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Central Region (549)

 
Blantyre SAC Black finished comfortably at the top of the U15s Section A table finishing on 60 points after an astonishing undefeated season. They finished on 20 wins, with 0 draws or losses. What an achievement. We were lucky enough to speak to the coach, Stephen Owens, to find out what went right for them this season. 
 
Winning the league is an achievement that can't be understated, and to win it undefeated is a very rare accomplishment. Stephen said, "We are absolutely delighted to be crowned league champions, at the start of the season that's the one we all aim to win. Especially to win it in the manner we have is tremendous, we won every league game whilst playing very good football." They definitely showed the league what they were made of, and they were the team to beat this season but it just couldn't happen. 
 
Stephen struggled to pick a favourite moment from this excellent season from Blantyre, he said this. "There have been too many good moments to single one out. Our 2-0 win in the SC quarter-final against East Kilbride, beating the previous years champions was a brilliant experience for the lads. But to go to Mill Utd and win 6-0 to secure the league is probably tops for me, they were our barometer at the start of the season." Mill Utd finished second in the league with 47 points, so they were the closest competition for the dominant Blantyre. 
 
Despite an undefeated season, Blantyre still had some struggles and challenges throughout. Stephen said, "Our biggest challenge was getting the boys to believe that they were a match for anyone and to make them believe they could overcome Mill Utd and win the league. They then went on to win both league games against them 6-0 and 6-2. We think they have the belief and confidence now." Making sure that your team is confident and are able to overcome the anxious and nervous feelings before a big game can make all the difference. 
 
The reason for the teams success is an important one in any team and Blantyre have made it work. Stephen commented, "The biggest reason for our success is our togetherness within the squad. We are very careful on the type of boys we bring in, these boys all train hard and want to learn, and most importantly be good team-mates. A good recipe in my opinion." The team chemistry is a strong factor in the success of any team and making it work can involve finding the right personalities in the team that work together and can change the way a team works entirely. 
 
After an undefeated league win, you can't get much better than that but Stephen has plans for the future. He said, "We are now looking to kick on and have a team play the way we want them to. The boys have had a lot of congratulations this year and deservedly so for the way they played fabulous football this season."  If the boys can remain at this level or continue to improve, they surely have a good future in football.
 
Stephen had some final comments to add, he said, "I would like to thank certain people at our Academy, Ross, Scott, John and the boys in the squad for their commitment and effort to make it a great season. I would also like to thank Jimmy Whelan our chairman, Kevin O' Neil the academy head and Linda Raddoch the academy secretary. Without these people, this season wouldn't have been possible as the backing they give us is huge in trying to do things properly as an academy." 
 
We wish Blantyre SAC Black good luck in their future season's and hope they continue to shock and surprise. 
 
EDFC had a stunning season, ending top of the table with 52 points after only losing two games all season. It was a closer league than many, with Stonehouse Boys Club finishing only one point behind EDFC. We got the chance to catch up with the coach of EDFC, John McVey, to find out what went right for the squad. 
 
Winning the league is one of the biggest achievements in a footballing career. The reactions from the boys at EDFC after the final whistle blew proves just how much it means to them. John said, "The boys were absolutely delighted. It was a tense run with us knowing that we had to win our last four games to clinch the league. Stonehouse had an excellent season and pushed us all the way. It made for a dramatic finale and the delight from the boys was matched by the relief for the coaches and parents." Working hard towards a league win can be hard work for everyone involved in the team and for it all to pay off, it can take a huge weight off the shoulders. The midfielder from EDFC, Chris Callaghan also had some comments about the final game of the season, he said this. "Winning the league was a great reward for all the hard work put in by the whole squad throughout the season. It was a brilliant feeling when we clinched the title. We were all ecstatic. 
 
It can often be hard to choose the biggest reason for a team's success. There can often be a lot of reasons that a team does well in the league. John said this about the driving force behind his teams victories. "I think the biggest reason was our team spirit. We suffered a couple of setbacks during the season, but we have a fantastic group of boys who stick together and encourage each other." Having a great team chemistry is a huge bonus for a team, as a team that work well together are a strong unit and can be hard to beat. 
 
