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The first winner of the Scottish Building Society SWPL Player of the Month for 2018 has been announced as Chelsea McEachran of Central Girls Football Academy. Just under a thousand public votes were cast for the award with Chelsea picking up over a third of the vote. McEachran is one of the youngest players to play in the SWPL and her success at adult level comes off the back of a sparkling youth career. This included two Scottish Cup victories at 13's and 15's level with Falkirk and Central FA respectively. In both finals she scored twice. A statement from SWPL read:
 
Since gaining promotion to Scottish Building Society SWPL 2, Central Girls FA have shown they will be a tough team to beat. Their 3-1 win away to St Johnstone was perhaps the shock of the opening Sunday. While they’ve lost their last two matches (2-1 at home to Kilmarnock and 3-1 away to Motherwell), those games have been against the current top two teams.
 
Part of their success and strong performances have been in midfield, where 15 year-old Chelsea has excelled. Speaking from the Indodrill Stadium, Alloa, she said: “To have won this award is a huge honour. This is a very competitive league and we knew we’d have to battle for every point. It’s really pleasing to have a win under our belts and to be getting such recognition at the same time.
 
“To have lost our last two matches is disappointing but we’ve certainly not been outclassed against two of the most inform teams. We’re in good spirits about the season ahead and are confident of maintaining our Scottish Building Society SWPL 2 status.”
 
Kerra McKinnie, Head of Marketing & Communications for Scottish Building Society, said: “We’d like to say congratulations to Chelsea and Central Girls FA. 2018 has been a fantastic year for the club and this is further recognition of their hard work.
 
“This is the first award of the new season and already we’ve seen a really high level of interest. Just under a thousand votes came in, despite us reducing the voting time. We’re delighted to, therefore, see the continued growth in support for the Scottish Building Society SWPL.”
 
Also nominated for the March award was Suzanne Mulvey (Motherwell), Nina Fitzsimmons (Hamilton Academical), and Katey Turner (Hibernian).
 
“I’d like to say well done to Chelsea for winning the award and to all those who were nominated” said Kerra. “The early season has proved once again that both leagues will be extremely competitive and we’re sure that’ll be the same when it comes to the Player of the Month Award.”

In this edition of #WhatsYourStory we look ahead to Finnart’s trip to the Blackpool International Trophy with Trans World Soccer.

The Glasgow based club will be joining a number of other Scottish teams aiming to bring back the trophy.

Youth Football Scotland caught up with the Finnart coaches to find out how they are preparing for the tournament, and what they are most looking forward to.

With it being their ‘first tournament outside of Scotland since Easter 2015’, they will be aiming to make it a winning return.

Currently, Finnart are challenging for their domestic league, and ‘are looking to put up a bigger challenge when they travel down this Easter’.

With two age groups going down to Blackpool, Finnart will be hoping that they can bring a couple of trophies back to Glasgow and be the benchmark for Scottish clubs travelling with Trans World Soccer.


#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 

In this edition of #WhatsYourStory we look ahead to Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers trip to the Manchester Easter Cup with Trans World Soccer.

Along with a host of other Scottish teams, Wishaw WW will be competing against teams from around the world in a fiercely competitive cup.

Youth Football Scotland caught up with the team coach to find out what the team are most looking forward to ahead of their trip down south.

The boys are excited for their first trip away together, and will be hoping to make some positive memories this Easter.

The path to glory is well known at Wishaw Wycombe Wonderers, with the youth club promoting great players such as Lee Miller and Kieran Tierney, along with the great snooker player John Higgins.  

The boys will be hoping to impress in Manchester, with the ultimate goal of reaching the heights of the former players that have come through the academy.

 

#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.

 

 
 
A few years ago Clydebank had no youth set-up to speak of. Now they have 10 teams ranging from 2011's to the under 19 squad and including a girls team as well as a team competing in the PAN disability leaague. Their Under 19's side also won the SYFA Cup last year.
 
That level of growth has not gone unnoticed and we caught up with Under 19's coach Scott Carson to find out the story behind the Central Region side's incredible rise. The first question we asked was how he became involved with Clydebank to begin with.
 
