Team South Lanarkshire ready for kick-off

Published: Friday 15 July 2022

This image shows the girls' football team for the ICG 2022

Some of the best women footballers on the planet are currently showing their skills at the Euros in England.

And the next generation of superstars may also be playing down south this year – at the International Children's Games (ICG) in Coventry, which kick off on 11 August.

Among them are the South Lanarkshire girls’ football team, who have high hopes for the tournament.

Coach Cara McBreatry, who has played for Celtic and Partick Thistle, is confident that her team is well prepared.

She said: “Our training and warm-up games have all been excellent and I can tell the girls are all ready to go down there and do their best to bring home the trophy for South Lanarkshire.

“They are all playing at such a high level now that they are a joy to coach.

“Every single one of them is so dedicated, they know what’s required to succeed.”

The players of the eight-strong squad currently play for either Hamilton Accies, Celtic, Rangers or Glasgow City. The ICG Football tournament will be six-a-side.

This image shows the goalkeeper for the ICG girls' football team in action


Goalkeeper Emma Thomson, who attends Strathaven Academy, is a shot-stopper with Hamilton Accies.

She said: “I’m really excited about the Games and hope it can be a springboard onto bigger things.

“I started out by playing in school football tournaments and my role model was Lee Alexander [current Scotland Women’s goalkeeper] – seeing how well she was doing inspired me.”

Lee was the goalkeeper for the South Lanarkshire team the last time the Games were held in Coventry in 2005.

Emma added: “You definitely need to be a bit crazy to be a goalkeeper – and you also have to have a mental toughness, as there can be spells during a game when you aren’t doing much and are then called into action really quickly.”

Olivia McStay, who attends Holy Cross, is a centre-half or full-back and currently plays for Celtic.

She said: “I am absolutely buzzing for the tournament and can’t wait for it to start.

“My dad and family were the first ones who got me into football, and I’ve enjoyed playing and watching for as long as I can remember.

“The interest in the woman’s game is fantastic, and it’s really encouraging that if you are good enough you can make a career out of it now. That’s the ultimate aim.”

This image shows the ICG girls' football team for 2022 in training


Sienna McGoldrick also attends Holy Cross, is a midfielder and also plays for Celtic.

She said: “I think we have a really good chance of winning the tournament.

“We are really bonding as a team, and everyone is working so hard for one another.”

Lily Boyce, who attends Stonelaw High School, currently plays for Rangers.

Her mum, Kim, said: “We are all so proud of Lily, she is only 13 and one of the youngest members of the team.

“She has had a fantastic year and has already been away with the Scotland schools’ team so knows what to expect.

“They are a great bunch of girls, and all seem to be gelling really well ahead of the Games.

“I used to play myself when I was younger, for Arsenal and Charlton, but the opportunities that are now available to all the girls is unbelievable. There is such an interest in the women’s game now.”