THE COUNTY representative at the FA has warned that more volunteers need to come forward to secure the future of the adult game at a local level.

Paul Tompkins, has been a Herefordshire FA director for 20 years and represents the county to the Football Association since 2015.

As part of his role Tomkins sits on the FA council which discusses the national game and ways to increase participation.

He says that on a local and national level people need to realise that there is more to the sport than that shown at the top level.

"A lot of people know about football but they don't know about local football or the detail. The sport to most people is what they see on the television and that everything is rosey when it's not.

"If people want to exercise now they go to the gym and they don't let anybody down if they don't go and get instant fulfilment.

"People don't want to get involved to turn up and mark pitches or take responsibility for getting a team out. People that do are heroes but these people are becoming fewer and fewer.

"A lot of teams are run by one or two people and if they have enough, give up or move away then quite a lot of those teams don't have somebody to step in.

"If there are people who want to come forward and want assistance then the Herefordshire FA can provide that.

"But we have got to have the people who want to do it. If somebody rang the Herefordshire FA and said they had to give up their club then there is nothing we could do about it as we don't have the people to replace them.

"They are the life and blood of the game and this is a national problem. The county's top teams have a lot of people there but if you go down one or two divisions in the county league there is probably one king pin and the team is gone if he or she is not there."

Tompkins is also on three committees at the FA including the judicial panel which works all around the country considering appeals from the National League downwards.

He is also on the FA Vase committee for non league step five below which organises the tournament and represent the FA at matches.

Tompkins on the representative matches committee which organises the National C team for players at National League level and helps organise celebratory matches and functions.

"The 11 versus 11 game is our biggest concern but our county league has made a good start with an increase in teams and is well organised," he added.

"The sparsity of our population is the biggest problem as it is one of the least dense in the country. All counties are treated by the FA with the same yard-stick so areas like Birmingham will get more money as it can direct its funding into high density population areas.

"That can fund a 3G pitch hub for recreational football. At present there is such a high demand the FA won't fund these pitches for counties of less than 200,000 people so it is not going to happen.

"It would be a godsend and primarily help football in Herefordshire as it would be an all weather facility that teams could train on.

"It would also help Sunday football greatly as we could stagger timings."

Tompkins said that another problem for the sport in Herefordshire and nationally is keeping teenagers in the sport once they reach 16 to 18 years old.