Every first year school pupil in Scotland will have the chance to play organised, team football from the start of the next academic year. 
 
Scottish FA Chief Executive, Gordon Smith, made the announcement while at the Bank of Scotland Soccer One Finals in Glasgow. He confirmed that every high school in Scotland has been offered the chance to take part in the scheme which creates boys and girls teams for pupils in S1.
 
This year over 5000 young people took part in Soccer One programmes, creating 254 new boys' and 257 new girls' teams. Rolling it out to all Scotland's high schools should see this number increase significantly. As well as significant investment by Bank of Scotland, Soccer One is also supported by investment from the Scottish Government's Cashback for Communities Scheme and the Scottish FA.
 
Speaking at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre, Gordon Smith said:

"This is a landmark announcement for Scottish football. People often talk about the decline in the numbers of young people playing competitive football.

“Today we set about changing the story.

"We want every school and every school pupil in Scotland to play football. We know that playing the game makes you fitter and healthier, but we also know that pupils who take part in football are more confident and, in many cases, see their academic results improve.

"If we want success for our National Teams, we have to invest in the talent of the future. The Scottish FA, the Scottish Government and particularly the Bank of Scotland have shown with this announcement that they are prepared to step up and make that investment.

"The work doesn't stop here. We are already working on rolling out the programme to S2 and S3 pupils - which will mean that playing football will once again become an integral part of school life."
 
First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“Football is our national game and can play a part in giving young people a positive start by encouraging exercise, discipline, citizenship and ambition. That is why I’m delighted to see the Scottish FA’s Soccer One programme expanding into every school, backed by the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities scheme.

“I’m especially pleased to see routes into football opening up for young girls, who often find it harder to get involved with a regular team.

“I hope that young people across Scotland will take advantage of the opportunities Soccer One offers, and who knows – we may even help to discover some of the world-class players of the future!”

Susan Rice CBE, Managing Director Lloyds Banking Group Scotland, said:

 "Bank of Scotland is proud of its partnership with the Scottish FA and the opportunities and benefits the Soccer One programme provides to thousands of young people across Scotland.  It is a fantastic achievement to give every S1 secondary school pupil access to football training and a great deal of credit must go to the Scottish FA coaches and teachers who co-ordinate these weekly after school sessions. 

“The far-reaching benefits experienced by the young participants and the volunteers who are assisted in their coaching qualifications can not be underestimated in the valuable work that they do.  Bank of Scotland Soccer One has been a very successful programme, achieving great results through fun and healthy activities."