SHOLING boss Dave Diaper reckons the club’s commitment to youth was key to landing the jackpot of a £100,000 super grant from FA sponsors Budweiser.

The cash windfall from the Budweiser Club Futures grant scheme will towards go improvements to the clubhouse and changing facilities at the Boatmen’s run-down Universal Stadium home in Portsmouth Road and hopefully pave the way for a return to Southern League football.

Diaper – who has managed the Sydenhams Premier club for 18 years - described the news as “beyond our wildest dreams.”

And he was quick to salute the efforts of the Boatmen’s youth chairperson Carly Kinsey for helping establish Sholing as a proud Charter Standard Community club.

He said: “No disrespect to the Sydenhams Wessex League but, for a club of this size, we should be playing higher.

“We’ve got 20 youth teams, with development from under-7s all the way through to under-18s, and I think that made us particularly attractive for Budweiser to pursue – I’m just glad they did!

“The strength of this club is its structure and that’s not just happened by chance. It’s been planned and other clubs have used us as a model.

“Thanks go to Carly Kinsey for everything she did in making sure we met the grassroots football requirements to be a Charter Standard club.”

Sholing – Wessex League/FA Vase double winners of 2013/14 - have twice had spells in the Southern League but have constantly been held back by poor facilities.

They already have planning permission for a new changing facility/clubhouse room and the Budweiser grant will help stir those plans into action.

“We still have a few hurdles to get over to get what we want, but at least we’re halfway down the track now,” said Diaper.

“I’ve always fought for club funding so the boys can get the promotion they deserve and not be held back by poor facilities. But it's not easy to generate funds these days. Businesses are not that keen to part with their money.

“We didn’t expect such a huge donation and will forever be grateful to Budweiser and the FA for helping make ours – and the community’s – footballing dreams come true.

"The main thing now is to try and capitalise on this publicity to attract some more investment. We're looking to appoint a commercial manager in the next couple of weeks to create a bit of income for the club.

"It's all about sustainability. It's no good yo-yo-ing up and down the leagues, you've got to be able to go up and sustain it. We want to move on and we want to put in for promotion. This grant gives us a window of opportunity to achieve that."

Rowan Chidgey, marketing manager of Budweiser UK, said: "Sholing FC's story is an incredible one. We hope that with the £100,000 we'll see them make promotion next year and realise their footballing ambitions."

The Budweiser grant caps another terrific season for Sholing who lifted the Sydenhams Wessex and Southampton Senior cups in quick succession.