Central Region (553)
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.
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.
"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."
Palace Park Respect continued their impressive attacking play, putting 7 past Rangers SABC in a formidable showing of attacking force.
Palace had been in fine goal scoring form, putting a whopping 34 goals past their opponents in their past six games as they looked to continue their push up the table. Rangers however would have been looking to secure their first win in the league, picking up a solitary point from their opening ten games.
Palace took the lead on the 22nd minute mark, Craig Taylor the one to open the scoring. Five minutes later they doubled their advantage, this time it was Scott Ramsay who put the ball in the back of the net. This gave Rangers a mountain to climb come the second half.
"We want to be a Premiership football club, and to achieve this, our First Team needs to be our absolute focus.
"As a result of this, the decision has been taken to prioritise the use of available resources in our first team. From 31st December onwards, Falkirk Football Club will therefore cease its funding of the Forth Valley Football Academy.
"This was not an easy decision and means that our focus on youth development will, for the time being at least, significantly reduce."
Forth Valley also released a statement in response to the news saying, "This has implications for the future of this academy."
"The board of the FVFA consists of representatives of East Stirlingshire FC, Falkirk FC and Stenhousemuir FC. We will meet shortly to discuss what this means for us and what the next steps should be.
"We will be in contact with all parents of all children involved in the academy in due course."
Celtic ran out 3-1 winners over Belgian club Anderlecht in the UEFA Youth League on Tuesday afternoon, leapfrogging them in the group to finish in third place.
Anderlecht got the game underway in Dumbarton but it was Celtic who enjoyed the better start, often finding joy down the left wing. Jack Aitchison had the first chance of the game for the Hoops around seven minutes into the first half but hit his side-footed effort wide of the post.
The Bhoys began to look more confident on the ball, enjoying lots of possession in the Anderlecht half and took the lead after 22 minutes following a set piece.
Michael Johnston won a corner for Celtic but when the ball arrived at the feet of Euan Henderson, the midfielder’s shot was blocked. Jack Aitchison was the fastest to react and fired the ball in to give the Hoops the lead.
Then, just minutes later, Celtic grabbed their second that put them in control of the match. Aitchison did well to hold up the ball before feeding Kerr McInroy, who calmly placed the ball beyond Oliver Vliegen in the Anderlecht goal.
Celtic began to control the game but still had to be wary of their Belgian opponents. Nelson Azevedo went close when he headed over for the visitors and Milan Corryn’s well-struck volley went wide, reminding Celtic of the dangers they still faced.
The home side kept pushing for a third goal that would kill the game, looking particularly threatening whenever Johnston was on the ball. The right-winger tormented the Anderlecht defence time and again and began to impose his authority on the game towards the end of the first half.
Celtic started the second half he way the finished the first, charging up the pitch in search of a killer third goal. Johnston came close after beating two defenders but was blocked before he could get his shot away.
Anderlecht then went down to ten men when Alexis Saelemaekers was shown a straight red for is challenge on Miller. Five minutes later it got even worse for the Belgians when Johnston got on the scoresheet.
The winger showed nimble footwork to dribble past two Anderlecht defenders before coolly slotting it into the back of the net.
Celtic looked happy to see the game out at this point and retained possession, but Anderlecht still created the odd chance. Francis Amuzu tested Celtic keeper Ryan Mullin with a shot from 20 yards but the young stopper was equal to it.
Corryn pulled one back for the visitors with around 20 minutes left to play with a low shot from just inside the box, but any hopes of a dramatic revival were extinguished just a minute later when Reian Meddour picked up his second yellow card, reducing Anderlecht to nine men.
Celtic cruised to victory from that moment onwards and could have added to their tally, with Johnson coming particularly close for the Bhoys with just a few minutes remaining.
The referee then called time on an entertaining match that resulted in Celtic overtaking Anderlecht in UEFA Youth League Group B, finishing the campaign with six points.