Illawarra's former Socceroos Luke Wilkshire and Scott Chipperfield put the next generation through their paces

Hundreds of young Ronaldo and Messi wannabes were out in force at two football clinics in Wollongong on Wednesday.

And watching the likes of French striker Kylian Mbappe star at the World Cup, seemed to inspire the youngsters to try and replicate the feats of their favourite players.

They also got inspiration closer to home, learning the basics of the game from former Socceroos Luke Wilkshire and Scott Chipperfield.

About 100 kids are taking part in The Illawarra Mercury, Luke Wilkshire School Holiday Clinic, at Dalton Park.

The four-day clinic wraps up on Thursday.

About 160 kids are participating in the Chippers Finishing School football clinic in Bellambi, which also finishes on Thursday.

Wilkshire said it was great to see the kids so enthusiastic about their football.

“It’s great to see the kids really enjoy their football,” he said.

“The World Cup has definitely played a part. I think it is great for the kids to see an occasion like that and something for them to enjoy and perhaps dream and aspire to do one day.

“But at this stage we just want the kids to have fun and enjoy their football.”

Working on helping kids score goals was the main aim of the Chippers Finishing School clinic.

“The kids love the fact that we are improving their skills in front of goals,” Dean Merola said.

“Some of the kids joked that they were shooting better than Australia.”

The Chippers Finishing School clinic will be held in Gerringong for the first time next week. The two-day clinic is on July 18-19.

This story Wilkshire and Chipperfield search for Illawarra’s next Socceroo first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.