The captain of the ladies England football team opened a floodlit football pitch at Coloma Convent Girl’s school.

Faye White MBE, who also captains the Arsenal ladies team, also held a training session for 11 and 12 year olds and watched two teams play an exhibition match.

The new pitch was built with £228,399 grant from the Football Foundation.

The charity also gave the school a further £15,000 to support the football development and sports activity at the new site.

Miss White, said: “It’s fantastic to hear that such an amazing new facility will be the focal point for girls’ football at Coloma Convent Girls’ School and its surrounding community.

“Having accessible and welcoming facilities is an important factor in encouraging girls to take up any kind of sport and so I’m sure this will really help towards developing female participation further within the area all year round.”

Mrs Martin, Headteacher at Coloma, said: "Our vision is to provide quality, safe football opportunities for people of all ages.

"In particular, this facility will prove to be a centre of excellence for girls’ and womens’ football both within our school and the wider community.

"We will ensure that football at Coloma is inclusive and that all involved have the opportunity to develop personally and fulfill their goals and potential.

"We thank the Football Foundation and Croydon Council for their financial support.

"Without them, this project could not have gone ahead. I also thank Surrey FA for their unfailing support and advice during the long process of bidding for this money."