Last Thursday (25 February) saw 10 local mental health and homelessness-orientated charities contest the prestigious Dunedin Canmore Cup. Taking place at Edinburgh's Corn Exchange, the event was organised by Street Soccer Scotland with the aim of promoting good mental health. Support in Mind Scotland were joined by teams from Leith Community Centre, Bethany, Dunedin Canmore, Dunedin Harbour Hostel, Niddrie Community Church, Cyrenians, Spartans Connections and Street Soccer themselves.

Support in Mind's dynamic half-dozen consisted of Stewart 'The Assassin' McKechnie, Tommy 'Ronaldo' Smith, Jenny 'The Cruncher' Craig, 'Keen' Kevin McPake, Iain 'Toast' Mitchell and 'The Ginger Ninja' Blair Geddes. Anne Cullen kindly provided some much-needed cheer from the sidelines. 

First up was a tough, hard fought game against one of the two teams entered by Spartans Connections. Despite playing some beautiful stuff, and a couple of clinical finishes by Geddes and Mitchell, defensive indecision cost the team dearly with the concession of a late goal and ultimately a defeat. Needing to pick themselves up quickly, the next game against the sprightly team from Cyrenians took on massive importance. A fiesty game featuring some robust tackling by Stewart was decided by a last-gasp winning goal from Geddes, which sparked jubilant scenes and a mini pitch invasion!

Support in Mind's Dream Team

The second group stage proved no easier, despite Tommy hitting his stride and scoring a few great goals, and Jenny providing a beautiful assist for Geddes. The team ended the campaign with back-to-back narrow defeats to the other Spartans Connections team and the Street Soccer lads. The game against Street Soccer especially rankling, as a couple of questionnable penalty awards undeniably hampering the team, a cruel injury ending McPake's tournament early, and the guys coming within a goal of drawing against a team who had won their opening game by around 15 goals.  

The day ended on a high however, as our star striker Tommy Smith was awarded the Player of the Tournament award and was presented it by Hibs player Lewis Stevenson, who played his 300th game for the Hibees the night before. Smith has refused to comment on speculation linking him to a move to Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Tommy accepts his award as the paparazzi close in

All in all, Street Soccer Scotland organised a fantastic event enjoyed by everyone. Support in Mind Scotland would like to thank everyone who took time out to play for us, including all the guys from the Stafford Centre, Blair Geddes of Primal Space web design, and to Street Soccer for having us.

Next time...