Ellon pupil scoops up two caps

Hannah Stewart receiving Scotland's best player award
Hannah Stewart receiving Scotland's best player award

Hannah Stewart, an S6 Ellon Academy pupil, was selected for a Scotland Under-18’s team to play in the Ukraine and received her first two international caps playing for her country. She was in the starting line-up for her second game and scored a hat-trick where the team won 3-2 against Hungary, as well as gaining a trophy for the best Scotland Player of the Tournament.

Hannah currently plays for Buchan Ladies FC in the Scottish Premier League, but from the age of 8, she was kicking a ball for the Ferry Athletic Boys Club in Dundee. Twin brother, Jack and her father are to thank for Hannah’s passion in the sport. Jack played football for Ferry Athletic, while her father coached the team. Hannah may have been the only girl in the team but she was accepted by her team mates and treated like every other player.

After the family moved to Ellon in 2005, Hannah and Jack joined the Ellon Meadows FC under 10s. Hannah moved to Buchan Girls when she was 12 where she played in the 7 a-side under 13s league. She has played at all levels for Buchan from under 13s through to the SWPL.

Hannah’s mother, Tracey Stewart, said: “Hannah would love to have a professional football career, but the differences in the stature of the game means that it’s a lot harder for women to make careers from football. In Scotland we are way behind much of Europe in the way they approach the game.

“That said there are SWPL clubs who are changing the way we approach the game and the Scottish national team is ranked 11th in Europe and 20th in the world. This is being achieved on an amateur basis and shows the potential ladies football in this country has.”

If her dreams of becoming a professional footballer do not work out, then the talented player hopes to work as a PE teacher.

Tracey said:” She helps the PE department at Ellon Academy with teacher support and coaches the girls S4 – S6 team.

“Hannah also hopes to start her coaching badges this year.”

As the a striker, scoring goals is key, but being part of a team whether you are winning or losing is one of the reasons why she enjoys the sport so much.

Hannah said: “The best thing I’ve done is represent Scotland where we won the recent UEFA development tournament in Ukraine, where I won my first international caps.

“I was delighted to make my debut as a sub against Ukraine, where we won 5-1, and was so happy to be told I was starting the next match against Hungary.

“I scored a hat-trick in a 3-2 win and won the best Scotland player of the tournament. It really was a dream come true!”