SOUTHAMPTON lad Levi Colwill has joined Sholing FC as an associate director, providing funding for the club's community projects.

The Chelsea and England defender has a strong family connection with Sholing, despite forging his own career as a Premier League footballer.

Colwill's uncles, Barry and Byron Mason, won the 2014 FA Vase with Sholing - while Colwill was a mascot at Wembley Stadium.

Colwill has this week been down at Sholing to discuss projects at the club and joins Matt Le Tissier as a new associate director.

The 21 year old will provide funding for some community projects, while he is also expected to launch his own project or foundation.

Colwill aims to offer children the opportunities to play more football in the local area, providing free equipment and setting up soccer schools.

Colwill has made 40 Premier League appearances for Chelsea and Brighton playing at centre-back and left-back.

He was given his England debut by manager Gareth Southgate in October 2023, playing 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Australia.

His project is in its early stages but Colwill has given an interview to the club to outline his intentions.

He said: "Sholing has always been a big part of my life. I do not think I would be where I am without my family members and Sholing in general.

"So, the Project 5000 and also the Levi Colwill project will help the community come to watch games and also help kids come in and train.

"Under-19s coming for free is also great for the community. They can come and support my uncles and also Sholing.

"All the kids from anywhere in Southampton can come and we are going to be starting the raffles where we are going to be giving away boots, kits to help children and it will be free.

"So there's no need to worry about paying. Just to give back is a big thing for all of us."

He continued: "It is built into my personality from my family to give back. It is what I am built on.

"So you have just got to keep helping the children that are growing up in the area because we have all grown up from similar backgrounds and we all came from tough areas.

"So to give them the chance I once had means everything. So hopefully they can have the chance to be a footballer or make something of their life."