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Friday, 18 May 2018 10:29

Eastend celebrate title winning season

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David Andrews, coach of Eastend Colts U16s, has hailed his ‘unplayable’ side after they were crowned CSFA B League Champions.
The Colts won 16 of 18 games en route to the title, losing only once in a hugely successful year.
And Andrews could not praise his players highly enough for the way they’ve performed this season:
“I’ve never seen this many players with such strong character,” he said. “They never know when they’re beaten. 
“They’re so mentally strong and, obviously, have quite a lot of talent as well. To play the way they do as a team is incredible; the way they use the ball and shift it around is fantastic. 
“When we’re on form we’re almost unplayable.”
It’s been a rapid rise for a team completing only its fourth season at this level. The Colts are no strangers to silverware; they’ve won four trophies in the last three years – including the League Cup in January – but 2018 marks the first time they’ve claimed a league title.
Andrews discussed the building process that has been going on at the club since their formation.
He said: “We started with basically nothing. 
“We’ve recruited players’ year-on-year, but this season it became apparent three or four weeks into the season that we were in with a real shout of competing, but we never knew we’d have done as well as we did.”
The Colts finished on 49 points, only three ahead of their nearest challenger, Craigpark Colts, but Andrews felt that – once his side reached the top of the table – they would always have too much for the chasing pack.
“I could see from the way we were playing that teams couldn’t get close to us,” he said. “We used the ball so well.
“Craigpark were the team giving us the nearest challenge. But you could tell from the games against them that there was a difference in the quality of both teams.”
The Colts lost 2-0 to Craigpark in a League Cup group at the start of the year, but bounced back to beat them 4-0, 3-1, and 4-0 in their subsequent meetings.
And it was the final game against Craigpark that Andrews felt was a decisive moment in the title race.
“We played Third Lanark a couple of weeks ago and they beat us 3-2, which meant that we had to beat Craigpark to ensure we could win the title on the last day of the season against Lenzie.
“We expected to turn up and get into a real fight [in the 4-0 victory against Craigpark], but after about 15-20 minutes of the game we’d basically put it out of sight. For me, that was the League sown up in that game.”
With title success comes promotion, and the Colts will now make the step-up to the A League.
But it’s not a challenge that Andrews feels daunted by, as he begins looking ahead to what he hopes will be another successful league campaign.
“I don’t see there’s any reason why we can’t go up there and handle ourselves in the A league,” he said. “There’s a lot of good teams up there but I don’t think we’ll be going just to make the numbers up.
“If we can keep the nucleus of players that we’ve got just now then I don’t see why we couldn’t go up and mount a serious challenge for that title as well.”
(Photo courtesy of CUFC 2003)
ES Galaxy player Andrew Donnelly paid a visit to Cumbernauld to thank the players of Cumbernauld United 2003’s for their help after he was taken to hospital with a head injury during a match between the two sides earlier this month.
Donnelly travelled down to meet the squad to thank them for the concern they showed after he was taken to hospital after suffering a head injury during a meeting between ES Galaxy and Cumbernauld United at the beginning of May.
Cumbernauld were presented with a pendant by Andrew and ES Galaxy for the support they offered during a very stressful time for Andrew and his family.
Cumbernauld posted on their Facebook page shortly after the incident saying, “As we were 3-0 up the ES coach conceded the tie in a terrific act of sportsmanship. ES Galaxy are a well-run team with great bunch of boys and coaches.”
The injury unfortunately kept Andrew out of ES Galaxy’s trip to compete in the Blackpool Cup, but his father Jim thanked everyone for their support.
“Liz, Andrew and I would like to thank everyone for their support tonight, it really meant a lot to us. It is a privilege to be part of such a close knit team. Thank you so much.
“He is disappointed that he can’t travel to Blackpool but he is determined to be fit and healthy for the festivals at the end of the month.”
It is always nice to see true sportsmanship shine through and credit must go to both clubs for the respect they have shown each other.
Everyone at YFS would like to wish Andrew all the best as he continues his recovery and we hope to be covering one of his matches very soon.
After a successful season 2016/17 where the club were successful on a number of playing fronts with two sides reaching the pinnacle of the Scottish Youth Cup final, a club record Regional Cup treble and other league titles and cups it would be hard to better that. 
