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It has been well documented that one of the most decorated and successful coaches in women’s football, Eddie Wolecki Black, suffered a near fatal stroke whilst head coach of North Lanarkshire team Airdrieonians. Luckily he’s been able to make a partial recovery, thanks to the swift and efficient work of the resident medical staff at the Excelsior Stadium and within our NHS. He currently continues his recovery, dealing with the effects of the event every day.
 
Luckily Eddie’s family have discovered an opportunity which involves travelling to America to book experimental treatment to iron out some of these unfortunate after effects of the stroke. But, as with most things in life, it’s going to cost significant sums, so a supporter of Eddie’s cause has opened a donations portal to raise the quoted numbers of £10,000. Various members of the coaching community have taken part in some fundraising activities to contribute to the big target and fantastic progress is being made.
 
Football-wise Eddie has been an inspiration for many coaches, his focus on player development and demands for high standards have led to many players progressing to senior careers.
 
If you wish to donate and can spare something out the tips jar, perhaps simply spare change from your recent delivery, and head on over to https://www.gofundme.com/3sw53jc
Three women attending Scottish universities have been selected to play for Britain’s female football team in Taipei, Taiwan, in the World University Summer Games 2017. 
 
The competition, which begins in August 19, occurs every two years and the British team will be sending 163 athletes to take part in 11 varied sports.  These sporting events include: archery, athletics, golf, men’s water polo, men’s weightlifting, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, women’s football, women’s water polo and women’s weightlifting. 
 
Britain submitted a squad full of 20 players for the World University Summer Games including Demi-Lee Falconer (University of Stirling), Katy Morris (University of Stirling) and Kirsty Howat (University of Edinburgh). Scottish coach Grant Scott is also a member of the management team for the women’s football as assistant coach. Grant was head coach of the Scottish Student Team that won the Home Nations tournament in April 2017.
 
Falconer is a defender who attends the University of Stirling. She also played for Murieston United at Under 17s level. There Falconer enjoyed great success, including an emphatic victory in the 2012 Scottish Cup final against Glasgow Girls. Falconer also won the Heart’s First Team Players’ Player of the Year in 2014.
 
Also coming from the University of Stirling is midfielder Katy Morris. Together Falconer and Morris were part of the University of Stirling team who won the British Universities Women’s Cup final both Morris and Falconer scored in a resounding 8-0 win.
 
 
The third and final student at a Scottish university being called up for the woman’s football squad is striker Kirsty Howat. Howat has been described as a striker who will score goals wherever she plays and that has certainly been the case in her youth career. Howat enjoyed much success when she played and scored in Rangers 17s victory in the 2013 17s SWF West League Cup Final against rivals Celtic. Later in 2016, Howat signed for Celtic and plays for them alongside her studying at the University of Edinburgh. In the Home Nations tournament, Howat scored to take Scotland to penalties with England from 1-0 down and also dispactched her attempt from the spot as Scotland went on to win the tournament.

 
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 10:28

SPFL Hot Prospects: Dundee

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
In this edition, we will be look at the hot prospects at Dundee.
Mark O’Hara is a 21-year-old midfielder known for his versatility on the football pitch. Despite his age, O’Hara has already earned over 100 SPFL Premiership appearances, for both Dundee and Kilmarnock. It was at the Ayrshire club where after moving through the youth ranks, he made his first team debut at the age of 16, in a 2-0 win over Celtic in 2012.  
 
The boy from Barrhead originally started his career in defence. That changed upon his arrival at Dundee last year when then manager Paul Hartley felt O’Hara would be best suited as an attacking midfielder. Since signing for the Dee, O’Hara notably scored in the 2-1 win against Rangers back in February – a first home league victory over the Gers since 1992. He also scored in his first Dundee Derby yesterday in the League Cup, with his equaliser taking the game to penalties. United took the spoils on this occasion, but O’Hara will be hoping his goal will be a taste of things to come for this coming season as Dundee look to thrive under the new era of Neil McCann.
Glen Kamara, is a 21-year old defensive midfielder, who will be hoping to reignite his once promising career, at Dens Park. The dogged ball-winning player joined Dundee this summer after a five-year spell spent at the youth ranks of Arsenal came to an end.    
 
