A South African branch of Stenhousemuir supporters club could soon be in full swing.
That’s because two coaches from the club have descended on Cape Town armed with holdalls bursting with Warriors branded clothing for Woodlands School - the link-school with Larbert High.
Jamie Swinney (25) and Martyn Buckie (23) will deliver coaching sessions to the children in the morning, and brief their coaches in the afternoons.
Players from Stenhousemuir’s extensive community coaching programme and the members of Larbert High and Tryst Sports Club have donated clothes and boots for the African pupils as part of Larbert’s ‘Aid for Cape’ fundraising scheme.
“Football appears to be the one thing that they have got,” Jamie, Head of Sport at Tryst, explained. “There is an under-sevens programme there already.
“But even then, it’s like 25-a-side and without much structure.
“We’re going to work with the kids in the morning and deliver some coach education after lunch and show them smaller sided games are better for development and - hopefully - more enjoyable with more time on the ball.
“But football is pretty much the only thing they have for enjoyment, so we’ll hope to show them a few of the SFA directives to help them, as will the clothing and boots we’re taking over with us.”
Jamie will be joined by Warrioprs head of community football Martyn Buckie and Larbert High’s Stephen McGuckin.
They’ve prepared themselves and already seen video footage of the school from Larbert’s previous visits there.
“The pitches are just mud-flats with the occasional blade of grass here and there. They do not have a lot.
“From speaking to people who have been already it is quite an emotional experience, it does affect you.
“Stephen McGuckin has already been and we’ll hire a car and I’ll share driving with him,” added Jamie. “Without his experience, two young guys heading over there would be quite daunting but we’re looking forward to helping out and delivering the coaching.”
The Warriors have generously sent the pair out and the Woodlands school will distribute all gear heading from FK5. They’ll also have the opportunity to visit townships and Table Mountain.
The Larbert link has seen all the charity work for the school go directly to South Africa in a year long ‘Aid for Cape’ campaign.
“The support we’ve had from the local community has been excellent,” added Martyn, “and you never know - it might help launch a branch of the Stenhousemuir supporters club in Cape Town