East Region (278)
The 2017/18 season saw Monifieth Athletic win the treble, while Pitfour lifted the East Region Cup. YFS takes a look at some of the season’s top performers in our Team of the Season.
Goalkeeper – Thomas Welsh – Monifieth Athletic
Welsh was in top form for the champions as they boasted the best defensive record in the G Taylor League, with 27 goals conceded in 26 games. The stopper also played a big role in Monifieth’s cup success, as they won two penalty shootouts en route to the Tommy Clark Trophy final.
Defender – Sean Kydd – Monifieth
All of the Monifieth defenders were worthy of a spot in the team of the season after a season that saw them keep 11 domestic clean sheets. Kydd's ability to read the game and his comfort on the ball made him a key part of Monifieth's set up.
Defender – Aidan McCann – Fairmuir
McCann struck up a strong partnership with Jack Wilkie in the heart of a Fairmuir defence that kept 10 league clean sheets. McCann’s positional sense and ability to read the game mean strikers very rarely get the better of him.
Defender – Callum Rae – Fairmuir/Dundee West
Rae played most of the season with Dundee West before switching to Fairmuir late in the campaign. At both clubs he continued to show why he is regarded as one of the top fullbacks in the 2003 age group. His tireless running down the right flank make him an asset at both ends of the pitch.
Midfielder – Ben Clos – Pitfour
It was another strong showing from the winger who netted 17 times and set up the winner in the East Region Cup final. A dynamic winger with pace to burn and an end product to match, Clos is a handful for any fullback he comes up against.
Midfielder – Aidan Lorente – Monifieth Athletic
It was a perfect season for the Monifieth captain, who scored over 30 goals as his side completed the treble. A powerful midfielder capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch, Lorente netted the winner in the final of the Jean Pierre Babin Cup final.
Midfielder – Dylan Wright – Pitfour
The Pitfour captain is the perfect compliment the plethora of attacking talent that make up Pitfour’s side. Simply put, he does the ugly side of the game better than most, breaking up play and showing real intelligence when in possession.
Midfielder – Ben Garrick – Riverside CSC
A fifth-place finish represented an excellent season from Riverside, who finished well clear of the chasing pack. Garrick played a pivotal role in that success, with over 20 goals from midfield.
Forward – Dougray Smith – Riverside CSC
Another of Riverside’s main men, Smith also bagged over 20 goals this season. His pace and power have caused defences all kinds of problems.
Forward – Ally Alcorn – Pitfour
Alcorn stood head and shoulders ahead of anyone else at the top of the goal scoring charts with 74 goals in all competitions. The pacey forward doesn’t give defenders a moments peace, and his 74th goal of the season clinched the East Region Cup for Pitfour and broke a club record for the most goals scored in a single season that had stood since 1965.
Forward – Arran Ferry – Monifieth Athletic
Ferry netted over 25 goals for Monifieth, including the winner in the Tommy Clark Trophy and the two goals that all but clinched the title against Fairmuir. His physical prowess and finishing ability have troubled every defence he faced.
Goalkeeper – David Boylan – Dundee West
Boylan kept 13 clean sheets in all competitions as Dundee West achieved a third-place finish. His fine form saw Dundee West avoid defeat in all their home league games.
Defender – Aaron Dewar – Monifieth Athletic
Another of the Monifieth defenders, full back Dewar was a threat at both ends of the pitch, contributing to their immense defensive record, and chipping in with a handful of goals at the other end.
Midfielder – Jamie McCann – Fairmuir
McCann was a midseason signing for Fairmuir, and his impact was clear to see as he netted 15 goals and set up 10 for his teammates in the final few months of the season.
Midfielder – Ryan Carr – Broughty United Panthers
It was a mixed season for Broughty who ended up seventh in the table, but Carr was in red hot form as he scored 23 goals and picked up 20 assists.
Forward – Cody Logue – Celtic Boys
Celtic his form in the last few months of the season that saw them move up to eighth in the league. Logue scored 27 times in all competitions.