Picking a favourite moment of the season can be a hard job for any coach, and John is no different. He was tasked with the difficult job of doing just that. He commented this, "A real key moment for us was a very early league game away to JBM. We were 4-3 down with three minutes left to play and scored two goals to clinch a very dramatic, late victory. At the time we had no idea just how significant that result would turn out to be. Even a draw in this game would have resulted in us losing the league and with those few minutes left to play, a draw looked about the best we could achieve. Again, the boys' team spirit carried them home." Staying calm and collected under pressure can be a real strength for a team and like EDFC, can help you win an important match. 
 
EDFC had a really great season all around, John said this about the season as a whole. "We had a really memorable season. We reached the quarter finals of the Regional Cup, beating two A league teams on our run. We were runners up in the Divisional Cup and also in the East Dunbartonshire Festival." Being in the C league and knocking two A league teams out of the Regional Cup is a great achievement, coming in as underdogs and proving everyone wrong is a great feeling.
 
Despite the memorable season, they still had challenges to face and John said this about their biggest challenges. "A really big challenge came for us with two league games remaining. Our goalkeeper broke his foot during hurdles at school and the next day our captain tore his ankle ligaments. We therefore lined up for our final two games with two players sitting at the side of the pitch with their crutches propped up beside them. It meant a bit of a reshuffle with our midfielder, Adam Mitchell taking over in goals and being handed the captaincy. Adam is an excellent rugby player and his hadling skills were there for all to see." Taking the leadership role and playing a position unfamiliar to you is a huge task and all props go to Adam Mitchell in being confident and strong in goals. 
 
John had some final comments to add, he said this. "I think I can speak for all of our coaches and players when I say that we were lucky to be part of a really well run league with great referees, excellent teams and some exceptionally sporting and talented opponents. Our penultimate game against Seafar was a real end to end affair. We were 2-0 down after 15 minutes, but recovered to win 6-3. As we shook hands at the end, one of the Seafar boys, who had an excellent game, took the time to say well done and offer us best wishes for our final game. This, for me epitomised the sporting nature of many of the boys who participated in the league this season. Good luck to everyone for next season."
 
Some great words from John, and we wish EDFC and everyone involved good luck next season and hope they continue to succeed.
 
 
 
Thursday, 13 April 2017 11:03

Mossend Easter Festival 2017 - Photo requests

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YFS will be in attendance at Saturday's Mossend Easter Festival, to provide photo and video coverage for the seventh successive season. When it comes to photography, generally our mission is to get a team photo of each team, individual shot of each player and a selection of action shots. However, with this due to be the largest Mossend Easter Festival yet, we'll be changing things slightly to prioritise any individual who definitely wants their photo taken, to make sure that happens.
 
If your team would like its photo taken or an individual photo would like to have their photo taken, please fill out the short form below. Everyone who fills out the form will be offered a special discounted rate on photo purchases, which includes two boarded frame 8x6 prints - the team photo and their individual photo - for just £10. However, there's no obligation to buy. Just take a look at the photos when they are published and take advantage of the offer if you like. 

{rsform 83}
Friday, 03 March 2017 21:50

Exciting times ahead for Rossvale Girls

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Rossvale Girls Football Club has progressed immensely since it was founded. Established in 1976 in Bishopbriggs, Rossvale FC is now becoming noticed as a renowned team. Michael Docherty, one of the coaching staff, tells us why it has enjoyed so much success in recent years, and also gives advice for other teams on how to be successful and how he wishes his team to progress in the future.
 
So, how many players are there on the team, and what are the age ranges?: ‘Currently we have 15 girls at Under 13s level, and 15 girls from 7-11 years of age.’ Docherty is extremely proud towards his team, stating that they have found so much success due to their ‘superb commitment and enthusiasm, as well as learning the game and skills.’ However, what Docherty believes is vital is to create a relaxed environment and to allow the girls to enjoy the experience: ‘We try to make it fun and enjoyable by using different drills and games within coaching sessions.’ 
 
