Grangemouth air cadet is a high flying hotshot on the football pitch

Air Cadet and ace footballer Dean McCarney
Air Cadet and ace footballer Dean McCarney

A young air cadet is proving to be a bit of an ace on the football pitch and has made history for his squadron.

Corporal Dean McCarney (16) played so well for the Scotland and Northern Region team earlier this month he was selected to play for the UK’s Air Training Corps team - the first member of Grangemouth 1333 (Spitfire) Squadron to earn such an honour.

The Grangemouth High School pupil said: “I’ve been with the cadets for just over two years and it has allowed me to go for a flying scholarship, go gliding and camping.”

It has also allowed him to do a spot of shooting - at camps with a rifle and on the pitch with his talented feet.

“You play the games for the regional team and they send people to watch and you hope they notice you.”

The striker actually missed a penalty in regional football finals at RAF Cranwell.

“It came down to a penalty shoot-out and I walked up, sent the keeper the wrong way then missed the goal. I think I was concentrating too much on sending the keeper the wrong way.”

Dean claims he does not have a favourite football team or player, but when pushed admits to liking Celtic and Welsh wonder Gareth Bale.

One of the smallest players on the Corps team, he will have his shooting boots on again by the time he returns to RAF Cranwell in February next year to take on the UK’s best Army and Navy Cadets.

He will be without his pal and on pitch protector, the towering Callum Walker (16), who played with Dean in the regional team and actually had to atone for his fellow cadet’s penalty miss by slotting home a spot kick of his own.

Although Callum missed out on a place alongside Dean in the Corps squad, he wishes him all the best - as do his fellow 1333 cadets.