ASCOT United have been given the thumbs up by Greg Clarke, chairman of the Football Association, writes Dave Wright.

The Virginia Water resident made his first visit to the club last Saturday and saw them defeat Fairford Town 4-2 in an entertaining Hellenic League game.

“It is the first time I have been here even though I have lived in the area for quite a while,” he told the News.

“A lot of my friends have sons playing here. For years I have heard good stories about the club, so I thought I must get down to look for myself and I really enjoyed it.

“Ascot United is one of the biggest clubs in the area with loads of teams, loads of involvement with the community, great spirit and so I decided to see how it was all going.”

He revealed: “I watch a lot of non-league football, about 75 to 80 per cent of the games I go to are non-league.”

Ascot, who have one of the biggest youth sections in the south of England, are looking to install a 3G pitch at the Racecourse Ground.

“They have a bid in (for a grant) with the Football Foundation for a pitch,” said Clarke, the former Leicester City and Football League chairman.

“3G pitches are the future, as you can train and play in any weather. I am sure they (Ascot) will be successful, they certainly have the scale to justify one.”

Ascot chairman Mike Harrison confirmed on Saturday: “The 3G project is moving ahead and ground surveys have been completed. We have a target date of March 1, 2019 to start the construction stage, but there is a lot to get through before that.”