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Central Region (541)

- Sir Alex backs proposal to give Dunblane SC a new 3G home
- He has written to the Provost Robbins, stating the positive role the club has
- Judy Murray has also been involved in the plan and its support
Former Manchester United and Aberdeen manager Sir Alex Ferguson has thrown his support behind Judy Murray's proposals for a state-of-the-art sporting complex which would give Dunblane Soccer Club a brand new 3G home. 
Ferguson, who began his illustrious career in football as a young player at Harmony Row YC in Glasgow, whose own ground is now named after the club's most famous son, has written to Stirling Council's Provost Michael Robbins calling on local councillors to approve plans to construct new indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a golf course and all-weather astroturf football pitch at the Park of Keir site between Dunblane and Bridge of Allan.
A meeting of the council's planning board will consider the proposals, drawn up by Judy Murray, mother of world-class tennis stars, recent Davis Cup champions and local heroes Andy and Jamie, and Scottish golfer Colin Montgomerie, on Tuesday the 8th of December.
The plans, to which some locals have objected for its intrusion upon the nearby countryside, also include housing and a hotel. For supporters, however, not least Dunblane SC and their powerful ally Ferguson, the potential development represents a unique opportunity to transform the provision and quality of sporting facilities in the area.
In his letter to Provost Robbins, Ferguson expressed his "strong support" for the plans, writing: "Dunblane Soccer Club already plays a huge role in the lives of almost three hundered young people, but despite that the club has no home ground and has constantly struggled to find local pitches to use. Surely the club deserves its own home and a new all-weather pitch as proposed at Park of Keir."
Like many clubs throughout Scotland, especially at this time of year, Dunblane SC has faced extreme difficulty in ensuring scheduled matches go ahead on notoriously waterlogged surfaces, including at the town's Laighhills park. This weekend all Forth Valley FDA matches were postponed due to the bad weather.
Noting the tennis and golfing components to the plans, which developers argue will help breed the next generation of Scottish sporting stars close to the hometown of Scotland's two Wimbledon champions, Ferguson added: "The Stirling area will have its very own world-class 'golden triangle' of new sports facilities at Park of Keir that can help give future generations their own lifelong love of sport.
"I do hope that Stirling Council will take the right decision for the right reason."
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:00

Flooding runs riot at Riverside FC

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- Riverside FC in Bridge of Allan was severely affected by the winter flooding of last year.
- Their pavilion was flooded, despite the fact it sits 6-8 feet above the pitches.
- Club now seriously considering the option of relocating according to Ian.
In the winter of 2015 not only was Scotland inundated with stormy weather, but the floodwater that followed found its way to affect the beautiful game too. Carlisle United's ground was flooded beyond recognition, while Riverside FC in Bridge of Allan had a similar experience. YFS sat down with Chairman Ian Anderson. 
Q: The club was hit by flooding after Storm Desmond battered Scotland, what was it like to see the weather close in knowing the club would be affected? 
Ian Anderson: Knowing the issue we have with the Allan Water we are always on alert when the forecast is for prolonged heavy rain. Generally we try to rearrange games as early as possible but very often alternative pitches are already full and games have to be postponed. 
Q: How was the club affected by the recent floods?
IA: Games were postponed and the pavilion was flooded, with loads of silt deposited up the walls despite the fact the pavilion sits 6-8 feet above the pitches. Our office was flooded.  Our car park at the site is in poor repair too and the flood water has done further damage to the surface 
Q: How high did the water rise? What damage was done to the pavilion?
IA: We have had this happen previously so do what we can to minimise damage.  The pavilion is concrete floors and block walls so no permanent structural damage was done on this occasion, but the carpet in the office may have to be replaced. The container where we keep our goalposts and training kit was also flooded but nothing was permanently damaged – it just created a mess.
Q: What does this mean for the club going forward?
IA: For the club going forward we need to think seriously if we should relocate and, if so, where we could go.  We had an option to take a long term lease at Haws Park, but to do that we would also have to take responsibility for all of the costs of repair to the pitches and pavilion for any damage arising, in addition to the running costs of the facility.  That would include repairing flood damage, which is potentially open ended, and as a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers, we just cannot take on that potential liability.  The alternative financial model for using the Haws Park facility is that our youth teams pay £250 per annum to the Council and around £25 per game, while adult teams pay £400 pa and around £35 per game. This is not value for money for us at the moment - flooding events do seem to be happening more often, and we will also struggle to use the pitches in January / February if there is a prolonged cold spell with frozen ground.  One alternative that we try to use is to book local 3G pitches – but this is expensive and there is a lot of demand for these pitches due to the number of teams in the Stirling area.  Our Under 19s that I am involved with has paid its annual fee and we have only managed to play 1 home game at Haws Park. Could we afford to play all games on 3G? - probably not. The Club Committee is discussing the future of the club and our home location regularly but there will be no easy answer. 
Q: What work-around solutions have the club created to get around the flooding?
IA: The only work around we can have is to try and forecast in advance and book 3Gs where possible. We do make use of the local 3G parks for matches, but these are expensive when added alongside the costs of midweek training sessions on these facilities. Funding teams is an ongoing problem.
Q: Has the community rallied around the club? 
IA: Riverside were originally formed in the Riverside area of Stirling in 1989. We later relocated to The Kings park pitches but about 10 years ago we got the chance to relocate to Bridge of Allan. The town is not large and many of our players are from surrounding areas. We are trying to develop our links with all of the local schools and also provide regular updates to the Community Council. They have been very supportive and this is greatly appreciated. One of our challenges is to try and embed the Club further into the Community and hopefully through that we will be able to get some additional financial support through sponsorship. I was brought up in Bridge of Allan and the local team was Strathallan Hawthorn. In those days quite large crowds attended games but I do realise that things have changed. 
Q: What is the club doing to protect itself against future flooding?
IA: There is nothing we can do other than keep our office materials and training equipment above the flood line – our pitches are on the flood plain for the Allan Water and the cost of stopping it flooding would be considerable. When the river floods it can be half a mile wide from Cornton Road accross to the railway line.
Q: If anyone would like to help, how can they?
IA: There is little that can be done to stop the river flooding, although we do believe there will be some community council led work in spring 2016 to clear some of the vegetation from local burns feeding the river, which may help to allow flood water to dissipate more quickly.  The car park surface is a real issue, with major potholes and related damage to cars using it, so we will need to find a solution to get this resurfaced this year if there is any way to do that.  Other than these areas, which really need council support, our wider support needs as always are to get volunteer assistance with running teams and financial assistance with the costs of running the club.
Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:00

