West Ham United Community Sports Trust's ever-popular Soccer Schools are to return for the Easter holidays.
Open for children of all abilities aged between three and 15, these courses provide a safe, friendly and enjoyable environment for youngsters to improve their football skills and socialise.
Beckton, Upminster, Chelmsford, Romford and Thurrock will each play host to a Soccer School this Easter, with every possibility of further player visits.
In February, Academy hotshot Jordan Brown and midfielder Ben Marlow made a special appearance at Royal Liberty School, conducting a question and answer session with participants, before dishing out the certificates and medals.
Children and coaches listen intently to a Q+A with the players
Eighteen-year-old Marlow identified with the enthusiasm and excitement on show, having watched the youngsters charging around the sports hall. The Hammers midfielder is an advocate of the Soccer Schools, keen to see children making the most of their school holidays.
"It was really good, it was good to see so many young kids playing football, because that's all you want to do at that age, play football," Marlow said. "We've been there and done that so it's nice to see them growing up and enjoying it.
"At this age all they want to do is play and have fun and that's what they're doing. It's good to see the youngsters having a great time in there."
"When I was younger, it was good to see people where I wanted to be when I was older, so seeing us hopefully gives them a bit of an incentive to keep playing football and hopefully get into West Ham's youth team.
"It's a great course and I recommend it to all kids, because during half-term it keeps you off the computer, or just slobbing around, but coming out here and being active, they must love it."
Meanwhile, Coach Connor Ivie hailed the success of the February half-term courses and expects the Easter equivalent to be more popular still. Ivie also spoke highly of the Hammers' Academy pair, insisting
He told West Ham TV: "It has gone really well and the children have really enjoyed it. We've had 60 kids at Beckton, 40 at Gaynes School and another 40 here in Romford. Hopefully it will be even better next term.
"The parents said we've done really well. They've loved it. The kids have come back every night talking about it at the dinner table. So that's good to hear.
"It's brilliant for them to meet players. They've asked questions, they know what their lifestyle is like now and what it is to be a footballer.
"They must have busy training schedules. Ben was injured at the time, so I'm sure he's doing his rehab and to take the time to come and see the local kids is brilliant."
Participants will each receive a West Ham United certificate and medal, while Academy scouts and coaches are to attend each and every venue. Recent holiday programmes have seen several youngsters referred to the Club's famed Academy!
Holiday courses consist of warm up drills, with and without the ball, with examples of SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) drills and pre-match stretching techniques.
Sessions progress onto ball manipulation and first touch drills, followed by training games with emphasis on the three A's: agility, acceleration and awareness. Sessions are tailored to develop each individual's natural ability, awareness and decision making.
Children are asked to bring a packed lunch and plenty to drink, as well as appropriate footwear, shin pads and suitable clothing in the event of bad weather. All coaching staff are FA qualified, CRB checked and trained in emergency first aid and child protection.
Player Development courses begin at 10am and finish at 3pm, while Mini Dribbler courses kick-off at 10.30am and end at 12.30pm.
Week one: 7-11 April
BECKTON: West Ham United Community Sports Trust, 60a Albatross Close, Off Woolwich Manor Way, Beckton, E6 5NX
UPMINSTER: Gaynes School, Brackendale Gardens, Upminster, Essex, RM14 3UX
CHELMSFORD: Broomfield FC, Angel Meadow, Main Road, Broomfield, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 7AH
Week two: 14-17 April
ROMFORD: Royal Liberty School, Upper Brentwood Rd, Romford RM2 6HJ
Two-day courses:14-15 April
THURROCK: William Edwards School, Stifford Clays Road, Grays RM16 3NJ
BECKTON B: West Ham United Community Sports Trust, 60a Albatross Close, Off Woolwich Manor Way, Beckton, E6 5NX
Mini Dribblers: 7, 9, 11, 17 April (for three-five year olds)
BECKTON MD: West Ham United Community Sports Trust, 60a Albatross Close, Off Woolwich Manor Way, Beckton, E6 5NX
Five day courses: £65, Mini Dribblers: £32
Four day courses: £54, Mini Dribblers: £28
Three day courses: £43, Mini Dribblers: £24
Two day courses: £33, Mini Dribblers: £16
One day courses: £18, Mini Dribblers: £10
To book your place, please complete the application form here, call 020 7473 7720 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.