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In the absence of football, young players across the country have been starved of their favourite hobby, pastime and passion.

Without a ball to kick or a player to tackle, Brodie Greenwood – an Aberdeen FC Ladies under-15s performance player - took matters into her own hands to find her football fix during lockdown.

Brodie successfully completed an online course at the Open University in Football as a Business, Motivation Factors in Football and the Globalisation of Football.

Speaking to YFS, Brodie’s father Gary said: “It just shows how much she loves football. She’s sensible enough to know that although the dream is to play professionally and get paid to do it, failing that she wants to work within football.

 

“She’s not old enough to start coaching properly yet, but you can start learning about football at any age.”

 

Brodie is a pupil at Hazelhead Academy, one of the SFA’s performance schools, and is already on track to succeed in the world of football.

 

The youngster was able to combine her impressive academic talent with her advanced football knowledge to achieve a ‘Statement of Participation’ Award from the Open University.

 

“She plays in the boys league, the performance league for the girls and at a regional level as well. [In] The last three or four years, the chances and opportunities have grown so much. She’s doing everything she can physically and mentally to get as much out of football as she can.”

 

And dad Gary admitted that the whole family were able to learn from the course.

 

“We’re a football family! We [dad Gary and mum Shona] sat alongside her and helped her where she needed it – but to be honest, we were working through lockdown so she was left alone to do it all on her own through the day.

 

“She took a lot out of it, for sure. She would make comments like ‘I didn’t realise that’ or ‘I didn’t understand Germany was so different to England’. It’s education but it’s a subject area she loves as well.”

 

Explaining the course in a little more depth, Gary added: “They’ve taken chunks from various different sports-related courses that they do. Some of the tasks are reading through things and making notes yourself, and everything is online so they can see what you’re doing.

 

“It’s supposed to take about three weeks. I think a lot of coaches around Scotland have been doing it as well. 

 

“The content is quite complicated and some of it was probably above her age group but she took her time to go through it because she’ll be using it in PE related subjects as well.

 

“There was three main components to the course. The first was how football is as a business across Europe – different countries and different approaches. 

 

“The second was about motivation in sport and football – what motivates people, what demotivates them. The third was about how global football has become and how much money is involved and how powerful the people involved in football are.

With schools and football clubs now edging closer to normality, we are confident that Brodie will enjoy a successful season both on and off the field.

 

20 schools across Aberdeen city and shire have signed up to be a part of Aberdeen FC Community Trust’s partner schools programme.

Over the last three years, a rising number of schools have been attracted to the Trust’s partner schools programme due to the extremely positive impact it has already had on pupils.

Buchanhaven Primary, in Peterhead, was the first 2020/2021 partner to be announced, and other schools who have teamed up with the Trust early, so that they can get started after summer, will soon follow suit.

Councillor John Wheeler, Aberdeen City Council’s Education Operational Delivery Convener, said: “By partnering with AFC Community Trust we are opening up new opportunities and strengthening existing links which have been so important to our schools and pupils in recent years. 

“We have a track record in Aberdeen of innovating in education, using music and sport in particular to help engage with young people in new and exciting ways. The Trust shares our passion for that approach.

“Evaluation has shown that the work of the Trust is valuable. Through sport, the engagement with schoolwork has increased and the outcomes for young people who have been involved have been very positive. 

“The partner schools programme will expand, access, and create even greater benefits across the city and for our neighbours in Aberdeenshire.”

AFCCT use a combination of the children’s love for football and their support for Aberdeen FC to get school pupils in the Aberdeen area interested in their learning through the Trust’s work in schools, breakfast clubs, after school clubs and community clubs.

Over the last few years AFCCT have been able to improve the education of pupils by being able to accomplish an improvement in areas such as reducing absenteeism and lateness as well as improving their health and well-being. 

This great work has seen them help more than 14,000 children in 23 different schools and other education schemes to raise their attainment.

The positive effect that the club’s community trust has had on these pupils has been acknowledged by the 20 schools that have signed up to the programme and they understand that the Trust will work incredibly hard to reduce the poverty related attainment split within Scottish education. 

As well as trying to enhance the pupil's education, AFCCT are also there to offer their support to children who need behavioural, emotional or social help.

The schools who have gained the help of AFFCT aren’t the only people who have recognised the Trust’s excellent work, with it being a major reason for Aberdeen Football Club being awarded as Best Professional Club in UEFA’s 2019 Grassroots Awards.