Kamara, who spent his first 12 years of his life in Finland, left Arsenal after a lack of first team opportunities. His only appearance came in a forgettable 3-0 defeat away to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup back in 2015. He also was an unused sub for Arsenal’s Champions League match with Galatasaray the previous year. The Finn was sent out on loan on two occasions, having stints at Southend and Colchester United, yet failed to materialise into permanent moves. Kamara also received a call up to the Finnish national side two years ago. 
 
His time at Arsenal was perhaps a case of bad timing for both parties, but now Kamara will be hoping the move to Dundee will be his chance to display his talent to not only the Dundee faithful but the SPFL Premiership.  
 
Having featured in Dundee’s early League Cup fixtures, manager Neil McCann told the Evening Telegraph: “Glen is terrific. He’s one that has come in and made a real impact.”
 
 
Wednesday, 02 August 2017 10:00

SPFL Hot Prospects: Aberdeen

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
Here, we look at the hot prospects on the cusp of breaking out for Aberdeen.
 
Every new season presents new challenges and new opportunities – especially for young players. Opportunities for youngsters can be even more limited at sides the more successful they are. Aberdeen have found plenty of success in the past few season and have plenty of options in the transfer market due to the windfall from a Johnny Hayes transfer to Celtic. Nonetheless, there are still a few players at Pittodrie who could be prepared to make the breakthrough to first team football this season. Who will be the next player in the Granite City to follow in the footsteps of the likes of Ryan Jack, Peter Pawlett and Ryan Fraser?
With another long season ahead, rotation of the squad will be key for Derek McInnes at Aberdeen. Injuries will only increase the potential of chances for the likes of 19-year-old central midfielder Frank Ross. Born just north of the city in Ellon, Ross has been described as a creative player who makes good use of both his feet. After making his debut against Dundee in 2015, Ross has continued to be transitioned into Mcinnes’s first team plans – being somewhat of a regular on the bench at Pittodrie last term, racking up eight first team appearances to date. Ross also regularly trains with the first team.  The midfielder has found success not just at club youth level, but with his country too – Ross was a part of Scotland’s Victory Shield winning side in 2014. Aberdeen boss McInnes told Aberdeen FC’s website: “[Frank] is a very talented player and one we think highly of,” when Ross inked a new deal at Pittodrie in 2016.
Born even closer to Aberdeen, in the village of Balmedie, winger Scott Wright has already made an impression on the Aberdeen faithful. At just 19 Wright has been a name supporters have wanted to see more of since his debut in a Europa League qualifier against Daugava Riga in 2014. 17 appearances later the young winger may find a route into Mcinnes’s plans after the departures of Niall McGinn, Johnny Hayes and Peter Pawlett who excelled in the wide areas. Wright has been praised for his direct approach, his ability to play on both sides of the pitch and has been described by his manager as a natural ball carrier. Wright’s hat trick against Partick Thistle at the tail end of last season saw the youngster earn himself a brief cameo in Aberdeen’s losing effort against Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final. Wright, who has made 23 appearances at youth level for the Scotland team looks set to challenge for a place with the SPFL runners up this term, with his manager saying on RedTV after a recent friendly victory over Brechin City: “We are expecting a lot from Scott this season.” 
 
Monday, 31 July 2017 09:24

SPFL Hot Prospects: Partick Thistle

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
Here, our focus is on the young exciting prospects coming through at Partick Thistle.
Partick Thistle began this season in disappointing fashion, losing on penalties to Livingston in the League Cup but have bounced back in style with wins over St Mirren and Airdrieonians. Blair Spittal has been the catalyst in this upturn in form, scoring twice in the 5-0 win against St Mirren and the winner against Airdrieonains. Thistle signed Spittal from Dundee United on a two-year contract, after a three-year spell at the Tangerines. Still only 21, and after scoring three goals in his first three games for his new club, this is a real opportunity for the exciting winger as he rejoins the top flight.
 
