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Tuesday, 01 December 2015 19:29

Perfect Dunbeth and Dunipace set the pace

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A strong start to the season is vital for any team hoping to make a push for a league title. Remaining unbeaten during the opening stages of a campaign can provide players with valuable confidence and a sense of invincibility which can prove to be the edge in games against potential title challengers. The longer the run lasts, the harder it becomes to stop.
Two teams which are oozing confidence after their perfect starts to the current campaign are Dunbeth FC and Dunipace Juniors U13's.
Dunbeth currently sit three points clear of Dunipace at the top of the FVFDA Under 13s table having played one game more than their title rivals. Both teams have started their campaigns in scintillating form with each side putting 10 goals or more past their opponents in four of their respective games to date.
Despite the league table telling a story of complete dominance, Dunbeth haven’t avoided a scare or two during their ascent to the top of the table. Close-fought matches against Dunblane Soccer Club and Hillfoots Community Club, 6-5 and 3-2 victories for Dunbeth respectively, have shown that the current league leaders can be pushed to the limit.
However, it could be argued that being able to scrape narrow victories against incredibly game opponents is a quality typically possessed by champions.
On the other hand, Dunipace have enjoyed a more straight-forward start to the season. Having beaten each of their opponents so far by no less than four goals, no team has been able to truly threaten their 100% record. There is no doubt that Dunipace’s start will give them immense confidence going into the festive period, but some may argue that they haven’t yet been tested to the same extent as their Dunbeth.
Dunbeth have dominated most of their games but have also shown the character, grit and tenacity to come out victorious in two tight games against tough opponents, showing that they have all the tools necessary to become champions. Dunipace, however, haven’t had the opportunity to show these characteristics, such has been their dominance so far this season.
This leaves questions unanswered about their title credentials until the day comes when they face a side which threatens to do what no team has come close to doing this season and beat them. If form is anything to go by, this day may not come until the two pace-setters eventually meet for the first time.
Alternatively, Hillfoots Community Club could also pose a serious threat to Dunipace’s perfect record. Having come so close to taking points from their early season encounter with Dunbeth and with an otherwise perfect record, Hillfoots have shown that they can be a match for the very best which the league has to offer.
However, there is no way of guaranteeing when these top of the table clashes may take place. Frozen and waterlogged pitches typically accompany the Scottish winter and plague football fixture lists for weeks on end resulting in widespread postponements all across the country. Consequently, it may be a while before either teams’ 100% record is lost.
Cumbernauld Colts FC hope to end a momentous year in style as their senior team take on Stirling Albion in the third round of the William Hill Scottish Cup tonight, with the prospect of a home tie against Inverness CT on the horizon for the victors.
The 24th of October marked an historic day for everyone associated with Cumbernauld Colts FC, with the club’s recently formed senior team participating in the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup for the first time. An impressive 2-0 home victory over seasoned Cup campaigners Auchinlek Talbot saw the team write yet another chapter in the club’s remarkable history, booking their place in the third round of the competition to set up an away tie against Scottish League Two side Stirling Albion.
This latest Cup victory was the icing on the cake for a triumphant Cumbernauld Colts, who have enjoyed a hugely successful 2015. This will go down in history as the year the club took its first step in to the world of senior professional football: being awarded full membership of the Scottish FA and having their senior team admitted to the SLFL (Lowland League) for the 2015/16 campaign.
It is a huge achievement, and is made all the more poignant if you consider the incredible journey the club has embarked on since its foundation in 1969, competing solely at youth level, through to present day with more than 500 players competing at all levels of the Scottish game.
Arthur Stackpool, 1998s Coach and Club Media Officer, is understandably immensely proud of reaching this milestone. “This was a remarkable achievement considering we hadn’t even thought about this step as recently as February this year" he said. "The current senior squad has only been playing together since July, so from the outset it has always been about establishing ourselves in the League. Everything else has been a bonus! We still have to “pinch” ourselves every time we see our name on Sky Sports or the BBC!”
Hardly surprising then, that the senior team have been the recipients of much media attention lately. However, plaudits must also go to the coaches and staff who constantly work to create a solid infrastructure at Cumbernauld to allow for player development. Great strides have been made across the board in 2015. In particular, both children’s training academies are going great guns, with new small sided game sections being created all the time. In fact, focus has already turned to the next intake of youngsters in Easter 2016.
The U20's development team, that was established to work in conjunction with the senior squad, have also enjoyed a particular measure of success in recent times. The boys have been competing well against other Lowland League development sides, and have progressed into the last 16 of the Scottish FA Youth Cup.
For the next few days however, the spot light will be firmly focussed on the Colts senior team once more. The eagerly anticipated Cup tie against Stirling was scheduled to be played at the Forthbank stadium on Saturday past; however, the abysmal Scottish weather had its say, with the game being postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Weather permitting, the game has been rescheduled for this evening, with a 19.45 kick off. Stirling Albion have been Tweeting regular updates about the state of the Forthbank  pitch since Saturday and their ground staff have pulled out all the stops to ensure the fixture goes ahead as planned.
The rain has done little to dampen players and fans enthusiasm for the big occasion. The romance of the Scottish Cup has prevailed. Arthur Stackpool for one is relishing the challenge, saying, “It will be a huge occasion and will do much to enhance the club’s profile. Auchinleck Talbot provided us with a different challenge to our first round tie against Glasgow University in that we were very much the underdogs. The big crowd provided us with a great atmosphere and coupled with another fine performance made for another memorable day in our history. Our away game to Stirling Albion sees us having to step up yet another level. Being realistic you have got to think it might be a step too far, all things considered. 
"That said, it will be 11 vs 11 on the day and I’m sure that if we play to our potential, Stirling Albion will know they have a tough game ahead. We are also unbeaten away from home!”
He has a point; form would suggest that Colts should be going in to this tie with a great deal of confidence. They currently sit fifth out of 15 in the Lowland League and remain unbeaten in their last nine games in all competitions.
Whatever tonight’s outcome, no-one can deny that this has been a truly unforgettable  year for Cumbernauld Colts, and I, for one, can’t wait to read the next chapter of their story.

