BANCHORY youngster Rebecca Flaherty will achieve a lifetime’s ambition in April after being selected to represent Scotland as part of the Lloyds TSB U15 girls international squad for the 2012 season.
The 13-year-old goalkeeper, who goes to Banchory Academy, caught the eye playing for Deveronvale Girls this season and further impressed selectors this month at Ravenscraig Sports Facility in Motherwell on Monday, where the national squad met up for their first training session together.
The 18-strong Scottish squad will primarily feature in the annual Bob Docherty Tournament, which this year takes place in Dublin between April 3 and 5, where Scotland will face regular home nation participants Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, with both England and Holland also set to join proceedings.
The Scots will then host England on Saturday April 23 in a re-run of last year’s historic fixture which saw the two teams face each other for the very first time at U15 Girls level.
And, after following in the footsteps of internationals Kim Little and Julie Fleeting, who both made names for themselves in schools’ international football, Flaherty said: “It feels amazing to have been chosen to be part of the Scottish team.
“I’ve never played for them before and to be honest I never expected to make the team. We had four separate trials and I didn’t think I’d ever get through so to have made it is a big honour.“It will be brilliant to get the chance to pull on the shirt and play, and with only two goalkeepers in the squad I’m looking forward to getting the chance.
“There will be a bit of a competition between the two of us but not too bad, it’s just great to play against all the other home countries.
“These are big rivals for Scotland so I’m just really excited to joining up with the team and getting the chance to play.”
Former Scotland schoolboy and full Internationalist, Gordon Strachan, was quick to congratulate Rebecca on her selection.
The Lloyds TSB Scotland Schools’ Football ambassador, said: “I have very fond memories of playing for Scotland at school.
“It’s an incredible feeling to represent your country whether at a World Cup or in a schools’ International. Being part of the U15’s Squad will prove a great learning curve for these young girls, not only as players but as individuals. I wish them every success for the campaign ahead.”
Rod Houston, President of the Scottish Schools’ Football Association, added: “We’re delighted to unveil the U15 Girls International squad for 2012.
“Our International schools’ set-up has an illustrious history of nurturing young talent in Scotland, not only for boys but also for girls.
“Our coaches do a fantastic job, not only on the football pitch, but off it too, and the girls will go home with a valuable life, as well as football experience.”
Lloyds TSB Scotland, proud partner of the Scottish Schools’ FA, is delighted to support the Scotland U15 Girls International squad for their 2012 season. For all the latest squad news, visit scottishfa.co.uk/ssfa