As well as allowing a care-free environment, Docherty also places an emphasis on creating a community for the team: ‘Rossvale as a club try to involve parents as much as possible, creating a family-feel while the girls are learning.’ Some of the team’s best attributes are, according to Docherty, their ‘ability to work well as a team, and raise confidence and team-building skills.’ On the casual side, Docherty believes in celebrating the girls’ success through activities and outings: ‘We try to arrange fundraising to allow girls to have days out. At Christmas, we took the girls to laser quest, then dinner.’ 
 
Although the team has built up an impressive reputation in the league, it has not been easy to get there. ‘In the past, we’ve worked hard getting the girls sponsored, and we are currently in the process of acquiring a new sponsorship deal as the girls head into proper league setup.’ Adding to the importance of a family-like environment, Docherty adds that: ‘Overall, the girls and parents seem to like what our coaches are doing. They give up their time coaching, going on courses, and taking games, and it's all done voluntary. But as head coach I can say that it's all for the good of the girls!’
 
To further motivate his players, Docherty has ‘had the players from the Scottish Cup Final, Glasgow City vs Hibernian, show them what can be achieved if they believe they are good enough, work hard, and listen and learn from their coaches.’ Docherty also stated his future aspirations for the team, which include: ‘meeting future teammates and other kids in rival teams. Also, hopefully in progressing to the league-levels, the girls will form a stronger bond.’ 
 
Giving his players some final words of encouragement for the future, Docherty adds that: ‘In the future, if the girls fall away from love of the game as they get older, I'm hoping that what they learn will put them in good stead for the future.’ 

Stirling University XI 2nd team were successful in their run to win the British Universities and Sports (BUCS) league, and they were able to do it without a team manager. I caught up with the captain, Harry-Ball Lindsay, to find out the secrets to their success.

Harry thought that the main reasons for his team success were the strength and cooperation of the team. “Our team unity has been by far the most pivotal part in our successful BUCS campaign.” He added “We have spent the majority of the season without a manager so I would say that this year deserves more credit” This is an astonishing achievement and it really shows the team unity as they had to work together to organise and compete with no manager to push and motivate them.

Their most exciting and intense match sounded like a real nail-biter and we were able to get the details from Harry. “Our away game against Strathclyde in my opinion was one of our toughest challenges, where we found ourselves against a very strong side.” Strathclyde finished 3rd in the league only 5 points behind Stirling, making this match even more pivotal. Harry commented “The game was about to finish with 1-1 on the scoreboard when we were able to pull out a last-minute winner which secured our 6th consecutive win in the BUCS and kept them undefeated.” Strathclyde has just come off a great 3-1 win over Edinburgh Napier Men’s 1st making the win the game more intense for Stirling as the morale was in the favour of Strathclyde. Harry said “It was a brilliant feeling winning that tight challenge and subsequently really boosted our morale to go on to win the league”

Last year wasn’t as successful for Stirling but were still able to place 2nd, I asked Harry what changes were made this year to make sure they finished 1st. “There has been more of a team spirit this year. Bringing in some new players has been key to winning the title.” Finishing 2nd last year seemed to have made the team more ambitious. “Also, the fact we didn’t win it last year made us even more determined to prove we were the best university side in Scotland.”

Although it is always hard to pick a star player Harry was able to pick their top goal scorer Malcom Burgess as the star, but not without recognising the achievements of his whole team. “Malcom Burgess scored 20 goals in both the BUCS and East of Scotland competitions. However, I think that everyone has played a key role this season. Especially the commitment from the boys which has been outstanding, particularly the time we spent without a manager.” Harry’s most memorable moment was a tight victory against the previous year’s champions – Abertay.  “Beating last years champions on their home soil with a close 0-1 win, but it was enough to secure the 3 points and really stomp our authority on the competition”

Harry commented “I couldn’t be prouder of being a part of this fantastic squad, and despite being the second team and playing in a league of first teams, we hope to repeat winning one of the most highly demanding university sporting titles.” It is clear that this team has a great mindset and motivation to prove that they are the best Scottish side in University football and we hope that the have the success they are looking for. 