"Myself Paul Mooney, Ian Stokes, Phil Simpson and Joey Muir created Milngavie Wanderers.
 
"We enjoyed great success as a young team but as the boys grew older and the dreams of professional careers for them seem to drift further and further way we looked at avenues for player pathways outside of a professional team.
 
"That's when Clydebank FC approached us. This was our first year at under 17's. We felt that it was important that the players still had a pathway to a decent playing level. 
 
"Paul Mooney remained by my side and we brought in Brian Carmichael and Stuart Robertson as Ian and Phil's lads pursued pro youth football. That was how we came under the Clydebank FC umbrella.
 
"Clydebank have been extremely welcoming and instantly we began to see the benefits of being linked with such an amazing football club that is steeped in so much history for being such a young club. It was a massive draw for Paul especially as he is a fan. I have since caught the Bankie bug."
 
Running the youth teams has not been without it's challenges however, and Scott has certainly run into quite a few during his time at the club. The main difficulties appear to be on the finncial side, as he explains.
 
"Running costs are most certainly the biggest contribution to teams folding. Hiring facilities can be astronomical as well as the lack of facilities for decent training and playing of games. Our sponsors have helped us greatly making us looki the part with some cracking kits. Trying to keep fees affordable is a massive challenge.
 
"Another challenge faced by the 19's is we draw players from quite a distance. From Hamilton to Rothesay. So to ease the burden we train at Harmony Row which makes us more central for everyone."
 
In 2017 the Clydebank FC Under 19's team won the SYFA Cup, something th
 
"The Scottish cup victory was easily the best moment of not only my coaching career but topped everything I'd achieved in football. As a team we prepared like professionals. We watched our first team on the Saturday then left to train that night. We took the players to a lovely restaurant. From there we headed to the Dakota Hotel and stayed overnight. We arrived at the stadium that morning feeling as if we were ready for the day.
 
"Achieving the win was made even more special as we had a large travelling support from the town. We had some of our players from the younger age groups as mascots who made our boys feel so special.
 
"It really was a monumental occasion and the players not only done us proud but everyone linked to the club and town. Everything we had worked hard for came right that day.
 
"Watching our captain lift the cup will always be a magical moment."
 
Scott is also keen for the more experienced members of his squad to help out with some of the younger age groups as well, whether it be giving advice or helping with training sessions.
 
"We are encouraging our older players to help guide the younger players and have opened up an avenue for them to get into coaching and help coach the younger teams. We are hoping that this installs a togetherness within the club. At Clydebank we are trying to create a club which feels like a family.   
 
"Where everyone knows one another. Everyone helps one another and in this we hope the youngsters catch the Bankies bug. Witnessing my local club grow and hopefully putting it back on the football map at youth level gives me a sense of pride.
 
"Working closely with Paul and other players within our team gives me a sense of achievement We have came so far within such a short time and with the announcement of the club looking at gaining access to the Lowland league. It certainly is an exciting time to be part of Clydebank FC.
 
Hopefully all involved will always be proud to be a Bankie."

Shettleston Juniors thumped Notre Dame Soccer Academy in the Glasgow and District under 14s league clash in Glasgow on Sunday afternoon.

Juniors raced into a four-goal lead within the first eight minutes in a blistering start to the game and did well to keep control of the match throughout.

Notre Dame kicked off on a sunny afternoon at Springburn’s Petershill Park and immediately highlighted their passing ability. Some slick footwork, twinned with good movement, saw Notre Dame pull Shettleston over the park but failed to create a meaningful chance in the opening five minutes.

It was Shettleston, however, who would open the scoring. Attacker Jamie Andrew won the ball on the right wing and fired a low cross towards the back post where Kalvin Higgins was waiting. The centre forward took a touch before firing a low shot towards the near post beyond the despairing Nathan Dawson in goal for Notre Dame.

Juniors wouldn’t have to wait long for a second and had the ball in the Notre Dame net again just a minute later. Andrew took a long throw on the right that cleared the defence and sent Alexander Ballantyne bearing down on goal. Dawson saved his initial effort, but Andrew pounced on the rebound to increase the scoring.