Education, healthy communities and football for life programmes are all closely related and are each area is pivotal in the Trust’s goal to improve the lives of Children in the North East.

Evidence of the Trust’s terrific work was shown in 2019 when they revealed that for every £1 invested into football participation in Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City, a £10 economic, social and public health return is amassed.

Councillor Wheeler added: “We’re fortunate in Aberdeen to have a club that is forward thinking and has been recognised for its work in the community. 

The council has been supportive of that work and is committed to continuing to work together to ensure every young person has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”

“Now, more than ever, it is vital we drive forward with plans to engage with young people in imaginative ways. 

“There has clearly been disruption during the current school year due to the Coronavirus response, but we have been very proactive in our approach in the city’s schools to minimising the impact. 

“We are working hard to prepare for the new school year and are determined to be on the front foot – the partner schools programme is a fantastic example of the many things there are to look forward to in 2020/21.”

(Image courtesy of @AFCCT)

Wednesday, 17 June 2020 12:15

Aberlady FC take on the Pass It On Challenge

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Aberlady FC's 2011s have become the latest team to attempt the viral "Pass It On" challenge.
 
With the global pandemic everyone is living through, clubs are experimenting with new ways to keep players active and entertained. The social media challenge has become very popular with different sports passing on many different objects.
 
To attempt the challenge, each member of the team films themselves receiving the ball from their right and passing it to their left. Then it would be edited to make it look like the whole team were passing the ball to each other.
 
This helps the players keep active, have fun and have the video to look forward to even during this time of boredom. It motivates the players to get outside and kick a football after maybe not playing since lockdown began. 
 
It is a way to give the players a smile when they see themselves on their device receiving and passing the ball to all their friends and seeing them again even if it is just on a screen. It's good because it might give some players the bug to get out and practice, to improve their skills in their garden or outdoor space.
 
In this way once proper games begin again they will be able to keep the standard where it was or even higher. The challenge may also inspire the kids to film themselves again and invent another challenge.
 
It isn’t just Aberlady doing this challenge, many other clubs, age groups and also sports are doing this challenge and we’d love to see yours! Send your football clips to any of the Youth Football Scotland social media sites.
 
Michael Drysdale, an Aberlady coach, said: “We did the pass it on challenge in April - it was great for the kids to be able see their friends on screen while they were getting used to lockdown, and hopefully it encouraged one or two of them to get outside with a ball!
 
:It was suggested by one of the parents, who kindly pulled the whole thing together. They’re missing training and games on Saturday mornings - we had just moved up to seven-a-side - so anything that reminds them that they’re part of a team has to be good I think.”
 
Duncan Holland, a local parent, said: “It’s been a difficult time for the kids recently, with schools and activities all closed and with no real clarity on when things will return to normal. The cessation of football came just after the kids had played their first ever 7 a side match. 
 
"While it is great for them to be working on individual skills on their own, the pass-it-on exercise gave them a reason to wear their club strip and reminded them that they are a player on a team, and that they have teammates that will soon be back playing. From a coach’s perspective, it was great to see so many of them outside and kicking a ball with a smile on their faces.”
 
If you want to try the pass it on challenge, you will need to find someone to pass the football to you and then you have to pass it on to the next player. Someone in your team will have to edit the clips and turn them all into one big video. 
 
We look forward to seeing your videos.
Monday, 15 June 2020 11:02

United youngster passes Open Uni course

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With no team training in over three months, it would be easy to think most youth players have spent their time browsing Netflix or lounging in front of the PS4.

However, that’s not been the case for Dundee United youngster Cole Sharp.

The 15-year-old has been busy completing the EFL Trust ‘Business of Football’ Open University course, receiving a ‘Statement of Participation’ award.

Speaking to YFS, Cole said: “I was really pleased to complete the course and get my certificate. I surprised myself as I didn’t think I would be able to complete something like this from the Open University, as I’m still doing my National 5s at school.”

The course from the Open University, in collaboration with the EFL Trust, spans across three weeks and explores elements such as the business of football, the people/players at football clubs, and football at a global scale.

Cole continued: “I found it all really interesting, but in particular learning about how to identify and understand the factors that help motivate people in different parts of a football business, and also the other business aspects of football and what makes teams more likely to succeed.”

