A YOUNG footballer from Cumnock has secured a much sought after place in the South West Scotland regional team after coming through a series of trials with the Scottish Youth FA.

Murray Mckenzie, 15, recently got through the final trials to bag a spot in the 2006 SYFA South West Regional Squad – much to the delight of his friends and family.

The boy, who is a S5 pupil at Robert Burns Academy, was part of the team last season, meaning he went straight to the final trials, but was still lucky enough to be included in the lineup after going up against tens of other players and some stiff competition among them.

Murray’s mum, Donna Mullin Mckenzie, told the Chronicle: “He got into the team last season so this is him back through. He went straight to the final trials because he was originally in the line up. Out of lots of boys, he managed to get himself back in.

“He also plays for Cumnock Juniors 2005s and he’ll go and play for the South West Region team now. He’s been playing football for eight years and he’ll be in 16 in February so it’s a long time.

“He did leave to go to Nith for a season but he came back to Cumnock because he was missing his home team. He plays midfield but can go anywhere in the park really.”

Murray, who supports a range of other football clubs including Manchester United, Kilmarnock FC and, of course, Cumnock Juniors, has also been trying his hand at coaching by volunteering with Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise (CJCE) during one of their many coaching sessions.

Donna continued: “That was through the school he did that so it’s good he’s experiencing the coaching side of things, too. Unfortunately he can’t do his coaching badges yet because he’s not quite 16 but he takes everything in his stride.

“He just gets on with it and tries to do his best with school work, too. He wants to be a footballer but it’s whether he gets picked up or noticed or not, it’s just your luck. I told him he needs to have a plan B in place just in case.

“We’re all super proud of him. I’d just tell him to stick in at it.”

The Scottish Youth FA South West Region said: “A huge well done to all the players tonight. The standard was brilliant and a really hard task for the coaches.”