A Street Football programme for youngsters finals were played at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld.

Motherwell F.C. captain Stephen Craigan, the Champions League theme tune and the Sky Sports cameras all added to the excitement for Street football finals.

The  programme organised by North Lanarkshire Council has been a project almost 18 months in the making and has reached more than 1000 youths and young children throughout the county.

The council identified local communities where youth disorder was a problem. One of the main issues was that youngsters could rarely venture out of their own community for the fear of gangs from other areas.

So with the use of a mobile football pitch and newly acquired four-a-side goals, and the help of the police and local re-generation managers, 'Hotspots' with a high rate of youth disorder were targeted. 

All these coaching days were delivered on the days and times where youth disorder was at its highest, usually Friday nights from 6pm - 9pm.

Willie McNab an Assistant development Office with Learning & Leisure Services, said: 'The programme is a unique event, with communities from all over North Lanarkshire coming together with football being used as the vehicle to make this happen.

'Hopefully, this will provide us with a platform to build on the success of the programme. We will be trying hard to secure funding to make this a more sustainable event, giving the youth of today and tomorrow the chance to play and maybe find a career in the world of football'.

Motherwell F.C. captain Stephen Craigan was on hand throughout the finals to help with coaching, answering the youngsters' questions and picking out those with outstanding talent.

Stephen said: ' Since I came to Scotland, there has been a bit of a tendency for people to pay down the abilities of the young players involved in our game. Having the opportunity to take part in this type of event allows players to enhance their skills in the small sided games and show off their talents. I was delighted to come along and support this very worthwhile programme and encourage the best out of the players.

Councillor Jim Logue, Convenor of learning and leisure Services, added:  'Football is one of the major events taking part at the 2011 International Children's Games in Lanarkshire. I have no doubt the skill the youngsters have honed during thier programme will hopefully be evident at the games.

'The work put in by the coaches has been fantastic, and I would like to thank them for all their hard work and dedication in making the initiative and finals day such a success'