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Thanks to some fine fundraising efforts Campbeltown U13s left the Wee Toon on Thursday August 1 to take part in the Edinburgh International Cup.
Playing their first game the following day, the squad got off to a flyer against Tynecastle when Calum McAllister slotted a perfectly executed penalty on 10 minutes.
The capital side honed all their skills, however, and goals in each half resulted in a 2-1 defeat.
A 4-0 defeat to Villa Park FC in the second game did not reflect the way the Kintyre youngsters played, while the third match against Giffnock saw another great performance end in a 2-1 defeat with coaches blaming some ‘dubious refereeing decisions’ for the disappointing result.
Back to the hotel for a quick change on Friday night before heading up town to the Edinburgh Dungeon, an experience enjoyed by all.
Back to business on the Saturday and the first stop was the football pitches to watch CDJFA 2010 player Jake McEachran step up and help Port Glasgow out for the day.
He had an absolutely brilliant experience and gelled well with the team, netting a good few goals and learning a lot from the experience.
Next stop for the U13s was the Edinburgh Fringe where the team had a blast watching a live street performance from Marvin Straight, the basket ball man, with his freestyle flicks and tricks, before making their way to Edinburgh Castle.
A massive feed (maybe too much!) ensued before squad made its way to the parks for their first game of the night against Edinburgh South Athletic during which three quick-fire goals from the opposition caused heads to go down, leading to a 4-o defeat.
A rousing team talk installed confidence and self-belief for the final game against Steins Thistle FC however.
The fire was lit and the team performed brilliantly. A free kick about 30 yards out was struck by Calum McAllister only to be denied by the tips of the opposition goalie. Despite the great effort, the match ended in a 3-0 defeat.
Jack McNab played a blinder over the weekend with smashing runs on both days.
Coaches commented: ‘This has been a fantastic opportunity for the team and the Edinburgh Cup set out and proved exactly what we wanted to achieve and that was to sample experienced teams at 11-a-side.
‘We learned a lot from the weekend and are chuffed to say the team did the town proud during their first proper transition to the 11-a-side game where the U13s have secured a place in Glasgow and District Youth Football League 2nd division.’
Fundraising efforts for the trip included Helen Gilchrist running a children’s quiz, a full day’s spinning by squad members in Campbeltown Coop, a successful bag pack in Campbeltown Tesco, a very successful tombola and baking stall at their own festival, generous donations from the Coop and Laggan Community Council, a sibling of one of the Tarbert players holding a coffee morning in her local nursing home, the Kinloch Bar running various football cards and a darts charity event along with generous donations from parents and grandparents.
The U13s appreciate every penny raised to get them to the tournament.
Leftover funds went towards a framed photo of the team, by the Edinburgh Cup photographer, for each player plus player of the tournament gifts which the coaches decided should be awarded to Jack McNab and Imogen Todd, who displayed some excellent saves throughout the festival, and a small keyring for coaches Rhys Blair, Dougue Renton and Robert Todd.
Organisers would also like to thank Mairi MacMillan and Robert Graham for accompanying them on the trip, all the fundraisers, CDJFA for supporting their efforts and also Kintyre Sports Council for the use of the bus.
‘We wish the U13s all the best in their first year of the Glasgow League who secured strip sponsorship from local businesses Donald Mclean contractors and Munch.’
Photographs show pictures of the team, yellow T-shirts purchased through fundraising and one in their red strips and one of CDJFA player Jake McEachran who played for Port Glasgow on Saturday.