On what attracted him and made him interested in the course, Cole explained: “I enjoy business management at school, and thought this sounded like a great course as it also incorporated my love of football. As I want and am involved in football, I thought it would be best to learn as much as I can which would be helpful in my future career.”

Scottish Premiership clubs are gradually starting to return to training, but a return date is still uncertain for the rest of Scottish football. As a result, Cole, like many others, is still making sure that he spends time keeping himself active. 

“As this is an important year for me in the Academy, I need to be using the time I have developing my knowledge both on and off the pitch to help improve my game, so I can give myself the best chance of getting a contract. I have been making sure that I have been sticking to a routine which has helped me to stay focused and motivated.”

Andy Goldie, DUFC Academy Director, was not surprised to hear of Cole’s achievement, and was full of praise for the youngster. 

“Cole’s achievement was nonetheless impressive as he has also maintained his engagement and motivation within our Academy at Home programme which has been extensive in itself.

“He has set a fantastic example to the rest of the players within our Academy during this time with full attendance and commitment across all aspects of the programme including technical sessions and analysis workshops through Zoom, his Physical Performance programme and our Virtual Masterclasses.

“To combine this with ‘The Business of Football’ course this highlights his full commitment to his own development both on and off the pitch.”

On the Academy, Andy explained, “Accountability is vitally important for us both on and off the pitch in Our Academy – we can provide as much guidance and opportunity however ultimately it depends on what the player’s do themselves.

“Education is at the forefront of every decision we make in Our Academy and we have a number of our full-time players studying for their Highers as well as pushing for the First Team.”

If you would like to find out more about the DUFC Academy, you can follow them on Twitter @dufcacademy or at https://www.dundeeunitedfc.co.uk/

Pitfour FC vs Monifieth Athletic U17

The DDYFA Dave Pullar League’s top two will clash this weekend as leaders Pitfour take on Monifieth Athletic.

The two have not met in the league since the opening match of the season back in August, and on that occasion it was Pitfour that came out on top 1-0. That win has given them the three point lead they have at the top of the table.

They have been chased all the way by Monifieth, and a win for the Tayside team at the weekend will bring them level at the top, making the race in the league extremely exciting.



Maryfield United vs Bridge of Earn U16

These two will be putting their league campaigns on hold for the moment as they compete for a place in the J Cord Cup Final this weekend.

There is very little to separate the two in terms of their league campaigns. Bridge of Earn sit at the top of the Bodycare Complementary Clinics League, four points ahead of Maryfield who have played one game more.

Bridge of Earn won the last meeting between the two securing a fairly comfortable 3-0 win in the end, a result that Maryfield will be keen to put behind them with a win this weekend.

A final spot against the winners of the second semi final between Montrose Youth and Dundee West awaits the winners of what is sure to be a classic cup semi this weekend.


AM Soccer vs Blue Brazil U15

Moving over to Fife and the top two in the First Division in the FFDL clash as AM Soccer host Blue Brazil in a match that could see a new leader at the top.

Blue Brazil hold top spot for now, sitting two points ahead of AM Soccer having played three games more than their opponents this weekend.

AM Soccer have the advantage in that they have more than one opportunity to catch up at the top, but a win this weekend would be a massive boost as it will put them at the top of the pile going into the rest of the season.


Benarty Astros vs Glenrothes Strollers U19

It’s not often that you get one game involved in consecutive games to watch articles, but the rivalry developing between Benarty Astros and Glenrothes Strollers is so enticing it is difficult to avoid.

Last week the two faced off in the semi final of the League Cup, with Benarty Astros picking up an impressive 4-1 win. Now the two will clash in the quarter finals of the Fife Cup.

The loss will have hurt Strollers, who have not tasted defeat very often this season, and they will be keen to put the record straight with a win this weekend.


Montrose Youths vs Fairmuir BC U15

And finally a place in the final of the Jean Pierre Babin Cup is on the line as Montrose Youths and Fairmuir BC face off this weekend at Kenny Park.

These two have had outstanding seasons so far, and both still find themselves well in the title race in the G Taylor League, along with the league leaders and fellow semi finalists Maryfield United.

Montrose find themselves with the unenviable task of trying to end Fairmuir’s unbeaten record this season. The Dundee side have a perfect record in the league and have also been flying high elsewhere.

Fairmuir have a Scottish Cup semi final to look forward to against Greig Park Rangers and will be looking to continue their quest to win as much silverware as possible this season.

