Introducing our semi-final player escorts
Written By SPFL Trust Media Centre
Sunday is set to be a superb Betfred Cup Semi-Final day action with a double header of fixtures taking place at BT Murrayfield and Hampden Park.
Once again, the SPFL have generously invited the SPFL Trust to create a memorable experience for four lucky kids who will each lead their team out.
Heart of Midlothian v Celtic
1.30pm, BT Murrayfield
Kodie Shanley from Calder, Edinburgh will be resplendent in maroon for Hearts as they walk out at BT Murrayfield.
The eleven-year-old participates in Big Hearts Kinship Care Boys Group, run in partnership with Mentor UK. Through this programme he was also able to take part in Hearts summer coaching course at Tynecastle.
Right-back Jamie Brandon is Kodie’s favourite player, but it’s Steven Naismith who he thinks will do the damage against Celtic.
Kodie reckons the Scotland striker will grab a hat-trick against Brendan Rogers to send the Jam Tarts to the final.
Wearing the Hoops will be 12-year-old Declan Johnson from Moodiesburn, Glasgow.
Declan has attended Celtic FC Foundation’s Ability Counts project since 2012.
Ability Counts has been operating in Scotland since 2010 and uses the power of dance, football and multisports to engage with children and young people with Down’s Syndrome. The project includes weekly coaching sessions, diet and nutrition advice, team and confidence-building activities.
Skipper Scott Brown is Declan’s favourite player, but he expects Leigh Griffiths (2) and James Forrest to net the goals in a 3-0 win against the Jambos.
Aberdeen v Rangers
4.30pm, Hampden Park
Eleven-year-old Brodie Gordon from Peterhead is representing the Dons. He attends the Buchanhaven Ballers programme which is run by Aberdeen FC Community Trust.
This programme – which aims to boost self-esteem and confidence – combines classroom learning with football to encourage teamwork. Participants also have breakfast and dinner.
Sunday’s trip to the National Stadium will only be Brodie’s second game – and he’s never seen the Reds score! Along with the rest of the Buchanhaven Ballers, he attended a 0-0 draw against Hibernian at Pittodrie, last season.
Brodie’s favourite player is Gary Mackay-Steven, who he predicts will score in a 2-1 for Aberdeen.
Wearing Light Blue will be Mason Hope Blyth-Clark (12) from Govan in Glasgow.
Mason participates in the School of Football at Govan High School which provides a curriculum of excellence programme around football, social skills, behaviour and gender issues.
She also plays for Rangers Girls 2006s and the Scotland U15s West Region.
Unsurprisingly, Mason expected Rangers to come out on top. She’s predicting a 3-1 win for Rangers, with James Tavernier on the scoresheet.