Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, healthy and successful 2019 from all at the Scottish Schools Football Association.

Reflecting on the first half of season 2018-19, we were extremely fortunate with the mild weather allowing all the National Trophy group games to be completed with the Under 18 games being used as part of the National team trial system.

The fInal trial was held on Tuesday 11th December 2018 at Toryglen and I would like to congratulate those boys who have been selected to represent Scotland this season. I am sure the opportunity will provide memories which will last forever.

To those who were not selected, I offer my commiserations but they should use the experience as a springboard for the future. Many of these young men will be fifth year pupils, some of whom can use the experience this year to come back stronger next season.

The new boys’ squad got off to a great start in their first warm-up game, beating Stirling Albion 8-1.

The Girls’ International squad was chosen after the final trial which took place at Torryglen on Friday 21st December.

It was good to see that six girls who were involved in last years squad, have returned and been chosen again this year. Good luck to all the girls who were selected with the reward for making the squad being to play in the Bob Docherty tournament in April which will take place in Salou, Spain for the first time.

It may have been Christmas holiday time but the girls had a two day get together with training sessions last week to begin the process of gelling as a team.

The seven Shield competitions and the Primary 7’s qualifying events have progressed very well with most games being played on time. As a practicing teacher, I fully understand the problems teachers and coaches face in terms of organising ties. No minibus available, no-one available to drive the minibus, parents evening, prelims, in-set days all get in the way of schools’ football but it is testament to the dedication of school team coaches who give freely of their time to offer opportunities and experiences to youngsters through the medium of schools’ football.

Hopefully the country is not hit with the ‘Beast From The East – The Sequel‘ and we can continue the progress of the competitions and the preparations of our National squads in the coming months.

Finally, on behalf of all young Footballers in Scottish Schools, I would like to thank all the volunteers who offer Football opportunities in both Scottish schools. I’m sure the experiences offered, be it Small sided festivals, Shield or National Trophy ties or involvement with International squads, will provide lifelong memories for all those involved.

Good luck to all for the rest of the season !