Local youngsters attending yesterday's Soccer Camp at Stevenage FC Academy received a treat in the afternoon when nine first team players came along to visit.
Chris Day, Ronnie Henry, Adam Marriott, Ben Kennedy, Ryan Johnson, Dale Gorman, Lee Cox, Dave McAllister and Jack Jebb, plus caretaker manager Darren Sarll, dropped into the Stevenage FC Academy after training to meet the youngsters and watch them play.
Split over five courts, the players each took control of a team during their visit and managed them during a mini tournament, with some particularly animated performances on the touchline from the likes of Ben, Ryan and Dale, all desperate for their teams to emerge victorious.
After the games the players all stayed to sign autographs and have photos, with each youngster getting a signed recent match day programme to take home as a souvenir.
Striker Adam Marriott, who managed his side to victory against teams managed by Kennedy, Jebb and Johnson, told us afterwards,"It’s always fun to come and see the little kids here at the Academy. When we get asked, we love doing it and it’s good fun. They sometimes come and watch us on a Saturday so it’s nice to come and see them and take part in the Soccer Camp."
Coaches from Stevenage FC Foundation run the Soccer Camps and its new Head, Joe Goude, said, "I'd like to thank Darren and the players for coming down yesterday afternoon. It's great for them to get involved and help inspire the youngsters and help them have a great time on the pitch. There was lots of smiles and laughter from everyone and they've all left with a signed programme as a special momento of the camp."
Soccer Camps at Stevenage FC Academy at Shephalbury continues to grow in popularity as the ideal solution to keep youngsters aged 5-12 of all abilities occupied in a fun environment, involving fun games, challenges, penalty shootouts and tournaments. Today is the final day of the February half-term camps and it runs from 10am-3pm. It costs £13.50 per youngster. To book please call the Stevenage FC Academy on 01438 368068 or book online at www.participant.co.uk/sfcf
Dale Gorman meets his team
Ben Kennedy and his squad
Ryan Johnson and his red team
The blue team goes close to a goal
Sarlly gets stuck in
Over 60 youngsters were on Thursday's camp
A free-kick gets lined up
Ronnie Henry signs a programme
The players stayed to sign autographs at the end