ASMIR BEGOVIC believes that Stoke City's future is in safe hands as the Club's flagship supporter scheme aims to go from strength to strength.
The Bosnian international delighted pupils of the Park Hall Primary School in Weston Coyney when he paid them a visit to launch a new season of the City 7s which set new records in the 2011-12 campaign by signing up more than 1,000 members.
As City endeavour to at least match last season's numbers, Begovic emphasised the importance of getting more and more youngsters involved with their local team and believes it can benefit the Club and the city in the long-term future.
"It's key, and especially with us being one of the only clubs in the area it can be even better. The more kids you can keep wearing Stoke City shirts, the better really," said the 25-year-old.
"The next generation are coming through and it bodes well for the Club in the future."
City's 'keeper clearly enjoyed the occasion and stressed that the work the Club does across all aspects of the community helps to bring people together.
"It's important that we work in the community because there aren't many clubs in the area and you want to try and unite a lot of people," he commented.
"The Club do a great job with all the schemes they do involving youngsters and adults, as well in all the other different programmes - it's really nice for everyone involved."
For just £10.00, children in the Year Two age group receive a Stoke City home shirt, two free tickets to see the Potters at a selected home Barclays Premier League match and a £5.00 voucher to open or add to their Save and Support account.
The shirt is also handed over by a City player and the Club's mascot Pottermus at a presentation evening at the Britannia Stadium.
City's Head of Community Adrian Hurst: "City 7s is a major project that the Football Club is committed to.
"A number of years ago we were very keen to increase the number of young people who are attending the Britannia Stadium. It's been a catalyst in engaging young people throughout the county."
*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 7th birthday between September 1st 2012 and August 31st 2013.