The eight Digicel Kick Start Clinics players who concluded their one week coaching stint at the Sunderland AFC Academy Friday morning, were hosted at a reception by the Mayor of the City of Sunderland, Councillor Dennis Richardson, over the weekend at the council?s Civic Centre.

The players and their chaperones were welcomed by the Mayor and his wife Ann Richardson and taken on a tour of the offices where they were told the significance and history of the many artifacts on display.

Mayor Richardson told the players that he was honored to welcome them to the city of Sunderland which has a population of over 280,000 people. He also encouraged the players to ensure they get a good education, since they must have something to do after their football career.

?You won?t be able to play football for the rest of your lives, so education is the key. You must also do everything you can to improve your skills – the more you do that, the better your chances of signing for a professional club,? he said.

The Mayor?s wife enjoyed having the boys visit smiling as she said, ?Oh, I love kids? while the players and staff expressed their gratitude to the Mayor and his wife for their hospitality. The entire party said they were touched by the warmth and kindness shown by the Mayor and his wife who engaged them in lively conversation throughout.

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