Young footballers praised by MSP
Rutherglen MSP James Kelly used a debate in the Scottish Parliament on youth football to praise two young footballers from Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
The debate focussed on the value of youth football in communities but also highlighted the importance of how young people are treated by teams, especially on issues such as the wages paid to young professionals.
Additionally, Mr Kelly used his speech to recognise the growth in women’s football in recent years, and drew attention to two local 15-yearold girls, Murron Cunningham from Stonelaw High and Brogan Hay from Trinity High, who were selected to the Scotland under-15s team.
Mr Kelly said:“Football is a big part of our lives and upbringing. It’s really important in our constituencies and historically has made a major contribution to them.
“I also very much welcome the growth in women’s and girls football in recent years. In fact, two youngsters from my constituency—Murron Cunningham and Brogan Hay—are part of the Scotland under-15s girls team.
“They are very much to be commended on their success.
“Nil by Mouth has some excellent schemes in which it uses football as a method to tackle sectarianism and bring down barriers between communities. I strongly commend the work of Dave Scott and his team in that regard.
“Although there is plenty to celebrate, this debate raises a lot of issues about the way in which young people are treated.
“When young people are tied into contracts and are unable to play as freely as they would like, that is both unfair and an infringement of their rights.
“It is also totally unacceptable that clubs are paying youngsters less than the minimum wage.
“It is incumbent not only on the clubs but on the football authorities— the SFA and the SPFL—to take responsibility in this area and ensure that that does not happen.”
Brogan Hay from Trinity High
Praise Stonelaw’s Murron Cunningham