AFC DARWEN club officials believe the cash windfall earned from winning £25,000 in the first round of the Buildbase £100k Transfer Deal 2019 will help take the club to the next level.

The Salmoners travelled to Wembley earlier this month as one of six finalists in the competition and successfully pitched the project.

The judging panel from Buildbase and the FA selected Darwen because the bursary will enable the club to upgrade and improve its changing rooms to create new opportunities in the community such as developing women’s football and local BTEC Sport Programmes.

And Darwen's Commercial Manager said: “This means everything to us. We are now able to take the club to the next level to enhance the opportunities for the people of Darwen.

"We have already started to talk to Buildbase in Preston about the materials we need and are confident that their knowledge can guide us.”

The competition was open to clubs competing in this season's FA Vase and FA Trophy with Tadcaster Albion also claiming a £25,000 prize.

Ian McConville, Procurement Director at Buildbase said: “AFC Darwen is steeped in heritage. They told us stories of when they were at the top of their game dating right back to the 1870s, but right now they are in need of some pressing changes to their facilities which are limiting their potential.

“Our £100k Transfer Deal is brilliant for grassroots football, the clubs, volunteers, players and fans. When you see the extent of time and commitment volunteers give up, we’re very proud to do as much as we can to help these clubs locally.”

Darwen are not in action again in the Hallmark Security League First Division North until a week on Saturday when they visit Holker Old Boys.

Tonight, in the Premier Division, Barnoldswick Town entertain Northwich Victoria looking to turn around a slump in form following five straight defeats.