AN 11-YEAR-OLD Irvine Meadow youngster was praised by a top Chelsea star after coming on top during a virtual football challenge.

Around 3,000 youngsters joined in virtual football sessions, with the top ranked boy scooping a Scottish Building Society Player of the Month award – the first going to Scott Lawson, of Irvine Meadow.

While the trophies could not be handed out in person, Scott did got a great surprise when Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour, a fellow Ayrshire talent, took time out from pre-season training to record a special “well done” video message.

More than 3,000 youngsters are keeping up their football skills at home – thanks to free virtual training sessions backed by Scotland stars such as Andy Robertson and Billy Gilmour.

Not-for-profit social enterprise Youth Football Scotland set up online resource Keep Scotland Active to support players and coaches hit by lockdown.

Every day, players earn points by logging on to the website, recording their home training activities and posting their videos.

Robbie Forsyth, Director of Youth Football Scotland, said: “We have been overwhelmed at the response to Keep Scotland Active.

“It is great to see international stars such as Andy and Billy help inspire the 3,000 youngsters who are taking part. So many young players across the country have put in an incredible effort but, in the month of May, Scott and the top girl Rachel really excelled.

“They have been working hard every single day coming up with all sorts of creative ideas to make their home training sessions fun and unique. They’ve been an inspiration to other young players across Scotland and should be very proud.”

Scottish Building Society marketing director Kerra McKinnie said: “Congratulations to Scott and Rachel – and we look forward to the day when we can hand the awards to them in person.”

Young players can get involved by visiting


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