A FOOTBALL club has come under fire for starting an Under-4’s junior team.

Offa-based Brickfield Rangers FC is introducing a team for children aged four and under for next season.

The youngsters will be coached by Ashley Mahrenholz and Dan Binnersley – who is also an academy scout for Premier League giants Manchester City.

But the announcement has seen the club criticised on social media by people who think organised training for children at that age is too much, too soon.

The club’s community officer Andrew Ruscoe says he has been taken aback by some of the comments from people on Twitter claiming children are too young to be involved in organised football
at that age.

He added that the club
has formed the age-group for the right reasons.

He said: “One of the key points that I want to stress is that we are not becoming a ‘feeder’ club for Manchester City, and we are not a business.

“We charge £1 for sessions across all age groups at the club but to be honest that doesn’t even always cover the cost of hall hire.

“We are a grassroots football club providing children in the area, from all backgrounds, the chance to play football, and lead healthy lifestyles, from a young age.

“I feel that we’re now in the iPad generation where people are looking at their phones every half-an-hour and it’s becoming an addiction.

“We want youngsters to be fit and healthy from an early age and there is also the chance for them to socialise with other kids from a young age which will help their personal development.”

Mr Ruscoe, who is also schools’ partnership co-ordinator for the Chester FC community trust, added: “The kids will be under no pressure, sessions are held in a fun, safeguarded environment with qualified coaches.

“If they get scouted by professional clubs, then brilliant, the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard started off at that age and have made it at Manchester United.

“But the aim is to get the kids hooked on sport.

“We’ve received support on Twitter from the chairman of
Sport Wales, Dr Paul Thomas for what we are doing, and many parents who say their kids love the sessions.

“One parent came up to me the other day and said she was delighted because the session had helped her child develop confidence at school, and helped him learn how to take instruction.

“I think in a few years’ time, other clubs in the area will be doing the same.”