Southend United’s Sam Barratt paid a special visit to Southend United Community & Educational Trust’s Premier League Kicks (PL Kicks) session at PlayFootball Southend.
PL Kicks is a national project which uses the hook of Southend United Football Club and the power of sport to engage with young boys and girls aged 12-19 in deprived areas across Southend.
Barratt offered words of encouragement and advice to the excited young players and cheered them on as they played against each other on the PlayFootball Astroturf.
A mini round-robin tournament took place at the beginning of the session before the young players split off and played longer games, with plenty of goals scored, skills on show and smiles on faces.
“Programmes such as PL Kicks are massive for the local community and mean a lot to the young people who attend them.
“It’s great that 12-19 year-olds in Southend get to come down to their local facility, make new friends and enjoy themselves.
“I took part in community activities and grassroots football myself growing up, so I know it means a lot.
“My advice to these young boys and girls would be to work hard in school and keep playing football – which can be a great release for when things might get frustrating.”