BUDDING young footballers have been learning some tricks of the trade from the community team at Barrow AFC all week.

Children aged five to 11 have been down on the artificial pitch at Furness College every day during half term to hone their skills, whether it be adding to what they have already learned playing junior football or experiencing organised coaching sessions for the first time.

On arrival, the players were split into three age groups - reception group, the All Stars and Hot Shots - with some who show more ability having the chance of being pushed up a level to see how they get on.

And AFC community coach Brad Hubbold is keen to ensure there is something for everyone.

“Each day we have a different topic,” said Hubbold. “The main thing for me is ball mastery or ball manipulation, so they have as many touches as they can of the ball.

“A lot of the old ones will look at moves to beat players, taking players on and getting shots on goal at the end.

“The younger ones, who are brand-new to it all, they’re just taking their time, getting used to being comfortable with the ball and playing a lot of character games. Without realising it, they’re learning these dribbling skills.

“It was dribbling on the first day, turning, then passing and decision-making with the older groups. Then it’s on to shooting and a lot of fun games. We do a lot of possession games as well where they have to out-number a team and try to get in position to score.”

The week concludes with a tournament day tomorrow, where the teams will play each other and there will be skills challenges with the chance of winning prizes.

It is hoped the children will be able to utilise the skills they have learned during the week when it comes to those competitions, particularly those trying football for the first time.

“We always say to them we want them to be able to put the skills into practise by the end of it, but the main thing for me is the kids are always active and doing something,” said Hubbold.

“We’re not just working with the more skilled ones, I like to spot the ones who need a bit of pushing, get them involved, show them things they might be able to help themselves with and the idea is no kid will ever sit out.

“Especially the younger age groups, this is the first time a lot of them have got a football out and we’re teaching them brand-new things to learn.”