Holytown Colts celebrate 40th anniversary

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- Holytown Colts were founded in 1976, meaning this year they celebrate their 40th anniversary.
- The club now has 17 sections, over 350 players, and 60 qualified coaches.
- As part of the celebrations, the club has designed a new badge and will be holding a special ball this year.
2016 is a huge year for the players and coaches of football club Holytown Colts YC as this year they celebrate a massive milestone after their founding date in 1976. Holytown compete in the South Lanarkshire league with a massive 17 sections of the club ranging from three to five year olds (mini Colts) all the way up to aged 35 plus, known as "Football for All. Football for Life". In its 40 years the club now has over 350 registered players and 60 qualified coaches. Also in the last year the club has received the Standard, Development and Community Awards from the Scottish FA.
Holytown certainly have been busy the last few months in the lead up to this monumental occasion. In June the club held their third annual tournament which is growing in stature in the grassroots game. Over 1000 kids took part over the weekend event. Also a foodbank was held which turned out to be a massive success. 
The club also partnered up with the Scottish FA for the "UEFA’s Captains for Change programme". This has resulted in various meetings with the local mosque to discuss cultural issues.
In August, the Lanarkshire club held their first 11 a side tournament for the adult section which seen 16 teams participate which was great to see. Also with the new season approaching and having a massive 15 different sections at this point the club can be proud with how they are doing.
In September and October Holytown succeeded in getting another attempt up and running. With the under 9's and 2010 girls getting the go ahead to proceed. This now meant Holytown had an astonishing 17 sections. Holytown then got their first ever club photo at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility which all players and coaches attended.
November was a busy month for the club. The club was put towards two local primary schools to see how they can help them. As part of these discussions the club has donated £250 to each school to help buy sports equipment which is much needed. In addition they have agreed to go into each school in the new year and deliver some taster sessions for the nursery and primary one children.
More recently, in December Holytown they ran a foodbank from all the players to donate to a foodbank.  The club celebrate December by having parties for the youngsters also going paintballing and bowling.
For the anniversary the club have a few things planned. In April there will be the 40th anniversary Ball and for the younger ones there is a football tournament in June. In August there will be another 11 a side tournament following the success of last years first one. Holytown will also focus on the development of Keir Hardie.

