A NEW football coaching scheme is being launched in Darlington with the first month free of charge.

Aimed at boys and girls aged four-six-years-old, Premier Player Football Academy, owned and run by former Darlington goalkeeper Andy Collett, is running the initiative, which is called the Mini Pros Academy.

Sessions start on Friday, October 13 at Hummersknott Academy (5.50pm), with the first 20 places available free of charge.

Premier Player already operate a junior coaching academy on Friday evenings at Hummersknott, and due to its success have decided to add these sessions.

In charge of the sessions is former Middlesbrough player and coach Mark Proctor, and he said: “I am absolutely delighted to be adding the new Mini Pros sessions to our Darlington Academy and I will be delivering the sessions along with Phil Stamp.

“We currently run these sessions in Middlesbrough and they have been a huge success so we have decided to bring them to our Darlington Academy. Our philosophy for our Mini Pros is based around children having lots of fun and gaining a love for the game while learning the technical basics.

“The sessions also help with children social skills, improve balance and also coordination as well as general wellbeing.

“We have a structured coaching plan which takes a long-term view of individual player development and is specifically tailored for players of this age.

“Premier Player Football Academy do not have teams and run a partner club scheme, which means once the Mini Pros are of an age where they want to join local clubs we have linked up with local junior clubs including Darlington RA, Darlington Youth, Darlington All Stars and Middleton Rangers.

“We will pass the parents all the relevant contact details of these clubs and they are then free to contact any or all as these clubs are always looking for enthusiastic young footballers.

"Once we have enough players will also start a development league on a weekend which parents will have an option to join.”

For more information, email minipros@pp-fa.co.uk or visit premierplayerfootballacademy.co.uk