|Drum youngsters destined for dream Danish trip|
It is not uncommon for a Scottish youth side to jet abroad during the holiday months. However, there's something a little bit special about the forthcoming visit of Drumchapel United Under 11's (pictured, right) to Fredensborg, Denmark.
With little to no financial backing, when it was first suggested that the group of boys from North West Glasgow could be taking a Scandanavian excursion, it was considered ambitious. However, ever since the carrot was dangled in front of the nine and ten year olds, they have made it their life's mission to turn dream into reality.
'The Drum' were founded as a club in 2001 with this particular age group, for players born 2001, starting life in 2009. Since then they have plied their trade in the Soccer Sevens section of the Dumbartonshire Football Development League. A fittingly named setup for this team, who pride their model on developing rather than winning, to be a part of.
Playing from the home base of the Donald Dewar Leisure Centre, it has been an action packed three years of football for United. Their most adventurous trips to date have included participation at the Blackpool Cup and the Hillsborough Boys Club Festival, Northern Ireland. In July 2012 that will all change.
Coach David Smith said: "Last year we broke the news to the boys that we would like to take them for a training camp in Denmark. We made it clear from the word go that they weren't being given a free trip and would have to work extremely hard to make it happen."
He continued: "The response from them has been unbelievable. They have been at supermarkets bag-packing; participating in a number of sponsored activities including a walk of the West Highland Way; selling tickets for a Christmas raffle and generally doing whatever they've been asked to raise the funds required. To see a bunch of boys of that age so driven and focused has been really inspirational."
The trip will see the squad of 11, many of whom have been with Drumchapel United from the very start, head to Fredensborg (45 minutes from Copenhagen, pictured right is local landmark Fredensborg Royal Palace) on July 25th. They will embark upon a five day training camp, which will see daily skill development and friendly matches against local teams.
Local side Fredensborg BI, who despite their amateur status have facilities that many Scottish Football League clubs would envy, will play host for the duration of the trip. Training will be provided by coaches from the club, along with their counterparts from Danish sports organisation DGI and Drumchapel's own coaching team.
Smith said: "I am part of the Scottish Youth Football Association's coaching team and last summer I visited Denmark twice, with the Under 16 squad who played in Cup Denmark and a second time lending our services to local football camps. The Danes were extremely welcoming and after speaking to a number of people involved in the local football scene, the trip looked like a possibility and we took it from there."
The Drum coach finished by saying: "There are so many people who have played their part but I'd like to extend special thanks to Jan Hansen and all at Fredensborg BI, who have been instrumental. The SYFA West has been of great help and, of course, we couldn't have pulled it off without an extremely supportive and committed group of parents."
In ten days time dream will indeed become really reality and a group of players in their footballing infancy will be given a memory they can keep with them for the rest of their lives.