ENGLAND international Jack Butland made his first Stoke City appearance on Monday evening . . . when he played a starring role at the latest City 7s evening at the Britannia Stadium.
The highly-rated goalkeeper, who joined the Club from Birmingham City during the January transfer window, answered questions, posed for photographs and signed autographs for a large number of seven-year old supporters, who are signed up to the hugely-popular City 7s scheme.
Speaking during the event inside the Tony Waddington Suite, the 20-year-old said that he considered it an honour to be mixing with the future generation of Stoke City supporters and lavished praise upon the Club for developing what he describes as 'a great scheme'.
"It's fantastic to be here, an honour in fact," he said. "Obviously, coming out, spending time and mixing with the kids is fantastic, and they all seemed to have enjoyed themselves.
"It's vital for any Club to attract a good base of young supporters, and I think this scheme for seven- year-olds is absolutely brilliant. I've had a great time."
The Bristol-born star, who celebrated his 20th birthday at the weekend, undertook his latest training session at Clayton Wood on Monday morning, and he admitted to feeling more comfortable within his new surroundings.
"I'm spending a day or two here each week now, which is part of the agreement with Birmingham, and I am starting to feel a part of things with the Club which is fantastic," he added.
"Obviously, it's important to mix with the lads here and get to see how things operate at the Club, because this is where my future lies.
"At the same time, it's good to be getting games at Birmingham, a Club which has been great for me, where I am continuing to learn and develop as a footballer."
*For more information about the 'City 7s' scheme, please give the Club's Community Trust a call on (01782)592252 or email them on [email protected].
The scheme is only open to children who celebrate their seventh birthday between September 1st 2012 and August 31st 2013.
For just £10.00, the young supporter will receive the following present:
- A Stoke City home shirt for the 2012-13 season
- Two free tickets to see the Potters at the Britannia Stadium
- A £5.00 voucher to open or add to your Stoke City Save and Support account