Clark Drive Girls FC Under 15s are the latest club of many to sign up to the Norway Cup in Oslo this year and head coach Ashleigh Allison spoke to YFS about their decision to participate in the summer tournament.
Q - What will you be doing during your trip and what made you decide that a trip would be good for the team?
A - “So we will be heading to the Norway Cup for a week in July and will be competing in the U15 Girls section, playing football against teams from all over the world.
"It is an exciting opportunity for the Club to represent Scotland and also for the girls to be noticed for their hard work throughout the season. There will be lots of media interest both from Scotland and internationally with games being shown live on TV and also player interviews throughout the tournament. The girls will be staying within the school facilities along with other participants so it’s a chance for them to socialise and meet new friends.
"We are also given free transport throughout the city, so I’m sure we will be doing some exploring and shopping in our time there! There are also some leisure activities included such as swimming, mini golf and a disco for the girls to attend. It’s a great opportunity and experience for everyone involved and we hope to make some great memories this summer.”
Q - Why did you feel Norway was the correct destination for your team?
A - “Being offered the chance to play at the world’s largest junior football tournament was a great opportunity for the club. We have looked in to the setup of the Norway Cup and the way it is run. We have also had great feedback from previous participants over the years and are very impressed with the organisation and professionalism of the tournament.
"This helped us in making the decision to compete this summer and we are really looking forward to being involved and showing Norway what Clark Drive Girls FC have to offer.”
Q - What kind of events have you organised for fundraising to help pay for it?
A - “We have a fundraising committee at the club that have been working hard to come up with new ideas to raise funds for the trip. We have our first race night of the year coming up in March, a psychic night, and the girls will be doing some bag packing at local stores.
"We are hoping that the club can pull together and get everyone on board to raise as much money as possible and help give the girls a great experience. We are also looking at local companies to help with any donations or for kit sponsors so we have reached out and will hopefully get a few on board to support the club.”
Q - Obviously it's an exciting prospect for the girls getting away to Norway. What are they looking forward to the most and of course what are you looking forward to the most?
A - “I think the girls are all just really excited to travel together as a team and there is already a real buzz at training sessions with talk of Norway. We have a great bunch of girls who are always up for a laugh and hard working so it will be a fun adventure for us all.
"From a coaching perspective, I am looking forward to seeing how our girls can compete against teams from different countries, and also meeting coaches and learning about how they run their clubs and different training methods they use.”
Q - Are you hoping that the trip is going to act as a learning curve for the players and act as a team bonding session?
A - “Definitely! We had a great season last year with the girls finishing third in the league and this was the first year many of them had stepped up to eleven a-side. We have added a few new girls to the squad and also have girls stepping up from U13 level, it’s important for me a as coach that the girls are always learning and developing in their football.
"I want to use this trip to help inspire the girls to work hard and show that they will get rewarded for all their efforts both in football and in life in general. I feel Norway will be a great opportunity for the girls to test themselves against teams from all over the world and I’m sure they will all love the chance to spend a week together exploring Norway, having fun and playing football.”
Q - Is it something you have looked at before or is this the first time the girls will have been away as a squad?
A - “We have looked in to the club competing in an overseas tournament over the last few years but due to funding and a few other reasons it wasn’t really foreseeable. This year though we feel we have a great fundraising committee and the club are in a good financial state where we can give the girls a trip abroad. Our U13 girls will be competing in the Toulouse Cup this year also and with the U15s going to Norway it’s a massive year for everyone at the club.
"This will be the first time Clark Drive Girls FC have competed in an overseas tournament and we are really excited and honoured to beinvited to the Norway Cup. We are hoping that everyone enjoys the experience and that we can look to build on this in future years to come.”