Forfar Farmington FC have more than 200 players signed to the club, at various levels. Caitlin Mitchell, currently playing for the Forfar Farmington Blues U17’s, gives an insight on what it is like to be a Youth Player at Forfar Farmington.
I love playing for Forfar! The club has a great set up for youth players and I'm really proud and happy to have the opportunity to be part of it. I decided to play at Farmington because it was very well organised, there was a great player pathway set up, and I thought the club would help me develop the most! I’ve been here since I was 9 (I’m 14 now) and I'm really glad I came here because the people are the nicest I could ask for. Jane Luckhurst and Ed Thomson were my first coaches and I learned so much from them. They were really supportive and caring and made sure that we all had a chance to grow as a team as well as people.
A normal week for me is quite busy with regional training on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before school, training with my team on Tuesday and Thursday nights, Friday night training regionals when the block has started, then a match at the weekend with a strength and conditioning session somewhere through the week. I was also asked to join the Development and Premier squads training sessions on Friday nights, with some of my team-mates, which is great.
This takes up a lot of time so you have to be organised with homework and school things and plan when you're going to do them, which is usually on rest nights. With friends, you have to prioritise sometimes, but it's worth it! Also my teammates are my friends as well so it's great to spend so much time together. The club is really helpful in that they are understanding about how hard it is to juggle everything and the coaches understand if a session is too much, the club tries to help and support its players in any way it can, I feel really lucky to have that. Farmington is really aware of the football that we play away from the club as well, like regionals or school teams, so they look after and support us in that too!
Our first year at 11 aside, which was last season at U15 level, was amazing! It was a real challenge and a step up but I loved developing personally and as a team. I'm really proud of our team and how we performed after learning so much throughout the season and it gave us a great platform to kick off from this year!
The off season is the worst part of the year! I hate not having training or matches or seeing the team regularly. But it was a good chance to rest and recharge and think about the coming season.
It was hard having players leave because our team was really close last year, so we lost friends and nobody wanted the team to change. We respect everyone's decisions, though. It's been great gaining new players as everyone adds something different to the team, I think everyone's happy, and the squad is looking really strong so far! I couldn't ask for a better team.
I can't wait for the 2015 season, I want it to start now! 17s will be another step up but I'm excited to face the challenge - I know we can do it! - and to see what the season holds for our team and me personally.
Pre season has been great so far, it's a lot of hard work but it will be worth it! There's a lot of fitness work, sprints, strength work in the gym and tactical awareness work. I'm really enjoying it and want to push on as far as I can before the season starts.
I've loved training with the Development and Premier squads and I feel really lucky to have the opportunity to train with players at those levels! I'm learning a lot from playing up and it's a great chance to see the pathway through the club that's there for us. It's different from what I'm used to in that it's more intense and there's a much quicker pace and higher standard of play. I really like the new set up and I like being pushed.
My goals and aims for the year are to keep developing and learning as much as I can, and to play the best we can individually and as a team! I believe we can have a successful season and I'm really excited for the challenges coming.