THAT fabled Auld Alliance between Scotland and France may be put to the test in the heat of Champions League battle tonight but the continuing success of Edusport Academy is proof that the two country’s footballing cultures are capable of co-existing. As it happens Chris Ewing, the owner of the Glasgow-based academy which offers a football-based education in Scotland to aspiring French players, will accompany his entire group to Dumbarton this evening for the Uefa Youth League meeting between the young teams of Paris St Germain and Celtic.

“The boys are buzzing about Paris St Germain coming to Glasgow, they have all been looking for tickets,” Ewing told Herald Sport. “There is a few of them going to the big game but we are going to take the entire squad to the Uefa Youth League game at Dumbarton as well, I think that is probably more appropriate for the level our boys are at right now. It will be good to let them look at guys at the Under-19 level, it is more of a tangible thing for them. I’m not sure how much you will learn from looking at a phenomenon like Neymar.”

The multi-million pound superstars of Paris might be savouring the atmosphere of the East End of Glasgow tonight, but the prospect of Edusport Academy’s players also gracing Parkhead this season shouldn’t be entirely discounted. Now playing their football in the Lowland League, having won the South of Scotland League last season, Edusport are granted access to the early rounds of the Scottish Cup. They might need to progress through a few rounds first, but it is little wonder if they are dreaming of a game changing visit to Parkhead.

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“That really would be fairytale stuff,” said Ewing. “Maybe if we get Celtic in the cup I will register myself as a player and bring myself on in the last minute to score the winner! No, all we can ask is to put our players in professional environment, where they can learn and have some fun when they are doing it.”

Coached by former Falkirk winger Ricky Waddell, also an academy coach with Rangers at Auchenhowie, Edusport’s business model is continually evolving. Their usual line-up of aspiring French teenagers has been augmented this season by loan signings from Rangers, Kilmarnock and Partick Thistle. Armed with an endorsement from none other than Moussa Dembele, there is even talk of a link-up between the academy and Celtic’s scouting arm.

“We are an ambitious company, we are ambitious at all levels, and we are all pulling in the one direction,” says Ewing. “That means doing the best we can in the Lowland League and hopefully one day getting out of it at the top end. But the bottom line is that the Lowland League gives us a real platform. It is really exciting for us.”

Not everyone in the lower reaches of the Scottish game is instinctively Francophile. “People don’t always tend to like us in Scottish football,” admits Ewing, “because it is such an innovative business model, something people haven’t really come across before. The majority of the boys come from France and are paying money to come over here and play. But others regard it as a breath of fresh air. Okay, so we don’t have a lot of history and fan base but with the greatest of respect if you look at most of the clubs in the Lowland League they don’t either.”

The only problem, apart from trying to source baguettes and croissants from Greggs, is the fact a lack of suitable club licensed venues means that they must play their home matches in Annan. “We are very keen to market ourselves as a Glasgow football club, we moved it from Edinburgh, and we have ‘People Make Glasgow’ on our jerseys. We really like to promote cultural exchange in the dressing room, although they probably get a bit of a culture shock when they are walking down Suachiehall Street late at night!”