Little Tweedbank Thistle Junior Football Club are planning some big celebrations to mark the club’s 20-year anniversary this year.
The club was formed in 1995, and to kick off the party, Scottish Championship outfit Hibs arranged for both the Tweedbank 2004 and 2005 teams to take part in the club’s matchday experience programme for juvenile football at their game against Queen of South earlier this month.
Both teams played seven-a-side matches against Greystone Rovers from Dumfries during the half-time interval.
Tweedbank chairman David Moffat told The Southern: “Hibs totally went out of their way, giving us 50 free tickets, taking both teams away before half-time to their own dressing rooms and then introducing them over the loud speakers out the tunnel on to the pitch before the matches.”
Both teams then went on to play entertaining games against strong opposition, putting earlier nerves aside to show skills and determination above their years. After the games, both clubs moved to the centre circle to take the applause from all four stands of the 9,000 crowd.
“This was a great experience for the kids, which I am sure they will cherish forever,” added Moffat.
“We took a 70-seat bus with parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters all going up together to support the teams. For many this was their first ever experience of an SPFL match.
“Everyone had a fantastic day and we believe this is the first time Hibs have had two clubs outwith Edinburgh and the Lothians taking part like this, so we are very grateful to them for inviting us along.”
The club plans further celebrations throughout the year and, thanks to a parent, ex Hearts and Celtic legend John Colquhoun has kindly agreed to come down to Tweedbank with a couple of his professional coaches and give the kids and coaches some Box Soccer coaching, a football initiative of which he is a director.
Box Soccer is the complete technical development programme that comes in a box.
This innovative single set-up structure delivers everything from individual skill drills to position-specific and group practices – creating a stimulating, memorable environment for the development of the young player.
With the possibility of Hearts also offering a football festival for the Tweedbank club’s younger teams to re-address the balance from city rivals Hibs, it’s sure to be a year to remember for all at the club.
Moffat also revealed: “We are looking to hold other events over the year and one idea is to have a football festival late summer and invite ex-players and coaches along to play and catch up.
“We are currently looking through the archives to find out who has all been involved with the club over the years.”
If anyone could help identify past players or coaches stretching back to 2005 please contact the club by calling 07974 350373.