Grimsby Town: Shaun Pearson and Lawrence Heward team up for Trawling the Town
GRIMSBY Town defender Shaun Pearson is relishing his role as coach of the club's Under-Nines' 'Trawling the Town' team.
Together with former Mariners youth teamer Lawrence Heward, the centre-half is helping to coach and run the side – which was created with players that came through the Trawling The Town initiative.
The project, the result of a partnership between the Grimsby Telegraph and the Mariners, was launched to unearth the area's brightest footballing talents.
The majority of the squad were signed directly as a result, and Pearson has been impressed with both them, and the campaign.
He said: "They're a great group and they're doing really, really well.
"We've got some great characters and like all youngsters they're all very keen and very eager to learn.
"For myself and Lawrence, that's great because it helps us to guide them as budding young footballers.
"We've got some really promising talents in that team which is encouraging.
"It's now all about nurturing that ability so that when they get older, they're prepared and ready to progress through the club and achieve as much as they can as footballers.
"It shows to me what a great initiative Trawling the Town is – I think it's such a good idea.
"I can't remember being involved in anything like that when I was younger – it's a great opportunity for kids.
"There's so much talent out there that probably was going unnoticed and this campaign has helped to unearth it."
The former Boston man is currently studying for a degree in sports coaching at the Grimsby Institute and fits his work with the Under-Nines around his studies and his first-team commitments.
It's certainly keeping him busy, but he's enjoying the opportunity to work with the youngsters – something which he enjoyed doing during his time as a semi-professional.
He added: "I used to work a lot with kids before I became a full-time footballer and it's nice to keep doing that because I think I would miss it otherwise. I really enjoy working with them and it's also a really good opportunity for me to give something back to the game.
"Lawrence is actually running the side and I'm just basically helping out as much as I can.
"I went up to Hartlepool with them and a couple of the other games and they're doing well this season.
"I obviously have to fit it in and around my first team commitments, but I'm really enjoying being able to help out where I can.
"They're really progressing and you can see how much they've come on already in the short time that they joined the Academy.
"It's something that's new to them and in that short time they've taken on board so much.
"We're really happy with them."