However 2017/18 for Syngenta Juveniles has continued at a pace with a new Executive Committee and club chairman at the helm. At a time when fund raising, putting teams on parks and generally keeping boys and girls in the games with competing distractions, the club have continued to grow and put in place the foundations for the future.
A new 25 year lease was secured at the end of 2017 with Little Kerse Leisure landlord and supporter of the club Stephen Barr. The lease gave the club access to best in class facilities in the Central Region with 35acres of land, 5 maintained grass parks and a newly laid FIFA1 standard 3G park that was laid before the winter started.
That alone allowed the Syngenta sides to continue at a pace during the bad weather when other clubs were less fortunate and games were being cancelled weekly. 
However it doesn’t end there and with the second FIFA1 3G show pitch scheduled to be finished by the middle of May and four new changing room blocks arriving to supplement the existing facilities the club really have continued to build for the future. On Sunday 29th May, the club had the chance to visit and try out their new second astro.
The facilities have continued to attract new players, parents and indeed coaches to the club and the teams have continued with the charge for success. A number of their sides are again competing for silverware with the U19s in an unprecedented third Scottish Final and the U17s looking to defend their Regional Cup title in a June final to be played at Ochilview. 
Our developmental sides have continued to grow with new age groups rapidly increasing at 2012 and 2011 age groups and some our younger squads competing in Holland and Spain this Easter.
With the launch of the inaugural Kelpies Cup festival in August, nearly already a sell out, the future continues to look bright and indeed orange for the seasons coming with club also agreeing to a new kit deal with Hummel through RJM Sports Ltd.
The club are continually on the look out for new players, coaches and sponsors so to find out more have a look at their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/syjuvsfc/
GoFitba is a football-based community project tailored for primary school kids and delivered by The Scottish Football Partnership Trust in association with community football clubs.
The main objective of this exciting initiative is to teach children how to eat healthy and engage them in regular and fun activity through playing football.
The project joins boys and girls from 8-12 years old from all different schools and lasts for 12 weeks. All sessions start with a 30-45 minute educational class but is made as dynamic and interactive as possible.
Every child was supplied with a glossy workbook, in which they learned about The Eatwell Guide, healthy choices, the importance of drinking water and the dangers of too much sugar and salt in their diet.
After the class, the kids got the chance to step out of the classroom and onto the football pitch to have a training session, during which they practiced and learned about warm ups, and new football skills, while also refreshing the tips and knowledge they learnt earlier on.
With these sessions, the club and the project hope to get these young people engaged in regular exercise.
Leading the session at Cumbernauld Colts was 22-year old coach Alexander Miller.
Alex has been a coach since he was 16 and at the age of 18, when he retired as a player, he decided to go into coaching and now, alongside his work for GoFitba, he coaches the Colts’ U17 team and assists with the U20s as well.
Commenting on the project, Miller said, “Every week you see progress with the kids that attend regularly.  Schools love it and the kids feel more comfortable to learn here as they don’t have any pressure and they can have fun”
One of the assistant coaches, 40-year old John Symth, was already involved in this project last year.
“The kids have fun and you see them progressing and enjoying football, it’s a win win”
“Alex’s passion makes the kids feel comfortable in the project, parents are very happy as well because they see their kids learning how to be healthy and having fun”
The work and passion shown by all who have volunteered their time and effort to the project is incredibly admirable, with parents really happy with the club’s involvement as well as the kids who attend.
Lindsay Taylor has only been in two sessions so far, along with her sister and brother, and she likes the skills and tips that she has learned and is sure she will keep applying them after she finishes.
Logan Anderson, another student on the project, has been assisting for four weeks and cannot speak highly enough of the project. The youngster has expressed a desire to become a goalkeeper, like Keylor Navas, the goalkeeper from his favourite football team, Real Madrid.
At the end of the session the kids sat together to have dinner, learning skills ranging from table manners to personal hygiene tips.
The impact that the project has had on the kids so far is amazing. I am incredibly lucky to see with my own eyes how the session works and how the kids feel and it was clear to see how much fun everyone was having, even when they were doing book exercises.
A huge amount of credit must go to all the coaches at Cumbernauld Colts who were a great help throughout the day.
Hopefully GoFitba can continue for many years to come!
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.
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.