Scotland's Youth Team of the Year Praised

Wednesday, 15 June 2022 10:54

Stranraer’s Millennium FC u13s Girls team was awarded the Youth Team of the Year accolade at the recent MG Alba Scottish Women’s Football Awards 2022.

The showpiece Awards event took place at Glasgow Hilton, where coaches, players and parents were present.

Winning the award was quite an achievement in the face of stiff competition from Glasgow City Development u15s, Rangers FC u16s, and Rangers FC u19s.

The judges commented:

“Despite significant geographical challenges, Millennium FC has provided opportunities to local girls not only to participate but also to win. They exemplify the best aspects of the grassroots game.”

Participating in the Southwest regional area, which covers Dumfries and Galloway, Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire, Millennium initially played 12 games, winning 11 of them. Teams were then allocated 1 of 3 leagues, with Millennium entering the top-seeded league, which included Hamilton Academical, Kilmarnock, and Queen of the South.

The plan was for Millennium, which has no senior team, to learn and develop its players. However, a first game win against pre-season favourites Hamilton boosted confidence and the team never looked back. The team went on to win all its league fixtures, except for one draw, and clinch the league title as top scorers. The team also reached the quarter-final stage of the League Cup, losing the match in a penalty shootout.

The team of 15 girls from Stranraer and 1 from Newton Stewart travelled more than 1,500 miles to fulfil its fixtures. A spokesperson said:

“As a grassroots club, we set out managing expectations and hoping that our girls would learn and develop as players. However, our girls showed their commitment and dedication and exceeded our expectations. They’re just a brilliant bunch of girls who have shown dedication, determination, and a drive to succeed. They’ve been real ambassadors for the club and area. Now, the younger girls and boys at the club are looking at what they’ve done and want to emulate them. The girls have shown that if you put the work in, listen to your coaches, and strive to learn and improve, that the unexpected and unlikely is possible.”

Dumfries and Galloway Council co-leaders, Cllr Stephen Thompson and Cllr Linda Dorward said of the achievement:

“This national recognition is absolutely fantastic for all the players, coaches and volunteers associated with the club. It takes a phenomenal level of dedication from all concerned to perform at the top level and compete against some of the best clubs in Scottish football. It just goes to show that team work, talent and skill can allow you to go toe to toe with some of the most well-resourced football clubs in Scotland. We’re immensely proud of Millennium FC and wish them all the best for the future.”