Latics kids can learn from Heskey

Emile Heskey returned to the DW Stadium when Wigan took on Aston Villa in May 2012

Emile Heskey returned to the DW Stadium when Wigan took on Aston Villa in May 2012

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ROBERTO Martinez believes the presence of Emile Heskey at the training ground will have a massive influence on his Development Squad.

While the first team have been away in Austria, Heskey has been down at Christopher Park joining in sessions with the club’s talented crop of youngsters.

The former Latics striker is a free agent after being released by Aston Villa at the end of last season.

And he returned to his old stomping ground to keep up his fitness levels as he looks for a new club.

Heskey, 34, has been linked with several Championship clubs including Ipswich, managed by Paul Jewell, and Steve Bruce’s Hull City.

But until his future is resolved, Martinez is delighted his wealth of knowledge and experience is being passed on to the Latics stars of tomorrow.

“Emile asked to come in to keep himself fit, and we’ve all obviously got some great memories of his time with Wigan Athletic,” Martinez said.

“He is always welcome at our football club, and his presence will be great for the youngsters as part of their learning curve.

“Any session where you get the opportunity to work with someone like Emile Heskey is something that every one of our players should be taking advantage of.

“Emile is always welcome at Christopher Park, he can stay for as long as he likes.”

The return of Heskey – coupled with Wigan’s search for a new striker following the departure of Hugo Rodallega – will inevitably set the tongues of fans wagging.

But Martinez played down suggestions there would be anything in the way of a deal on the table for the former England striker.

“No, I don’t think that is the case at all,” he added.

“Emile has had a tremendous history with Wigan.

“But I don’t think there will be any more pages to be written in that particular book.”

Meanwhile, the friendly between Latics’ development squad and Bury at Gigg Lane on Thursday, August 2 will kick-off at 7.45pm.