REDDITCH United has taken over the running of a successful community project in Matchborough.

Around 30 children regularly attend Friday evening sessions at RSA Academy Arrow Vale, started to help tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.

Outdoor football sessions began 10 years ago but have recently moved to a new venue at the school’s sports hall.

They were recently joined by Reds manager and former Aston Villa footballer Darren Byfield to mark the exciting development for the club.

Mark Chappell, West Mercia Police’s Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector for Redditch, said: “The football project was started by the police to tackle the rising levels of anti-social behaviour and we’re delighted with the impact these sessions have made.

"Young people like to have someone to look up to and it has been wonderful seeing how they have been able to relate to Darren – a professional footballer who has had to work hard to get where he is and who can relate to the children.

“Positive role models are so important and we are already in talks to see if this successful project can be replicated in other parts of the town.”

As part of the scheme, some of the young Matchborough footballers watched one of Redditch United’s final games of the season before meeting the manager and club chairman Chris Swan.

Mr Swan said: “This is an example of how Redditch United is developing its community links. It’s an exciting time for us – both down at the Trico Stadium and also around the town – as we have a number of projects in the pipeline."