Youngsters in Fraserburgh invited their counterparts from across Buchan to a football tournament last week, bringing to an end the Midnight League programme.
Fraserburgh Football Club’s community branch, Fraserburgh FC in the Community, had been running the football initiative for the past several months, encouraging youngsters to take up the sport and to develop their skills.
The club’s first-team players have also been involved with the project, from Ryan Christie and Courtney Cooper co-hosting training sessions at Fraserburgh Academy, to John Chalmers and Scott Barbour refereeing last Friday’s tournament.
The structure of the Midnight Football programme in Fraserburgh this year saw more of an emphasis put on player development, in thanks due to the Aberdeenshire Community Safety Partnership supporting the organisation of the project and the football club for coordinating and running the sessions with the assistance of Maconochie Road Fotoball Development.
With around 30 youngsters attending each weekly session, the project itself has been a successful one, two groups of children aged 12 to 14 and 15 to 16, respectively, taking part in coaching sessions by Link Up and Faithlie United coaches. Senior pupils from Fraserburgh Academy also helped with the delivery of the programme.
The real success of the programme, however, is the success stories of the youngsters selected from the initiative to play for a local football club, or having been selected for inclusion in Fraserburgh Football Club’s development programme and local, junior sides.
Partnership development officer Chris Smith commented: “The midnight football league provides young people across Aberdeenshire the opportunity to develop tehir footballing skills and it also promotes positive lifestyle choices to our younger community.
“This project is helping to reduce instances of anti-social behaviour across Aberdeenshire. The league in Fraserburgh, with its connection to local football clubs, is a great example of how effective this support and assistance can be to the local community.
“I would encourage any local football teams to support the league in their area,” he added.