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Spurs legend hands out prizes at event to inspire girls to play football

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The ‘NextGen’ schools festival at the club’s Enfield training centre had football drills and a mini tournament for soccer stars of the future aged five to seven.

Two girls won scholarships to join one of Tottenham Hotspur’s summer holiday programmes held in school grounds in north London, Hertfordshire and West Essex teaching teamwork and sportsmanship.

But the best part for the youngsters at the festival was “having fun and scoring goals”.

Ledley handed out prizes for ‘Goal of the Day’ and ‘Team of the Day’ as well as presenting the scholarships.

“I would have loved the chance as a young kid to come and play in such amazing facilities,” he said. “It’s important that we involve local communities in the club’s stadium with its world class facilities.”

The former professional player, now 43, who grew up in Bow in east London, spent his entire career with Premier League Spurs as a centre-back and played 323 matches from 1999 to 2012, scoring 14 goals.

He was named captain in 2005, and lifted a trophy at Wembley after the team’s 2008 League Cup triumph, as well as being selected for England’s World Cup squad in 2010.

His injury in South Africa, however, began to take its toll and he made just nine appearances for the national side in 2010-11. It was soon after that that he decided to call it a day.

Ledley continues as the club’s ‘ambassador’, continuing his life-long association with Spurs.

The club runs development programmes for would-be players with training to improve their game, run by FA and UEFA-qualified coaches, learning techniques and strategies that define Spurs’ football philosophy.

The club’s global coaching head Chris Acaster said: “Our summer holiday programmes cater all abilities to teach youngsters the Spurs philosophy to improve their skills and elevate their game.”

Premium venues are selected as a first-class setting for training while the youngsters gain  experience in leadership skills and learn the values of fair play and collaborating with each other on and off the pitch.

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