Forfar Boys vs Brechin City YFC U15
 
The title race in the DDYFA W Mills League is hotting up this weekend as Forfar Boys will look to move into first place with a win over fellow challengers Brechin City in an all Angus encounter.
 
Forfar have been in fine form this season, and sit in second place in the league for now, having played two games less than league leaders Dundee Sporting Club. Forfar have only suffered one defeat in the league this season, at the hands of their opponents this weekend.
 
Brechin are also still making themselves heard in the title race, despite sitting 10 points behind the leaders. Like Forfar, Brechin also have two games in hand over Dundee Sporting Club, but will need to win this weekend if they want to give themselves a shot at catching up at the top.
 
If their last meeting is anything to go by, a 4-3 win in favour of Brechin, this game should be an absolute cracker, and definitley worth watching for this looking for an even contest.
 
 
Carnoustie Panmure vs Dundee Sporting Club U15
 
Elsewhere in the W Mills League, leaders Dundee Sporting Club face a tough trip away to take on undefeated Carnoustie Panmure.
 
Sporting Club have been brilliant this season and rightfully sit at the top of the mountain. A win this weekend would put pressure on those behind them to keep up the pace, including their opponents this weekend.
 
Carnoustie hold the distinction of being the only undefeated team in the league this season, having secured a perfect eight wins from eight. They sit further down the league, having played much fewer games this season, but a win against the leaders would be ideal for a team looking to make up ground.
 
Pitskelly Park looks like one of the places to be this weekend for another entertaining and gripping game of football.
 
 
East End Boys United vs Kelty Hearts CC U14
 
Moving into Fife, we have a very interesting tie as Kelty Hearts make the journey to Dunfermline to take on East End Boys United.
 
East End Boys have had a fantastic season so far. They remain unbeaten in league competition and sit in a prime position to move into top spot. They currently sit four points behind league leaders Kirkcaldy Inter.
 
Klety Hearts hold second place for now, just one point off the top. A win for them could not only hand them top spot, it would bring them further away from the approaching United, who currently have four games in hand over the top two.
 
 
Glenrothes Strollers vs Benarty Astros U19
 
The top two in the AFYFC U19's League compete for a place in the final of the AFYFC League Cup.
 
Glenrothes Strollers hold an undefeated record in the league this season so far, with nine wins from nine games giveing them a three point advantage over their opponents.
 
Benarty Astros have played one game more than their opponents and sit three points adrift. This will be the first meeting of the teams this season and it's sure to be a fantastic contest as two evenly matched teams fight for their chance at silverware.
 
 
Kelty Hearts CC vs Kennoway Star Hearts U17
 
Another cup semi-final rounds off our games to watch article this weekend as Kelty Hearts and Kennoway Star Hearts battle for a place in the final of the U17's League Cup.
 
Kelty Hearts go into the game as joint league leaders of the U17's League, a full 11 points ahead of their opponents this weekend. They've played one game more than leaders Hill of Beath Hawthorn, but remain very much in the hunt for silverware.
 
Kennoway Star Hearts are unbeaten in the league this season and hold five games in hand over the league leaders, on top of that they already hold a win over Kelty Hearts. 
 
It will be interesting to see how this contest turns out.

Monifieth Athletic vs Broughty United U17

Pitfour FC have been impressive in the DDYFA Dave Pullar League and currently sit nine points clear at the top of the table. The two teams hoping to catch them, Monifieth Athletic and Broughty United, face off this weekend in one of the games of the region this weekend.

Monifieth Athletic know that a win this weekend is absolutely necessary if they hold any hopes of catching up to their Perthshire based rivals. They currently sit nine adrift but have the benefit of two games in hand. Wins in each of these games are vital in keeping the title race alive.

Broughty United, on the other hand, have more of a mountain to climb. Like their opponents, they also have a nine point gap to close, however while Monifieth have played two games less than leaders Pitfour, United have played two games more. A win this weekend will keep hopes alive.

These two last played each other back in October, with Monifieth taking the three points in a 6-3 victory at Monifieth High School, but this Sunday’s game is hard to call. Weather conditions could have a big impact at the usually blustery Riverview. The team that handles the conditions better will find themselves with a huge advantage.

 

Dundee Sporting Club vs Dundee West Reds U14

This match has the potential to have huge ramifications for the promotion race in the DDYFA Watson McInally League. 

