ENERGETIC tots had a ball on the last day of a special football programme.

Little ones at Wellpark Children’s Centre gathered at Greenock Sports Centre for the last day of an innovative football programme run by Paddy McAlees from Greenock Morton Community Trust.

Paddy says the Micro Morton initiative prepares the children for school as it develops their physical, social and educational skills.

He said: "The nursery managed to get funding which meant I could deliver this for the whole year.

"It has been absolutely great.

"They learn lots of skills such as dribbling the ball and shooting for goal.

"There's also a social aspect too as they play in a team with other kids."

Gill McDonald, an early years education and childcare officer at the nursery, says the children gain in confidence through the sessions with Paddy.

She said: "They really enjoy it - they find it so much fun."

Fiona Rankin says her four-year-old son Elijah can't wait for the football training sessions.

She said: ""He says Paddy is really good and very funny."

Elijah's granddad Jim Rankin, who coaches with Port Glasgow Juniors, thinks it's great to see kids getting regular structured exercise at an early age.

He said: "It keeps them active and physical.

"You never know - we could find the next Lionel Messi."