Two minutes later Shettleston had another, courtesy of Andrew again. A lofted ball from midfield sent Andrew through for a one-on-one with the onrushing Dawson. The goalkeeper rushed outside his box before Andrew showed great composure to gently lift the ball over the Notre Dame keeper, sprint past him and tap the ball into an empty net.

The home side kept up the early assault and grabbed a fourth with eight minutes on the clock. Again, Andrew was heavily involved. Some good work down the right led to a low cross into the box from the winger, finding Higgins in the box with his back to goal. The striker used his physicality to hold off a challenge from the Notre Dame defence before teeing up Jack Hutcheon, whose lofted shot bounced in off the top left corner of the frame of the goal.

The visitors were struggling to deal with Shettleston’s pace up front and the problem was exacerbated by the high line the defence insisted on operating. Joshua Harvie and Harris Simpson caught the eye for Notre Dame, but struggled to create clear-cut chances.

Juniors then could have added another if not for the exceptional reflexes of Dawson. Andrew’s cross from the right reached Ballantyne in the box – the attacker took a touch to control the ball before lashing a powerful effort at goal, but Dawson reacted very well to parry the ball behind for a corner.

The away side then came within inches of clawing a goal back. A wonderful through ball sent striker Ross Condy free of the Shettleston defence, driving towards the Juniors goal. Condy probably should have gone himself but unselfishly tried to tee up a teammate, only for Shettleston centre back Aiden Lawson to slide in and win the ball at the last moment. Had Lawson mistimed his interception, Notre Dame would surely have scored.

Then just two minutes later Notre Dame were made to pay for their missed opportunity. A long throw from the left-hand side bounced twice, evading the Notre Dame defence, before falling kindly for Higgins in the box. The striker pivoted and coolly slotted the ball past Dawson.

Harvie and Simpson continued to provide hope for the away side, combining particularly well down the left of Notre Dame’s attack. However, Shettleston’s Kyle Edger was in imperious form in central defence – the young stopper was a rock at the back for Juniors, snuffing out any dangerous play and reducing Notre Dame’s opportunities to a minimum.

With 22 minutes on the clock, Higgins secured his hat-trick. This time Ballantyne broke down the left before firing in a cross towards the back post where Higgins was waiting. On this occasion, the striker hit a first-time shot that gave Dawson little chance of stopping it.

The pace of the game dropped a little after the goal, with Shettleston happy to keep the ball in midfield and focus on dominating possession. For the rest of the half, chances were at a premium for either side.

Shettleston came close to extending their advantage before the half-time whistle following a corner from the left. Higgins was elected to take the set-piece and curled in a high, looping cross towards the middle of the box. Ballantyne won the header but his effort from 12 yards was smothered by Dawson.

Shortly afterwards, the referee blew his whistle and both sets of players jogged off the pitch.

The home side kicked off for the second half and were met by a newly determined Notre Dame, who played with an increased intensity in a bid to reduce Juniors’ deficit.
 
The first chance of the second half fell to Shettleston following a corner. Higgins’ delivery failed to find a teammate, instead resulting in the ball bouncing around the box and both sides failed to control it. The ball eventually fell to Hutcheon at the back post, but Dawson was every bit equal to the attacker’s powerful strike.
 
The match was a little more stop-start at this stage, with play often being stopped for cheap fouls committed by both sides. Notre Dame were playing better, but still struggling to find passes in the final third of the pitch.
 
Andrew came close to grabbing a hat-trick of his own but was denied by another excellent piece of goalkeeping from Dawson. The winger sprinted down the right and danced past two defenders to give himself a one-on-one with the Notre Dame goalie. Dawson rushed off his line and produced a superb stop to deny Andrew, who looked certain to score.
 
Notre Dame came close to threatening the Shettleston goal following some neat footwork from Simpson, who did well to thread a pass through the Juniors defence for Conor Plunkett to chase, but the pass was slightly overhit and the ball rolled harmlessly behind for a goal kick.
 
