Scotland star Gauld on ball at Kildrum

Scotand U21 international Ryan Gauld (centre) with Kildrum Primary pupils Amelia- Jayne Storey (back left), Erin Cooper (back right), Bailey Wright (front left) and Dylan Gibson (front right)
Scotand U21 international Ryan Gauld (centre) with Kildrum Primary pupils Amelia- Jayne Storey (back left), Erin Cooper (back right), Bailey Wright (front left) and Dylan Gibson (front right)

Not too many primary schools in Cumbernauld have played host to footballers with a reported £50 million buyout clause in their contract.

But that was the case last week when Sporting Lisbon’s Scotland under-21 star Ryan Gauld visited Kildrum Primary School.

The 21-year-old midfielder made a special appearance at Kildrum Primary School in support of the Tesco Bank Football Challenge initiative.

The former Dundee United player, who joined Sporting in 2014, met with excited Primary 2 and Primary 3 children as they enjoyed a training session with Scottish FA coaches as part of the programme.

Gauld’s future at Sporting is uncertain with the Portuguese giants reported to be looking to move him on.

But he put that concern to one side to make sure that the youngsters at Kildrum had a ball during his visit.

He sai: “It was fantastic to visit the children at Kildrum Primary and great to see that the children here are so engaged in the Tesco Bank Football Challenge.

“School was where I found my love of football, the most important thing for kids of this age is to have fun with the sport whilst learning the benefits of a healthy and active life.”

Tesco Bank Football Challenge is now in its seventh year, and is run in partnership with the Scottish FA. Every year the project introduces 20,000 children to football in primary two and three (six to eight years old) across Scotland to help get them involved in a healthy and active lifestyle.

More than 120,000 children across 2200 primary schools in Scotland have now engaged with the country’s leading football participation programme. Teachers and volunteers also continue to enjoy the Scottish FA’s in-service programme with more than 7500 now trained to support the growth of football in schools.

Jim Fleeting, Scottish FA Director of Football Development, commented: “It is fantastic to see Ryan engage with children that share his passion for football.

“One of the key goals of the Tesco Bank Football Challenge is to encourage children to have fun while developing a range of physical and social skills, and Ryan is an excellent role model for these children in all of these aspects.”

Gillian McTaggart, Community Investment Manager at Tesco Bank, added: “Through our programme we are passionate about encouraging children to develop positive, lifelong habits in a fun way by getting fit and active through the power of sport.

“We’re delighted that the Tesco Bank Football Challenge could bring Ryan to Kildrum Primary School to see the children taking part, and we are proud that such a positive role model is supporting our Football Challenge initiative.”