Street football makes a welcome comeback

Hibs striker James Collins gets involved
Hibs striker James Collins gets involved

Street football is making a comeback in North Lanarkshire.

And thanks to NL Leisure’s mobile court, no jumpers for goalposts are needed as mini games get youngsters off the corners and on the tarmac to practice their skills.

The free football programme pitches up every Tuesday at Jackson Street, Coatbridge, Wednesday at the former St Saviour’s High School in Bellshill and Thursday at Flemington Tower, Motherwell between 7- 9pm for youngsters aged 9 and over.

More than 40 boys and girls are taking part each evening in the programme supported by NHS Lanarkshire and Police

And Hibernian striker James Collins, a big money signing from English outfit Swindon, was on hand to offer coaching tips to those taking part.

The programme involves small sided games to encourage creative skills and learn to communicate and play together as a team.

The coaching sessions are delivered by SFA qualified coaches.

Nicky Laughlin, Football Development Officer with North Lanarkshire Leisure added: “By working with local communities, we identified areas in which youth disorder can be an issue.

Our aim is to help kids enjoy playing football, enhance their skills in the small sided games and encourage them to make new friends and concentrate their energies on exercise.”

The programme has received positive feedback from the local police with reported disturbances and property damage significantly down since the street football initiative began.