Steven Naismith believes footballers have an unfair reputation for being disconnected from fans. The Everton forward is committed to charity work within the communities he represents and his latest gesture is to donate Toffees tickets to unemployed people in Liverpool.
Naismith's initiative is a recognition that Premier League tickets are often out of the reach of ordinary fans but the Scotland international believes most footballers are keen to do what they can to help.
"There's a lot of good things footballers do," he said.
"Some things do get noticed and some things don't. I think there's probably a minority that are disconnected from fans but I've not come across many that are.
"I think it's something that's very exaggerated and probably Chinese whispers from one person to the next whereas, when people do meet these guys, they're down-to-earth guys who have come from very humble backgrounds.
"They do realise what people go through in day-to-day life."
Everton: Potential summer transfer targets
Everton: Potential summer transfer targets
1/5 Salomon Kalou
Everton face competition from cross-town rivals Liverpool for the versatile former Chelsea forward. Although the subject of much criticism during his time in west London, Kalou has taken it up another gear in Lille and has scored 30 goals in 66 matches in Ligue 1 playing in a more central role. His ability to play across the front three would make him a valuable asset in Everton's squad.
2/5 Roman Eremenko
The Finnish attacking midfielder moved to Rubin Kazan from Dynamo Kiev for around €13m in 2011. But with just a year left on his contract, and Eremenko threatening to leave for free next summer, the Russian club are keen to cash in. He mostly plays behind the striker, but can play across the midfield, and though his goal scoring record isn't great he is classy on the ball and likes to dictate play.
3/5 Samuel Eto'o
The veteran striker is still without a club after being released from Chelsea. Roberto Martinez might see him as a cut-price option if he can't land one of his primary striking targets. Chelsea's strikeforce was often critcised last season, but the 33-year-old was the best of a bad bunch scoring none goals in 21 Premier League games for the Blues.
4/5 Anthony Koura
The 21-year-old striker scored only three goals in Ligue 2 last season, but according to reports Everton have watched the Nimes man on a number of occasions. Not much is known about the striker, but he has been previously linked with Newcastle.
5/5 Modou Barrow
The Gambian winger is being chased by a number of clubs with Everton competing with Hull, QPR and Swansea for the quick striker - though Celtic are believed to be in pole position. Ostersunds want around £1.5m for Barrow, who was on trial at Bolton Wanderers last week. Barrow is in superb form in the Swedish top division, with seven goals and five assists in 13 matches so far this season.
Naismith will buy home tickets throughout the season that will be distributed to different Jobcentres across the city and given out to those working hard to try to find a job.
Speaking at a Jobcentreplus in Toxteth, the 27-year-old said: "I've tried to think of some different ideas that will make a difference since I've been at Everton and this was one that was simple and should probably have been thought about before.
"It was just working out what was the best way to do it, tying in with the Jobcentre and giving the tickets to people who have been working hard to try to find a job or get interviews and having a hard time.
"People can lose confidence and give up so hopefully this can help boost their morale and show there are rewards for the hard work they're doing and keep them motivated to try to find a job.
"I've seen it close to me with friends and family so I understand how tough it can be and how low people can get when they're trying hard and nothing's coming of it. I know these wee things do make a difference."
Naismith, who joined Everton from Rangers in 2012, helps homeless centres in Liverpool and his former home city of Glasgow.
He also launched a project in Glasgow to help injured service personnel back to mainstream employment and is an ambassador for Dyslexia Scotland.
"There's a unique platform in the job that I'm in that you can reach a lot of people and I'll definitely be willing to do most things if I think it's a worthy cause and it's going to make a difference," said Naismith.
"The things I've done in the past have been very successful and hopefully this will be another thing that runs smoothly and proves successful for the community."
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