Fixture: West Park United v Rosebank United U13's
Competition: Central League U13
Venue: Turnbull High, Bishopbriggs
Date: Saturday 21st November 2015
As West Park United are still waiting to find out their Scottish Youth FA Cup 3rd round opponents, they continued their Central League campaign against local rivals Rosebank United from Kirkintilloch.  Matches between the two teams so far this season have been evenly split with Rosebank winning in the early season League Cup group stages with West Park triumphing away in the league a few weeks ago. A closely fought encounter was expected in their league face-off this time.
West Park were quick off the blocks in this game however and took control of the match early with Cameron Dutton putting West Park ahead by slotting home a loose ball in the box before the defenders could react with the game only a few minutes old.
Dean Mooney doubled West Park's lead with an exceptional finish over the keeper which clipped the underside of the bar in the process, after he found himself running onto a terrific through ball that sliced open the Rosebank defence like a hot knife through butter. 
West Park continued to create chances for themselves with precise passing and supporting off the ball runs and continued to press their opponents, restricting any free space and the defence standing firm to any Rosebank attacks.
Cameron added his second from the penalty spot after being fouled,  with Dean then following that by also notching his second with a precise finish off the inside of the far post.
The yardstick for attackers was achieved just before half time when Dean achieved his hat-trick from the penalty spot after he was brought down by the last defender from behind as he bore down on goal, with the referee deciding not to punish the defender further by not showing a card.
Half Time: West Park 5-0 Rosebank
The team talk was straight forward with the coaches praising their 1st half performance and challenging the boys to continue their hard work, keep the ball moving, and take their opportunities as they arose. The boys were resolute to press home their advantage on the day and ran out for the second half in a determined mood.
It wasn’t long before West Park extended their lead with skipper Ryan Todd scoring his first after a lung-bursting run from midfield, with a sublime near post finish. Todd then followed this by setting up the next goal with a great square ball from the touchline for Rhys McNamee to tap home from close range.
Ryan went on to complete his own hat-trick with another couple of great runs and finishes to further extend West Park’s lead by scoring the 8th and 9th goals of the game.
Despite the gulf in score, West Park continued to press home their superiority and continually created chances with some great goalkeeping and poor finishing keeping the score down. The West Park defence were eager to keep a clean sheet and protected their goal with Jack Tweedie winning nearly every high ball all day and Anthony Dolci clearing up any loose balls that made it through. The full backs supported both defence and attack with forays up and down the channels.
West Park closed out their scoring with Matthew Archer driving in on goal after collecting another great defence splitting pass from midfield and slotting under the goalkeeper.
The only downside on West Park’s dominant performance on the day was losing a goal in the closing stages and allowed Rosebank to score a consolation but this didn’t dampen the spirits of the boys at the final whistle.
All in all, it was a professional performance from the West Park team ensuring their league campaign continued strongly and it was exciting to watch the whole team playing with such confidence and strong attacking and defensive play.
Full Time:  West Park 9-1 Rosebank
Wednesday, 25 November 2015 12:13

