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Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:11

Mossend FC going the distance to help others

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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


If you fancy a game of football to warm you up for the Champions League final then look no further. This Saturday 28th May St Ambrose High School, in Coatbridge, plays host to a charity match organised by Stephen Patterson, and his friends and family. The kick off will be at 1pm, with an entry fee of £3, and a raffle and cake stand will also be available (no one can say ‘no’ to some cake).
“It started last year when I wanted to get a few boys I had gone to school with back together for a game of football and thought why not do it for charity,” Patterson said on the charity match organisation.
“Last year the match was played at Bannerman in aid of MacMillan Cancer. I chose this charity, as I lost my mum to cancer, and raising money for this cause would help those suffering today.
“This year the charity I chose was Glasgow Children’s Hospital. Again I chose this as my brother was killed in a car accident. Although he was not in this hospital I want to raise money to ensure no child’s life is cut short.” 
After a successful first year Patterson has pulled out all the stops this time around. Not only is there a lot more on offer but he has also enlisted the help of some high profile individuals.
“This year’s game should be bigger than last year’s as there are more prizes to be won and the organisation of the day has been far better.
“As well as some of the same companies, friends and family helping with prizes last year, I’ve also had the help of some local footballers. Lawrence Shankland, Dominic Thomas and Liam Burt have all organised signed jerseys from their respective clubs, Rangers, Aberdeen, Motherwell and St Mirren.”
The game is sure to be a special occasion, and will have its fair share of fun, considering the teams are made up of close friends and family. There are few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon and people going along would be contributing to a commendable and worthy cause.
As a result I would encourage as many as possible to head down to St Ambrose High School and support the charity match. A number of children will be better off because of it and spectators will get to enjoy an entertaining game as well as some lovely cake!
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 14:06

Watch: Finnart AFC v Burnhead Colts U16

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Video highlights from the C&KDYL Cup final at Broadwood Stadium, Cumbernauld.
Thursday, 05 May 2016 20:41

Watch: Seafar Villa Blue v Carbrain BC Sky U17

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Highlights from an incredible game of football at Ravenswood Playing Fields in the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL D2.

