Toon kids enjoy a week in the sun with the champions

Fresh from their League Two triumph, Peterhead players and staff treated more than 100 North East kids to a week of Easter coaching.

No doubt buoyed by the team’s success, parents signed their children up in record numbers for the event.

Bryan Gilfillan signs the boots of an enthusiastic fan.

Bryan Gilfillan signs the boots of an enthusiastic fan.

They were joined by manager Jim McInally and players David Cox, Bryan Gilfillan, Andy Rodgers and Rory McAllister.

The regular coaching programmes are part of a wider effort to promote Peterhead FC in the community.

McInally said: “It’s developed brilliantly - Nat Porter’s (general manager) done a brilliant job since he came in last year getting the club out in the community.

“The most pleasing thing for me is going out there and seeing the number of Peterhead kits that are being worn - strips and tracksuit tops.

Striker Andy Rodgers signed one boys Blue Toon strip.

Striker Andy Rodgers signed one boys Blue Toon strip.

“To me thats what its about. You need supporters and a new generation of supporters coming through and this is how you do it, by winning titles and getting out in the community.

“Even at last weekend when we won the title at Broadwood in Cumbernauld, there were a lot of young supporters who’d travelled down so hopefully it catches on.”

On Friday the kids were able to train on Balmoor’s main pitch and family were invited to watch from the main stand as the players handed out certificates and signed autographs.

The week-long programme was sponsored by law firm Aberdein Considine.

Jim McInally lends his experience to the next generation of footballers.

Jim McInally lends his experience to the next generation of footballers.

The partner in charge of the firm’s Ellon and Peterhead branches, Gary Ross, said: “We’re always looking to support the local community.

“Gary Mann who works for us here and has been involved in the youth development.

“I thought this was a perfect programme for us to support.

“I think a lot of kids get bad press but there are more than 100 signed up to this scheme and it disproves they idea that young people just want to play video games and cause trouble.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally with Aberdein Considine's Gary Ross Gary Mann.

Peterhead manager Jim McInally with Aberdein Considine's Gary Ross Gary Mann.

“Ideally some of these kids could go on and play for the team but more importantly they’ll become supporters.

“There’s a feel good factor around the whole town and the kids want to be part of the success.”

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