Shopping for soccer stars of the future
6:00am Wednesday 4th September 2013 in News
FOOTBALL stars of the future have been honing their skills . . . in a shopping centre.
About 100 football-mad youngsters flocked Crompton Place for a free day-long workshop run by top coaches from the Bolton-based Strikerz Academy.
The academy, set up in 2007 by Dave Flitcroft, the former Bury footballer and now manager of Barnsley, in memory of his late father John, a much-loved local businessman who had a passion for grassroots football.
The academy usually holds its development sessions in local schools and the day at Crompton Place was a real groundbreaker as this was its first visit to a shopping centre.
Four coaches from Strikerz gave expert advice to youngsters about the basics of the beautiful game together with tips on latest training and playing techniques.
Strikerz coach Conor Close, aged 19, said: “The day went really well and everyone who came along had a brilliant time.
“The youngest who turned up was aged only about two and the oldest were in their early teens.
“We had boys and girls there, and quite a few showed the kind of skills which could make them the stars of tomorrow.
“A couple of the girls were particularly impressive and showed some real talent.”
Lisa Keogh, manager of The Fragrance Shop which had a grandstand view, said: “We saw lots of kids enjoying themselves and quite a few must have heard about it beforehand because they came along wearing their football kit.
“It was something different and this sort of thing is always good for business.”
Malcolm Angus, Crompton Place manager, said: “We were honoured to be the first shopping centre to welcome Strikerz.
“It was a chance for children of all ages to come and talk to the experts about getting involved with football and their goals with the game.”
Strikerz will be running a second session at Crompton Place on Saturday, September 28, from 11am to 4pm.
Anyone interested in getting in playing football on a regular basis should get in touch with Strikerz by contacting Jonathan Walsh on 07837 972216. Development sessions run for children of all ages, starting as young as 18.
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