Scotland defender Christophe Berra has urged young people to get involved with Street League after visiting the charity's North-East Edinburgh Academy.

The 29-year-old Ipswich centre-back, who is from Edinburgh, took part in practical sessions and hosted a question and answer session with Academy participants.

Christophe was very impressed with Street League’s work engaging young people through the power of football.

He said: "It is a really good opportunity for young people. If I wasn’t a full-time footballer, I would do a programme like Street League to help me get into work, like the fire brigade."

OPPORTUNITY

During the session, participants got the chance to compete in a crossbar challenge, with a signed football the prize for the winner. Grant Hollinger, 16, was crowned ‘Crossbar King’, a day after securing a full-time job with McDonalds in Edinburgh, to round-off a great week.

Grant said: "Street League has been an amazing experience for me and today was great.

"Christophe is really down to earth and was very friendly with all the guys. I have watched him on TV scoring for Scotland, and now he’s here with us having a laugh and giving us encouragement."

He later got involved in a seven-a-side match led by Street League coach Stuart Inglis, and acted as ‘floating’ player for both teams, although tackling was off limits!

EXPERIENCE

Street League participant and Hearts fan, James Morrison, was over the moon to play against the former Jambos captain.

He said: “I can always say I played with and against Christophe Berra – an ex-Hearts captain – and I scored the winner!”

Darren Breen won Christophe's 'Man of the Match' award for his effort and hard work, taking away a signed football.

Christophe's visit to Street League Edinburgh was the second visit from a professional footballer this year. Champions League winner and former Blackburn and West Ham striker Benni McCarthy visited the Edinburgh North-East Academy back in March.

For more information on Street League in Edinburgh, please contact Operations Manager Steve Jardine on 07788 312 855 or [email protected].