Fixture: EDFC v Jim Baxter Memorial - Under 16
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL
Venue: Broadwood
Date: Sunday 7th February 2016
Jim Baxter Memorial under 16's ran out resounding winners over EDFC in the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL. Even without influential players Sanderson and Mitchell, the JBM players were more than convincing in victory.
As the game kicked off the horrendous weather seemed to subside slightly, but a JBM storm was brewing and blew EDFC away as the away side found themselves three goals up inside seven minutes. Dalziel scored all three, and it must be up there with Fowler & Lewandowski as one of the fastest hat-tricks of all time. Unfortunately EDFC were reduced to ten men as the defender had denied JBM an obvious goal scoring opportunity, which allowed Dalziel to score the second of his three early goals from the spot.
Goals seemed to be reigning in as much as the rain that fell from the large grey cloud over Broadwood. Rundell continued the scoring and made it four, and Malone got himself a double with two good finishes for goals five and six.
JBM rung the changes and immediately substitute McChesney was looking to prove to the coaches that he should of started the game as he grabbed himself a quick fire brace before firing an exceptional strike into the top corner to secure his hat-trick. Just before half time, debutant Munro got himself a goal from a fantastic solo effort.
Half Time: EDFC 0-9 Jim Baxter Memorial
As the second half kicked off JBM showed total control once again by keeping the ball for long periods of time but to no great affect in front of goal. However, after moving Davenport and McSharry up front and Dalziel to the right of midfield, the pressure on the EDFC goal was relentless.
McChesney scored his fourth with a great header from a corner and then another when Dalziel fed the ball into his path. Malone added the next one and McSharry again added to the scoring after a superb ball in from the left from Malone.
Munro was very unlucky again not to get his second with an outstanding run towards goal, and he again showed superb composure to get his shot away but somehow the keeper managed to pull off a stunning save onto the post to prevent Munro from grabbing a brace.
Malone then added another as a game of pinball took place in the 6 yard box, eventually he managed to tuck the ball home. The tireless efforts of Davenport in the game had not given him the personal reward he deserved until Dalziel fed him in on goal with a great pass and Davenport calmly rounded the goalkeeper to slot the ball home, and eventually put a smile on his face.A thoroughly strong and excellent performance from Jim Baxter Memorial.
Full Time: EDFC 0-9 Jim Baxter Memorial

Fixture: East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle FC v West Park United U13
Competition: Central Region Cup - Round 3
Venue: Ballerup Pitches, East Kilbride
Date: Sunday 24th January 2016
At the third attempt, due to fixtures being postponed due to bad weather the previous weekends, West Park travelled to East Kilbride to face Caledonian Thistle from the Lanarkshire FSA in their Round 3 match in the Central Region Cup.
It took both teams some time to get into their stride and deal with the windy, blustery conditions. The first half was a case of both sides trying to settle themselves back into a match rhythm. With the Christmas break and the recent match postponements, both teams will not have played a competitive match for about 5 weeks so it appeared players were a bit ‘rusty’ and took their time to find their passing range.
The first half was mainly a midfield battle, with both teams trying to gain the upper hand with play switching from half to half with little clear-cut chances for either side. Of those that did materialise, West Park had the best of these despite playing into the wind, but were unable to find the net.
West Park midfielder and captain Ryan Todd had a couple of long-range efforts that just went over the bar, whilst Rhys McNamee also had a couple of chances. The closest came when the EKCT keeper raced out to block a shot just inside the box after a great defence splitting pass had sent the West Park striker in on goal.
Half Time:  East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle  0-0 West Park United
A half-time change of formation and tactics for West Park were quickly rewarded with the opening goal in the first minute of the second half. The deadlock was broken by Ryan Todd, who raced through past the defence after a loose ball and finished well in a one-on-one with the East Kilbride keeper.
West Park started to regain their pre-break confidence, and now with the advantage of the wind behind them, started to create more chances to extend their lead. The second arrived 10 minutes later, after a brilliant run down the left wing by Ryan Todd, followed by a deft cut inside to his right and lofting an excellent shot into the far side of the goal for his 2nd goal of the game.
This lifted the spirits of West Park, and they continued to take control of this Cup match. The midfield stood up well to the expected East Kilbride fightback, with the defence also ensuring that any opportunities were kept to a minimum, and the goalkeeper Euan Murray collecting everything that came near him.
The third goal duly arrived 26 mins into the half, Ryan Todd forced the keeper into a great save with the ball ricocheting loose in the box which Rhys McNamee didn’t hesitate in following up and slotting home into the net.
West Park wrapped up the win four minutes later with a well worked team goal. Jamie Etherson intercepted a goal kick by East Kilbride, moving the ball forward quickly to Arren Molloy who played a lofted ball over the defence to Rhys McNamee, who cleverly kept himself onside and finished well in the opposite corner for his 2nd of the match and West Park’s fourth.
West Park emerged victorious and moved into the 4th Round of the Cup, where they face a long trip to Oban this Sunday (31st January) to play Oban Saints Youths for a quarter-final place.
Full Time:  East Kilbride Caledonian Thistle 0-4 West Park United
Friday, 22 January 2016 00:00

