Budding young Largs footballers are set to jet off this week for a goal-den opportunity at an international tournament in Holland.

Largs Colts 2009s have raised thousands of pounds to travel to Arnhem to compete alongside hundreds of other teams from around Europe.

Young footballers from countries including Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium and England will battle it out for the Arnhem Cup.  

Coach Kenny Armstrong revealed staff wanted to give the kids an unforgettable experience after their last few years were disrupted by the pandemic.

He explained: “Everybody was affected by the pandemic, and our 2009s age group were all largely going into P7 when the first lockdown hit.

“It ended up that basically their whole year was totally disrupted, and the things they would normally do like a residential trip didn’t go ahead.

“We wanted to try and do something for them to give them that experience back, so we booked to enter the tournament in Holland this month.

“We tried as much fundraising as possible to raise thousands of pounds to help subsidise the trip for families during the cost-of-living crisis.”

The Largs youngsters will jet off on May 25, returning five days later after a once-in-a-lifetime experience on and off the pitch.

Kenny told how the tournament is one of the biggest in Europe, and says the Largs youngsters will have the opportunity to play against other nationalities, as well as explore the Dutch culture.

He said: “Over the course of a weekend we will play lots of different teams from across the whole of Europe.

“There are about 1,500 kids of all ages in a couple of hundred teams, from countries including Germany, Holland and Scandinavian nations.

“We will get the ferry over, stay in Holland for three nights, explore the area and play some football, before coming back to Largs.

“The kids will also get a bit of free time throughout the tournament to explore Arnhem and see what other cultures are all about.”

Kenny believes the trip will be an eye-opening experience for the youngsters, as the club looks to show them what being part of a football team can bring.

He said: “It can’t be understated how important it is for our youngsters to see other cultures and interact with kids their own age from various nationalities.

“The whole philosophy of the Colts is that our teams are about much more than football, we want to give them life skills, independence and be ambassadors for the town.

“We might never produce a world-class footballer but our aim is to produce young people ready to go out into the world.

“The kids are already counting the days, are all absolutely hyper and have been ready and raring to go for months.”

The team have fresh strips for the tournament, kindly donated by team sponsor Martin Baker and The Charity Learning Consortium.

The squad would like to thank the local community who helped with their fundraising for the trip.