Dundee Sporting Club have been fantastic this season. They sit at the top of the league and are in prime position to take the league title come the end of the season. They’ve only lost one game this season, a surprising defeat to Carnoustie Panmure, and have a seven point lead at the top.

Dundee West Reds have had a decent season so far and can be proud of what they have achieved. They are currently sitting fourth in the table and are some distance behind Sporting Club. 11 points separate the two sides.

This match can have a major impact on the league if Dundee West Reds can produce the win they are more than capable of achieving, which would open the door for second placed Ferry Athletic to close the gap if they win their match against Broughty United Panthers. 

The previous match between the two saw Sporting Club secure a narrow 2-1 win. Old Glamis Road is set for what is sure to be an interesting game.


Monifieth Athletic vs Dundee West Royals U13

The Cafe Royale League will see it’s first meeting of the top two this season when Monifieth Athletic and Dundee West Royals.

It’s been a fantastic season so far for the Royals, who remain undefeated in the league, with a 100% record. That form has put them clear at the top of the league table, eight points ahead of their nearest challengers.

Monifieth Athletic have also taken to 11-a-side football in impressive style. They have only lost one game so far this and hold one game in hand over their opponents this weekend. This is a game where you feel that Athletic need to win if they want to keep their title hopes alive.

It will be interesting how these sides play in their first meeting against each other, especially given that weather conditions are expected to have a major effect on how each side will approach the game.


Kirkcaldy Inter vs East End Boys United BC U14

Moving over to Fife now and we have another exciting top of the table clash as Kirkcaldy Inter and East End Boys United face off in the FFDL Division 1.

Inter have played well in this season and find themselves at the top of the table on merit. The Kirkcaldy side have only lost two games in the league all season and will be there or there about in the title race come the end of their campaign.

East End Boys United have picked up where they left off last season. Last season’s East Region Cup finalists are still unbeaten in the league this season, with five wins and one draw leaving them just four points off the top of the table.

Whilst East End still have ground to make up, some would argue that Inter really need the win more than their opponents this weekend. Kirkcaldy have played four games more than United have this season and a win would offer them some breathing space at the top.

For United though, a win would give them a massive boost to confidence, closing the gap to just one point with the amount of games in hand that they have.


Hill of Beath Hawthorn vs Kelty Hearts CC U17

The match this weekend between Hill of Beath Hawthorn and Kelty Hearts has the potential to be not just one of the most important in the East Region, but in the country this weekend.

Hill of Beath have been riding high at the top of the league and still remain undefeated this season. Having drawn only one game as will in the league they have racked up the points and sit on the summit on merit.

They do however have plenty of others keeping up the chase, making this one of the most unpredictable leagues in the country. Kelty Hearts sit in second place, just three points off the top having played a game more than Hawthorn.

A win for Kelty would go a long way in keeping their name in the title fight, whilst Hawthorn could solidify their position at the top and strike a major blow to one of their main rivals at the same time. Expect a really close contest as these two face off.

Monday, 03 February 2020 15:41

East Region Round Up - 1/2 February 2020

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U19s

Benarty Astros win last weekend against AM Soccer allowed Glenrothes Strollers to increase their lead at the top of the AFYFC U19’s table. Astros’ 2-0 win over AM Soccer paved the way for Strollers to extend their lead to six points with a 4-1 win against Jeanfield Swifts.

East Craigie Swifts maintained their lead at the top of the Presidents League table with a convincing win over Brechin City YFC, but Fairmuir Violet kept the pace with the table toppers with a narrow victory over Lincraig.

There was also a 1-0 win for Riverside Tayport over ACSC.

In the East Region Cup, it was Kirkcaldy FC who emerged as 2-1 winners over Dundee North End Youths to book their place in the semi-finals of the competition.


U17s

Hill of Beath Hawthorn were able to extend their lead at the top of the AFYFC U17’s table with a narrow victory against Aberdour. The win increases their lead to four points over second place Kelty Hearts.

Runaway leaders Pitfour were unable to increase their advantage at the top of the Dave Pullar League as they suffered their first defeat of the season with a 3-1 defeat away to Forfar Albion.

The Perthshire sides slip up allowed Broughty United to close the gap with a 7-0 victory over Letham Tangerines.Monifieth Athletic also closed the gap to 12 points with a 4-0 win away to Carnoustie Panmure.

