Scotland star settles in Gippsland

Robbie, playing for Ross County here, honed his skills as a professional footballer in Scotland.

Robbie, playing for Ross County here, honed his skills as a professional footballer in Scotland.

As winter settles in each year, many community sport players look to rug up. For one Warragul United player winter in Australia is a far cry from what he experienced in his homeland of Scotland.
Robbie Stephen was used to waking up in the morning and heading out into the freezing temperatures for a kick with his mates, not knowing that football would become a major part of his life.
From peeling off the frozen mats that covered the playing surface, to the cold wet running sessions with his teammates, life was different where Stephen called home.
Stephen grew up in the little country village of Blair Atholl, a small community situated in the heart of the Scottish Highlands.
“I loved growing up in Blair Atholl. It was quiet. I’ve never been a city kid, I’ve always enjoyed the country,” Stephen said.
In his formative years he would find himself outside often, playing football in the grassy knoll behind his school, before returning to the classroom covered in mud, much to the dismay of his teacher.
His love for football wasn’t born from his parents however, it came from another source.
“My parents weren’t that football oriented really, but both my grandads were and loved it, I think it started there. Growing up in Scotland, football is number one and it’s everywhere,” he said.
Stephen began playing competitively at 11-years-old, joining his first full size team, but was disappointed that he didn’t get to play much.
“The first time I joined a team, I didn’t actually play a lot since I was the youngest in the under 15s team. It was actually a little bit frustrating really,” he said.
Despite not seeing much game time early in his competitive career, Stephen persevered, not allowing his frustration to get the better of him.
Alongside his school friends, they created their own team in a town called The Star of Atholl. However, by the time Stephen was 13, he was outclassing his opponents and teammates.


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