A huge wave of interest in summer football training has followed the announcement that two mainland clubs will be offering training camps this summer in Lewis.

Rangers Soccer Schools will be bringing eight coaches to Back Football and Recreation Club in the week of July 22nd, with courses planned for youngsters from 18 months to 16 years old, and 139 places already booked.

The greatest interest is in the seven to 16-year-old bracket, with 50 soccer spaces and 42 Academy Experience places booked. Just a few places are still available for the Academy Experience and Goalkeeping Academy Experience courses, with a few spaces also left for tiny tots in the Baby Bears training programme (18 months to three years old).

A spokesman for the club said: “Rangers would like to thank you all for your interest – we are excited to be bringing the Soccer Schools up to the Isle of Lewis.”

Meanwhile the Ross County summer school, to be run on the Stornoway astroturf from July 1st to 5th, is also now open for bookings in four age groups – three to five-year-old mini-kickers, five to eight-year-olds, nine to 11-year-olds and 12 to 15 years old. All courses cost £80 per player apart from the mini-kickers sessions, which are free.

June sees a busy month for Lewis & Harris Youth Football Association, starting with a youth football festival this Saturday (June 1st) organised by Stornoway Athletic FC Youth for under-13s, kick-off 1pm.

That’s followed on June 5th by the u18 Ladywell Cup Final, sponsored by Galson Motors and on the 6th by the u15 Kemnay Cup Final, sponsored by CIB services. The under-15 development squad will be travelling to Dingwall on June 15th for the Highlands and Islands festival and there’s further coaching from Ross County on June 19th with all development squads.

Football development training has been reaping dividends recently, with a number of young island players signing contracts to join mainland clubs in apprenticeship programmes or as full-time players.