Youngsters from Gloucester based youth football club Rising Stars joined coaches from the Academy coaching set-up at the Energy Check Training Ground recently for a fun football training session.
Guided by coaches Nick Housden, Tom Handley, Nigel Morecroft and Academy Manger Antoine Thompson, the hour long session involved two different groups of different ages, as well as a specialist goalkeeper coaching group.
Thompson explained why the opportunity to invite a youth team like Rising Stars to the training ground is so important: "Part of our talent ID policy in terms of outreach and expanding the pool of players to get players to the Academy.
"We had a team called Rising Stars in mainly made up of players from an Asian background which is fantastic.
"We had a lot of the boys in training with us and from our perspective looking at talent and seeing who is out there. It worked out really well. There were a couple of lads there who impressed us who will be invited back for trials.
"It is really important that we do work with the local clubs and make them aware that we're here. We provide opportunities for players to become professionals - if that happens then great - and if it doesn't it's more about them having the best time they can have here, being the best player they can be, and enjoying playing football in a lovely environment.
"Diversity is massive in terms of our Academy reflecting society and the diverse country that we live in. I think our Academy can reflect that even more in areas and cultures that we've never delved into before. There could be a golden gem there.
"Our policy is to get out there and see all mixed races and to see what talent is out there."
Watch some of the action from the training session above on iFollow.