Young footballers are urging the East Renfrewshire community to help them kick on with a fundraising drive for a dream visit to Manchester City.

Players from the Neilston Juniors Youth 2009 team want local residents and businesses to donate raffle prizes for a race night being held at Neilston Bowling Club this Saturday, March 26.

Cash coined in at the event will go towards the trip in May, which will see 20 youngsters visit the Premier League giant’s academy and train with expert coaches over three days.

Julie Collins, whose son Alexander plays for the Neilston team, said: “It’s only raffle prizes we are looking for, as local businesses have been really helpful and sponsored all of the races.

“Raffle prizes big or small – any contribution from the community would be amazing.”

As part of the trip, the Neilston kids will also take on an English youth team, tour City’s Etihad Stadium and watch Pep Guardiola’s men take on Newcastle United in a league fixture.

Steven Key, one of the youth team’s four coaches, said: “The boys are buzzing. It is something we decided to do because, with lockdown, the last two years have been difficult and football is their escape.

“We are hopefully coming to the end of things now, so it’s something to look forward to and focus on after they have missed out on so much, such as proms and school trips.

“The players are 12 or 13 years old, so the experience will be invaluable for their learning, as well as giving them something to make up for lost time.”

To donate prizes, send a message at