JBM ooze class as they jump to top spot

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Fixture: Jim Baxter Memorial v Campsie Boys Club U16
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL U16 B Division
Venue: Broadwood Stadium
Date: Sunday 22nd November 2015
This weekend seen the clash of 1st versus 2nd in the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL. Campsie BC travelled to face Jim Baxter Memorial with both teams level on points at the top of the table, Campsie just sitting pretty at the top on goal difference. The importance of a victory for both teams was vital as the psychological edge may play a factor towards nitty gritty end to the campaign.
JBM had a debut in the dugout with the addition to their coaching team of Gordon Gray taking his place beside Willie and Rab.
The game kicked off and it was clear to see that JBM were up for the game, and had their eyes on all 3 points. In the first minute of the match, JBM attacked on the left hand side and as the ball was played forward by Mitchell to Dalziel, The latter then won a corner on the far side, and the set piece specialist delivered a pin point ball that found McChesney who headed towards goal. The Campsie keeper initially saved the effort, but Hughes has the desire and hunger to get in there and fire the ball into the back of the net to break the deadlock. This settled any nerves the home side may of had, and from that minute to the last the JBM players showed their dominance and stamped their full authority on this game.
JBM won the ball straight from the kick off and started to rebuild the play. A long ball found winger Dalziel and as he bared down on goals he left the defenders of Campsie in his wake. However, the only way to stop the man in form was to foul him, and the big Campsie defender lucky not to receive a sanction. Dalziel gave himself a shake, regained his composure and placed the ball down as the keeper set up his wall. People talk about your Messi’s and your Ronaldo free kicks, and this was right up there in terms of quality. Dalziel struck the ball with so much power and accuracy it flew past the despairing dive of the Campsie keeper as it rippled the net to double JBM's lead.
JBM didn't give Campsie many chances at all, but the home side were almost dealt a blow as the Campsie number 7 unleashed a fierce shot from fully 30 yards out that smacked the underside of the crossbar and was then cleared to safety.
This shook JBM back into life, and they gave themselves some more breathing space just before the break as they scored goal number 3 of the afternoon. Mitchell drove at the Campsie full back, and as he powered into the box, he rolled the ball across to McChesney as he slotted the ball home from 10 yards out.
Half Time: Jim Baxter Memorial 3-0 Campsie Boys Club
Despite the 3-0 lead, the JBM coaches reminded the players at half time that this match wasn't over yet, so slacking off was not an option. 4 changes at half time for the home side with Malone, Davenport, McSharry and Swan replacing Dalziel, Macrae, Mitchell and Sanderson. Immediately the changes paid dividends for JBM as Malone was fouled in the box, and the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. McChesney stepped up and with composure and slotted the ball neatly again past the despairing dive of the Campsie keeper to make it 4-0.
Campsie were reduced to 10 men midway through the second half for letting the referee know exactly what he thought of some of his decisions. JBM took full advantage of this and McSharry, who gave the left back of Campsie a torrid time from the minute he came on, delivered an excellent ball into the box which allowed McChesney to easily slot home for his hat-trick, and to give JBM a comfortable 5-0 lead.
JBM had this game well in control as they Dalziel added a 6th for the home side when he raced onto a poor clearance from the Campsie defender, and finished well into the bottom corner.
The visitors did however manage to grab a consolation goal which was unfortunate for Sanderson in the JBM goal not to get his clean sheet, as he had again proved what a top quality keeper he is with a number of saves in the game. The Campsie number 7 had given JBM a warning in the first half when he smacked the crossbar. This time his effort flew into the top corner. Great strike.
Full Time: Jim Baxter Memorial 6-1 Campsie Boys Club
A stellar performance from Jim Baxter Memorial who now sit 3 points clear at the top of the table, and deservedly so!
Wednesday, 18 November 2015 15:05