Ferry Athletic picked up a win over struggling Letham Whites, whilst Lochee United Colts triumphed in an emphatic win over Bridge of Earn. There was also a win for Dundee West.


U16s

Broughty United nearly produced an incredible upset but fell just short, losing to league leaders Ferry Athletic 3-2. United have not one a game in the league yet this season, however going toe to toe with the league leaders will surely give them great confidence.

Ferry, meanwhile, extended their lead at the top of the Maryfield League, to five points ahead of Forfar Boys, who were due to play in cup action last weekend.

Elsewhere, in the Body Complimentary Clinics, St Murdochs earned a much needed draw away to Cupar Colts. Letham FC Tans picked up a win against Dundee United SC to leave themselves just three points behind leaders Bridge of Earn.

In the Queen’s Jubilee Cup, Kirrie Thistle booked their place in the semi-finals by beating a tough Monifieth Athletic side. Bridge of Earn and Forfar Boys will have to wait to play their tie after their game was postponed.

In Fife, Blue Brazil claimed first spot in Division 1 thanks to a 6-1 victory at Real Fife

The East Region Cup saw two more teams advance to round four, with Dundee Celtic BC and Glenrothes Athletic overcoming Kelty Hearts and Jeanfield Swifts respectively.


U15s

Greig Park Rangers continued their unbeaten start to the Division 1 league season with an impressive 2-0 win over Glenrothes Athletic. The Scottish Cup quarter finalists one point ahead of their nearest rivals AM Soccer, who beat Bayside FC Athletic 4-3, having played two games less.

In Division 2 West Fife Juniors took advantage of Auchterarder Juniors’ inaction this weekend by taking top spot with a 5-1 win away to Pittenweem. At the other end of the table Lumphinnans United earned their first win of the season in a close game against Thornton Locos.

Letham SC picked up only their third win in the league this season with a 4-2 triumph over fellow strugglers Dundee Thistle. Maryfield United in the meantime extended their lead at the top with a comfortable 3-0 win over Arbroath Lads

In the W Mills League, Dundee Sporting Club made up ground on leaders Forfar Boys with an emphatic win over ACSC.

Pitfour booked their place in the semi-final of the Tommy Clark Trophy with a win in a closely contested contest against Ferry Athletic at Dawson Park, while Fairmuir secured safe passage to the semis of the Jean Pierre Babin Cup with a convincing win over Monifieth Athletic.


U14s

The title chase in the DS Rennie League motored on with the top two both picking up wins last weekend. Broughty United Pumas were comfortable winners against Pitfour and Dryburgh Athletic were similarly emphatic in their win over Fairmuir. There were also wins for Montrose Vics and Montrose Youth against Brechin City and Riverside respectively.

In the Watson McInally League, Dundee Sporting Club extended their lead at the top with a narrow 1-0 win over Carnoustie Panmure. The win saw them move seven points clear of second place Ferry Athletic.

Dundee Thistle secured their first win of the season with a great win over Broughty United Panthers. The win saw Thistle move off the bottom of the table into 13th place. There was also a big win for St Andrews Colts against Kirrie Thistle.

In Fife, North Queensferry Clarets were able to move clear at the top of the table with a 3-2 win away to Thornton Locos. Second placed Duloch Juniors fell to defeat at home to Glenrothes Strollers to allow the Clarets to claim top spot for themselves.

In one of the ties of the weekend it was Dundee United SC who emerged victorious against Monifieth Athletic to book a place in the semi-finals of the East Region Cup.

 

U13s

Dundee West Royals maintained their nine point lead at the top of the Cafe Royale League with a convincing win over their sister side Dundee West Reds. DUSC kept up the pace however with a narrow win away to ACSC. There were also wins for Dundee West Yellows and Carnoustie Panmure.

The top two in the J Clenaghan League both secured big wins last weekend, with Brechin City emerging as big winners at Riverside and Broughty United winning 5-1 at St Andrews Colts.

Newtyle moved into round four of the East Region Cup with a narrow 2-1 victory over Dundee Celtic BC.

 
Football is the beautiful game. Many children and adults openly confess to having a love affair with the sport, for as long as they'll live. And there's certainly no shortage of romance when it comes to the cup. You've probably heard all of the cliches, however, we may just have embarked on a football love story that makes all others look like a casual fling.
 
