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A LIVELY squad of 20 youngsters representing Fort William Football Youth Development (FWFYD) headed down to Ayrshire on Friday morning and, by Sunday afternoon, had won their section, competing against 15 other teams from Scotland and Ireland.
The pool of under-13 players had been invited to take part in the 40th Ayr International Scotland Cup competition. They travelled south by minibus and in a fleet of family cars.
The Ayr International Scotland Cup is the oldest grassroots tournament in the UK and the third oldest in Europe.
Danny Conlon, head of FWFYD, advised: ‘This is a very prestigious tournament, embracing 140 clubs throughout the UK. It gave our lads an insight into how other clubs operate and play – as this was a first-off involvement for us.
‘Much of the financing of the trip was made possible by the Youth Development’s own fundraising, and by generous donations from the Rotary Club of Lochaber and Marine Harvest.’
The Under-13s won the Ayr Trophy which is competed for by 16 youth teams from Scotland and Ireland. They beat Moyra FC, their Irish counterparts, 3-1 in the final, lifting the trophy and the accompanying medals.
This tournament comes hard on the heels of FWFYD’s annual presentation of awards at Fort William Golf Club. And, after the trophies and medals had been handed out, a race night was held which raised a splendid £2,235.
Rotary Club president Paula Ross congratulated the Under-13 team in winning the Under-13 Trophy and bringing honour to Lochaber.
Paula added: ‘We had no hesitation in awarding funding to help FWFYD attend this important event. We support the aims of developing skill and participation in sport, fostering friendship while having fun and enjoyment.’
Under-10 Player of the Year Ryan Hunter, Most Improved Ben Britton, Under-11 Player of the Year Connor Cameron, Most Improved Angus Thomson, Under-13 Player of the Year Robbie Rydings, Most Improved Ben MacDonald and Alec Morrison, Under-15 Player of the Year Kyle Dignan, Most Improved Hector MacLean, Under-17 Player of the Year Steven Neil and Most Improved Calum MacLean.