It was then Cameron Orr’s turn to get on the scoresheet for the hosts. Another corner from Higgins reached the unmarked Orr in the middle of the Notre Dame box. Orr rolled the ball in at the far post from close range, denying the visitors’ defence any chance of preventing the goal.
 
Five minutes later, Shettleston had their eighth. Higgins broke free of the Notre Dame defence, latching on to a through ball from deep, before showing excellent composure and awareness to calmly round Dawson and gently poking the ball across the line.
 
Then, just a minute later, Hutcheon got the second that his play deserved. William McKay did well to create space on the right wing before lashing in a low ball towards the Notre Dame goal. Hutcheon sprinted in at the near post, sliding in front of the Notre Dame defence to poke the ball beyond Dawson.
 
With the game nearing its conclusion there was still time for one last goal for the home side, ensuring they finished the match in fine fashion. Again, Shettleston found luck from a long throw – this time, the ball was lobbed over the defence, finding Ballantyne after the forward made a good run. Dawson rushed to close him down but was left vulnerable in the process. Ballantyne took advantage to great effect, knocking the ball past the keeper before rolling the ball into an empty net.
 
The referee then signalled for full time, calling time on an excellent display from Juniors. There are undoubtedly lessons to be learned for Notre Dame, but the effort they put in throughout the match should be commended. They didn’t allow their heads to drop in testing circumstances, but were simply outplayed by a fantastic Shettleston Juniors team.
#WhatsYourStory
 
With this week’s edition of #WhatsYourStory, we take a look at Stirling Albion’s preparations for the Blackpool International Trophy this Easter, where they are travelling with Trans World Soccer.
 
Albion will be joining a host of other Scottish teams down in Blackpool, along with competing against teams from other countries too.
 
The coach, Stuart McKechnie caught up with Youth Football Scotland to give us a bit of insight into his team. This is a tournament full of ‘firsts’ for the Albion boys, with it being the ‘first trip away overnight as a team’ and their ‘first tournament outside Scotland’.
 
The boys also ‘won the FVFDA League Cup’ last season in their first season playing 11 a side so will be hoping to build on that success in Blackpool.
 
The team suffered a setback 18 months ago, having to ‘majorly rebuild’ the team after losing ‘around 60% of the team to pro youth teams’. Luckily, the core of the team ‘have played together for almost 7 years now’ and have high hopes that they will be ‘making memories that will stick with the boys’.
 
If you are interested in participating in Easter or Summer tournaments in 2018, click here and register your interest with Trans World Soccer.
 
1  What tournament will you be going to?
 
We are going to the Blackpool International Trophy during Easter weekend 2018.
 
2  What are you / the team most looking forward to for the trip?
 
The coaches are looking forward to taking the boys away and playing some new teams from other countries as well as enjoying some social time with the team. The team is looking forward to our first trip away overnight as a team and making memories that hopefully will stick with the boys.
 
3  What is something that people might not know about Stirling Albion? 
 
The core of our team have played together for almost 7 years now, but we had to majorly rebuild summer 2016 when we started 11 aside as we lost around 60% of our team to pro youth teams.
This is our first tournament outside Scotland. We won the FVFDA League Cup last season in our 1stseason at 11 aside. We are currently sitting top of our league.
 
#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 
 
Blantyre Soccer Academy, who have run a very successful boys academy for some time now, have recently been trying to form a pathway for the future stars in women's football.
 
The first girls sessions at the academy were held in December by Donald Gillies, Head of Girl's and Women's Football for the Scottish FA and Laura Daly, who we managed to get a hold of for an interview. Daly, who was formerly at East Kilbride, Glasgow City and Motherwell Football Community Trust had this to say
 
"The first girls session was delivered by myself and Donald on Friday 1st December. Before this it was agreed that as a club we would run a 3 week trial period for girls to come and try the taster sessions before the festive break, purely to allow them to try it before committing to it.
 
"I can happily say it was a huge success, with not only an average of 20 girls over they 3 weeks, but also the number still being the same all these weeks later." 
 
