This weekend saw the Central Girls Football Academy take part in the ACES tournament in Leicester. The All Cities Elite Shield (ACES) is an annual event which brings together the best teams from across the UK to compete against each other. The invite only event criteria includes the fact that each team must be winners of a trophy (league, league cup etc.) and that only one team per region may enter.
Central Girls Football Academy based in Grangemouth qualified through their Central league title at 15's and 15 & 13's League Cup wins this season.
This year’s brought together teams such as Manchester City, Nottingham Forest, and Derby County, so the level of competition was high.
The event began with a simple league format and the top four teams would make it into the semi-finals. Impressively, Central managed to finish top in the group stage, playing eight, winning six, drawing one and only losing on one occasion. Central continued their good form in the semis, defeating Nottingham Forest 3-0.
In the final Central were up against the only side they had lost to earlier in the tournament and English giants, Manchester City. For the side from Grangemouth a first minute goal was thankfully enough to secure revenge and most importantly the Shield for the Scottish side.
Coach Ian Dibdin said “To be asked to attend was an honour. The effort of the players was immense and will live with us all for a long time.
“To play well and perform is the first priority for all, but the Central Girls are winners and went out from the first whistle to the last. As a coach I am proud to say that I am associated with every one of them.
“Our coaching staff were fantastic. Every one of them work tirelessly for the club and they deserve the success that comes with it.”
The Academy will now hope for more success as they will be represented throughout the summer at Liverpool, Leven, Keele, and Loch Lomond at different age groups.
Squad: Zoe Young, Erin Harrison, Lindsey Blues (capt), Kim McAlpine. Chelsea McEachran, Katia McKenna, Shaney McCabe. Fern Newbigging, Rhianne Ferguson, Kirstie McIntosh, Orla King and Ellie Kane.