Central Region (549)
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.
A hard fought victory and an enthralling match to watch from the sidelines. Well done to both sets of players for giving their all.
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.
Education and football both go a long way to helping young people grow into adults. Whilst some people may view the technical side of the game as being the most important aspect of the game; Mossend 2003s coach Russell Sanderson, who also acts as the club’s community officer, feels that education and nurturing young players should always be the first priority;
“I think it’s about commitment, about giving something back. I want to give something back, I felt the time was right, my son is 12 now. The way society is now, t’s about nurturing and educating young kids into becoming adults.” Sanderson told Youth Football Scotland.
Sanderson’s involvement with the community and education of player’s stretches back to several years ago, during a match, when one of his player’s was caught up in a racial incident, it left the coach determined to make a difference in the attitude of young players; “It was dealt with at the time, It left a bad taste in my mouth, I didn’t like how it was handled. So one of my friends is the governing director at Kilmarnock, I spoke to him and he said to contact The Red Card. So I did that and they brought the kids to out their education workshop at the Matt Busby centre”, he said.
“We had representatives from Police Scotland, Scotland YMCA and pulled a lot of community people in. I think we've been involved in delivery to about 800 kids and young adults now, Red Card got a grant from Scottish government to do adult delivery, so that will be something different. That’s something I’m interested in doing.”
Sanderson is keen not to limit his influence to just the local community, as he looks to broaden his horizons and make a greater impact abroad; “We have a thing called Mossend Kits for Kids, what we do is we give all the old kits and send them abroad, so it’s not all about educating and nurturing kids in this country. It’s about going elsewhere, and I think it’s the next step. These kids have nothing, they probably don’t have a football and just have a bag wrapped up with rags. We’re doing what we can to help.”
As well as that, the club have set up another initiative called the Well Foundation. With the aim of providing clean drinking water to less fortunate locations, Mossend have already purchased two wells in Pakistan so far, and look to purchase more in the future.
Sanderson finished with an important message, to help the less fortunate: “Our kids are fine, they’re playing football and feeling happy and loving it. But these kids have nothing, so why not give them something?”
How often does a team win a whopping total of four trophies in a single season, then come inches away from winning the whole lot? Not to mention the fact that Rossvale Madrid didn’t lose nor draw an entire game over the course of the league season? It sounds borderline ridiculous, doesn’t it?
Rossvale did the ridiculous this season. 16 league games and 78 goals after the first ball was kicked, the Bishopbriggs side claimed the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth league title, without a single point dropped. Coach Brian Coyle told Youth Football Scotland that this was down to his side’s constant ‘will to win’, as well as pointing out the ‘togetherness’ within the squad, which kept them on the same page all season and helped them to perform to such consistent levels.
Although Rossvale won a staggering five pieces of silverware, they could have easily completed a clean sweep of domestic trophies, falling away at the semi-final stage in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup, as well as coming runners-up in the Prestatyn Tournament, a feeling that they didn’t experience too often this season.
To add to their dominant league campaign, Rossvale picked up a host of cups; The Killwinning Tournament, Knockout Cup, Jamie Morton Memorial Cup and the Central Region cup all followed, the latter they won 4-2 thanks to an inspired performance from Matthew Laing, who bagged all four goals after starting the game from the bench.
Laing, who found the back of the net on 41 occasions this season, was instrumental along with a host of players, who without them, the trophy haul of 2015/16 may not have been possible.
Fraser Dawson was one of his coach’s picks of the season, as he helped himself to 41 in all competitions throughout the campaign, sharing the same tally as Laing. Dawson is clearly a big-game player himself, contributing seven goals in three semi-finals and one in final, as well grabbing a handful of assists.
It puts the team’s season into perspective when you consider that neither of these players even picked up the top goalscorer award. That honour was earned by Reece Hamilton, who topped the scoring charts with 53 goals in all competitions, and received the joint Player’s Player of the Year along with Kyle gold and Marcus Sampson.
Of course, a great, title-winning side is never successful without a strong defensive spine, and goalkeeper Andrew Coyle provided that solidarity throughout the season, keeping 15 clean sheets and letting the boys upfront do their job effectively.
The team’s coach revealed that he had a good feeling about his side heading into the start of the campaign. He said: “Due to the calibre of players that were brought in to the club at the beginning of the season and the two additions during the season, it was felt by coaches that we had a good chance of winning a few cups. We did just that.”
There can be only one target for the side heading into next season, win all eight competitions next time!
Congratulations to Rossvale Madrid Under 15s, who claimed the following trophies:
- Kilwinning Tournament
- CKDYL Knockout Cup
- Janice Morton Memorial Cup
- SYFA Central Region Cup
- CKDYL Division A