"After just short of 5 years at Motherwell Football Club Community Trust, and my contract running out, I decided it was time for a fresh challenge for myself with a new club. Before even contacting Blantyre Soccer Academy I had heard of the work they do through parents and other clubs. So I just chanced my arm and sent an email to enquire about my background in football and what I could offer them. Luckily for me I got a response almost immediately and it kicked off from there really."
 
The success of the girls sessions has caused great excitement around the academy and according to Daly, there are plenty of plans for the girls at the academy going forward.
 
"We’ve had lots of discussions about how to move forward as a whole and in such a small period of time we already have a number of objectives we want to complete. Right now I’m pretty confident I can field not only an under 11s girls team, but also an under 9s too. This will be kept running by the girls who we aim to target through local school taster sessions and also a soccer centre which should be up and running in March.
 
"So despite doing well so far, I personally want to keep pushing for even more success. The support I have from the club and the people involved is incredible and it’s a huge part of why the number of girls attending so far has been so high. Everyone does their part to make it the best experience possible."
 
 The women's game has been growing in Scotland for many years and Daly is extremely proud and motivated to be a part of that in helping young girls on their path to a playing career.
 
"I think just to be able to make girls feel important and equal to the boys is a credit to any coach involved in a girls set up. There is no doubting women’s football is growing more each year and if I can help a number of girls be part of that history and they enjoy it then I guess I’m doing my job.
 
"I think the most rewarding part for me is to give the girls something I didn’t have when I was their age as opportunities are important."
 
When asked finally about the ambitions for herself and the academy as a whole, Daly replied, "I think personally going forward it’s about growing the girls game more and more each month within the club, and looking at making it sustainable. I certainly don’t want girls to come and enjoy their football but then fall away from it due to it breaking down so from my end I will be trying to make sure the pathway is there.
 
"I also think from a clubs perspective we can’t forget about the boys, disability teams and all the other initiatives the club run as they are all just as important as the girls and again, it’s about making a difference to someone’s life and giving them every opportunity we can to succeed.

"I’d also like to state that the Friday night sessions are open to any girls who want to come along and try it, the main focus just now being from 5-11 year olds. There is no experience needed as it’s focused around learning football skills, life skills and full of enjoyment. The sessions run at Hamilton Palace Sports Grounds 4-6.30pm and if you contact the club via email or myself we are more than happy to answer any questions you may have."

Saturday, 27 January 2018 18:23

Renton Craigandro appeal after theft of goals

Written by
A statement from Renton Craigandro reads:
 
At some point between 9pm on Thursday 18th and 9pm Thursday 25th January, we have had 1 full set of 11 v 11 full size goals and 3 sets of 7 v 7 goals stolen from the rear of the John Connolly Centre, Main Street, Renton, Dumbarton.
 
The goals had been gifted to the club with a donation made in return and we have been quoted a replacement cost of £10,404.
 
We are a local youth team and registered charity from one of the most deprived areas of Scotland. We have 250 kids at present and are weeks away from completing an asset transfer of the local parks to secure and enhance them for the local youth for years to come. This could set the club back years in terms of improving these facilities due to the cost.
 
The theft has been reported to police and if anyone has any information can they contact us through our Facebook page or Twitter or contact the police directly using crime reference LA04310118.
 
We also have a Gofundme page set up to try and replace the 7v7 goals as we are realistic enough to think they have already been sold for scrap (for which they would have received a maximum of £300 in scrap value!).
 
The Gofundme page can be found by clicking here.
The first of three cup finals from the Central Scotland Football Association on Saturday 13th January sees an interesting match between Jerviston FC and Maddiston Mini’s. Just three points separate the two team in the under 14’s B league but league records mean next to nothing in a cup final. Let’s have a look at both side routes to their showpiece event at Ochilview Park.
 
Jerviston FC
 
Jerviston were drawn into group section A alongside their final opponents Maddiston Minis. Knowing that only a top two finish would ensure their place in the last four of the competition Jerviston started strongly.
 
First up was Syngenta Grange away from home and Jerviston set out a standard they were set to maintain for the rest of the competition when they left with an impressive 8-2 victory and followed it up with a 7-1 win over North Glasgow Celtic.
 
