Children attending West Ham United's popular half term football course were delighted to see defenders Daniel Potts and Emmanuel Pogatetz stroll through the gates of the club's Community Training Ground in Beckton last Thursday.
Over 70 boys and girls between the ages of five and 15 signed up to take part. Led by Academy Coach and Football Development Officer Bryan Glover Jr and his team, the morning sessions focused on technical skills and ball manipulation drills whilst the afternoon's programme included futsal tournaments and mini World Cup competitions.
For Potts, who trained at the facility in Beckton up until Under-16s, the visit brought back lots of fond childhood memories. He said: "It's been great to come down and see how the children are getting on. I hope that our presence has given them a bit of a boost. I was at the club as a youngster and I've got younger siblings so I can relate to how they're feeling.
"You look up to the senior players and aspire to be like them, at the time it feels like you're worlds away but you're not. To be walking around and see the smiles on their faces, it definitely puts a smile on my face too.
"This is a great chance for the children to show the coaches what they've got and it's a good way for us as a club to find young talent in the local area."
WATCH A VIDEO FEATURE FROM THE EVENT ON WEST HAM TV
Pogatetz, who joined the Hammers on loan from VfL Wolfsburg in January, echoed the message. He said: "It's always enjoyable to do community work. The children are the supporters of the future and it's important to do this.
"I remember playing football in the park as a child and whenever there was a chance to show your potential to the big clubs everyone wanted to go down and show their skills."
The course was just one of several sessions delivered throughout the week at the Community Sports Trust training ground and Gaynes School in Upminster. Each participant received a medal, certificate and were entered into a prize draw to win match day tickets and official signed memorabilia.
For full details of a range of exciting football courses being held near you over the Easter holidays visit www.whufc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org