South Shields FC stars are gearing up to meet youngsters at primary schools in the borough as part of a new community project.
First-team players Blair Adams, Carl Finnigan, Daniel Wright and Ursene Mouanda, will help to lead a new programme called Project EFL - the long-term plan to establish the club as a community-based, sustainable Football League-ready club by 2023.
As part of this, the club is aiming to forge partnerships with schools and help to grow its future fanbase.
The school visits will kick off with a trip to Westoe Crown Primary School on Monday - followed by a visit to St Bede’s RC Primary and Nursery School two days later.
During the visits players will hand out free match tickets to pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 and give them the opportunity to take part in the club’s Matchday Play Park - a supervised football session of every Saturday match at Mariners Park.
The club has also teamed up with The Word, National Centre for the Written Word in South Shields to introduce a literacy project for young people based on a matchday experience.
Of those Year 5 and Year 6 pupils who receive free tickets, each school will select 10 children to form a guard of honour for the two teams on matchday.
South Shields FC Foundation manager Steve Camm said: “We are all really excited about the opportunity to grow the work we do in schools.
“It’s great as a club for us to be able to put something back into our community, in fact it’s one of the underlying principles behind both Project EFL and the Foundation.”