The Scottish FA South East region, in partnership with the Big Hearts Community Trust, recently ran a girls’ only Easter football week at Tynecastle Stadium. 

The event was organised as part of the build-up to Scotland women’s qualifying match against the Republic of Ireland at Tynecastle on Thursday , 5th April, with all attendees receiving a ticket for the match and the opportunity to meet the national team.

Thirty seven girls aged between five and 13 braved the wintery weather to develop their skills and take part in fun drills and games.

The girls’ commitment was rewarded on the first day with the visit of three local international players.

Shannon Lynn, Joelle Murray and Hayley Lauder visited the young players along with national team manager Anna Signeul.

Anna and the players fielded questions from the youngsters on what it takes to play at the top level and their thoughts on the remaining matches in the qualifying campaign.

Hayley Lauder was also able to share some of her early experiences of being a full-time footballer following her recent move to Finnish outfit, Aland United. 

The girls were given a further opportunity to meet the stars of the women’s A squad on the final day of the course when they were invited in to the stadium to watch the end of the team’s training session in preparation for the game that night.

Anna and her team were happy to answer questions and pose for photographs with the young aspiring players and were also treated to a round of Scotland songs which the girls had been practising for the game that night.

The week was rounded off in spectacular fashion that night, when Rhonda Jones and Christie Murray scored two late goals within a minute of each other to claim a vital three points against the Irish.

Karen McConnell, girls’ and women’s football development officer for the South East, said: “All girls who took part in the week did themselves and their clubs proud not only displaying some excellent footballing skills, but also creating a fantastic atmosphere inside the stadium during the game which was really appreciated by all the Scottish players.”