Port Vale midfielder Luke Joyce says he is proud to be part of a club helping the community during the coronavirus pandemic.
Vale Park has become the centre of a community hub, coordinating efforts to help schools, children and the vulnerable.
Meanwhile, the players have started posting fitness and skills challenges on social media for supporters.
Joyce says he’s just happy to play a part in the wider efforts by the club and the Port Vale Foundation Trust as well as the Synectics Solutions and Summit Hospitality businesses owned by Carol and Kevin Shanahan, and the Hubb Foundation, of which Carol is founder and a trustee.
Joyce said: “It doesn’t surprise me one bit with how Carol and Kevin conduct themselves, and also they want the club to be the nucleus of that community in Burslem and surrounding area.
“As we have seen this season, it is a club that really is on the up, and is a club that is getting plenty of positive things said about it.
“I am chuffed and proud to be part of that and, if I can play a small role in trying to help people in a difficult and bizarre period of our lives, I am chuffed to bits.”
The players’ challenges include captain Leon Legge doing an indoors fitness session while Joyce has set a control and dribbling exercise that can be done in a confined space. So, youngsters can have a go without having to leave the house, yard or garden.
The challenges are available on Port Vale’s YouTube channel.
Joyce, who runs his own junior coaching academy, added: “It could be a small yard, we are just trying to keep it small and compact. You don’t need 10 footballs, cones, bibs and goals.
“You could do it in the house in a corridor, so long as mum and dad are all right with that. You’re not knocking things off shelves!
“I know what it is like as a parent. I have a four-year-old and a six-year-old and it is trying to keep them entertained.
“It’s trying to keep them occupied indoors as well so it’s not just television, computers and schoolwork. It is something else to take their mind away.”
Joyce is in his second season with the Vale, having signed on a free transfer from Carlisle United.
The 32 year old has become a key player this season, starting 36 of the Vale’s 37 league games and playing in the midfield holding role of manager John Askey’s 4-3-3 system.
He’s helped the Vale climb to eighth in the table, just a point outside the play-off places after only eight league defeats.
The Port Vale players have been training at home since the EFL and Premier League suspended the domestic football programme on March 13 in response to the coronavirus crisis. The ban is initially in place until April 30.