Spittal began his career as he youngster at Rangers, and spent two years in the youth academy before joining Queen's Park. He attended Park Mains High School in Erskine and was selected for the Scottish Schools FA Centenary Shield squad in 2012. A month earlier, he made his first team debut for Queen's as a 16-year-old, against Montrose. He established himself as a first team regular in his second season, making 41 appearances and scoring 12 goals. Both Dundee clubs were interested in signing him but Spittal decided to follow his former team mates Aidan Connolly and Andy Roberston in signing for Dundee United, where he made 83 appearances over three seasons. Blair Spittal will now be hoping to emulate many former United players, such as Stuart Armstrong and Roberston, in being a regular for the national side and playing more consistently in the top division.
Another exciting prospect this season is Kevin Nisbet, a 20-year-old striker who is a former member of the Thistle youth academy. Nisbet made a huge impact in the Firhill side's development squad, scoring a hat-trick against Falkrik and making 18 appearances in total. He spent six months on loan at East Stirlingshire in 2015, scoring six goals in only 11 games and earning a first team debut the following season. Last season Nisbet joined Ayr United for the second half of the season, and must have impressed manager Alan Archibald as he has made three appearances already this season, albeit from the bench. He will be desperate to prove his worth this season and play a big part in the first team.
"It's a massive credit to Andy for adjusting and performing so well." This is how Alan Archibald (per BBC Sport) described teenager Andrew McCarthy after he was thrown into the starting lineup last season in a 2-2 draw against Hearts in very short notice, and the manager was mightily impressed with how the youngster coped in only his second start in the top flight. Archibald was also confident enough to hand the young midfielder his first start in early April in a 1-1 draw at Celtic Park. Still only 18, it seems that he will also have a big part to play this season for Thistle having made two substitute appearances in the League Cup this season.
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
The Gothia Cup is the world’s largest youth football tournament, with around 1,700 teams representing 80 countries taking part. 820,000 people watched online as games were streamed live from Gothenburg. Six Scottish clubs sent teams to compete in the tournament, with mixed fortunes.
 
Aberdeen FC
 
The Dons sent just one team – their Under 17s - to Gothenburg with high hopes and were rewarded in their first match, a 2-1 win over IFK Gothenburg of Sweden. In their two remaining group stage games, Aberdeen were defeated; a 3-1 loss to Gamba Osaka from Japan and a 2-1 defeat to Swedish side AIK. The Dons were on track to take AIK to penalties before conceding a late goal. In the last 16, Aberdeen faced Djurgarden of Sweden and came back from two goals down to draw the match 2-2, with goals from Joseph MacPherson and Lyall Booth. Aberdeen went on to lose the shootout 5-4 as their run in the tournament ended.
 
Boroughmuir Thistle (pictured above)
 
The only team in Scotland to send girls teams, Boroughmuir Thistle sent two teams of Under 12s to contest in Gothenburg. Boroughmuir were chosen to represent Scotland at the opening ceremony at a packed 50,000-seater stadium. The first team were defeated in each of their group games against Toronto High Park FC of Canada and two Swedish outfits: IK Zenith and Orby IS. They dropped into the B playoff and were subsequently beaten 5-0 by Sweden’s Kullavik IF. The second team fared a little better; they were defeated in each of their group games against Canadian and Swedish opposition, but won their knockout match against Rodsle BK from Sweden. In the last 16, Orby IS overcame Boroughmuir 2-0 and their cup run was over.
 
Scott Freeborn, manager, said: “I think it was a great experience for them. Just travelling around the city you’d see so many teams from all around the world and you’d get talking to them. I’m sure the girls are feeling inspired and ready to move up to the next level, and that will stand them in good stead going forward.”
 
Currie Star FC
 
Currie Star sent six teams from four age groups to compete at the Gothia Cup - three teams of Under 12s, an Under 13s, an Under 14s and an Under 18s. The third group of Under 12s performed admirably, competing against opponents from Sweden, Brazil and Mexico whilst overcoming another of Currie Star’s teams on the way. The 18s can look back on their tournament with pride; victories over Sweden’s Frolunda (1-0) and VfR Bachem of Germany (2-0) gave them a flying start in the group stages. Cruelly, they conceded a late goal against Burnley College Football Academy, losing the game 1-0, which meant that they dropped into the lower playoff despite finishing their group on six points. It meant that Bachem finished ahead of Currie Star by a single goal in the Goals For column. They were then knocked out in the next round by Swedish side Kallerad SK by four goals to nil.
 
Chairman John Brock said: “The feedback from the coach was that the boys had a fantastic time. Our oldest group won their first two games in the group stage then lost the last one with the last kick of the ball which was a bit of a blow, because it meant they finished third. It was really draining for the players but the boys put as much as they could into it in terms of preparation and applying themselves.”
 