The Holland Cup is an international youth football tournament held in Almere, just east of Amsterdam and organised by FC Almere. The event, held over the Easter period, is widely regarded as a leading youth football tournament in Europe and has been run annually for over twenty-five years. Around two thousand teams from twelve countries compete across the various age groups of the event, which is eventually split into the Challenge Cup and the prestigious Holland Cup. One such team who has participated in the tournament, not once but twice, is East Stirling Boys 2002s. Roddy MacPhee, one of the coaches at East Stirling Boys, spoke exclusively to YFS, to share their experience.
MacPhee said: “Our aim from when we started 11-a-side was to develop the boys as best we could, not just in football but in life with experiences such as winning, losing, discipline, friendship, and hard work, so we researched the European tournaments. The Holland Cup was highly regarded and recommended so we felt that taking part in the competition, regarded as the best on the continent, was the one for us. That way we knew we were going to test the team and give them new boundaries to work within.”
East Stirling Boys sailed over for the tournament last year, and the side were pleasantly surprised to win the Challenge Cup. MacPhee noticed the benefits of the experience in his side instantly. “The experience they gained was visible almost straight away through their maturity, understanding and willingness to help and look after each other and the way they converse with adults and coaches.  It is extremely satisfying to see them celebrate and be so happy- to see them enjoy tangible success.”
He added: “It’s easy to forget they are only 13 and 14 years of age, children, and we expect so much from them. But without question having experience of playing abroad, competing, winning, taking responsibility for themselves and each other, with the pride in their club is standing them in good stead for the future.”
Already, the team have shown how much they have grown from the experience. The side returned to Holland this year with aspirations of qualifying for the Holland Cup. MacPhee said: “Last year, playing and winning the Challenge Cup in Amsterdam gave them such a different mindset to go and compete in the Holland Cup this year. They were more confident and while last year they had trepidation, this year was excited nervousness with a determination to do well and a belief they belonged there.”
Not only did the Falkirk-based side manage to qualify for the top trophy, but they finished third in their age group, in which seventy-two teams from twelve European countries competed. Out of the seventy-two teams, East Stirling were delighted to finish third, winning their third versus fourth place play-off after losing 2-1 in the semi-final to what MacPhee described as a "powerful French side".
In addition to the tournament, the boys had the opportunity to experience an international football match. MacPhee said, “To further the experience of being in Holland we decided to take everyone on a trip along to the Amsterdam ArenA on the Friday evening to watch Holland v France in a Euro 2016 warm-up match.
"We had great seats and the boys had a fantastic time, laughing and joking around with each other while watching international players play, trying to garner knowledge they could apply to their own game.”
The boys also had some time to explore Amsterdam city centre and MacPhee described it as "a great trip all round."
As the season draws to a close, there are still aims to fulfil with the side hoping to continue their successful runs in the domestic cups and finish in the top three in the league. MacPhee added, “While we currently sit 5th in the league having played fewer games than everyone else due to our cup demands we hope to start making progress in our ambitions for a top 3 finish in the coming weeks.”
Club manager, Jim Callaghan, also shared his pride for the Falkirk-based side, and his belief in their ability. “It’s a huge pleasure to be the manager of this fantastic group of players who every single week show their commitment. They train hard and enjoy being part of East Stirling Galaxy so much. We have great facilities at Little Kerse that helps us in our preparations.
"They are a joy to be around and while they keep me and all the coaches on our toes they are a great group of boys. We obviously give up our time to coach and encourage them, but the reward we get is watching them play and be successful and without doubt they have created some great moments each and every one of us will never forget.”
MacPhee acknowledged the importance of the support that the team and coaches receive from the parents. “We are extremely fortunate to have supportive and understanding parents who are as determined to see the whole team be successful and happy as the coaches are. It would be remiss of us not to acknowledge the support we receive from parents and grandparents that not only wish to see their own successful but to see the support they give to all our boys.”
Hopefully East Stirling Boys 2002’s can use their experience from Holland to fulfil their aims during the remainder of the season and have many more fantastic experiences in the future.
Thursday, 31 March 2016 11:51

Video snapshot: Mossend Easter Festival 2016

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Video snapshot from the 2016 Mossend Easter Festival.

Fixture: Motherwell FC Community
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL - Under 16
Date: Sunday 20th March 2016
Jim Baxter Memorial under 16's visited Motherwell Community, the only undefeated side in the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL this season. Motherwell were also the only side not to concede a league goal this campaign, but JBM were in free scoring mode this season. Could they be the team to unlock the Motherwell back line?

After a very dominant performance last week without scoring as many goals as they would of liked, JBM knew they wouldn't have as much of the ball this time around as Motherwell are a good possession side.

The game was less than two minutes old when the deadlock was broken. JBM forced the Motherwell left back to concede a corner, and from the corner, Hamilton rose highest to bullet a header into the back of the net.

Motherwell were shell shocked and were now aware that JBM meant business. Every time that Motherwell got the ball in midfield, the tireless twosome of Malone and Mitchell were constantly closing down and winning the ball back for JBM.

JBM were dominating the early stages of the game and increased their lead midway through the first half. Mitchell gathered the ball forty yard from goal, and danced his way through the Motherwell challenges, and as he reached the edge of the box he superbly curled his effort out of the reach of the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Motherwell came out all guns blazing, looking to get themselves back into the game. The back four of the visitors stood firm however and never looked troubled. JBM increased the lead to 3-0 after Malone had been fouled inside the penalty area. The referee awarded the penalty and luckily for the defender he was only given a yellow card. With the usual penalty takers on the bench, Munro stepped up with confidence and great composure to slot the ball into the bottom corner.

Just before half time, Motherwell were awarded a penalty themselves. A much disputed one I must say but we just get on with it. Goalkeeper Sanderson was unlucky not to save it as the power was just too much for him.

Half Time: Motherwell Community 1-3 Jim Baxter Memorial

The second half kicked off and immediately is was evident to see that the Motherwell players had received the proverbial rocket up their posterior and came out looking like a different team. However, once again this was no match for the JBM defence who continued to win every challenge, every 50/50 ball, and were composed in their defending.