Fixture: Hampden Weir RAFC vs Holytown Colts
Competition: PJ&DYFL D1
Venue: Weirs Cricket Club, Albert Park, Kintore Road, Glasgow G43 2HA
Date: 22/01/17
 
It was billed as game of the day in the Lanarkshire FDA 'A' League, with Hampden Weir hosting Holytown Colts and both teams within touching distance of the top of the table.
 
A thrilling tie at Weirs saw the home side come out victorious. This match had everything with a last minute goal getting Hampden Weir the three points.
 
Hampden got off to a great start with a fantastic ball over the top from Lewis Young for Ryan to meet sweet on the half volley rifling home past the keeper. An equaliser not long after by the Holytown player who smashed a thunderbolt into the top corner past Rio who couldn't get anywhere near it.
 
Half Time: Hampden Weir RAFC 1-1 Holytown Colts
 
Second half got underway with a determined Hampden side out to show their capabilities. They took the lead with a penalty slotted home by Lewis after a handball in the box. The third came shortly after, with lovely movement to lose his man, Jack got in front of his defender slamming home from an in swinging corner. The goals didn't stop there after another spectacular finish from the Holytown player who once again smashed the ball high into the top corner.
 
Holytown gained the momentum for a short while, and equalised after a fine double save from Rio who despite his best efforts couldn't prevent the ball crossing the line. At 3-3 there was more drama, and with only a minute remaining Hampden had a free kick awarded 25 yards out. It was taken by Niall who made the keeper work hard to save. He spilled the ball and it fell into the path of James who slipped the ball into the near post sending the players into party mode.

A hard fought victory and an enthralling match to watch from the sidelines. Well done to both sets of players for giving their all.
 
Full Time: Hampden Weir RAFC 4-3 Holytown Colts
 
 
Friday, 11 November 2016 00:00

European Success for Jim Baxter Memorial U17s

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One of the biggest youth soccer tournaments in Europe, the Trofeo Malgratense hosts youth teams from all across Europe as they come together to test their strength and skill. Cumbernauld-based team, Jim Baxter Memorial U17’s travelled to Barcelona in October and head coach, William Dalziel, spoke to YFS to share their experience.

It was a discussion between the players and coaches that prompted the team’s choice of the Spanish tournament. Dalziel said, “When we initially spoke to the players, they had requested the club coaches to find a tournament in Barcelona. This tournament suited our needs and timings during the October holidays in 2016.” Having spoken to other Scottish teams who had attended the tournament previously, JBM coaches were encouraged by their recommendations of the Trofeo Malgratense.

JBM arrived in Spain the evening before the tournament began, staying in Santa Susanna, a small town around an hour’s drive away from Barcelona. As part of the opening ceremony, all of the participating teams marched through the local town of San Vicenc de Montat to the stadium which hosts the home games of C.F Sanvincenti. Dalziel said, “The local residents clapped and applauded for all the teams. As the teams entered the stadium, they were welcomed with tremendous applause from all the supporting fans.” The opening ceremony also proved to be a particularly special moment for JBM captain, Adam Hughes, who gave a speech on togetherness and fair play during the ceremony.

The Cumbernauld-based side got there tournament started against Spanish side, Selección Maresme. The Scottish team were quick to throw down the gauntlet, coming away with a comfortable 9-1 win. Their next match saw them come up against German side, JFV Dietkirchen/Offh, who Dalziel described as ‘tournament favourites’. The game was closely contested by both teams but it was the German team who came away with a 1-0 win.

To progress to the final, wins were now essential for JBM. Their next match saw them come up against another German team, SV RW Walldorf, with the Scottish side claiming a 2-0 win. They continued their winning form into their last fixture in difficult conditions. In blazing heat, JBM came away with another 2-0 win against Danish side, Tune IF, to qualify for the final.