New position pushing on Brown at Motherwell

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Grassroots football in Scotland is developing at a rapid rate in recent years with what seems like a never-ending growth of new clubs and talented young players.
One such example is 14 year-old Dylan Brown who is the latest in a trend of highly promising footballers to emerge from the Scottish Grassroots scene. Currently plying his trade in the Motherwell youth academy, the Steelmen had to fight off fellow SPFL clubs Hearts, Rangers and St. Mirren in order to sign the young winger.
Dylan's footballing journey started at the age of six when his father Craig signed him up to Strathaven Dynamos. Having performed to a high quality with the Dynamos, he then went on to join Scotland Boys Club having been brought in by Operations Manager Richard Bullough.
“The help he [Dylan] got from the [Scotland] Boys Club shaped his start to pro-youth”, according to father Craig. “We always thought Dylan had something in him and a lot of people started to notice Dylan's ability.”
Brown then joined Rangers SABC, a boys club set up by members 
of the Rangers Supporters Association, and straight away became a regular for the U11's under manager Kyle Stewart. During his time at Rangers SABC, pro clubs from Scotland started taking an interest in Dylan. This was heightened when he scored in the Scottish League Cup final and helped the team to their second Scottish Cup final and went on to score in that final too.
Rangers, Hearts and St. Mirren were monitoring Dylan's progress closely but ultimately, he signed for Motherwell. Brown started off with Motherwell as a left winger where he was most comfortable previously. Dylan quickly found out the difference in quality of the opposition he was facing with Motherwell and he struggled at left wing. As a result, coaches Brian Kerr and Stevie Hamil pushed him further down the field and deployed Dylan as a left back.
The position change has been a revelation and he has improved his game ten-fold, although Dylan still has plenty to learn. As a natural attacker, his defensive game is something that Dylan needs improving, according to father Craig. Saying that, he has already been asked to play for Motherwell's U16's and U17's after only six months at the club which can only boost Dylan's morale.
Since joining Motherwell, Dylan has two main ambitions that he wants to achieve. The first one is to work his way through the ranks play for the Motherwell senior squad. The other is to represent Scotland at international level, ultimately at senior level, but would be delighted to represent them at any youth level. While he hasn't yet been called up for Scotland or for Motherwell's senior side, he is working hard and is determined to achieve his two main goals.
“Dylan realises he has been given a fantastic opportunity to become a footballer,” added father Craig. “He knows that he has to train hard and keep learning as he has only started on the road to what could happen.”
Monday, 11 January 2016 15:12

Kingsley makes Swans debut

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Former Falkirk FC defender, Stephen Kingsley, made his first-team debut for Swansea in their shock 3-2 defeat to Oxford United in the FA Cup yesterday. The left-back came on after an hour for Franck Tabanou when his side were already three goals down.
With his introduction, Bafétimbi Gomis grabbed a life-line for the Welsh side five minutes later and Kingsley himself tested the Oxford keeper after 87 minutes. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to save his from the embarrassment of the loss to the League Two side.
While a disappointing result for the club overall, it’s a moment that Stephen won’t forget after loan spells with both Yeovil Town and Crewe Alexandra in 2015. This appearance will hopefully usher in a positive 2016 for the young Scot. 
The player tweeted, “Devastated with the result today but glad to finally make my debut! Time to kick on now. Thanks for all the messages.”
Forth Valley Football Academy, a regional academy which includes Falkirk also tweeted, “Congratulations to ex @falkirkbairns player @stephokingsley making his debut yesterday for @SwansOfficial”.
Wednesday, 06 January 2016 12:10