Motherwell were beginning to get frustrated and the referee had to hand out a few yellow cards here and there, and they were eventually reduced to ten men midway through the second half.

JBM continued to contain Motherwell, hitting on the break and where exceedingly unlucky not to add to the lead after McChesney fed an excellent ball to Davenport who was unlucky to see his chance just go wide.

The game was mostly being played in the Motherwell half of the pitch with JBM showing their dominance. Dalziel then fed McChesney with a superb reverse ball and put him in one on one with the defender but the attack fizzled out after some good defending from Motherwell.

With second remaining on the clock, JBM won a free kick thirty yards from goal. Set piece specialist Dalziel stepped up but the keeper saved his superb effort low down in the bottom corner.

That was that, and the performance from the JBM boys was excellent. They should superb discipline from the first whistle to the last despite being on the receiving end from a few heavy Motherwell challenges. The home side conceded their first goals in the league this season and suffered their first defeat also. Great JBM performance.

Full Time: Motherwell Community 1-3 Jim Baxter Memorial

Man of the match: Rennie Hamilton

In the words of Willie Dalziel, "Forza JBM".


Fixture: Jim Baxter Memorial v Campsie Black U16
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL
Venue: Broadwood 3G
Date: Sunday 13th March 2016
Jim Baxter Memorial faced up against Campsie Black and were looking to solidify their position at the top of the table. The home side had to work extremely hard against a very organised Campsie team, however JBM had enough in the tank to take all three points.
For the majority of the first half, JBM looked very comfortable and some of the football being played was a joy to watch. JBM took the lead twenty minutes into the match after relentless pressure. Dalziel delivered the perfect corner to the back post, and with Hamilton losing his marker he found some space to bullet his header into the back of the net, giving the goalkeeper no chance. It was Hamilton's first ever goal for the club.
The domination from JBM continued but they couldn't find that second goal. McChesney and Dalziel were working hard up front, but they weren't being presented with many opportunities.
As half time approached, Campsie equalised after a mix up in the JBM defence. The visitors won a free kick 40 yards out, and it was delivered into the heart of the penalty area. Goalkeeper Sanderson came to claim it, but mis-judged the flight of the ball, and as he was caught underneath it. As he tried to rescue this situation, he unfortunately couldn't claw the ball back and it flew in just underneath the crossbar.
Half Time: Jim Baxter Memorial 1-1 Campsie Black
A couple of half time changes for Jim Baxter Memorial, to try and break down a stubborn Campsie side. Cunningham replaced the hard working Mitchell and Bailey Milne, JBM's newest signing making his debut, replaced the impressive Davenport.
The second half kicked off but it took the players a good ten minutes to get back into full flow. Most of the second half was played in the Campsie half, with league leaders JBM showing their dominance, but just couldn't find the final ball to allow McChesney or Dalziel any opportunity despite their excellent movement to find space.
With twenty minutes to go, the JBM coaches decided to gamble and introduce Malone and Gray to replace Dalziel and McChesney who had ran themselves in to the ground. The game continued again with JBM pushing for the winner but Campsie were holding firm and defending really well.
With the game heading towards the final whistle, one penultimate attack was launched by JBM. The ball broke to Milne on the left hand side, and he whipped a delightful ball into the box, which the Campsie keeper few out towards, but he couldn't gather, and Gray was on hand to pounce on the loose ball and burst the back of the net.
That was to be the last chance of the game, and much to the relief of everyone involved as far as JBM's concerned, they got the win they deserved.
Full Time: Jim Baxter Memorial 2-1 Campsie Black
Many people would thing winning 2-1 meant the game was an even contest. That is far from the real story of the match however as the Jim Baxter Memorial boys deserved a lot more, but couldn't find that cutting edge in front of goal. Campsie defended well to their credit, but JBM more than worth their win. Every player gave 100% on the pitch and left nothing behind.
Friday, 04 March 2016 17:37

Watch: Gartcairn FA Winter Festival highlights

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Highlights from the sixth annual Gartcairn Football Academy Winter Festival, sponsored by Health Rewards.