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By Tony Connelly, Sports Marketing Reporter

March 24, 2016 | 2 min read

Lidl has extended its grassroots football initiative with the English Football Association with a new program that will provide over a million children throughout England with professional coaching opportunities.

Former England international Sir Trevor Brooking joined Southampton legend Matt Le Tissier to launch the new coaching sessions at Wembley ahead of England’s friendly with Germany.

The new campaign will build on Lidl’s existing partnership with the Football Association, which began last year, by upscaling the coaching sessions to reach a minimum of 1.2 million children aged 5-11.

The informal coaching opportunities will be used to drive registrations for the local Lidl FA Skills Programme which provides children with an array of fun and interactive coaching sessions with professionals.

Speaking at the launch the FA’s chief executive, Martin Glenn, said: “We’ve been running the FA skills program for over 10 years and that’s given 8 million players experience of football starting at 5 going on through to 11.

“The Lidl program allows us to take it on another level. The sponsorship we get allows us to continue this program, take it to more schools and get the new generation coming through. There’s a baby boom on right now in Great Britain so we can take advantage of that and get young people to have a positive experience of football and play it all their life.

Sir Trevor Brooking said: “We looked at how we could develop the game and for me any skill that I had was put in place in my primary school years which is 5 to 11.

“I always felt that we’ve gone away from that. A lot of schools didn’t have dedicated staff, particularly at that age group, and if they didn’t get that quality introduction by the time they left primary school at 11 they didn’t have a good skill base and weren’t going to play the game of football we wanted them to going forward."

Matt Le Tissier added: “If you can engage children at this age you’ll have them for the rest of their life and can help them to fall in love with football for the rest of their life.”

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