A step up in standard? No problem for Blantyre

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"At the start of season, our aim was to progress as a club, create a better profile and compete with better teams".
Those the words of Blantyre Soccer Academy U14's head coach Stevie Owens as he looks to guide his side to bigger and better things this season. With a solid start being made, he predicts 2016 to be even better for the Blantyre boys.
The biggest achievement that Owens feels his team has made was reaching Round 5 of the Scottish Cup. A 3-2 win over Giffnock SC Red gave the team fantastic belief going into the last 16. A tough East Kilbride side stood in their way, and unfortunately for Blantyre couldn't take that next step to the quarter finals as they were beaten 3-0. "The Scottish Cup took priority this season for us, and despite the step up in the league standard, we wanted to go as far as we could go, and it was unbelievable", said head coach Owens.
The Blantyre revolving door has been in constant use this season so far with the changes to the squad have been the biggest problem for Owens. "We have went up a few levels in standard. Most of the boys have coped but it is always sad to see the ones that don't cope".
"Since the beginning of the pre-season there has been 6 or 7 new faces. My phone is certainly busier anyway. I look on this however as a sign the profile has really improved".
"The first half of the season has been absolutely fantastic! There have been a lot of highs and very few lows. Our league campaign had been on hold because of our adventures in the Scottish cup. If you had told me that at start of season I would have laughed"
A brilliant first half of the season for Blantyre Soccer Academy was topped off when they signed up to go to the Norway Cup in 2016 with Youth Football Scotland. "We can't wait to go to Norway. Just another way of raising the profile of this club".
Having volunteered in Grassroots Football for over a decade now, Jim Baxter Memorial Under 16's Head Coach William Dalziel is no stranger to the problems that can arise when you're thought of so highly in the game. With aspirations to pursue his dream of progressing as a coach, he moved on from his beloved Jim Baxter Memorial side 2 years ago, believing he had left them in safe hands.
At the end of the 2013/2014 season, the coaches that had taken over from Dalziel decided to disband the team that had been together since 2005, leaving the boys distraught. Dalziel heard the news, and in December of 2014 he returned to his first love, Jim Baxter Memorial to give these boys a football team again. Travelling the length and breadth of Scotland to get these boys a game was such a joy for Dalziel as no league association could take them halfway through a season. From Edinburgh to Greenock and Aberdeen to Ayrshire, it didn't matter where they went, it was all for the love of the game.
In July 2015 they joined the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth District Youth League, with the singular aim for William Dalziel of getting these boys back to enjoying their football. "We'll take every game as it comes", said Dalziel, who with no real targets other than development, sees his side sitting 1 point ahead of closest challengers Camelon Thistle in the B Division of the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL.
The biggest test for the team so far came in the form of Milton FC in the Central Region Cup. The league leaders in the division above, it was to be no easy task for the Jim Baxter Memorial players, and with an outstanding display, they almost caused the upset of the entire compeition. Milton were put under immense pressure, but they showed resiliance and ran out 1-0 winners, leaving the Jim Baxter Memorial team with no shame what so ever.
Under the guidance of  wonder coach Dalziel, and his trusty right hand men Robert Hughes and Gordon Gray, the Jim Baxter Memorial under 16's have enjoyed a solid 2015 so far, and the only way is up for the team now. "Re-establishing this team was the right thing to do for the boys, and I want to inspire my players! Forza JBM".
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 10:05

Lenzie hold top spot with win over Gartsherrie

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Fixture: Gartsherrie Boys Club v Lenzie Youth Club
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL U15 Division B
Venue: Coatbridge
Date: Saturday 19th December 2015
Lenzie held on to top spot in the league at Coatbridge on Saturday with a win over Gartsherrie. Gale force winds were providing tricky playing conditions, but the Lenzie players took their chances and piled relentless pressure on the home side from start to finish.
The pressure paid off early on when Cairney found Thomson with an exquisite pass, and the hitman rounded the onrushing Gartsherrie keeper and slotted the ball home from 6 yards out.
Ten minutes later and Lenzie's lead was doubled as Kinnell ran onto a Dudman pass to fire the ball into the net.
Gartsherrie pulled a goal back from the penalty spot just before the break to half the deficit, but only just as Lenzie stopper McQuillan got a hand on the spot kick, but it wasn't strong enough.
Half Time: Gartsherrie Boys Club 1-2 Lenzie Youth Club 
The second half seen Lenzie become more in control of the game and with the wind at their backs they fired numerous shots towards the Gartsherrie goal. Several chances fell to Tedeschi, Inglis & Elliot but they couldn't find their way to goal.
The home side to their credit threw everything forward, but Lenzie defenders Douglas, Craig, and Brown did well to prevent an equaliser.
With only ten minutes to play, striker Thomson sent Kinnell baring down on goal and he slotted the ball low into the net for the Lenzie's third goal of the match and to knock the wind out of the sails of the home side.
With their tails up, the confidence was oozing from the Lenzie players and substitute Routledge was unlucky as his shot from 18 yards flew inches wide of the post, and efforts from McMahon, Gilchrist, Kasubandi & Lother came close to increasing the lead.
Full Time: Gartsherrie Boys Club 1-3 Lenzie Boys Club