VERY few footballers get the chance to play either half of the Old Firm in their career.
Buckie Thistle’s under-13 girls are just starting out in the game and they had the thrill of a Scottish Youth Cup match up with Celtic Girls on Saturday April 9.
Not only that, but parent club Buckie Thistle staged the game on their Victoria Park pitch and opened up its hospitality facilities.
It was a great occasion for the girls and their family and friends and a good crowd turned out to cheer them on.
They stunned Celtic by taking a sensational lead inside 30 seconds through Catie Carter.
Celtic showed their quality after that early scare and Kaylah Grant-Fielding scored from the penalty spot as the visitors surged into a 10-2 half-time lead.
However, Buckie competed well in the second half and saw their goal breached just four more times as they found their Scottish Cup legs.
Caroline Petyt, Buckie coach, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a better first draw.
“The girls were all a bit apprehensive but I just told them to treat it like a league game.
“They were dead excited because there are a lot of Celtic fans in the team, so they were made up with it.
“They had been working hard since we got the draw because they knew a lot of parents would be coming to watch them.”
She was delighted the girls got the chance to play on Buckie’s Highland League pitch.
“That has definitely added to the occasion. Normally we play on the astro so we need to thank Buckie Thistle for letting us play on the pitch and opening up the hospitality for us.”
The club has about 40 girls from the age of nine up to 16 years training regularly and playing games in a North League against the likes of Aberdeen, Buchan, West Dyke, Deveronvale and Stonehaven.
Caroline praised all 17 girls in her squad for their terrific attitude and workrate.
“They never let their heads drop and kept going. We came out stronger in the second half.”
“At this age it is more important for all the girls to get an opportunity to play.
“It is about development and getting experience and they will only get that by playing games.
“I couldn’t have asked any more of them, they did very well.
“It has been fantastic. We need to thank Tesco for donating some pancakes and the Home Bakery as well and all the parents for all their support, because I couldn’t do it on my own.
Celtic coach Michael Spence thanked Buckie for the hospitality and paid tribute to their young players.
“It has been fantastic and the welcome has been second to none.
“I thought the Buckie girls were an absolute credit to their coaches and the area.
“I was really happy with the outcome and pleased to get through to the next round.
“A lot of our girls are only 10 and 11 and it is good to see Buckie bringing on some of their younger players as well.
“Our girls academy is really strong. If they keep doing what they are doing up here it will be fantastic.
“It is always a better occasion playing in a stadium rather than just on a normal astro turf.”
Fellow Celtic coach Lindsay Hamilton added: “Having the stadium here was great and good for the bairns.
“The welcome made the day to be honest. The girls enjoyed the day massively.”