Former Cherries boss Eddie Howe spoke of the huge value of community facilities when he officially opened the refurbished Wingfield sports pavilion in Highcliffe.
The pavilion - home to the Highcliffe Hawks club, has been given a £200,000 makeover funded by Highcliffe and Walkford Parish Council with help from the FA, Christchurch Charitable Trust and the Hawks themselves.
Mr Howe told the Echo: "This is a tremendous facility for the whole community and the future of football depends on grassroots investment like this.
"Local football teams are hugely important to youngsters everywhere and they play a huge part in community life."
He told the players, coaches and parents who broke off the morning training session at the playing fields in Smugglers Lane North for the opening: "The people here at the Hawks are brilliant and that's crucial too. The very best of luck for the season."
The Hawks currently have 15 teams with more than 200 boys and girls involved.
The pavilion is also be used by other sporting organisations playing at Wingfield.
Parish council chairman, Bob Hutchings said he was delighted to see the project come to fruition just over two years since the council was formed, when it took over responsibility for the dilapidated building.
He thanked the FA, the Christchurch Trust, the Hawks along with Greendale Construction who carried the refurbishment and Castlemore Surveyors of Christchurch.
Hawks committee member, James Talbott added: "This is a great asset for us and a wonderful investment in the whole sporting community and we are really grateful to the council for making this a priority.
"This has given us all something that will last many years and benefit many thousands of youngsters in particular."
He also paid tribute to past chairman Chris Morris and his wife Lynsey who had played a huge part in getting the Hawks to where they are now.