Northern Ireland hero Warren Feeney is on his way to Banbridge this Easter.
The Linfield player / manager and 46-times capped international is the special guest at the Burns Soccer School three-day Easter Camp at Havelock Park on April 6th, 7th and 8th.
Soccer school directors, Banbridge twins Aaron and Andrew Burns, say it’s quite a coup to have the former Cardiff, Swansea and Leeds striker on board.
“We are delighted Warren will be taking part in the Ball Mastery Easter Camp,” said Andrew.
“His track record speaks for itself.
“He’s played at the highest level and is also a top coach. Not just that, he’s a role model and someone for the children to look up to.”
Andrew added: “The Easter camp is for boys and girls aged from four to 14 - we wanted to give them something a little bit special and we’ve certainly got that.”
Aaron Burns - who plays under Feeney at Linfield - says “the gaffer” had no hesitation in accepting the offer to join the coaching camp in Banbridge.
“I didn’t have to ask twice,” admits Aaron. “He just checked his diary and said ‘yes’ immediately.
“Warren is committed to developing young talent and has stressed that since he took over at Windsor Park.
“He’s showing he means business by spending time with us during his busy Easter schedule, which is greatly appreciated by all of us.”
Burns recently earned high praise from the Linfield boss for his healthy return of 16 goals and 14 assists in 30 appearances this season.
Feeney called it “an incredible record for a midfielder.”
Feeney is a close friend of former Leeds and Liverpool star Harry Kewell, who recently visited him in Belfast and met the Linfield players, including Aaron.
So could the Blues boss be bringing Kewell or another big name star to Banbridge at some stage?
“You never know,” said Aaron. “With Warren’s international contacts in the game, I wouldn’t rule anything out.”
Places in the Easter Camp are expected to be filled quickly so anyone planning to attend is advised to book early - full details on burnssoccerschool.com.
As well as Feeney, the regular Burns Soccer School coaches will be on duty - the likes of Aaron and Andrew, Chris Casement of Portadown and Andrew’s team-mates at Dungannon Swifts Matt Hazley and skipper Ryan Harpur.
Before the Easter event, the Burns brothers are staging a seven-a-side schools tournament at Cheney Park on Tuesday March 24th. Unusually, it’s for P3 pupils.
“Also, we work with Banbridge Town Juniors and selectors will be in attendance as they develop new teams for next year’s under-8s.
“So who knows, a few new stars might emerge, but the objective is to provide a cross-community fun day of football and exercise for the younger boys and girls at our local schools.”