Hutchison Vale FC
 
Hutchison Vale also took part in the opening ceremony alongside Boroughmuir and are sure to remember the experience for a long time. The Edinburgh club sent one team to Gothenburg but will be pleased with their performance in the Gothia Cup. The 13s overcame German opponents Haltern Am See 3-0 in their opening fixture and followed it up with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Sweden’s IF Vaster. Their perfect record in the group stage continued in the third match when they narrowly defeated Norwegian outfit Stryn 2-1. In the knockout round they beat Sweden’s Norrkoping 1-0 thanks to a goal from Keir Brown but were then eliminated in the next round,
following a 7-1 defeat from England’s Lambeth Tigers.
 
Monifieth Athletic FC
 
The Under 13s were the club’s sole representatives at this year’s Gothia Cup. The Dundonian club faced defeat in each of their 3 group matches against Sweden’s Vasteras SK, Ordin FC from Brazil and Portuguese side Colegio Atlantico. After dropping into the B playoff, Monifieth defeated US team FC Conneticut. When the referee blew for full time the match remained goalless despite the Dundee side’s dominance, then Monifieth won the resulting shootout 4-2 to progress to the next round. They faced Footgeneration FA Algarve from Portugal and were beaten 3-0. The Portuguese side would go on to be the losing side in the cup final.
 
Andrew Mccafferty, coach, said: “I think we improved every game until the last half hour of our final game, when we just ran out of steam. I thought in the game against the Americans we were brilliant, we should have been out of sight by half time. Getting the boys to be brave on the ball like that in a tournament like the Gothia Cup is probably the biggest thing we can take away with us.” 
 
Tynecastle FC
 
Tynecastle sent one team for the Under 13s, 14s, 15s, and 16s and can look back on each of their records with great pride. Every team finished in the top two in their respective groups and recorded a number of impressive victories. The Under 13s overcame German opposition SV Rugenbergen 1-0 in their first knockout match before narrowly losing 3-2 to Prep School Lions from England. The 14s went one better, twice knocking out Swedish opposition with a 3-1 victory over Skoftebyns and a 6-0 thrashing of Tuff. In the next round they faced German side Niensteden and were beaten 3-0.
 
The 15s managed to score 13 goals in the group stage but were knocked out by CEF 18 Tucman from Argentina 4-2 on penalties after drawing 1-1. The 16s won all four of their group stage games, scoring 15 goals in the process. In the first knockout round they drew 1-1 with Portugal’s Almada Foot and lost the resulting penalty shootout 7-6. 
Friday, 28 July 2017 22:51

SPFL Hot Prospects: Kilmarnock

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
Kilmarnock certainly pride themselves on providing a pathway for young footballers to break into the first team. Here is an insight into three of the Ayrshire side’s rising stars.
A product of the club’s youth system, 16-year-old Innes Cameron has bags of potential to make his mark on Scottish football. Fresh from sitting his Higher exams in May, Cameron, from Troon, was one of five academy products to recently sign a two-year modern apprenticeship with Killie. The striker broke onto the scene under the management of Lee Clark, and made his debut as a substitute in a 1-0 defeat to St Johnstone in December 2016. Having impressed for the Under 20s, the 6ft 2’ forward’s determined attitude earned Cameron a place on the bench 17 times, with the now permanent boss Lee McCulloch also showing faith in him. The former Marr College pupil was called up to the Scotland Under 17s to travel to Croatia for the European Championships, where he scored in a 2-0 victory over the Faroe Islands.
Speaking about the forthcoming season, Cameron told YFS: “Hopefully I will continue to be involved with the first team and learn from my experiences to improve the way I play.”
A more familiar name to the fans, Adam Frizzell is one of many other exciting prospects. Frizzell, from Gourock, has been on the scene since making his first appearance for the club in October 2015 against Inverness at Rugby Park. Born in January 22 1998, the 19-year-old is a dynamic, attacking midfielder who likes to get on the ball and pick that killer pass. He has made 19 first team appearances since his debut, and will hope to cement his starting place under McCulloch after impressing for Scotland Under 20s at the Toulon Tournament. Former Killie manager Clark said the one thing the youngster needed to add to his game was goals, and since his re-introduction to McCulloch’s side towards the end of the 16/17 season, he notched his first professional goal in a 3-1 defeat at Fir Park.
In Killie’s three Betfred Cup matches so far, Frizzell has operated in a central midfield position or just behind the striker. His trickery, neat footwork and ability to turn defence into attack has been obvious to see- Frizzell could be set for a terrific season.
Finally, Greg Taylor will play another key role for Killie, having secured his place at left back last season with number of consistent performances. Also from Gourock, Taylor attended Clydeview Academy, and featured in the school's 1-0 win over Mearns Castle High School in 2013 (http://www.youthfootballscotland.co.uk/component/content/article/1719-west-region-club-news/clydeview-academy-news/7121-clydeview-edge-to-paisley-schools-success.html). Taylor started his football career with St Andrews and then played with Frizzell for the Rangers youth set up, but both were snapped up by Killie’s academy following their release. Taylor was thrown in at the deep end by Clark in the Play-off Final versus Falkirk in only his second outing for the club, however the robust full back passed the test with flying colours and has gone from strength to strength.  Always looking to get forward, the pacey left back is an asset when attacking as well as defending. The 19-year-old claimed the fourth best player award at the Toulon Tournament, and scored the winner in a famous 1-0 win over Brazil.
 
