YOUNG footballers were paid an exciting visit by an ex-professional who was on hand to give out some expert advice.

Players for Brantham Athletic’s u15 Imps side were thrilled to have a training session led by former Ipswich Town, Everton and Leicester City striker Marcus Bent on Monday evening.

Bent, who selflessly drove two hours to take the session, scored 66 goals throughout his career and was asked to visit by the club's director of football, Dave Childs.

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The Imps’ manager Trevor Lawrie explained it was a “huge boost” ahead of the impending season.

He said: “To have a player come down who has played at the highest level was fantastic for the boys.

“I imagine they were excited but it wasn’t just the boys who were really happy, the parents were messaging me to say what a great experience it was and how good it was of Marcus to give up his free time.

“He drove two hours or more to deliver some inspiring words and a training session and was brilliant with the boys.

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“It really cheered everyone up after the heartbreak of England losing on Sunday and he took time to explain things to the boys too which was fantastic to see.

“There has been a big issue with mental health during the lockdown periods and football has helped the boys get through this.

“Marcus’ visit has definitely given everyone a huge boost and I think the boys will remember this for many years to come and I’m sure the advice he passed on will help them. We are really looking forward to the new season.”