YOUNGSTERS got tips from a professional footballer at their after school club.

Former Colchester United captain Kem Izzet has begun an 11-week coaching programme for pupils at St Andrew’s Infants School, Greenstead, Colchester.

The U’s star put children through their paces at the first session. They learned how to head the ball properly as part the Kem Izzet Soccer Academy course.

Mr Izzet, who now plays for Needham Market FC as well as coaching, played Colchester for 12 years.

Mark Morris, Active Kids co-ordinator at the Hickory Avenue school, said: “I and headteacher Melody Lowe believe strongly in the benefits of sport, not only football but all sports and activities we offer for the children of this school.

“Sport can not only improve you as a participant, but as a person. Sport lives – the Olympics is a great example of this.

“We provide opportunities for the children of this school and we see great improvement and progress socially.”

Mr Izzet added: “Sports and activities, including football, are vital for children to improve and nurture their core skills such as jumping, hopping, balance and hand-eye co-ordination.

“I have already noticed there is some talen in the group and it is my job to encourage and improve all of the chilren by making the sessions fun and enjoyable.

“I feel it is important to participate in sports, such as football, as this helps immensely with our socialising skills.”