It's also worth mentioning Greg Kiltie, who will be hoping to bounce back from a succession of injuries that have halted his progression from one of Killie's brightest prospects in years to a standout player for the Ayrshire side. After a long spell on the sidelines during the season, Kiltie was carted off against Ross County with a broken ankle in the final game of the campaign. The silky attacker, who started his career with Galston Boys Club before jumping between Rangers and Killie at Pro Youth level, was forced to miss the Toulon Tournament with the Scotland Under 20s this summer, but a chance meeting with Chelsea and Belgium star - and fellow crock - Eden Hazard provided a pick-me-up for his recovery. Kiltie told YFS: "I'm getting there, nearly back walking, just taking it day by day." 
Thursday, 27 July 2017 15:25

SPFL Hot Prospects: Hamilton Accies

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
Here we look at two prospects from Hamilton Academical who have shown the early potential to kick on and make the season 2017-18 their year.
 
Hamilton Accies are a side who have used their youth system to great effect in recent history. Success stories like James McCarthy and James MacArthur have moved on to the English Premier League after being given the platform to prove themselves at a young age in South Lanarkshire. In the current team, captain Michael Devlin and playmaker Ali Crawford are a further example of youth products who have made the grade at professional level. 
Steven Boyd has grabbed his chance early on this season after some flashes of brilliance in the BetFred Cup. The 20-year-old came off the bench against Queen of the South on Saturday 22 July with 15 minutes remaining in the match poised at 0-0. With two minutes remaining, the youngster from Paisley scored his first professional goal for Hamilton and it looked as if Accies were claiming all three points before Queens equalised a minute later. Boyd converted his penalty in the shoot out that followed to help earn a bonus point for his side as they won 6-5. Having only amassed four starts for Accies so far, this could be the season where he announces himself on the big stage.
 
Boyd is equally as comfortable playing as an attacking midfielder or as the second striker. He spent the first half of last season on loan to Albion Rovers where he racked up five goals in 15 appearances including a brace against Airdrieonians in a 2-1 victory in the Monklands derby. Boyd was formerly on the books at Celtic and has picked up Scotland caps at Under 17 and Under 16 level.
Scott McMann played the full 90 minutes in Hamilton's last game against Queen of the South in the BetFred cup as well as starting their opening group game against East Kilbride. This proves he is held in high regard by Martin Canning and – although the 21-year-old spent three months on loan at Clyde last year – he is expected to be in the manager's plans at SuperSeal Stadium this season. The defender will look to add to the 29 starts he has already made at Accies since his breakthrough in 2012.
 
McMann's preferred position is at left back where he is renowned for venturing forward to assist the attack but not at the expense of his defensive duties. He has been known to deputise at centre half and may be asked to fill the void while captain Michael Devlin continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury in the early stages of the season.
 
Both youth prodigies will hope to make season 2017-18 one to remember for all the right reasons as Hamilton Academical bid to avoid the relegation battle and remain in the Scottish Premiership for a record fifth season in a row.
 
