It’s not every day a boys’ team gets the chance to have a team talk from a genuine international manager.
But that’s exactly what happened to Kilsyth Community FC’s 2006s when they went along to Duncansfield Park last week.
The Cyprus team, staying at the nearby Westerwood Hotel in Cumbernauld, trained at the Kilsyth Rangers ground ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier with Scotland at Hampden on Saturday.
But despite having a huge game to prepare for, the Cypriot players and manager Ran Ben Shimon took time to welcome the thrilled youngsters - with the Israeli coach even delivering his own personal team talk.
Club chairman Gordon Anderson explained: “We train on a Thursday night at Kilsyth Sports Field so I phoned Hampden and asked if there was any chance of going along to watch them.
“They checked with the Cyprus FA who said that was fine.
“They went along and the coach came out of the committee room and gathered the boys round and had a wee talk with them about training and the importance of working hard and listening what the coaches were telling them.
“They then got some of the players along and some of their goalkeepers were training with the outfield players, so our goalkeepers went and acted as ball boys, kicking the ball back to them.
“Each of the Cyprus team gave each of the boys a Cyprus pin badge and gave myself a pennant.
“They were really kind, a couple of the boys got individual players taken with them and they couldn’t have been any nicer, asking about the team and showing an interest in them, what level they played at and so on.
“It was a great experience for the boys to see what’s the difference between their training and the drills that we would do and what they need to do to get to a decent level. They were focussed all the time, while boys at 13 years old their minds can wander at times.
“It was a great opportunity for them to get a team talk from the national coach of Cyprus which doesn’t happen every day.”