Edina Hibs launch their “free” soccer school tomorrow in the hope of attracting boys and girls from all walks of life to the Jewel for weekly football training sessions.
The club will cater for children between five and eight years old by hosting skills camps every Sunday from 10am as the club attempts to delve deeper into Edinburgh’s communities.
John Hall, who has been at the heart of Edina Hibs for the past 14 years, is embracing the challenge that lies ahead in what he perceives as a fresh approach.
“I feel the game, in some respects, has gone middle class,” Hall said. “A lot of parents cannot afford to pay some of the monthly fees being charged at youth clubs now when there is poverty and those kids are missing out. That is the reason I am doing it. It is completely free of charge, but there will be an option to provide a donation.
“If people are willing to give their time up then it really should be admired. There has been a little dip with the club in recent seasons but this is a new venture and we really want the kids to come down. We are hoping to take up to at least 20 kids in each age group.”
Hall is stepping aside from coaching his own age group in the SERYFA leagues for season 2013-2014 and will instead put all his exertions into making the soccer school a success.
He said: “Any money that does come into the club will help sustain teams in the future with strips, equipment and things like that. We want a conveyor belt going if it works and are certainly looking to make a good go of it.
“It’s also about the young coaches coming through and developing them into decent trainers. It’s going to be a challenge but I want to start with the five-year-olds and see them coming through and I’m looking forward to it. If the kids want to learn and hopefully play at a decent level then we are here to help them - I can’t emphasise that enough.”
Already on board with the club is grounds maintenance contractor Kerax Play. Company owner Phil Menzies said: “It’s certainly something we are hoping to support for a good length of time. I like the idea of who the initiative is aimed at and why should kids be excluded from playing football? Money shouldn’t really be an issue in this day and age.”
Anyone interested in attending Edina Hibs’ Soccer School (5s born 2008, 6s born 2007, 7s born 2006 & 8s born 2005), please be at Jewel Park for 10am tomorrow and every Sunday after that. Or call Colin Parrot on 07453 452387 for more details.