Bolton Wanderers stars Alex Baptiste and Liam Feeney coach kids at The Gates in Westhoughton
FOOTY mad pupils showed off their skills to the professionals when they dropped by to take part in a surprise coaching session.
Weekly football sessions are put on in the gym by the Bolton Wanderers Community Trust and financed by government funding introduced in the summer to improve the standard of physical education provision.
Baptiste and Feeney had just finished training at Wanderers’ Euxton base with Dougie Freedman’s squad but were plunged straight into the action by BWCT coach Ryan Hardwidge, going through several dribbling and control drills with the youngsters before signing autographs and posing for pictures.
“I thought it was brilliant — some of those players were better than me,” joked Baptiste. “It is nice to go into schools and watch how they are learning the game. It isn’t something I really had when I was younger.
“As soon as I was able to walk I was kicking a ball around but you didn’t have anything as good as this at my primary school.
“You had the school team and a bit of training on a muddy pitch. But to play and practice your skills like that can only really help us out in future generations.”
Feeney, who has enjoyed an excellent start to his Bolton career after arriving at the club on loan from Millwall, was impressed with his first community visit in Wanderers colours.
“I was worrying for my ankles a little bit but the kids were really enthusiastic,” he said. “I was impressed with how many Bolton fans there were. I come from Millwall, a really, really tight-knit club, and they do a lot of work out there in South London and there are always loads of kids at the games.
“It is something I’m used to but it’s great to come up here and see that Bolton are doing that kind of thing too. The kids really seem to enjoy it.”
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