Kirriemuir Youth FC had great success at the annual football tournament held in Euro-Disney Paris France this Easter.
With various fundraising events helping to foot the £8,000 cost including a sponsored New Year’s Day “Dook” in the Tay, producing a calendar which was sponsored by many local business and sold well and finally a Burns ceilidh in the town hall.
On arrival and checking into the Paris accommodation Kirrie found out over 72 teams from all over the world were competing including Brazil, Turkey, France, Portugal, USA, Ireland, England and of course Scotland.
Kirriemuir found themselves stationed at the superb US Varies FC stadium and their first round opponents were The International School of London a school for the wealthy with overseas parents sending their children to be educated in England with the best in facilities, coaches and teachers.
However, image meant nothing to Kirrie as they came firing out the traps and completely overwhelmed the opposition as move after move resulted in goals flowing and were up 8-0 by half-time. Utilising the full squad Kirriemuir ran out 11-0 winners.
However, that was the end of easy fixtures as the next round opponents were Rutherford College who had travelled with a massive four teams in the competition, Kirriemuir had been drawn against their ‘A’ team and that was to prove one of the toughest fixtures Kirrie have faced in their careers so far.
A strong tall fit side who had no weaknesses and it was Kirrie’s first visit into their opponents’ box when a Mitchell corner soared direct into the back of the net for a half time 1-0 lead. As expected this team had never been beaten and pressed forward time after time but Rutherford had never faced a Scottish opponent who refused to roll over and it was hard to swallow an equalizer with just six minutes to go. However, deep into injury time a Starkey chase down resulted in a sliced clearance and Ray tapped home for a remarkable 2-1 win.
Third round found Kirrie up against Emmerville FC of Paris and played very well to win 2 -1. However, they took a number of injuries.
Unfortunately, the semi-final draw saw the only two Scottish teams play each other and with a poor first half, the team rallied at half time to see them play well second half and deserved again a 2-1 win.
The final came but with numerous injuries team selection was limited and a number of players had to play out of position and a poor 12 minute spell in the first half saw Rutherford score three which remained the final score.
Nevertheless, this small community have taken on and beaten much larger opponents and there cannot be enough praise for this team of boys who have committed themselves to training and discipline on and off the field. Their fighting heart saw this squad of skilled players rise to the challenge. Team: Barclay, Dickson, Reid, Fraser, Penman, Findlater, Kerrigan, McKenna, Barber, Starkey, Cheyne, Prain, Mitchell, Ray, Burke, Sherry and Milligan.