YOUNG, Midnight League footballers from North and South Lanarkshire will represent Scotland at international level in the Coalfields Regeneration Trust tri-nation Home Internationals against sides from England and Wales.
Each country will provide two teams for the Internationals which will be held in Wales over the weekend of September 3-5.
The Scotland team members from the Cumbernauld and Croy area are Marc Dempsey, Joseph Boyle, Adam Fleming, Sean Whiteside, Daniel Gray, Matthew McAlister and Calum Grier.
The Scottish Thistles team members from Blantyre are: Joe Calderen, Jonny Kerr, Stephen McNeil, Paul McDonald, Michael Murney, Ryan McGarvey, Daniel Harkins and Tony Owen.
Both teams were chosen after the youngsters involved turned in impressive displays at the Finals of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Midnight Leagues played at the National Football Centre at Toryglen in Glasgow earlier this year.
Both Scottish sides left with the good wishes of their local MSP.
Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP, Cathie Craigie, said: “This is the third time that local lads have won the honour of representing Scotland in this competition.
“Our boys were runners up on the last two occasions, so we are hoping they will make it third time lucky by winning the competition this time round.
“I wish them every success and I am sure they will thoroughly enjoy their trip regardless of the outcome”.
Hamilton South MSP Tom McCabe whose constituency includes Blantyre said: “I wish the lads every success, in what I am sure will be a great experience for them.
“It’s always an honour to represent your country, and the boys have the added incentive of knowing they could be the first Scottish team to win this home internationals series.
Nicky Wilson, Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: “We sponsor midnight leagues in former mining communities, to give young people something positive to do at weekends.
“Playing for Scotland in the Home Internationals is a huge thrill for these youngsters. Some of those who’ve taken part in previous years have described it as a ‘life changing’ event.”
Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland will sponsor both Scottish teams. Thompsons Partner Bruce Shields said: “We are delighted to be sponsors of the Scottish midnight league teams and wish them every success in Wales.
“The Coalfields Regeneration Trust does a great job in staging this event which really widens the horizons of the young people who take part”.
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