The young coach aiming for Scotland's top job

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Chris McLaughlin, a 20 year old Scottish sports coach/mentor has been talking to Youth Football Scotland about his journey in the world of coaching so far.
Chris was on exchange at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia as part of his Sports Studies at Stirling University and finished in July this year. Working with and coaching Cumbernauld Colts for a number of years has been valuable experience for Chris in his first coaching role, but how does it compare to seeing a professional football club, namely Melbourne Victory, train first hand?
"In my time out in Australia I managed to see a couple of A-league matches, and met with both Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. I also met Jamie Monteith, Head of Community for Melbourne Victory. He was great - he took me into his office for almost an hour and I just got to pick his brains on everything and anything. I was able to see the first team train, and later that week got to do some coaching at one of their Melbourne Victory Masterclass events."
In addition to seeing professionals training in the flesh, he also got a chance to see Melbourne's City's talented batch of youngsters training at the Melbourne City School of Football.
"They and their youth teams actually trained on our campus, so I saw them a couple of times" he said. Moreover, I visited Kieran McDowell at John Fawkner College, where they run their Melbourne City School of Football. This programme is in its early stages, but was very interesting to see."
Despite the amazing opportunity, this wasn't always the way he imagined, or even wished for it to pan out. "I was determined that I wanted to work in a big office and wear a fancy suit all day, making lots of money" he said. "It was only when the PE teacher asked who intended to pick PE, and gave me a quizzical look when I didn't raise my hand, that I began to reconsider. Even in 5th year I was sure I wanted to become an accountant, until one day - I remember the exact moment - I looked down at this Profit&Loss Account exercise and thought: "No way. I simply cannot do this for the rest of my life." Thankfully I had continued onto Higher PE and decided there and then that my passion was to work full-time in Sports.
"I began coaching in 6th Year of High School, aged 16. I picked Community Sports Leadership as one of my modules, and also volunteered with Cumbernauld Colts (with whom I still played) in their Junior Academy section. That year I was named as the CSLA of the year for the school, from a group of around 60. After about 12 months or so I began to get some paid work, which is great, although it's not about the money at all.
"Both were a great experience. I made a mistakes, loads of them. Looking back I sometimes cringe at myself, but that's what it's all about - always being able to take something from every session and trying to improve each day. I suppose that's the same mentality we have to try to instil in our players: try new and challenging things, fail, tweak it, learn, try again and again and again.
"Since then I became Head Coach of that section at The Colts. Having watched those boys grow, mature and develop for almost four years it wasn't easy to step back from that as I was leaving for Australia. However they were great hands back home, with Bryan Thomson and Ross Manchip principally leading the section. I also do extra-curricular classes for the Colts, such as the After School Centre which runs on a Tuesday night for anyone on the club's waiting list, or those who want to take part in organised football but aren't interested in fully joining a team. I'm also in a local school most days delivering a session either before or after uni.
Lastly, we spoke about the goals Chris has set himself. He said, "Looking to the future, I have a book with a number of different goals and aims written down. I've applied for a PGDE in Teaching for next year and hopefully in three or four years I will be able to go down to Loughborough University and do their Masters course in coaching. As for this summer, I'm hoping to head over to the US with Challenger Sports which would be a fantastic experience (find out more by clicking here).
"Attaining my UEFA 'B' License by the age of 26 would also be fantastic and I've applied to do the 'C' License next year. I'm also aiming to obtain my Level 3 Personal Trainer qualification next year, having done the Level 2 (Fitness Instructor) in 2012.
"The dream job, without any shadow of a doubt, is to be the Scotland manager. People laugh when I tell them, but you've got to have a dream! I would just love to be sat in five years working full-time in sport, ideally football. I'm sure I'd be happy regardless if that were the case."

