A HOMELESS junior football club with hundreds of players is close to getting a permanent base after ten years of fundraising.

Guiseley Juniors is planning a final push this summer to reach the £1million needed for a clubhouse and pitches.

More than 200 boys and girls, aged between six and 15, and around 40 adults will take part in the Total Warrior event at Bramham Park in June.The adults will tackle the 10km course whilst the youngsters will run the 2km Junior Warrior route.

Officials at the club, which has more than 500 players, are hoping the event will take it to the £1million target and trigger the start of construction work to create a permanent base.

Guiseley Juniors is one of the UK’s largest junior football clubs but has no home. Instead, its young members play up to 30 games a week at 15 venues.

This week they started training to tackle the marathon obstacle course which, they

hope, will raise the final funds they need.

Andrew Driver of the club’s management committee said: "We’ve been fundraising for ten years to get to this point. It’s been a huge sustained effort by an awful lot of people but we’re approaching the finish line and we hope this latest event will get us to

where we want to be."

The club currently has ten players at the Leeds United, Bradford City, Blackburn, Burnley and Chesterfield academies.

At the moment young players have use of two seven-a-side pitches and a nine-a-side pitch at the site of the former High Royds Sports and Social Club in Guiseley. The plan is for these pitches to be upgraded, for a clubhouse to be built and for this site to become the club’s permanent home.

"At present, our games are mainly played on school, council or paid 3G pitches which costs us a lot of money," Mr Driver said. "When we get our new home up and running, it will make a huge difference to us.

"The state of facilities for grass roots football clubs is an issue we feel very strongly about. We’re doing our bit to improve things but, nationwide, we think much more needs to be done," he added.

Charlie Tatman, the national event director for Total Warrior said: "There’ll be upwards of 10,000 people tackling our Total Warrior course in June. We think it will be the largest mass participation event in the county that day and we’re delighted that Guiseley Juniors will be taking part. We know they’ll have fun doing it and we hope they raise lots of funds for their clubhouse project."