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Salford Youngsters Train with United

Hundreds of young amateur footballers from Salford have been training with Foundation coaches.

Salford Youngsters Train with United

Young people from across Salford have been playing five-a-side matches at Princes Park in Irlam.

The activities have been organised by the city council's youth service in partnership with Manchester United Foundation.

Coaches have been working with the youngsters on a mobile pitch which can be set up at various locations in order to take football direct to the young people of Salford.

The project has been running every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon for the past ten weeks with its last night in Irlam on 15th July.  It aims to tackle antisocial behaviour and crime by giving young people something to do and somewhere to go out of school hours.

Youth workers have been on hand during the workshops to talk to teenagers about drug and alcohol misuse and the consequences of antisocial behaviour.

And, the youth service's mobile bus was stationed at the park as a drop in centre for advice and support on a range of matters including sexual health.

Girls have not been left out either, with those not interested in the football getting pampered at beauty classes held on the bus.

Councillor Margaret Morris, Salford City Council's lead member for children's services said: "This project has been a real success so much so that we're looking at bringing it in across other parts of the city. "It's not only helping young people to stay out of trouble, it's keeping them active while raising their aspirations by giving them the chance to train with world-class football coaches."

The teenagers have been playing in a giant cage designed specially for five-a-side matches, funded by the council's community safety team.

Lee Adams, community cohesion coordinator for Manchester United Foundation said: "This project in Irlam has been a real success with around 50 to 70 youngsters turning up every week.

"What’s exciting is that the cage makes the project completely mobile meaning we can operate in housing estates, parks and urban areas - anywhere we feel that young people need something positive to do with their time.

"We can take the project right to their doorstep which means we have a much better chance of engaging them. We hope to see similar success in other areas of Salford in the coming weeks."