After another fine season from the 2004 age group, YFS takes a look at some of the top performers in our team of the season.
Goalkeeper – Rory Davidson – Kirrie Thistle
Injury saw Davidson take over the goalkeeping responsibilities at the start of the campaign, and he went from strength to strength between the sticks as Kirrie ended the season with the best defensive record in the DS Rennie League.
Defender – Dorian Ziozkolski – Celtic Boys
The big centre back’s combination of pace and strength make him one of the strongest defenders in the top flight. He helped Celtic to 13 domestic clean sheets, including their 4-0 win in the final of the Reilly Falconer Cup.
Defender – Bradley Milne – Kirrie Thistle
Kirrie’s captain brings a calmness to the centre of their defence with his ability on the ball making him a key part of their passing style. He helped Kirrie to 13 domestic clean sheets and a league and cup double.
Defender – Struan Keir – Ferry Athletic
Keir was one of the standouts for Ferry as they finished fifth in the DS Rennie League. The defender capped off a strong first season with Ferry by picking up the club’s Players Player of the Year award.
Midfielder – Jake Kettles – Kirrie Thistle
The powerful midfielder netted 30 plus goals for the second season in a row as Kirrie completed a league and cup double. His direct running and coolness in front of goal make him a handful for any defender he faces.
Midfielder – Mark Ross – Fairmuir
Ross netted over 20 times for the East Region Cup finalists as they also secured a fourth-place finish in the DS Rennie League.
Midfielder – Cameron Blacklock – Dundee West
Blacklock carried his form from 2016/17 into the top flight as Dundee West finished seventh in the DS Rennie League. Blacklock netted twice in the final of the Dundee West Anniversary Cup and ended the season with a double-digit goal tally.
Midfielder – Ryan McGregor – Fairmuir
Another key part of Fairmuir’s success this season, McGregor’s energy in the midfield made him a valuable part of their set up. He scored seven times en-route to the East Region Cup final.
Forward – Owen Boath – Ferry Athletic
It was another strong season from Boath who ended the season with 38 goals in all competitions. His tireless running and ruthlessness in front of goal have caused plenty of problems for opposition defences.
Forward – Liam Ballie – Forfar Boys
Forfar may not have hit the heights of the 2016/17 season, but it didn’t stop Baillie netting 41 goals for the Angus side. A similar return next season may see Forfar lifting silverware.
Forward – Leon Winterton – Broughty United
Broughty were one of the season’s surprise packages lead by Winterton’s goal scoring exploits. The powerful striker ended the season with 38 goals to his name.
Defender – Ben Wilson – Forfar Boys
Wilson proved to be effective at both ends of the pitch for Forfar, helping them to six clean sheets in the league, and netting 12 goals.
Defender – Jacob Sharpe – Ferry Athletic
Sharpe played nearly every position for Ferry and struck up a strong partnership with Struan Keir at the heart of the defence. He was on target nine times throughout the season.
Midfielder – Alex North – St Andrews Colts
The tenacious midfielder lead St Andrews to their first cup final victory in 24 years as they beat Maryfield United in the final of the Mac Brown Cup. His work-rate and attitude are second to none, and he was rewarded when he lifted the cup.
Forward – Aiden Law – Dundee West
Law was another member of the Dundee West squad that stepped up to the plate in the top flight. His physical prowess and scoring exploits earned him a contract with Dundee FC for next season.
The 2017/18 season saw Ferry Athletic, Dundee United SC and Celtic Boys all win doubles. There was silverware in the form of the Ross Ballantine Cup for Fairmuir, and Pitfour won the East Region Cup.
YFS takes a look at some of the top performers in the U13s Team of the Season.
Goalkeeper – Finlay Lyttle – Ferry Athletic
Ferry boasted the best defensive record in the Café Royale League as they conceded just 22 goals in 14 games. Very much the modern keeper, Lyttle’s passing ability and coolness on the ball make him an important part of Ferry’s passing style, and he kept four clean sheets as they went on to lift the title.
