Worksop Town have revealed a host of new ‘Football in the Community’ initiatives to get local people involved in the sport.
First team boss Mark Shaw and captain Jake Scott are taking the lead on the schemes, as they aim to involve the district’s kids, schools, over 35s and the town’s international communities.
Shaw also hopes to forge links between Tigers and college students, to offer work experience placements in the club’s media and off-field departments.
The scheme was first conceived by Shaw in the summer, when Worksop’s financial backer Jason Clark stopped putting money in and the club began to had to start devising ways of securing a self-sustaining future.
Although some of the proposed ideas will come to fruition over the coming months, talks between the club and local schools are already taking place to set up after school coaching sessions.
Tigers are also offering dinner time clubs with 30 minute fun-based sessions, school lessons on the sport as an industry, its history and benefits.
The lessons would include 30 minute ‘practicals’ involving the original mob football and modern day formats of the sport.
Saturday morning coaching for three to five-year-olds, dubbed the Tiger Tots will aim to introduce youngsters to ball work, and encourage parents to take part.
The Ben Gathercole Goalkeeping Club, run by the Tigers first team keeper, will allow six to 17-year-olds to pick up tips and expertise on being the one between the posts.
The International Soccer Tigers programme will carry the club’s hopes to integrate the town’s Polish community and other ethnic groups.
A number of Polish footballers turned out for summer trials held by Shaw as he put together the 2014/15 squad, and 45 minute structured development sessions will look to unearth talent and allow the club to connect with a section of the community not typically represented in the stands at Sandy Lane.
Walking football is a form of the sport that gets rid of slide tackling, running and the more exhausting elements, and will be offered in an indoor environment under the guise of the Tiger Vets.
And Street Soccer will be drop in sessions held in unsociable hours to give children something to do on council pitches and parks.
The club will reach out to the district’s junior football organisations, and offer coaching for parents who have taken over the running of teams.
One-to-one coaching will also be available for children wanting to improve on specific areas.
Three day camps with basic technique coaching, tournaments and prizes will take place during school holidays.
And football birthday parties and 5-a-side tournaments for all ages are also among the club’s proposals.
Shaw believes that the club can not only embed themselves in local life, but give back to the town who rallied round in the summer.
“This is an initiative that has always been in my plans as a way the club can with with and interact with the various communities,” he said.
“Jake will mainly be coaching, and I will be creating links with schools and colleges and the younger supporters, and trying to raise the club’s profile in the local area.”
“We’re trying to improve attendances as we build the club, it’s infrastructure and on field progress.”
“I think what we’re trying to do it quite unique, and if we manage to pull off a good percentage of our plans then we’ll have done a lot for the people of Worksop.”