On Saturday 21st September at Murrayshall Hotel in Perthshire, two avid football fans will walk down the aisle. Nothing too unusual about that of course, but we're just getting started. Callum Kay and Danielle Millar, both coaches at Fair City FC Under 13s (2007s), will tie the knot this weekend - with the entire squad in attendance! 
 
When the group of players was assembling to begin their club football journey, they were in need of a coach. Word was put out and two outstanding candidates came forward. Neither knew of each other, not did they have a kid at the club, but both seemed happy to give up some of their time and share the coaching duties. Their names were Callum and Danielle.
 
Coaching a group of players who are about to go from primary to high school and progress to 11-a-side football is no mean feat. However, both coaches knuckled down to create great results on the pitch and off it, have created what can only be described as a 'family'. 
 
A team spokesperson said: "Callum and Danielle are two amazing coaches and a lot more than that to our group of young players. Despite neither having a kid at the club, they dedicate almost of their free time to coach our kids for the love of the game. The whole squad is invited to their big day and if it's possible, they're even more excited than they are for a match."
 
Rumours that the proposal took place during a pre-match teamtalk or that the team's upcoming trip to the Madrid Cup will be their honeymoon, have been dismissed! However all joking aside, YFS is incredibly happy that two true grassroots heroes have found each other with a little help from a group of 12 year-olds and can't wait to hear all about their big day. 
 
Wednesday, 10 July 2019 15:38

League Champions 18/19: Maryfield United 2005

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Maryfield United’s Watson McInally League victory is testament to the hard work the players have put in, believes co-manager Jordan Davidson.
 
The ’05 squad didn’t have the numbers to field a starting eleven last summer, but thanks to some shrewd recruitment and a highly motivated team, Maryfield took the division by storm, winning 23 of their 24 league games and going undefeated all season.
 
They also won the Mac Brown Cup for the first time in ten years, marking a return to form for a club that has historically been successful but had been toiling in recent years.
 
And their double success is all down to the player’s efforts, says Davidson: “Last pre-season we had only eight or nine boys for our first training session, but nobody complained once.
 
“We’ve worked and we’ve worked; each session has been to a great standard and we’re seeing the benefits.
 
“We’ve got a good team spirit; a good core to the team; and they all work together, we don’t have any superstars – although we do have some really, really talented players.”
 
After initially looking like they might struggle to field a team, Maryfield ran away with the League, picking up 70 points and averaging over four goals a game – including dominant victories over the likes of Kirrie Thistle, Dundee Sporting Club and Newtyle United.
 
At the other end of the pitch, a rock-solid defence that conceded less than a goal a game helped grind out results on the rare occasions that the forwards weren’t firing:
 
“All areas of our team are really strong,” said Davidson. “We’ve got defenders who go and win headers and tackles; we’ve got midfielders who like to get on the ball and play, and who aren’t afraid of mixing it up a bit; and in the wide areas we’re devastating with Dilon [Gurung] and Arran [Duncan] who on their day are up there with the best players in the region.
 
“As a team, we like to play football in the final third. We like to knock the ball about and express ourselves, and get the ball wide and create lots of chances.”
 
After winning every game to the turn of the year, Davidson described the moment he realised that the title was in sight, and recalls his personal highlights from the season.
 
He said: “When it came to about Christmas time and we’d won every game I thought ‘we’ve got a really good chance of winning this league’, and from there we only went from strength to strength.
 
“Obviously, [a season highlight] would be winning the Cup for the first time in a decade – it was fantastic defeating Mearns.
 
“Also, we played last years champions and Scottish Cup quarter-finalists, Ferry Athletic, in the first round of the Scottish Cup. Nobody gave us a chance but we went and beat them 3-1 in one of our best performances of the season.”
 
With title success comes promotion and a host of new challenges for next season. For Davidson himself, he is making the step-up to senior football as assistant manager to new East of Scotland side Kinnoull FC.
 
He won’t be leaving Maryfield behind though, and there will even be the opportunity for members of the squad to gain experience training with Kinnoull, so Davidson is optimistic they’ll have another successful season:
 
“Our aim for the upcoming season is to see the boys improve and hopefully finish top half of the top league,” he said. “We’re under no illusions; we know going up a division will be tough, but as long as we keep progressing, we’ll be happy.”
 
It won't be easy, but if the last year is anything to go by then nobody will bet against Maryfield making their mark this season.
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