’s good for their health and fitness to get them outdoors twice a week, running around, instead of being on the computer.

"My main objective is that they enjoy themselves and have fun while they are learning.”