Fixture: Mossend Boys Club v Jim Baxter Memorial U16's
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth YDL 
Venue: Airdrie Leisure Centre
Date: Sunday 15th November 2015
Jim Baxter Memorial Under 16's took on Mossend, the newcomers to the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth League this season. The home side Mossend were unbeaten in all competitions coming into this game, and hold a formidable attacking record so far this season. The game was played at Airdrie Leisure Centre, and from the off it was clear to see JBM started the game where they had left off against Milton last weekend.
In the first 15 minutes of the first half JBM took control in the middle of the pitch with Murphy in the 'Makalele role' standing head and shoulders above any other on the pitch, He broke up anything Mossend had to offer and built play through the other 3 midfielders Rundell, Davenport and Mitchell who continually made themselves available. Rundell who has been quiet in the last couple of games definitely took the bull by the horns today and continually drove at the opposition, skipping and dancing through them like a hot knife through butter. It was clear to see Rundell has something to prove and certainly stood up and took notice to what the coaches had told him pre kick off.
Despite being in complete control in the early exchanges, a lapse in concentration in the JBM defende gave the Mossend forward the opportunity to snatch the lead for his side. He pounced on the loose ball, drove towards goal, but his shot was high and wide and never caused a problem to Vanderster in the JBM goal.
The JBM forwards Malone and Dalziel had been feeding on scraps up to this point, but on 25 minutes they both had great chances for the opener, but Dalziel’s first touch just wasn’t sharp enough and Malone missed a header at the back post. The ball ending up high and wide of the target. The pressure however did pay off as half an hour into the game, JBM took the lead. Mitchell gathered the ball on the left and fed Dalziel. The striker then took the ball with his back to goal and squared it to the onrushing Rundell, who delivered a pin point pass to find Malone at the back post. Despite being under pressure from the Mossend defenders he buried the ball into the bottom corner, giving the keeper no chance.

Almost a second goal in as many minutes for JBM as Mitchell won the ball back from the Mossend kick off. He drove at their defenders and glided past them as if they weren't there before unleashing a venomous shot towards goal, but unfortunately his effort flew just inches wide of the post. A let off for Mossend who had been under the cosh for much of the first half.
JBM keeper Vanderster had been much a bystander in this game so far, but just seconds before halftime again JBM lost the ball in defence and as the Mossend midfielder struck the ball towards goal it had Vanderster flying across his goal to pull off a great save to prevent Mossend from equalising.

Half Time: Mossend FC 0-1 Jim Baxter Memorial

A few changes freshened things up for JBM in the second half, and 72 seconds in, it was 2-0 to the away side. Mitchell again playing with great confidence ran into the box and all the defender could do to stop him was concede a penalty. No complaints from anyone as Dalziel stepped up with composure to blast the penalty out of the keepers' reach to double JBM's lead. 

People say a 2-0 lead is never safe, and as JBM pushed for a third they lost the ball too easily, allowing Mossend to hit the visitors on the counter attack, and Mossend pulled a goal back. It could of been easily avoided but the Mossend forward controlled the ball superbly and then lobbed the ball over Gartshore as the ball nestled into the back of the net.
The JBM players immediately reacted to this by re-storing their 2 goal lead. Rundell took control of the ball well, beating 3 players down the left before squaring the ball to Sanders, and from 12 yards out he drove the ball into the top corner, well out of the reach of the despairing dive of the Mossend keeper.
With only a few minutes to go, Malone gathered the ball on the left, drove down the line, cut inside, and from 35 yards out he unleashed an unbelievable shot toward goal. From the moment the ball left his boot there was only one place that the ball was going. To call this goal unbelievable is an understatement. The top corner was tickled, and is still rippling now. What a goal!
From the Mossend kick off JBM won it back immediately yet again. Murphy fed  the ball to McSharry on the right, and he drove towards goal, and as the keeper narrowed the angle, McSharry dinked the ball over him into the goal.
No time to kick off as the referee blew the whistle to bring to an end one of the best performances from the JBM boys this season. A great spectacle and to beat the previously unbeaten Mossend is a great achievement.
Full Time: Mossend FC 1-5 Jim Baxter Memorial

