STOKE CITY defender Erik Pieters was out and about in the community in the build-up to Saturday's opening home game of the 2013/14 season, encouraging 60 local youngsters who were attending the Club's hugely popular Community Soccer School event.
The Holland international, who arrived at the Britannia Stadium from Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven earlier in the summer, spent almost two hours with the budding stars at Longton Rugby Club on Thursday afternoon.
He spent time working with each of the four groups as they undertook a series of drills that were put together by Stoke City Community Coaches, before taking part in a special question and answer session where the kids quizzed him about his career thus far and his hopes for the future.
Speaking to stokecityfc.com following the event, Pieters said that he thoroughly enjoyed his time with the youngsters and recognises the importance of getting out into the local community.
"It is really nice to be here today with all the kids, and having the chance to come and play football with them is really nice," the 25-year-old said.
"It takes me back to my childhood days when I used to play before school, after school and at school. I was obsessed with it, and still am.
"It is really important for the club to be active in the community and organising these kind of activities for the children - whether it be football or another sport - it is hugely important."
He added: "It is amazing to see the fantastic numbers here today, enjoying themselves and having fun - whilst also doing something active."