Former Luton star Jake Howells is hoping to give something back to the town after setting up his own Little Kickers classes which begin in September.
The 27-year-old will be starting up at Lealands High School in Sundon Park Road on the weekend of September 1/2, and on just why he’s beginning the scheme, Howells said: “I’ve been so lucky with my career and this opportunity just popped up.
It was just such a massive opportunity and I thought, while I’m still playing, it would be nice for me to get that up and running.Jake Howells
“There’s a massive scope for it in the Luton area, as I’ve done all the research with the parents and there’s no pre-school activities, football-wise there.
“It was just such a massive opportunity and I thought, while I’m still playing, it would be nice for me to get that up and running.
“With me having the background in football and my connection with Luton and that area and the amazing following I’ve been lucky enough to have, it made sense for me to give back something to the community in a way.”
Howells isn’t looking to uncover the next superstar though, rather just get young people around the town active once more.
He continued: “It’s pre school football from 18 months old up to seven years old, but it’s not just football, I’m not going to make an academy or anything, I’m not going to try and find the Ronaldo or Messi.
“They learn basic skills at the same time, colours, being in teams at that age, all things like that.
“I’ve got a child myself, so I know when he was young, he loved doing activities and things like this are brilliant.
“I’ve gone and viewed loads of sessions, so I know how it all works.
“It’s at Lealands High School, which is a really nice modern school, the sports hall is air conditioned and we will run all year round.
“They get rewarded with a Little Kickers football kit when they sign up and I’ve had loads of brilliant interest.
“It’s gone really, really well and I’m hoping that eventually in a few months time, we can open one in Dunstable and a few venues, a few more locations and just see how it goes. The plan is to do some midweek, some nursery ones as well.
“I’m going to be there as much as I can just to show my face as well, as football’s my pride and joy. Just seeing kids running round, having fun and learning the basic skills of a school’s environment is what we want to do.”
Howells will also use his connections in the game, including those at Kenilworth Road to help him out at times too, as he added: “I will try and get a few boys down, speak to people I know at Luton, like Pelly (Mpanzu), just to get them to come down as I’m sure there will be a lot of Luton fans that might attend the session.
“Even if they come down to show their face, Andre (Gray), I’m going to get into him, try to get him to come down when he’s free.
“They may not be the biggest fan him being at Watford now, but I’m going to speak to as many people as I can in the football world and just get a little bit of reward in for the children as well to meet these sort of superstars.”
For more information about the Little Kickers, contact Jake on firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the website at www.littlekickers.co.uk.