Fixture: West Park United v East Kilbride YC U13
Competition: Central Region Cup - Round 1
Venue: Bishopbriggs Academy
Date: Saturday 7th November 2015
West Park United welcomed Lanarkshire League opponents East Kilbride YC to Bishopbriggs for their 1st round match in the Central Regional Cup. The opposition were riding high in their league, scoring plenty of goals so the West Park side knew they would need to work hard to get a result.
Unfortunately the weather was not the best, but the rain didn’t affect West Park as they quickly took control of the match from the first whistle. West Park took an early lead after only 2 minutes, with Jack Tweedie scoring from close range after putting pressure on the East Kilbride keeper from a corner.
This settled any nerves that West Park players may have had, and they continued to press their opponents with good passing moves from defence to midfield and good link up play with the strikers. Whenever East Kilbride did get a hold of the ball they were under relentless pressure from the dogged West Park players, which forced them to make errors to give the home side opportunities.
West Park went 2-0 up after 15 mins as Fraser Cruickshanks picked up the ball outside the penalty area, turned expertly and fired the ball low into the bottom corner. A few personnel changes from West Park paid off with a few more goals before the half time interval.
First of all, another good strike high towards the top corner from Fraser was well saved by the East Kilbride keeper, but the ball rolled loose to Lewis Clancy who placed a powerful first-time shot high into the net. The lead was extended from a free kick wide on the right, after a great in-swinging ball from Ben Kennedy was finished well by Rhys McNamee with a first time volley.
The scoring in the first half was rounded off by Rhys McNamee who finished superbly following a great passing move from the West Park side, for his second goal of the game.
Half Time: West Park United 5-0 East Kilbride YC
The West Park boys were told in the half-time team talk to keep playing their own game, and continue to pass the ball well and press their opponent, and in the second half, they didn't disappoint. They followed on from their first half performance by creating plenty of chances to extend their lead but a mixture of poor finishing and good goalkeeping kept them out.
However, it wasn’t long before West Park scored again after the referee awarded a penalty for a foul on Jamie Etherson. Jamie dusted himself down and calmly slotted the resultant spot kick into the bottom corner to make it six.
Goal number seven soon arrived with Rhys completing his hat-trick. After the initial effort was well saved by the East Kilbride keeper, Rhys was alert and pounced on the loose ball to knock the ball home.
Despite being on the wrong end of a heavy score line, East Kilbride were always a danger and had a few opportunities to score with good balls into space behind West Parks defence. The home side were determined to keep that clean sheet however with superb block and tackles, along with top class saves from the man between the sticks, Euan Murray.
West Park maintained their pressure, made substitutions to freshen up the line-up, and created more and more opportunities as the game wore on. Lewis added his second of the game with a good finish in the box, then Matthew Archer added another with a strike the rippled the net. In the final minute, Ryan Todd rounded off the scoring in style with a thunderbolt of a strike into the roof of the net from outside the penalty area.
Full Time: West Park United 9-0 East Kilbride YC
Thursday, 12 November 2015 11:32

Riverside FC - Great club, Great Kit!

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Grant Stobbart, club committee member and head coach of Riverside FC’s U17s, has been speaking to Youth Football Scotland about Colin Campbell Sports help to the club and Riverside’s partnership with Nike UK.
In recent years, Riverside’s club identity has “been their downfall as a club” according to Grant, however the introduction of Colin Campbell Sports to the club has begun to propel the club down the correct route in terms of giving the club some identity. The ultimate goal is for every Riverside team to be wearing the same kit, although Grant concedes this will take a few years and is more of a long-term goal rather than short term, however with Nike UK as their partners, this is very much achievable.
Since joining with Nike in a partnership, the club have decided that in order to push for a strong identity, Riverside will be staying true to the club’s traditional colours of maroon and sky blue. Riverside teams at many age groups have made full use of the partnership, with four of the 11 a-side teams all ordering new home kit, with the full ladies and girls sections ordering too. As well as ordering bundles of new kit, Riverside have also stocked up on training equipment, taking full advantage of “the fantastic deals that Colin Campbell Sports provide on balls, cones and bibs” with Grant’s team ordering a new set Nike rain jackets. According to Grant all products are “nothing short of fantastic”, branding CCS as “the most professional outfit in Scotland when it comes to teamwear supplier”.
Riverside teams at all age groups have enjoyed good runs of form as well as being successful in the most important aspect in youth football, player development. Riverside as a club are continuing to grow, with the children and women’s section in particular growing very prominently. The children’s section has Daniel Gordon to thank for its success recently, for his consistent hard work which has helped many kids find a game of organised football. The women’s section also, has begun to flourish, with the ladies beginning to enjoy their football more and more. Grants team, the U17’s, have also enjoyed their best start to a season for years and are playing a level of football they haven’t been able to reach before, according to Stobbart.
Grant’s goal of giving the club a strong identity is fully on course to be fulfilled, again, thanks to Colin Campbell Sports and Nike UK. Grant rounded off his thanks to Colin Campbell Sports nicely, saying “We can't thank Colin Campbell Sports enough for their help and support so far, they have made a huge difference to our club in as little as a few months, we are now looking forward to many more months and years ahead with Colin Campbell Sports!”
To learn more about Colin Campbell Sports & their fantastic range of teamwear & equipment, click here. 
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 17:24

