The Coalfields Regeneration Trust has received the backing of major sponsors for the tri-nation Home International Tournament between midnight league teams from Scotland, England and Wales.
The tournament will be played in Scotland for the first time, at the state-of-the-art Toryglen Regional Football Centre near Hampden Park Glasgow on the 5th of September.
Coalfields Regeneration Trustees Peter McNestry, Chair, Ken Greenfields, Vice Chair and Sylvia Wileman will join Scottish Trustees Nicky Wilson and Joe Thomas, MSPs local councillors, Scottish FA officials and representatives of the sponsors at the event.
After the tournament all the youngsters have been invited to Hampden for the Scotland Macedonia World Cup qualifier as guest of the Scottish SFA who are organising the Home International tournament for the CRT.
Later the boys will have the chance to hone their skills at Kevin Keegan’s Soccer Circus at the Xscape centre in Braehead, Glasgow.
Scotland will be represented by a team of Midnight Leaguers from Croy and Cumbernauld while an Alloa team will play as the Scottish Thistles. The Cumbernauld lads won the Midnight League Cup Final while Alloa were runners up.
England will be represented by a team from Blyth in Northumbria, and the English Lions will be made up of boys from South Whiston on Merseyside.
Tylerstown from Rhondda who won a Coalfields six-a-side tournament will represent Wales while a team selected from other sides in the tournament will play as the Welsh Dragons.
This year’s tournament has attracted sponsorship from two Scottish organisations with strong links to local mining communities and a number of Welsh organisations.
The Scottish Resources Group will be the tournament sponsor, while Thompsons Solicitors will sponsor the Scottish Team. The Welsh sponsors are: RCT Homes (Meadow Prospect), Cynon Valley Crime Prevention, Tenovus and Cambrian Village Trust
Scottish Resources Group includes Scottish Coal, the largest producer of surface coal in the UK, Castlebridge Plant which owns one of the largest heavy earth moving fleets in Europe and SRG Estates which specialises in land, property and renewable energy.
Thompsons Solicitors are Scotland’s leading personal injury specialist law firm and have a long and proud tradition as trade union lawyers with strong links to the NUM.
Scottish Trustee of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust Trustee Nicky Wilson said: “We are delighted to welcome SRG, Thompsons, RCT Homes, Cynon Valley Crime Prevention, Tenovus and Cambrian Village Trust on board as sponsors of our Home Internationals.
“They are well respected within the mining communities the Coalfield Regeneration Trust is dedicating to helping, so their support is particularly welcome.
“The Home International matches will be played in the spirit of fair play and sportsmanship of all the midnight leagues we support up and down the country.
“However they will undoubtedly invoke memories of what was once the most important and competitive fixture on the Scottish footballing calendar, the clash with auld enemy be it at Hampden or Wembley.
“Last year the Scottish team were undefeated in the round robin matches only to lose to England in the final, so this year they will undoubtedly be looking to reverse that result, especially on home soil.”
Don Nicolson CEO of the Scottish Resources Group said: “We have a very strong commitment to Scotland’s coalfield communities, so we are proud to be associated with the CRT’s Home Internationals.
“Like the CRT we want to see these communities thrive and prosper, and we do everything we can to help make that happen.
“For instance, we always ensure that where we operate surface mines the land is fully restored so that it can be used for housing agriculture commercial or leisure use.”
Frank Maguire, Senior Partner of Thompsons Solicitors said: “We are more than happy to continue our support of this event which really widens the horizons of the young people who take part.
“We wish the Coalfields Regeneration Trust and all the teams taking part in the Home Internationals every success, and particularly the Scottish team who will be sporting our name.”