For the past five seasons, Scone Thistle of Perth and Kinross have been running and under-11s girls team. On 31st January, they announced their expansion down to under-9's and up to under-13's during a snowy taster session in Perth.
Derek Adam, co-chairman of Community Club, commented on the struggles that the Jaggies had when they originally set up.
“The original group of girls played at U11 but a number of players became too old to participate at that age level at the same time,” said Adam. “With some of the girls being as young as 8 the step up to U13 would have been too much for them so it was decided that the team would keep playing at U11.”
“Increasing the number of girls participating has been one of the aims of the community club and with the present team having a range of ages we are keen to avoid a repeat of girls having to go elsewhere to play or worse, stopping playing altogether.”
Former Scone Thistle goalkeeper Becky Cameron, now of Dundee United and Scotland under-16's, was one of those players the Jaggies lost out to due to a lack of teams available for her at that age group. “I loved playing for Scone Thistle,” said Cameron, “but I had to move on when the team folded. Lots of the girls became more interested in make-up and other things, so it’s great to see so many young girls playing in Scone.”
The Scone Thistle girls were boosted furthermore by the presence of veteran Scotland women’s international Rachel Corsie. Currently playing for Seattle Reign in the United States, she was present at Scone to oversee the enthusiastic girls taking part in the growing sport of football. “It is very cold but they don't care,” stated Corsie. “Their enthusiasm is great. The younger they start the better.”
She added that “learning the key skills is something that you really need to start as early as possible. Seeing these girls, some of them as young as 5 and 6, having fun and learning so much is fantastic. It is a great opportunity for them.”