Grassroots football in Scotland is developing at a rapid rate in recent years with what seems like a never-ending growth of new clubs and talented young players.
One such example is 14 year-old Dylan Brown who is the latest in a trend of highly promising footballers to emerge from the Scottish Grassroots scene. Currently plying his trade in the Motherwell youth academy, the Steelmen had to fight off fellow SPFL clubs Hearts, Rangers and St. Mirren in order to sign the young winger.
Dylan's footballing journey started at the age of six when his father Craig signed him up to Strathaven Dynamos. Having performed to a high quality with the Dynamos, he then went on to join Scotland Boys Club having been brought in by Operations Manager Richard Bullough.
“The help he [Dylan] got from the [Scotland] Boys Club shaped his start to pro-youth”, according to father Craig. “We always thought Dylan had something in him and a lot of people started to notice Dylan's ability.”
Brown then joined Rangers SABC, a boys club set up by members
of the Rangers Supporters Association, and straight away became a regular for the U11's under manager Kyle Stewart. During his time at Rangers SABC, pro clubs from Scotland started taking an interest in Dylan. This was heightened when he scored in the Scottish League Cup final and helped the team to their second Scottish Cup final and went on to score in that final too.
Rangers, Hearts and St. Mirren were monitoring Dylan's progress closely but ultimately, he signed for Motherwell. Brown started off with Motherwell as a left winger where he was most comfortable previously. Dylan quickly found out the difference in quality of the opposition he was facing with Motherwell and he struggled at left wing. As a result, coaches Brian Kerr and Stevie Hamil pushed him further down the field and deployed Dylan as a left back.
The position change has been a revelation and he has improved his game ten-fold, although Dylan still has plenty to learn. As a natural attacker, his defensive game is something that Dylan needs improving, according to father Craig. Saying that, he has already been asked to play for Motherwell's U16's and U17's after only six months at the club which can only boost Dylan's morale.
Since joining Motherwell, Dylan has two main ambitions that he wants to achieve. The first one is to work his way through the ranks play for the Motherwell senior squad. The other is to represent Scotland at international level, ultimately at senior level, but would be delighted to represent them at any youth level. While he hasn't yet been called up for Scotland or for Motherwell's senior side, he is working hard and is determined to achieve his two main goals.
“Dylan realises he has been given a fantastic opportunity to become a footballer,” added father Craig. “He knows that he has to train hard and keep learning as he has only started on the road to what could happen.”