Scottish FA’s Disability Development Officer David McArdle was delighted with Scotland’s performance at the Learning Disability Home Nations.

Scotland won the tournament for the third time in four years with victories over Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and a draw with Wales.

For McArdle, the victory was a fitting end to nearly a year’s worth of hard work for the team. 

“I’m absolutely delighted for the players” McArdle told the Scottish FA website. 

“After having trials last May, we’ve been working together as a squad towards the Home Nations since last September.

“It’s great to see all the hard work come to fruition over the three games.”

Scotland started their campaign strongly, defeating Northern Ireland. It was in their next two matches where the team showed their character, recovering from a 2-0 deficit to draw against Wales and bouncing back from an early goal against the Republic of Ireland to go on and win 2-1.

For McArdle, the fact that Straun MacLean scored in the final game after being sent off in the tournament opener, epitomised the tight-knit nature of the squad.

He said: “There’s a real sense of togetherness within the squad, and I think that was at it’s most evident when Straun scored in the final match. He was obviously gutted when he was sent-off against Northern Ireland, but the players rallied round and kept his spirits up.

“We faced a lot of challenges over the week but passed them all. I’m so proud of what the team’s achieved and I can only thank them, the staff, and the players’ friends and family who have supported the boys throughout”.

The under-19 tournament was also the final matches in the Scotland LD set-up for five of the squad. Kyle Hannin, Sean Stewart, Murrie Robertson, Scott Cuffe and Chris Frame all featured in tournament, and McArdle was keen to emphasis their contribution.

“The five who have now completed their time in the set-up will be sorely missed” McArdle said.

“Some of the players, such as Kyle and Scott, have been part of the set-up for nearly four years now, so it’s sad to see them go. We wish them all the best, and thank them for the role models that they have been for their teammates.”