FORMER Alloa Athletic manager Paul Hartley has praised the Scottish Football Association's Mental Health and Wellbeing League initiative at one of its events in Alloa.

The league was launched in February 2018, and aims to promote positive mental health amongst those taking part in the sport.

Teams that compete in the league – which is sponsored by William Hill – must demonstrate they have mental health support structures in place for their players.

The current league season will be contested by eight teams from clubs and communities across Scotland, culminating in the final at Lesser Hampden on May 25.

While in attendance at one of the league's events in Alloa on Tuesday, March 26, Paul was full of praise for the initiative.

He told the Advertiser: "William Hill have put on a league for players to come and enjoy football and have a good day, while highlighting the mental issues that people do have.

"It's a team game that gets people [out], gets them enjoying it, and puts a smile on their face."

Paul was also keen to praise the increased attention mental health has received within football, and touched upon his own experiences in supporting others while working as a manager.

He said: "I think mental health is getting more and more highlighted now, and over the last few years, because more and more players are highlighting the issue so it's becoming so much more evident now.

"I've had to deal with a few players that have had issues, ongoing issues and different issues, not just mental health ones.

"I think one of the big things about man management is to recognise when players are struggling or have a problem, so having a day like this is terrific for people.

"But I think just getting out here on the pitch, getting some fresh air and enjoying it and working with people is great.

"Bringing this event to Alloa is good too, it's good for everybody and you can see the guys are enjoying themselves so I'm sure they'll have a great day."