Highlands & Islands

Boy's 320-mile trip to play for Greenock Morton U-11s

Matthew Davidson Image copyright Loganair
Image caption Matthew Davidson frequently flies from his island home of Barra to Glasgow so he can play for an under-11s team

A schoolboy footballer is making regular 320-mile round trips from his home in the Western Isles to play for Greenock Morton FC's under-11s.

Matthew Davidson, 10, travels from the Isle of Barra for training sessions and matches with the Scottish Championship club as often as twice a week.

The midfielder played for Barra's Castlebay Community School before being spotted at a trials session.

Airline Loganair is helping Matthew with his travel arrangements.

Loganair operates flights from Barra's beach runway to Glasgow, from where Matthew can travel to Greenock.

Greenock Morton chief executive Warren Hawke said: "In recent years we have seen a number of players, such as Rothesay's Jim McAlister and Dunoon's Lewis Strapp, overcome geographic challenges to become professional footballers at Greenock Morton.

"None of those were quite on the same scale as young Matthew Davidson though, who travels all the way from his home on the Isle of Barra in the Outer Hebrides to train and turn out for our academy's under-11s side."

A hat-trick

Image copyright Barra FC
Image caption Matthew signing for Greenock Morton

The football academy's Ross Gourdie added: "He definitely has a lot of raw talent, standing out during the trial sessions.

"Matthew combines speed with an incredible control of the ball for a young lad of his age, really impressive when you consider he has just been playing school football.

"Geography is obviously a bit of an issue but we're doing our best to help him train at home and he is still impressing us during matches every weekend."

Matthew, a Celtic and Real Madrid fan, recently scored a hat-trick against a St Mirren youth team.

His signing of a contract with Greenock Morton last year was described as "absolutely brilliant" by his local football club, Barra FC.

Image copyright Stuart Nicol
Image caption Flying from Barra involves taking off and landing on a beach

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