Colin Campbell Sports a one-stop-shop for Carbrain BC

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“Outstanding”. “Everything at a very high standard”. These are just two quotes from Carbrain Boys Club chairman Scott Walker regarding Colin Campbell Sports’ range of sportswear.
When Scott Walker took over at Carbrain Boys Club, he believed the club lacked real identity, largely down to the fact that all the teams at different age groups wore different strips, making Carbrain difficult to recognise at a first glance. Scott wanted his club to be one with striking identity, particularly by having a recognisable strip. Having a recognisable strip instantly seems to demand respect from onlookers, similar to the iconic white of Real Madrid. The clubs traditional colour are extremely recognisable and Scott wanted Carbrain to be in this bracket.
Colin Campbell Sports is now a one stop shop for Carbrain, the club even has its own brochure so that all teams are able to order the same kit, from the same place. This totally eradicates the previous problem of all teams ordering their kit independently and ending up with different kit and training gear, therefore leading to the club being unrecognisable. Carbrain are now fully utilising the service of Colin Campbell and have ordered new strips for all teams, from the nursery up to the under 16’s, as well as the coaches getting new training gear too.
Scott Walker said, “The service we have received from Colin Campbell Sports has been outstanding.” Scott also told us that “it’s a slick process” in terms of fitting the kit, as a club account manager will come to a training night, or even another time which suits the coaches, which he says is “very much appreciated”.
Another nice gesture from Colin Campbell Sports was the provision of medals and trophies for Carbrain’s annual festival, following excellent service once again with the medals and trophies, Carbrain have ordered Player of the Year trophies from Colin Campbell for all their teams.
“Colin Campbell Sports is a fantastically run business” said Scott. “They bring a personal touch which I find fantastic, as you aren't made to feel like just a customer but a friend too.”
If you, your club or a club you know of is looking for kit and/or equpment, then do not hesitate to take a look towards Colin Campbell Sports. The company will provide you with excellent service and a very high standard of sportswear.
Founded in January 2014 as a girl’s only club aiming to provide football for all ages and abilities with a focus on providing an elite player pathway, Central Football Academy is still yet to celebrate its second birthday.
Despite its youth, the club has expanded at a rapid rate and it now boasts over 20 teams with no less than eight Scotland Youth Internationals within their ranks: and it has no intention of stopping the development yet.
Having been under pressure to set up a boys programme in a similar vein to the girls’ setup, The Academy has finally been able to introduce a boys’ section: Central Boys Football Academy.
However, as highlighted by Ian Dibdin, Central Football Academy’s Head of Football, this was not always an option.
When asked about the details of the club’s expansion to include both boys’ and girls’ sections, he said, “Until recently we avoided the setting up of a boys section… There were many reasons for this: quality of coaching and commitment, but the main one for me was the player pathway.
“I was being approached by individual teams but collectively it was eventually looking like the pathway was becoming a realistic option. So, in line with our Scottish FA Quality Mark policies and procedures, the coaching staff were put in place and we started the recruitment of players.
“In many ways this process was straight forward. By bringing the individuals together we were soon able to form a boys section which allowed players to play from five years old through to adult.”
Ian emphasised the importance of creating a pathway for players as a reason for expanding the club.
“The creation of a player pathway was always the key. Too many clubs focus on individual teams and individual players, almost to the cost of their player development programme.
“[The player pathway] at Central takes the shape of pre-school classes, our C Leagues which provides training and playing each Saturday for primary one and two kids [and] our Academy Kickz programme [where] we focus on primary three-five school kids.
“Teams start at under sevens and we run through to adult. Central have over 20 teams at the moment; next season we are likely to be at the 30 mark.”
Although Central Football Academy is still in a period of transition and the long-term benefits of the club’s expansion are yet to become clear, Dibdin believes that there are already signs that the change has been a success.
When asked about the ways in which the club is benefiting from the expansion, he said: “It is too early to say. However, the club is vibrant and maybe this is the gauge of success.
