FORMER professional footballers Paul Parry and Darren Jones are aiming to keep kids active this summer after opening the Newport Indoor Football Centre.

The city’s first indoor football facility is located on Usk Way and has two 3G pitches of FIFA Pro standard, both 25m x 16m in dimensions, as well as a viewing area and coffee shop.

The centre is open to the public and is also home to Parry & Jones Soccer School (PJSS), a development centre and pathway to nurture young footballing talent across the region.

Former Wales international and Cardiff City winger Parry hopes the venue will help more people get into the sport, particularly youngsters.

“The whole ethos of the place is to get as many people playing football as we can,” said the 37-year-old Chepstow native.

“We’ve started the soccer tots from two years of age and we’ve got our own development programme that goes through to 16.

“And we’re also looking at walking football for us oldies.

“But really we want to try to get as many kids as we can playing football, it’s as simple as that.

“If we can get them off the backsides and away from their X-Boxes and be able to offer them something then this is what this facility is all about.

“We’re just trying to raise awareness now,” added Parry, who won 12 caps for Wales and played in the 2008 FA Cup final for the Bluebirds.

“We’ve got a few regulars in already and everyone who has come in has enjoyed it and booked in for the long-term and that’s the objective of the centre.”

South Wales Argus:

Jones retired from professional football 12 months ago after leaving hometown club Newport County AFC but he’s not got his feet up.

The 34-year-old combines running the soccer school and football centre with managing Welsh League club Chepstow Town.

“It’s keeping me extremely busy,” he said. “It’s a bit different to what I’ve been used to all my life, even though it’s in the same sport.

“The day-to-day running of stuff and not actually being active on the pitch is a bit of a change but I’m really enjoying it.

“We’ve been open for a couple of weeks now and we’ve got a few bookings. We’re just trying to make sure that everyone knows we’re here and open up the facility for whoever wants to use it.

“I think Newport needs it because there’s nowhere else like it,” added the former Exiles defender.

“Nobody wants to be playing outside through the winter months so it’s a perfect environment.

“It’s about giving kids more football and more enjoyment.

“The season’s finished but kids just want to keep on going and why not?”

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