Former professional footballer David Hibbert is delighted to be helping local youngsters learn the game after returning to his roots to head up the weekly coaching sessions at the popular Brian Little Academy in Eccleshall.
The striker had to call time on his professional career last year owing to a knee injury but still plays part-time for Nuneaton in the National Conference.
Crossbar Coaching, who run the Brian Little Academy with the former Aston Villa manager, offered David, 28, the chance to step onto the coaching ladder and he loves passing on tips to local youngsters at Eccleshall’s Bishop Lonsdale School each Monday night.
As a former pupil of the school, David admits it’s extra special to be helping develop the footballing skills of young players aged between seven and 12.
“It’s really nice to be spending time at my old school and it’s great to be putting something back,” said David.
“I’m really enjoying it and, although we’ve only been running the sessions in Eccleshall since January, I can see the improvement in the youngsters already.
Having grown up in Eccleshall and lived there for much of my life, there was nothing like this available in the area when I was a young lad.
I would have to go to Stafford or Stoke and that can put a strain on parents so this is great for people in the Eccleshall area.
Myself and Phil Trainer, who’s also at Nuneaton, take the sessions for Crossbar each Monday night and we enjoy passing on the things we’ve both learnt as professional footballers, sharing our knowledge of the game with the youngsters.”
The Brian Little Academy offers top class football coaching for local youngsters on 3G astro turf pitches.
David, a former pro with Port Vale, Preston North End, Shrewsbury Town and Peterborough United, also delivers PE and school sport at Stafford’s St Anne’s Primary School for Crossbar each week.
Gavin Cowan, director of Crossbar Coaching, said: “It’s very much a transitional period for David having had to retire from the full time game.
“It’s a big shock to the system but it’s a testament to his character that he’s now doing a degree and is very interested in sports development.
“He’s got great experience of professional sport, he’s a great character and is an absolute role model.”
The cost of each Monday night session for the Brian Little Academy at Eccleshall’s Bishop Lonsdale School is £4 with under-sevens, eights and nines training between 6-7pm before under-10s, 11s and 12s are put through their paces from 7-8pm.
For more details and to book a place, call Gavin Cowan on 07786-080801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org