Published: 00:00, 10 January 2019
Blair Turgott’s commitment to Maidstone goes beyond the football club.
Turgott wants to give something back to the town and has set up his own after-school club called Shooting Talent Sports.
He’s linked up with Archbishop Courtenay Primary School in Tovil and hopes others will follow as word spreads.
It will initially focus on football, with Turgott leading the coaching, but longer term there are plans to introduce other sports.
The Stones captain says he was one of the lucky ones, having been picked up West Ham’s academy aged eight, and now he intends to give children in the town an opportunity to get into football.
Turgott, 24, said: “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
“I know how hard it is when you’re younger if you don’t have a platform to get into football.
“Personally I think it would be good to give something back to the community.
“I was probably one of the fortunate ones because from the age of eight I was at West Ham all the way up to 20, but I know how hard it is.
“If you’re in a position where you’re privileged to be looked upon as a role model it’s always good to try and use that to help others.
“I initially thought about doing something in the area I grew up, south London, but Maidstone’s a perfect fit.
“It will be great for me to get involved and try and help out.”
Turgott has joined forces with best friend and PE teacher Ike Robertson to launch Shooting Talent Sports and has Stones Live! commentator Nick Morgan to thank for establishing the link with Archbishop Courtenay.
Sessions are set to start in February and Turgott said: “It is more primary school-based and at that age it’s about getting the fun and enjoyment because when you’re young the most important thing is to enjoy what you’re doing.
“Being the person I am, there’ll be extra incentives.
“There’ll be things like giveaways in our soccer school, signed shirts from contacts I know, there’ll be people coming down regularly to watch the sessions and that hopefully gives the community a lift and gives the kids a lift to see certain pros coming down.
“Things like that give it a little extra than the norm and show we aren’t just ticking a box, it’s because we actually care and we want to see some sort of shift in the community.”