RISING football stars from Lumphinnans have enjoyed an Easter to remember by walking in the footsteps of World Cup performers.

Fife Sons of Struth Football Academy's under-11 squad had the opportunity to share facilities used by England internationals such as Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Marcus Rashford when they travelled south for the UK International Cup last weekend.

The tournament, which brought together teams from across the UK and from further afield, was held at St George's Park in Staffordshire, which is the FA's multi-million pound football centre.

The team, who have been running for just over two years, started planning for the trip – which saw them fund special edition strips and polo shirts – a year ago for what was their first tournament outwith Scotland.

A total of 12 players travelled to play in the nine-a-side competition, although they currently play in the Fife Soccer Sevens at Pitreavie Playing Fields in Dunfermline, and coach Blair Moffat said it had been a good experience.

"It was a great weekend but tough as well," he explained.

"Half of my team are actually under-10s, so we were almost having to learn on the job, but we competed well. On the second day we did a wee bit better but we were told that we would be fined if we arranged a nine-a-side practice match before we went down.

"It was a high standard. Eighty per cent of the teams there were from England, who were bigger and much more experienced, and there were also teams from abroad who had different abilities.

"They were using a much bigger pitch than we use up here, but in games we got beat in, it was only by the odd goal. We did lose 3-0 to a team from Catalonia, but it was a much closer game than that, and they got to the final."

The team played seven games overall, and Blair added: "The venue was something else; I've not seen anything like it and they've got an indoor pitch the size of Wembley.

"It was an eye-opener - the pitches and hotel were beautiful. The boys will learn from it and we can take that experience into our 'league' campaign!

"We're looking at organising to go to Holland next year. It's great to play against a different style of football."