Next up was Maddiston Minis and it will certainly be one that the Jerviston players will be looking back on as they secured a 5-0 win over their final opponents. A loss to Milan FC, who narrowly missed out on a semi-final place, was not enough to derail Jerviston who secured their spot with a 2-2 draw to Lenzie YC.
 
That set up a semi-final tie with Steins Thistle and the two produced an extremely entertaining match that had to be settled in extra time. Jerviston proved to have more energy in the tank and walked away with a 4-2 victory and a place in the final.
 
 
Maddiston Mini’s
 
Being drawn in a group with Jerviston FC and league B leaders Milan FC meant that it was always going to be a tough group for the Mini’s to get out of but showed their metal early on when they opened with an impressive 1-1 draw at home to Milan and followed it up with a close 6-5 win against Syngenta Grange.
 
The loss to Jerviston threatened to derail their cup run but strong performances in their final two games against Lenzie YC and North Glasgow Celtic were enough to send them through as group runners-up.
 
Next up for Maddiston and standing between them and a cup final spot at Ochilview was EDFC, who currently sit in second place in the B league. It would therefore appear that the odds were on EDFC’s side, but it appears as though the Mini’s don’t pay attention to the odds.
 
They dispatched  their division rivals in a 7-1 win that cemented their place in the final and a chance at glory.
 
 
These two sides have met twice already this season. One was the aforementioned 5-0 win for Jerviston; and the other a tightly contested game in which Jerviston again emerged victorious by a score of 4-3.
 
This would probably put the odds in the favour of Jerviston, but what is evident from Maddiston’s cup run is that the odds mean absolutely nothing. One thing is for certain though and that is that we can expect a scintillating match from these two on Saturday. 
This weekend sees a whole host of cup finals played at Ochilview Park in Stenhousemuir. One of which is the 2005’s League Cup which takes place at 7:00 on Friday 12th January. It has been a long journey for the finalists but now it comes down to one game between Falkirk FCF and Gairdoch United to see who will be crowned champions. Let’s have a look at each side’s route to the final.
 
Falkirk FCF
 
Falkirk were drawn into group section A for the tournament and they began their cup run in stunning fashion, securing a dominant victory over EDFC Barca before following it up with an impressive 7-1 win over Campsie FC.
 
After that came a stunning 8-0 loss away to their cup final opponents Gairdoch United but they recovered well with a 4-0 win away to Rosebank United. This was followed up by wins against Stenhousemuir BC, Condorrat BC and Cumbernauld Pumas.
 
Six wins from seven group game saw Falkirk finish second behind Gairdoch and qualify for the quarter-finals, where they would come up against Motherwell FC CT, a difficult opponent and one currently flying high in second spot in the SCFA Under 13’s (a) League, but one Falkirk were able to overcome in an impressive 4-1 win.
 
This set up a thrilling semi-final tie against Scotland BC Purple which Falkirk eventually came through after a nervy penalty shoot-out after the match finished 1-1 after extra time. They were to advance to the final with a 5-4 spot kick win.
 
Gairdoch United
 
Gairdoch come into this match in fine form, having lost just one match all season. Seven wins from seven in their section A group, including the previously mentioned 8-0 victory over Falkirk FCF, saw them advance comfortably to the quarter-finals.
 
Next up for United was their quarter-final tie against Maryhill BC. It was business as usual as they claimed their place in the semi-final beating their opponents 7-1.
 
One more game to navigate for Gairdoch and it was Lenzie YC who was standing in their way. With the pressure of being favourites it would have been easy to get complacent, however it was to be no problem for the league leaders as they came through as 5-1 winners and secured their place at Ochilview on Friday.
 
 
It certainly looks set to be an interesting cup final. Falkirk have already lost once to Gairdoch in the cup and came up short when they clashed in league competition. Gairdoch will go into the match full of confidence and as clear favourites for the trophy, but cup finals can be funny in that they never quite go the way you expect.
 
Falkirk will go into this game knowing that if they put in a performance then they have a good chance of leaving Stenhousemuir with a trophy, and that will be the only motivation they need to give their opponents a really tough match. 
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