YOUNGSTERS on a Stoke City Soccer School experienced football of a different kind last week as the Army Football Roadshow rolled into town.
The Army Football Association's nationwide programme visited Longton Rugby Club on Wednesday and spent the day putting 60 youngsters through their paces on a specially designed football assault course.
Aimed at improving a young person's speed, agility, control and striking ability, the Army FA's personnel, who are directly linked in with the game as players, coaches, referees, married up the beautiful game with a touch of military panache through a series of obstacle events.
The course included the trademark camouflaged netting, speed poles, traffic cones and hurdles as well as an inflatable shooting target to test the youngsters' stamina and composure.
Lance Corporal Pete Dobson of the Royal Signals spoke to stokecityfc.com during the event and said that it had been well received by all those involved.
"It's been a fantastic day at Stoke City, just as it has been at all of the roadshows which we have done so far," he said.
"We haven't found a child yet who has said they don't like what we have done and every one of them has gone away with little toys and hand clappers which they all love.
He added: "We've worked with the Stoke City Community Trust to take the kids through the activities which incorporate the military side of life with a bit of football.
"Some of the activities don't necessarily conform to football rules such as crawling with the ball, but it's about fitting in what we can do within the remits of the British Army and bridging the gap between youngsters and the regular army through a mutual interest."
The Community Trust's Core Services Support Officer, Steve Hunt, added it was great to link up with the Army FA for the day on one of the many soccer schools currently taking place during the summer holidays.
"To have the Army Football Roadshow come to one of our summer schools has been fantastic," he said.
"The children all seemed to enjoy the event and the feedback we have received from the Army FA and the kids is that it was an overwhelming success.
"We are always looking to mix up our soccer schools when we can with different sorts of events and this was yet another good example.
For further information regarding the Soccer Schools, please contact Claire Blundred by phone on (01782) 592252 or via email at [email protected]