A CRITICISM of Worcester City in years gone by was their lack of engagement with the local community.

Well, that’s certainly something that cannot be levelled at them now, with the club becoming increasingly proactive.

Forging a link with Nunnery Wood Colts to run the junior section last year was just the start.

The St George’s Lane outfit now have a presence with youth teams, as well as schools, across the city.

Seeing children playing five-a-side before a City match or penalty shoot-outs at half-time seldom used to happen.

Now it takes place at every Saturday home game.

The junior teams are queuing up to spend a day at the Lane and City are only too happy to oblige.

Last weekend, it was the turn of Bromyard Town and Nunnery Wood Ospreys under eights.

They arrived at the ground two hours before kick-off and were taken to meet the players.

Then it was a tour of the ground, including the press box, and a chance to read the teams out over the public address system.

After that, they played a game on the pitch before donning their kits to lead Worcester and Droylsden out as mascots. All this has to be good for City. It might not be great for the over-worked pitch in the short-term but if it helps build the club for the future, I doubt few will complain.

What’s more, it doesn’t cost anyone a penny.

“We let all of the teams and their coaches in for free as part of getting City known,” said director Rich Widdowson.

A case of speculate to accumulate, I guess, but what have City got to lose?

Widdowson added: “We have got to get kids interested and they absolutely love it.”