When 13-year old Micheala McAlonie left her Pilton home one morning to make the short trip to Craigroyston Community High School, she was stunned when the entire school – staff and pupils alike – gathered to greet her with rapturous applause.
The reason? Micheala had just been called up to the Scotland Women’s Under-15 football squad, which will travel to Bingen-Budenshein for a double-header against Germany on October 28 and 30.
“I was totally stunned,” recalled Micheala, who plays in centre midfield for Hearts Ladies and is one of just three Edinburgh-based girls in the 18-strong national squad.
“But I felt very proud. The school have been very supportive to me in helping me balance my classwork with my football ambitions. I’m really excited about going to Germany and looking forward to getting the chance to represent my country. My ambition is to obtain a soccer scholarship in America and then hopefully go on to play football professionally.”
Also hoping to pull on the dark blue of Scotland for the first time is 14-year-old Boroughmuir Thistle midfielder Elena Santoyo-Brown, who also turns out for the Edinburgh City boys team.
“The ladies’ team plays in summer and the boys’ season takes place throughout the winter so I play football all year round,” said Elena, a pupil at James Gillespie’s School.
The third member of the Capital trio is 14-year-old central defender Georgie Adderley of Spartans Ladies, who attends Erskine Stewarts Melville school and has been in outstanding form for the Ainslie Park side this season.
Defender Tara McGonigle of Linlithgow Rose LFC is also travelling to Germany.