Grassroots football at its very best will be on display at the Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie over the next two weekends as the Scottish Youth Football Association (SYFA) holds its annual festival of youth football finals.
More than 30,000 players in 1,502 teams have competed in the various age groups – all dreaming of holding aloft the Scottish Cup and so be able to claim they are the best team of their age in Scotland. With so many competitors this is the largest participant sporting event in Scotland demonstrating that football is still very much the national sport.
Interestingly, there appears to be a geographical divide with the East Region and Edinburgh teams in particular dominating the younger age groups, whilst teams from the West region proving the strongest in the older age groups.
The middle age groups have a history of teams from the North Region doing well – the Under 16s age group has been won on the previous five occasions by teams from Aberdeen.
This year also sees Ayrshire well represented with Kilmarnock side Bellfield Royals and Bonnyton Thistle competing in the 17s and 19s finals respectively.
Cameron Buchan of Banchory Boys FC will be going for a unique personal record having been a member of the successful Dyce BC team that won consecutive cups from Under 14s to Under 16s in the last three seasons.
He will be hoping his experience tilts the balance in favour of his team from Royal Deeside against Bellfield Royals in the Under 17s final.
Best of luck to all the teams competing from everyone here at Club Website!
Scottish Youth Football Association Age Group Challenge Cup Finals
Saturday 5 May
Under 13s (1999s): Hutchison Vale FC v Musselburgh Windsor (1pm)
Under 21s (1991s): Campsie Black Watch v Harmony Row FC (3.30pm)
Sunday 6 May
Under 17s (1995s): Bellfield Royals BC v Banchory Boys FC (1pm)
Under 19s (1993s): Goldenhill BC v Bonnyton Thistle FC (3.45pm)
Sunday 13 May
Under 14s (1998s) Dundee United SC v Hutchison Vale FC (11am)
Under 15s (1997s) Antonine Blacks v Tynecastle FC (1.30pm)
Under 16s (1996s) Albion Boys Club v Tynecastle FC (4pm)
For more information on the finals, download the latest edition of SYFA Kickabout.
Courtesy of the SYFA.