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Mortimer signs up for Kick It Out

FRESH CHALLENGE: The experienced Mortimer

FORMER CHARLTON Athletic and Aston Villa player Paul Mortimer has been appointed as Professional Player Engagement manager at Kick It Out.

Football’s equality and inclusion campaign brought in Mortimer as they look to tighten the connection between the campaign and current players.

Looking ahead to his role Mortimer, who has also coached at various levels of the game with Arsenal, Wimbledon and Brentford said that it was important that KIO maintained their profile and presence moving forward.

“There are lots of different aspects to my role,” commented Paul. “My job will be to go into clubs and speak to players to give them an idea of what Kick It Out is about and how we can help and assist them in anyway.

“We want to have a continued and consistent presence at as many clubs as possible so that we’re a friendly face they know and can trust. Basically we’re fighting for the players and we want them to know that.”

Mortimer’s passion for his new role is reflected by his decision to turn his back on a 25-year playing and coaching career in order to act as a conduit for players who are experiencing any difficulties within the KIO remit.

He added: “I think it’s great to have ex-professional footballers around because we have an idea of what the players are going through.

“Knowing the mentality of players, I kind of know what happens when people turn up to a club once every six months and I know how little attention players pay to them.

"Consistency of our attendances will hopefully make them warm to us.

“And what will happen in that time is that we can drip information to them and they will also know that we are around and only just a phone call away.

"It is all about creating a strong link between Kick It Out and the players.”

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