Sport / Girls football teams to head to Orkney for new tournament

A minute’s silence will be held before each match to mark the death of the Queen

Shetland U12's Poppy Gair evades the attention of Hutchison Vale opponent.

THIS WEEKEND sees the first ever football tournament between Orkney and Shetland girls in a fixture that organisers hope will become an annual event.

Shetland Girls Football secretary Adam Priest said a minute’s silence will be held before each game to mark the passing of the Queen, which follows guidance from national football associations.

The girls will play for one of three teams, under-13s, under-15s and under-17s, in the two-day event, styled on the long-running inter-county sports competitions between the two regions, which are staged alternately in Orkney and Shetland.

Around 40 youngsters are expected to travel from Shetland to Orkney to participate in the matches, to be held on Saturday and Sunday at the Pickaquoy pitch in Kirkwall.

Scottish Sea Farms, which operates in Orkney and Shetland, as well as on the Scottish mainland, is helping to fund the inaugural Orkney v Shetland Girls Challenge Cup.

The funding – £5,000 in total – will help towards the costs, including travel and accommodation of the Shetland players. 


Priest said: “We tried to select girls from across the islands and give everyone an equal chance, if they have the ability, to take part in this trip. Travelling from Shetland is expensive so the sponsorship is key. 

“The support we’ve had from Scottish Sea Farms has been instrumental in giving girls the opportunity to compete on a level playing field with their peers from other areas of Scotland.”

He added that all within the girls football set-up in Shetland are “saddened” by the death of Queen Elizabeth on Thursday.

“Taking stock of current guidance, we are still boarding the boat tonight to play what is the girls first game in Orkney since 2019,” Priest said.

“Our hosts Orkney have said we will observe a minute’s silence before each game.

“It is appropriate to maintain a sense of togetherness with our northern neighbours at this time, in what has been such a long time apart for the all the girls involved.”

Priest, who helped establish girls’ football in Shetland in 2017, said it was tough for girls playing in boys’ leagues.

“To play other girls their age they have to travel out of Shetland as we don’t have enough players to start a girls’ league yet.”

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