United’s Junior Members enjoyed an afternoon with their heroes on Tuesday with a signing session followed by a first team training session and fun and games with our Community Sports Trust team.
Poor weather was ignored as young fans turned up for selfies and autographs, with the chance to watch the lads go through their paces the icing on the cake.
Assistant manager Colin West said: “We’ve had a few of these sessions over the last few years and the lads always enjoy them. There’s the serious edge of having real work to do and it’s good for the youngsters to see how the lads do things and what sort of things go into a real training session.
“The other side of it is that you get to see the smiles on the faces as the children get to meet their heroes and you can never underestimate the impact that has. It was good to see so many turn up, even though it wasn’t the best of days weather wise, and that tells us that we’re doing things right in terms of connecting with the next generation of fans.”
Event organiser Katie Mitchell said: “The young fans who came along were magnificent and you can tell that they really enjoyed their day. The signing session is always popular and we all really enjoy watching how the children react when they come face-to-face with their favourite players.
“The Community Sports Trust team were magnificent with the games they had organised in the Neil Centre and the first team staff and squad made it extra special with their training session.
“We wanted to give our Junior Members more this season and with the open training sessions they’ve already had, plus the Christmas parties and other events we have planned for the New Year, we think they’re going to have a good season with us.”
Team captain Danny Grainger said: “These events are brilliant because you’re up close with fans who are so pleased to see you and meet you. I know all of the lads enjoy this kind of thing because we’re building a strong presence in the local community at the moment and we want to make that even stronger.
“Our fans give us so much through the course of the season so it’s only right that we do what we can whenever we can in return.”
CST Manager John Halpin said: "It's always good when the players get involved. The youngsters love getting the chance to meet them and get their stuff signed and it sends them away with such a positive feeling about the club once they've done that.
"It was another very good day and it's a big thank you from the community team to everyone involved for making it happen, and to the first team staff and players for making it special for the children."
For more information on becoming a Junior Blue, click HERE.