JBM and tournament favourite, JFV, were to meet again in the final. Both teams were applauded by the Danish side and the other German team, as well as the supporters of each side. Both teams played well in a fixture just as competitive as their earlier meeting but this time, JBM were the victors with a 2-0 win, with Dalziel hailing his team as ‘The Barcelona Lions’.

This is some feat for a team that were discounted by other teams in their league two seasons ago. Dalziel said, “JBM were a team written off two years [ago] by most local Cumbernauld teams after their rebirth in December 2014.” This made their achievement all the greater, making history as the first Scottish team to win the tournament in its thirty-one years.

Dalziel was full of praise for the tournament and would recommend it to other clubs. He said, “The tournament was immense, very well run and is something that will be remembered for a long time by this young team. The planning took almost a year, and the support from parents and all associated with the club was tremendous.” This support was key to the organisation of the trip, with numerous fundraisers including a winter tournament, race nights, sponsored walks and bag packing being well supported by all those involved.

JBM, who are based in Cumbernauld but features players from Airdrie, Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Lennoxtown and Cumbernauld, have not got off to the start they were hoping for this season. Having finished as runners up in the B-league of the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Youth League last season, the club are still finding their feet in the first division. However Dalziel is confident that his side’s European success is a turning point in their season. He said, “This tournament has now raised the confidence of the boys and hopefully will allow us to re kick start our season once again, and push the boys forward to raise their position in the league and also the profile of the club.”

Everyone at YFS congratulates Jim Baxter Memorial U17’s on their achievement in Europe, and wishes them all the best for this season.

Sunday, 16 October 2016 17:19

Bellshill bounce back to defeat Rangers

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Bellshill were back to there usual selves today. After reading the riot act after last weeks game and back to hard graft in training, it was pleasing to see a great reaction from the team.
 
Bellshill came bursting out from the blocks, taking an early 2 goal lead within 10 mins.
 
A corner from Ryan McGrath which seen a near post run made by Connor Phairs who headed in the opener. Bellshill quickly went 2 up, a Ryan McGrath intelligent quick free kick seen John McFall bomb down the right wing. His cross deflected back out to Ryan McGrath where he fired in a cracking 25yard low shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
 
Rangers replied back with a goal, with a shot fired into the near post.
 
Bellshill then went 3-1 up, another perfectly cross corner from Ryan McGrath was this time met by Christy Lawlor who powered in the 3rd goal.
 
Half Time: Bellshill Athletic 3-1 Rangers SABC
 
Bellshill kept fighting on in the 2nd half. A ball cleared up the park seen Connor Phairs pick the ball up and drive over to the left hand side, he wiped in a cracking cross for Dean Cornes who found space at the back post to volley in a shot from 10 yards out, into the roof of the Rangers net.
 
Rangers grabbed a second, after a great movement from the visitors.
 
Both teams played really good football, both passionate and looking for the win, with plenty of competitive tackles. Both created chances near the end but Bellshill held out to grab the 3 points.
 
Overall a great performance from Bellshill and shows that not only can we compete in this very tough competitive league this season but we can pick up hard fought wins.
 
The hosts will be hoping this win can kick start our league campaign.
 
Full Time: Bellshill Athletic 4-2 Rangers SABC
 
Bellshill MOTM - Centre half Antony Taylor, who put in some quality tackles.
 
 
 
 
Friday, 14 October 2016 16:43

Stage set for Kieran McDade Memorial Match

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Kieran McDade was a 13 year-old schoolboy who played football for Dunbeth Football Club and collapsed on 18th August, whilst taking part in a club training session. He very sadly passed away in hospital the following morning and is dearly missed by everyone who knew him. 
 
Tributes came in from youth clubs around the country during the weekend that followed, with teams the length and breadth of Scotland organising their own way to pay their respects. He was a young Celtic fan and as a mark of respect the Hoops’ fans were planning to show their respect by doing a round of applause on the 13th minute. Striker Leigh Griffiths went one better by scoring on the 13th minute before celebrating with a Celtic top saying 'Kieran 13' on the back. 
 
