James Young High School were the winners of the West Lothian Schools Football Association (WLSFA) Under 15 age group and we caught up with the coach Nevil Cunningham to find out the details of their success.
Being winners of the WLSFA is a huge achievement for James Young HS although they also won last season. Nevil said “The team are absolutely delighted to have won again this season. They did feel a bit of pressure to retain the title but have done themselves and the school proud.” The players must be feeling a real sense of pride and accomplishment to have won the league for 2 consecutive seasons. The players will be walking with their heads held high at James Young Highschool.
Nevil had many moments to be proud of throughout the season but he had 2 moments that stood out above the rest. “Our wing back, Ben, had a great hat-trick but a shout out has to go to our fantastic keeper Ryan, who has kept us in games so many times. He had several point-blank saves again in our last game against St Margarets.” Ryan and Ben were standout players this season but the great team effort and synergy helped them to get the points they needed to win the league for the 2nd time.
Although they had success in winning the league they also came across some challenges during the season. Nevil commented “Early on in the season we played Deans Highschool who were probably our main rivals for the title this year. We managed to come out on top 4-3 after a very topsy-turvy game that could have went either way.” A close game between two of the top competitors in the WLSFA.
It takes a lot of motivation and strive to win the league back-to-back and James Young HS have great chemistry that brings them together in order to win. Nevil said “We have a lot of boys who play together regularly at club level which helps with the cohesion of the team”. Playing football at a club level also helps with building up skills and experience of playing with a team and helps to create the necessary skills to compete. He also said “The boys are also good friends, this is one of the great things about school football as it allows them to play together as on the weekends they have outside commitments.” Playing football at club level means that the boys don’t always have time to play together as part of a team outside of school because they all play for different teams.
Nevil would also like to thank Murieston United for allowing them to use their 3G facilities. He said “It really is a great help to us and the boys always enjoy playing on such an excellent surface and I would also like to thank all the parents for their support over the years, it is greatly appreciated.”