Mini mighty Mariners in the making?
MORE than 300 young footballers took up the opportunity to try out for Grimsby Town during a week of Trawling The Town trials.
The club has just completed a successful run of open sessions at Oasis Academy Wintringham, with youngsters from across the region travelling to Grimsby to take part throughout last week.
As reported, the campaign was launched to unearth the area's brightest footballing talents and give them the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sign for the Mighty Mariners.
The sessions were overseen by the club's Academy manager, Adam Smith, Youth Team boss Robbie Stockdale and their team of professional coaches, who put the players through their paces in a range of drills and games.
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Those participants that caught the eye will be invited back to take part in further training with the club's Academy sides, with a view to taking their place in the squads next season.
Adam said: "Throughout the week, we provided ten hours of free coaching, making contact with 300 young aspiring footballers.
"The whole week provided the club's Academy set up with a fantastic opportunity to open its doors and make a positive impact on all the players and parents that attended the week.
"A number of players have been identified across the age groups to be invited back to train with the Academy during pre season which, for us as a club is fantastic and shows just how successful the campaign has been.
"We will contact everyone who attended and those who are not invited to train with the Academy will be encouraged to take part in the next Trawling the Town campaign, so it is not a closed door to anyone.
"I have to thank all the Club coaches and medical staff who helped man the event, with some coaches working every night, all voluntary.
"A big thank you also must go to Oasis Academy Wintringham for hosting us and obviously the Grimsby Telegraph and Pro Active Teamwear for supporting the event."
The trials drew young players from all over the region to take part, but without doubt, those who had travelled the furthest were the Todd brothers – Finn, 11, and Jack, 13.
The pair had travelled to the trials with their sister, and Dad Richard – who is originally from Cleethorpes – from the family home in Beijing, China.
Richard explained: "We've travelled 9,568 miles to take part in the trials and it has thoroughly been worth it.
"We've come back to the area to visit family but the boys wanted to take part in the trials while we were here and they have loved it.
"I think it is great that Grimsby Town are looking for talent in their local area in this way.
"The organisation was excellent. We were made to feel very welcome and the boys really enjoyed the experience."
Finn, who took part in the Wednesday trial, said: "It was really good.
"The coaches were great and the drills were fun. I really enjoyed the matches.
Jack said: "I've really enjoyed it – it was hard work but it was great fun."
Speaking at the session for their age group, Alfie Boswell, 8, and Hayden Boyington, 8 said they had enjoyed it too.
Alfie said: "It has been really fun and lots of fun.
"I have really enjoyed all of the games and my favourite bit was getting to play in the games."
Hayden added: "It's been great and the coaches have been really good.
"I'm glad I came to take part."
Parent John Botterill, who brought his son Leighton, 7, to take part, said: "I think the whole experience has been excellent. The coaches were fantastic and worked really well with the kids.
"I think Trawling The Town is a fantastic campaign. It gives children from all walks of life a fantastic opportunity."
Trawling The Town
Keep reading your Grimsby Telegraph for more from the campaign.