1999: Raith Rovers youth team star in European tournament

Raith Rovers youth team 1999 (Pic: Fife Free Press)
Raith Rovers youth team 1999 (Pic: Fife Free Press)

It was 20 years ago this month that Raith Rovers earned widespread praise after the club’s youth team travelled to Holland and came close to winning a prestigious tournament.

The under-18s,led by John Brownlie and Davie Kirkwood, travelled to Holland to take part in the Karel Stegeman tournament.

The May 1999 multi-national event was held in a football complex just outside Rotterdam, and handed the youngsters a busy schedule of six games of 40 minutes each in just three days.

Brownlie, youth coach, said: “This will be a tremendous experience for the players, whatever happens.

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“It will be the first time most of them have been away from home in a professional environment, and it is all about knowing how to handle different things and basically do a bit of growing up.”

The players stayed with host families, and quickly made a name for themselves, breezing through a qualifying group which included Silkeborg from Denmark, the Go Ahead Eagles from the host nation, Tatran Presov from Slovkia, Dutch aside, De Graafschaps, and Swedish aces Halmstrads BK.

Rovers made it all the way to the final where they were beaten in a penalty shoot out by hosts, Karel Stegeman.

The squad from 20 years ago was squad: Andy Clark, Craig Coyle, Steven Craig, George Fotheringham, Paul Hampshire, Roddy Maughan, David MacInally, Kevin McLeish, Chris Mill, Stuart Morrison, Richard Morton, Paul Shields, Allan Stewart, Russell Taylor, Colin Waldie, Paul Wardlaw, and Kevin Webster.