SCOTTISH YOUTH FA CUP FINALS 2023
The inspiresport Scottish Youth FA Cup Finals 2023 took place on the 7th and 14th May at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie, with 12 teams across 6 age groups, battling it out to win this prestigious cup for their respective age category. The competition began back in September, when over 1700 clubs from every corner of Scotland entered the first round – looking to progress towards the finals.
Fast forward to Sunday 7th May 2023, when the 2009 age group final between Musselburgh Windsor & Gairdoch United would kick-off and be the first of six finals over the course of the two weekends. The opening game did not disappoint, in the five-goal thriller, the game had to be settled in extra time. Musselburgh Windsor would lift the trophy however, winning the game 3-2 against their hardworking opponents. The finals for the 2005 and 2008 age categories would follow in the afternoon, as Clydebank would run out 2-0 winners against Hillwood, and Edinburgh City had too much for Musselburgh Windsor in a 4-1 victory.
The following Sunday, the last three finals would take place to round off another successful cup competition by the Scottish Youth Football Association. Hillwood would take on Clydebank in the 2007 final to open the day, with Clydebank securing another 2-0 victory for the club, making them winners in two different age groups. The youngest age category was up next, as Westdyke faced Airdrie Pumas in the 2010 final. Airdrie went 1-0 up in the first half, however, Westdyke fought back in the second half to win 2-1 and lifted the cup. The 2006 matchup between Blackburn United and Thorn Athletic was the last final to be played to conclude a memorable weekend. The first half saw no goals from either side, with the game coming to life in the second half which saw 5 goals. Thorn Athletic were victorious 4-1, as half-time substitute Brandon Forbes stole the show, scoring a sensational second-half hat-trick.
Jed McCabe, Head of Sales Scotland, at inspiresport, shared his thoughts on the competition:
“It has been a real pleasure to be involved with the inspiresport Scottish Youth FA Scottish Cup for the last 8 years. It is such a prestigious competition where the build up starts with the live draws from Hampden Park via social media and the excitement starts very early for everyone involved as the road to Airdrie begins.
I would like to congratulate this years winners as it is a huge achievement to win a national trophy.
Huge credit also to all teams, coaches, SYFA staff and supporters who played their part in making it a huge success. I am looking forward to next season already”.
Scottish Youth FA Cup Finals 2023
2005: Clydebank 2-0 Hillwood
2006: Blackburn United 1-4 Thorn Athletic
2007: Hillwood 0-2 Clydebank
2008: Edinburgh City 4-1 Musselburgh Windsor
2009: Musselburgh Windsor 3-2 Gairdoch United
2010: Westdyke 2-1 Airdrie Pumas
FUTBOL SALOU – THORN ATHLETIC
Thorn Athletic 2006 travelled with inspiresport on a development tour back in October to Futbol Salou in Spain, where a lot of the groundwork for their cup triumph was laid. The itinerary included training sessions by professional coaches, matches against local Spanish opposition at the world-class Futbol Salou Sports Center, and also a stadium tour of FC Barcelona’s iconic Camp Nou.
Thorn Athletic manager Steven McKnight described the experience as something the boys will never forget, and said the following:
“The opportunity to travel to one of the top football facilities in Europe and enjoy training and matches in a different climate against teams who play different styles and come from different cultures was a great experience.
It was a huge learning curve for them and they worked extremely hard for the five days. In their downtime they were able to enjoy some relaxation, use the pool and engage with other teams from across Europe who were also staying there.
We had scheduled some difficult matches but we were delighted with the way the team played and handled the conditions. The boys made a lot of memories and loved it from start to finish.”