It was a successful opening night for Jason Walker’s new football academy which saw children flood the field at Parkside GGI Academy on Monday.

Walker has teamed up with Craig Rutherford, who is the head of community for Barrow AFC, to help progress young people who are interested in football through this program and get them enjoying the sport.

The open evening had a brilliant turnout with over 100 people attending, with Walker saying: “I wasn’t actually expecting this many, to be honest, but it’s taken a lot of hard work and this is the reward for it.”

The former Barrow striker, who has signed on with Lancaster City for the upcoming season, spoke about where he sees the academy going in the near future.

“This is just something where I can give back to the community and I am just passing on my knowledge from my 18 years of football,” he said.

“It’s about giving them this opportunity to play at all levels, and hopefully Craig can help me with players and I can help him as well.

“But it’s all about the kids really and helping them progress. The idea is we will run a summer camp, where we have 40 kids already signed up and then we will go on and run the sessions on a Monday night, which start in September.”

Walker agreed with Rutherford that ‘it is better to work with each other rather than against’ and Rutherford himself is excited about the new partnership.

“I think it is fantastic for Jason, especially with what he achieved with his time at Barrow, and we have just come to support him, really,” Rutherford said.

“Jason’s going to come and work with our teams and give advice on what it takes to play at the highest level, and in return we will support him with things like this.”

The JW9 Football Academy has weekly sessions planned at Parkside School, starting on Monday, September 9 for ages 3-11 where Walker, who works at Parkside, will run a six-week course at only £24 for all sessions.

The training has four different time slots for different age groups with the under-5s being from 4:30pm-5:15pm and under-7s, under-9s and under-11s all following with one-hour sessions.