LIVINGSTON skipper Chris Innes took time out from his club’s First Division title race to drop in on the hugely popular Bank of Scotland Midnight league this weekend.
Innes took a look at the talent-packed ranks of the league on Friday at Craigswood Sports Centre when he attended their training session.
Chris was in attendance to meet with the young participants and coaches involved in the initiative, which kicked off its 2009 season in January, offering free football facilities and training to the area's youth.
Bank of Scotland Midnightleague is a national network of diversionary five-a-side football activity running in partnership with the Scottish FA from January to June, targeting disengaged youths (12 to 16 years).
Building on the existing Midnightleague programme it has expanded over the last four years to be established in all 32 Scottish local authorities. In 2009 nearly 10,000 kids will participate in football activity at 75 local community venues.
West Lothian currently has seven Midnightleague centres running until the end of May at Craigswood, Linlithgow Leisure Centre, Broxburn Sports Centre, Bathgate Sports Centre, East Calder Sports Centre, Armadale Sports Centre and Blackburn Community Centre.
And Chris, who has led Livingston to a tilt at the title was full of praise for the young participants.
He said: “It is great to see such a worthwhile initiative freely available to young people in our area. All the players really seem to enjoy themselves too and the coaches are doing a great job.
“I wish something similar had been around when I was younger.”
Sarah Cran, Head of Sponsorship for Bank of Scotland, added: “Our Midnightleague was launched as a pilot scheme in 2003 and it has been a great success across Scotland.
“This year has again seen the initiative being held in all 32 local authorities, reaching 10,000 youngsters around the country.”
For more details contact your local SFA Football Development Officer on 01506 776183.