AN UNDER-12s football team which was treated to a surprise training session by a Pompey player has revealed it is struggling to find a shirt sponsor.
Skilful Soccer Youth received worldwide media attention after Portsmouth FC’s Christian Burgess turned up to a training session last month.
It would be great if we could get someone to sponsor the shirts for next season because we are all self-funded.Will Chitty
The defender was contacted by coach Will Chitty after tweeting that he was at a loose end because Pompey’s League Two fixture away to Crawley had been postponed.
The former Middlesbrough and Peterborough man unexpectedly turned up midway through the session at Bransbury Park, in Eastney, to pose for pictures, answer questions and help coach the team.
Despite the exposure, Will revealed the club has received no financial donations since the story broke and is still struggling with funds.
He said: ‘It would be great if we could get someone to sponsor the shirts for next season because we are all self-funded.
‘Some of these kids don’t have a lot of money, so we’re relying on the parents.
‘If we could take the pressure off them for a year, that would be fantastic.’
The story on the training session went viral and was picked up by news teams in America, Australia and China.
Will added: ‘It was one thing for Christian to come along, but the reaction was something else.
‘It was quite hard to keep track of who was seeing it, because people were also posting it on Facebook and that was hitting people.
‘I said to my wife on Sunday night “I want to press the stop button on this” because it was an adrenaline buzz but it felt like it was out of control.’
Will, who is a Portsmouth fan and shareholder, said he had joked about Christian turning up before he actually did.
‘I mentioned it to my son as a joke and I didn’t expect him to turn up,’ he said.
‘It shows they care. I bought a share in the club, so it just makes that feel worthwhile and that what we did was justified.’
Burgess joined the club in 2015.