“Our players are keen to play, the coaches bringing in challenging sessions and seeing skills transferred onto the pitch. Maybe that's what it's all about and why we are in it in the first place.
“Certainly the parent base has grown and with it the skillsets they bring. We have been able to tap into these professionals and utilised them for the benefit of the club. Plenty of thanks should go out but typical of our parents they have been willing to contribute without benefit to themselves.”
Overlap and interaction between girls’ and boys’ sections is something which many young players at other clubs won’t experience. However, Ian explains that at Central Football Academy, the mix of players on the books is something which is utilised for the benefit and development of the players.
“I believe that both boys and girls benefit from mixed training and playing. We regularly mix training with our 1st Girls team (seniors) and the U16's Boys. The sessions are both intense and fun but it brings a mutual respect for each other. I think the girls develop their technical skills faster in this environment.
“Our younger groups have girls who play in the boys teams and at U11's we have entered girls’ teams to play in the Development League. Previously this has developed the girls’ teams’ speed and physicality. When returning to play the girls’ sides the benefits are clear to see.”
Central Football Academy are certainly unique in terms of their roots and expansion to date. However, Ian sees the club’s philosophy and the way it looks to learn from and adopt strategies from the best as the main aspects which make Central Football Academy different to other clubs.
“It's easy to say that we wanted to provide football for all and we do that, but it was important that we offered an elite program which would compare to the best available in the country and beyond.
“The support structure for this philosophy was to look at the best and adopt what we thought would benefit our programme. Our thinking was that the higher the level of coaching the better the standard would be; not only to the elite players but right through the club.
“Younger players would be inspired by our older players. What could be more inspirational to a player when they not only watch Central players pull on a Scotland top and play for the national team, but train next to them in Central colours and ask their advice, or discuss the game?”
Ian points to a specific visit to America as a key moment which influenced his philosophy which would be implemented into Central Football Academy.
“After travelling to the US my ideology was changed forever. Visiting different soccer programmes and seeing the American children in action was an eye opener. I watched five year old girls producing a set of skills of ball control which was fantastic: I didn't believe my eyes.
“I'm open-minded enough to look beyond the Scottish borders and see other strategies to deal with player development. Who are the current Women's World Cup champions? They must be doing something right.”
The club’s philosophy appears to be paying dividends with the girls’ and boys’ sections earning silverware and enjoying successful seasons.
“The girls section have had a great season: Two League Championships, Two League Cups, Two Loch Lomond Cups (under 15s & 17s), Nottingham Cup and a Scottish Cup final to look forward to.
“For the boys we won a pre-season trophy with the U15's. The youth boys’ sides are about a third of the way through their season, with a couple enjoying good cup runs and all doing well in the league.”
In line with their expansion to date and incredible ambition, Central Football Academy are looking to build on their momentum and continue their multifaceted development.
When asked about the club’s plans for future expansion, Ian said: “We are looking at working with the local council to develop our facilities; we see the potential of one of our venues to increase its use.
“The venue would require a good amount of investment but we are an ambitious club and in line with our club motto 'Imagine...Believe...Achieve', we will not give up until the project is there for everyone to see.”
The club is even looking to expand beyond the realms of football, although the football remains a key area for future development, as Ian explains: “As part of our Scottish FA Quality Mark Community application we are looking for alternative sports to come under the Central banner; we are looking at two clubs. Although at early stages, at this time it is certainly in our plans.
“On the football front we will continue to grow the numbers. We want to provide football for all and we will encourage all youngsters to come along to join us. Amongst them will be the stars of the future and we want them to shine here in Central.”
If Central Football Academy’s growth in under two years of existence is anything to go by, the sky is the limit for this incredibly ambitious club.
Given the club’s success to date and plans for the future, do not be surprised if many of the future stars of Scottish Men’s and Women’s football will have come up through the ranks at Central Football Academy.