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:02

SPFL Hot Prospects: St Mirren

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
Here, we provide some insight on the exciting prospects at St. Mirren.
 
During the 2013 League Cup winning season, St. Mirren had young academy players in their squad, even 18-year-old John McGinn started the final at Hampden and another youngster Kenny McLean was on the bench. Both went on to bigger things as McGinn won the Scottish Cup with Hibs and McLean is enjoying European success at Aberdeen.  St. Mirren take great pride in their youth system and have since produced players including Jason Naismith, Stevie Mallan and Kyle McAllister, with Naismith going to Ross County, and Mallan and McAllister off to the English Championship.
Lewis Morgan is just one start away from 50 starts for the club and managed to hit double figures for the first time in his career as he scored ten goals last season. There were fears that the 20-year-old pacy winger may have had his campaign cut short after suffering an ankle injury but recovered to make his Scotland Under 21 debut in a stalemate friendly with Estonia in the last few months of the campaign. St. Mirren also rejected two bids from English Championship side Burton Albion this summer. The former Rangers youngster has just one year remaining on his current contract. 
Kyle Magennis enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season after making his debut in just October 2016, coming on as a half time substitute in a defeat at Easter Road against Hibs. A local boy, Magennis starred for Paisley Grammar, winning the Scottish Shield in 2011 and several local cups during his time as a student. He first found the net for the Buddies at Queen of the South in Saints’ first league victory of the 2016-17 season on December 6 2016. The 19-year-old would go on to score another two goals. Magennis also represented the Scottish Under 20s at the recent summer Toulon Tournament. The midfielder will miss the beginning of the new league campaign due to knee ligament damage picked up in a pre season friendly against Dundee. The midfielder has gained a reputation as a powerful runner from the middle of the park. Having been used as an auxiliary right midfielder since his inclusion, the central midfielder who will have a chance of gaining a spot in his natural position given the sale of Stevie Mallan, but will miss the beginning of the new league campaign due to knee ligament damage picked up in a pre season friendly against Dundee.
 
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 11:50

SPFL Hot Prospects: St Johnstone

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Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL team to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out, as the kick off to the 2017-18 league season edges ever closer.
 
Here, we provide some insight on the exciting prospects at St Johnstone.
 
The Perth club have enjoyed tremendous success in recent years with qualification for the Europa League on a regular basis and lifting the club’s first major trophy in 2014. Manager Tommy Wright will look to continue the trend when their domestic season kicks off away to Kilmarnock on the August 5 and has included several youngsters in the first team squad.
Callum Hendry began his football career with Blackburn Rovers and featured regularly for the former English Champions Under 18 and Under 23 sides.  To aid his development, the striker – who is the son of former Scotland Captain Colin Hendry – was sent on loan to Stik League First Division North side Clitheroe where he scored on his debut in a 3-1 victory over Kendal Town en route to enjoying a promising spell. The 19-year-old suffered a knee injury towards the end of his time at Ewood Park and Hendry travelled north to be offered a trial at St Johnstone, through the contacts of assistant manager Callum Davidson.  Following an outing towards the end of a pre-season friendly with Aberdeen it was announced the Lytham St Annes born striker had agreed a one-year contract with the club.
 
Hendry grabbed his first goal for the Saints with a well taken finish during a 1-0 closed-door victory against Rangers and will hope it puts him in the frame for future appearances.
Kirkcaldy born right back Aaron Comrie joined the youth set up at St Johnstone following a spell in Celtic’s Under 17s squad in 2014. Having tasted action for the Under 20 development squads Comrie was loaned to League Two side Montrose where he made 21 appearances which included scoring the winner against East Stirling.  Having enjoyed a successful spell at Montrose, Comrie moved further up the East coast and began a loan spell at Peterhead in January 2017. The right back's impact was immediate as he helped the Blue Toon to a shutout against Brechin on his debut.  In total Comrie made 14 appearances for the club and will have greatly benefited from the competitive nature of League One.
 
It is clear St Johnstone rate the player highly and having made his first team debut in 1-1 draw away at Hamilton Tommy Wright told the Evening Telegraph: “Aaron was excellent after coming on, he’s been close to starting before and he did very well.”
 
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