Community spirit for young footballers

MORE than 150 young footballers have taken part in their first league match as part of a community project set up by Ipswich Town.The mini league was set up by the club's community team to encourage youngsters to play the game in a safe and fun environment.

MORE than 150 young footballers have taken part in their first league match as part of a community project set up by Ipswich Town.

The mini league was set up by the club's community team to encourage youngsters to play the game in a safe and fun environment.

Youngsters can join one of two age groups, either under eight or under nines, and will play against each other in a series of league matches held throughout the county.

The first match was held at Suffolk police's headquarters in Martlesham at the weekend and included teams from Kesgrave, Claydon and Holbrook.

Steve Cooper, Ipswich Town football development co-ordinator, said: "It's been absolutely fantastic. They all look really smart in their new McDonalds sponsored kits.

"This gives the children an opportunity to play football in a safe and fun environment. A lot of the children playing these games are the sort of children who don't get the chance to play in a team at the weekends."

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The youngsters take part in a one-hour training session each week at Ipswich School's sports field in Henley Road, Ipswich.

Mr Cooper explained the sessions are run by parents who volunteer themselves for coaching courses.