Wednesday 09 October 2013
A team of Polish kids who play in Hull were the latest recipients of new kits thanks to the Premier League Players’ Kit Scheme. Hull City midfielder David Meyler visited the Kingston Youth Centre last week to present Friendly Soccer Academy with a free team strip gained through the scheme.
Friendly Soccer Academy, which was formed last December and has grown into a club catering for Polish youngsters aged from three years through to 14, was able to receive the kit after being successful in their application.
"It shows all of the youngsters that, if they are prepared to work hard enough, they can make a future out of football"
The Premier League Players' Kit Scheme, which began in 2011, is a joint initiative between the Premier League and the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) and involves players from each Barclays Premier League club donating £25,000 a club to create a £500,000 fund for the kit, which any English or Welsh school or organisation can apply for.
For Friendly Soccer Academy, to have their new kit presented by a footballer from the Barclays Premier League was an additional bonus.
“It was fantastic for David to come down because it shows all of the youngsters that, if they are prepared to work hard enough, they can make a future out of football,” Michal Pujdak, manager of the Friendly Soccer Academy, said. “There is no better way to prove that than inviting along a footballer from our local Premier League club and it was a wonderful experience for the kids just to be in the same room as a Premier League footballer.
“David really was tremendous with all the youngsters, taking time to answer their questions and playing five-a-side football with them. He stayed with us for a lot longer than we thought and made such a wonderful impression on everybody.”
Pujdak explained the rationale behind the establishment of the club, which plays at the youth centre on Beverley Road in Hull.
“The idea was to get Polish youngsters who have moved into Hull with their families engaged in sport, and more specifically football,” Pujdak said. “It’s all about trying to get them active and involved in a club environment.
"I know from my own experience that their parents can sometimes be a little wary of sending them to sports clubs because of the language barrier and therefore they maybe don’t feel as confident in expressing themselves. Hopefully we can help to change that.”