Tomorrow (Saturday 15th October) will see a tribute match take place in Kieran’s honour, with a unique twist. Kieran’s team – Dunbeth – will take on a squad comprising of one player from each of their league opponents in the Forth Valley FDA (FVFDA). It’s promises to be a fantastic show of unity, as the teams who generally do battle on the football field come together as one. 
 
The match takes place at Albion Rovers FC's ground in Coatbridge. Kick-off is at 6pm with the price for adults at £5 and for children it is a donation. The selected players for FVFDA are:
Owen Mitchell (Cumbernauld Colts) 
Bailey Hutchinson (Sauchie Juniors) 
Robin Turnball (Dunblane SC ) 
James Carter (Dunblane SC) 
Logan Potter (Cowie United) 
Kieran Stewart (Westfield colts) 
Andrew Donnelly (Westfield Colts) 
Grant Hutchinson (Stirling Albion JA) 
Max McDougall (Strathendrick) 
Jon Bell (Strathendrick) 
Joshua Blyth (Stenhousemuir FC) 
Martin Strain (Falkirk CFC) 
Daniel Miller (Bonnybridge YFC) 
Justin McDade (Bonnybridge YFC) 
Thomas Arbukle (Falkirk navy blue)
Josh McClenagham (Milton) 
Team Manager: Davy Reynolds
 
The pre-match entertainment will come from Dance City, a dance group featuring Kieran's niece.; kick off will be taken by Kieran's sister Amy; and the half-time interval will showcase a challenge match between Dunbeth and Albion Rovers' 2010 squads.
 
There will be a minute’s silence to reflect on Kieran’s life, which was taken away from him far too early. His family described him as a 'special boy' and was loved by those who knew him. In a heroic act, Kieran also donated his organs – saving the lives of two other young people.
 
Whether you knew him personally or not, try your very best to make it down to Albion Rovers on Saturday. If you can’t make it and would like to donate to Kieran’s fund, click here.

 
Fixture: Bellshill Athletic v Lenzie YC U16
Competition: CK&DYL - League Cup Group Stage
Date: 20th August 2016
 
It was a great occasion for the new Bellshill Athletic 2001's competitive debut today. Starting off in our new home park, of which, the pitch was in great condition. The anticipation was growing as we looked to start our new era with a win after transferring the team over from Cleland BC 2001's.
 
We were up against the B League champions from last season. We knew they would be a typical Glasgow side, who would be physical & fight for every ball as if they wore there heart on there sleeve.
 
Sadly Bellshill started off slowly, maybe the occasion got them or a couple still in summer holiday mode. We made a couple of mistakes & fair play to Lenzie they took advantage & finished there chances to find themselves 2 up in 17mins.
 
Bellshill then decided to kick into gear and slowly begin to make an impact in the game. It was a pretty much level game until just before half time, when Lewis Allan made a great run to the back post where he found himself free to control & convert a good cross from David Fagan.
 
HT: Bellshill Athletic1-2 Lenzie YC
 
Subs were made at half time for Bellshill, as we looked to change things up for a more impact on the game. We noticed a few tactics we felt we could exploit our opponents with the right personnel.
 
Second half was much better from Bellshill, dominating virtually from kick off. It wasn't long until Bellshill made there mark on the game. 
 
Great passing n movement, from the Bellshill midfield which seen a perfectly timing through ball from Rory Wallace, into Connor Phairs path which the big chap controlled & fired into the back of the net to level things up.
 
Bellshill were creating plenty of chance but just couldn't finish them off, with even 1 chance being cleared off the line. Bellshill final grabbed their 3rd when Connor Phairs made a great solo run, skilfully passing 3 players before firing in a powerful shot into the net which proved to be the winner.
 
Which was good to see Bellshill start the season off with a win.
 
There was also a good solid performance from Greg Taylor on the left hand side in the 2nd half.
 
FT: Bellshill Athletic 3-2 Lenzie YC