Kirkcaldy youngster Lauren Smith, a first year pupil at Kirkcaldy High School, has been selected for the Scottish Football Association East Region women’s under 14s performance squad.
Lauren made it through two initial trials in Kinross and a final trial in Dundee involving 60 girls to become the second youngest member of the squad at the age of 11 years and 10 months.
Lauren travels to Dundee once a week with her stepdad Mark where she receives expert development from experienced SFA coaches Sam Milne, Jo Whittet, Nicky Murray and Yasmin Anderson.
Stepdad Mark said: “Mum (Tracey) and I are very proud and happy for Lauren. She worked extremely hard to get to where she is with football.”
Having already played with clubs and her previous school in Edinburgh since the age of eight, Lauren moved to Kirkcaldy in the summer of 2012.
After a short break from football, she spent most of 2013 training and playing with Raith Rovers Ladies and Girls U13s and U15s.
She is now registered with East Fife boys U13s after joining them in August. Taking advantage of the summer weather, Lauren trained six days a week throughout the school holidays developing fitness and technique with total dedication.
Local club, Templehall United, played a part in supporting Lauren’s extra training, with stepdad Mark coaching at the club and overseeing players progress.
Lauren, and others her age, represent a new generation of female footballer as the women’s game proves to be the fastest growing sport on the planet.
The Scotland Women’s national team are ranked an impressive 20th in the world at the moment and the sport has just received assurances of further support from the Scottish Government.
To find out more about football for girls and women, email Sam Milne, SFA East Region Girls & Womens Club Development Officer - firstname.lastname@example.org - or call her on (01382) 431829.