A primary school football team from South Queensferry has not only gone an entire calendar year unbeaten, but has won every game.
The Echline P5 team won every game they played in the EDSA League Saughton West Ward and Wardie Cup, despite just starting to play together this year. The youngsters won all 30 games, scoring around 200 goals and conceding just around 40 over two seasons.
Their proud coach Mike Stirton spoke of the “journey” his side has been on in 2019.
He said: “We have got two players at Hearts, one at Hibs and one at St Johnstone. The team has been getting a lot of attention in the league.
“I’m really proud of the whole team. Although we are blessed with some great players, we have other players who had never kicked a ball before, they have really come on.
“The elite players have taken the rest of their class on a journey. It has been a pretty special year.
“It’s not just that they have strolled it as some players have had to play for their club sometimes instead of the school, but the other players have stepped in and scrapped for a win.
“We have got invincible t-shirts made up. So every player has been give one. We hoped to wear them last weekend in our last game of the year but unfortunately it was cancelled.”
Mike, who got involved when the team started in the spring because his son is in the team, spoke about the team spirit in the Echline side.
He said: “We have got some great wee players, a core group of five. But the others don’t play with clubs, so it has been really good to see them come on.
“The loudest cheers at our games have been when some of the development players score.
“We have got a really good inclusive mentality. We are keen to breed a different sort of mentality to club football.
“It’s about winning as a team and playing as a team, not individuals. And it’s not just about winning, even though we have won every match.
“That has been the most rewarding part, not the winning, but seeing them develop as a team.
“There is a very good team spirit. That’s what we have been proudest of.
“It has been a privilege to be involved. Just great.”
Mike feels lucky to have such a talented core of players in the team, all living so close to one another, of the same age. He said: “We have got a combination of some really ‘once in a lifetime’ kids. I think it’s unheard of.
“Every team has a star player, but we have got about six of them, all born within streets of each other.
“And that old adage of playing with better players makes you a better player is true. It’s really happened here.
“There are some really special players in this team.
“We have to encourage and coach the other ones but the core group don’t need much coaching.
“It’s one thing being a good player, but you are a world class player if you are helping others around you get better and that’s the story here, working as a team.”