Defender – Rhys Hoon – Carnoustie Panmure
The Carnoustie Captain drew plenty of plaudits as he established himself as one of the top defenders in the top flight. A strong centre back that’s comfortable on the ball, he picked up the Man of the March award in the Jubilee Cup final.
Defender – Jamie Bruce – Dundee United SC
Bruce may have had his heart set on a midfield role at the start of the season but established himself as one of DUSC’s top defenders as they won the J Clenaghan League. He helped his side to a clean sheet in the final of The Marshall Cup as DUSC completed the double.
Defender – Ryan Anderson – Riverside CSC
The 2017/18 season may not have brought Riverside silverware, but they established themselves as one of the sides to beat in the Café Royale League. Captain Anderson helped Riverside to three domestic clean sheets and the second best defensive record in the Café Royale League.
Midfielder – Stuart Heenan – Fairmuir
The powerful midfielder was in sparkling form, as he bagged nearly 40 goals from midfield. His direct running and clinical finishing caused every defence he faced problems, and he showed his class in the final of the Ross Ballantine Cup as he netted Fairmuir’s third goal.
Midfielder – Brodie Cussick – Fairmuir
Cussick is the perfect compliment for Heenan in the centre of Fairmuir’s midfield. His fearlessness in the tackle and composure on the ball make him one of the strongest players in the league.
Midfielder – Aiden Lockhart – Ferry Athletic
The phrase “big game player” is an apt description for the Ferry midfielder, who netted both their goals in the Jubilee Cup final, and a last-minute winner against Riverside in a potential title decider. A dead ball specialist that returned a double-digit goal tally from midfield, Lockhart will be an important player for Ferry over the coming seasons.
Midfielder – Adam Leese – Pitfour FC
Leese was an instrumental part of the Pitfour side that won the East Region Cup. A strong tackler with the ability to unlock defences with his passing ability, Leese is one of the top players in his position.
Forward – Thomas Drysdale – Pitfour FC
Drysdale netted 36 times for Pitfour, including the winner in the East Region Cup final, as he and his teammates ended their debut season at 11-a-side football on a high.
Forward – Josh McGuire – Celtic Boys
The pacey forward was in top form as he netted over 20 times as Celtic won the P Gibson League. He ended the season by bagging four of their goals in the Celtic Jubilee Cup final win over Mearns.
Forward – Blaike Kyles – Ferry Athletic
Ferry’s “silent assassin” may have missed a chunk of the season through injury, but that didn’t stop him scoring nearly 30 goals for the Scottish Cup Quarter Finalists. Kyles pace and predatory finishing make him a threat no matter the opponents.
Goalkeeper – Finlay Moncrieff – Pitfour FC
Moncrieff played a pivotal role in Pitfour’s success with several top performances throughout the season.
Defender – McKenzie Martin – Ferry Athletic
Another key member of Ferry’s backline, Martin’s passing ability combined with his defensive attributes make him a nightmare for strikers to play against.
Midfielder – Matthew Brown – Mearns YFS
The winger netted 15 times for Mearns in their debut season. Two goals in their cup final against Celtic Boys capped off a strong season for Brown.
Midfielder – Scott Hamilton – Carnoustie Panmure
Hamilton played a multitude of positions for Carnoustie, but still managed to find the net over 20 times for the Jubilee Cup finalists.
Forward – Aiden McDougal – Riverside CSC
The big striker was an important player for Riverside, netting their goal in the Ross Ballantine Cup final and helping them to a second-place finish.
Ferry Athletic’s first season at 11-a-side football was one to remember as they completed a league and cup double and reached the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup.
YFS caught up with manager Paul Riley, captain Euan Reekie and Player of the Year Blaike Kyles to find out about their super season.
Ahead of their inaugural season at 11-a-side football, manager Paul Riley admits that his Ferry side had lofty ambitions.
“Our aims at the start of the season were clearly defined in that we wanted to continue our progress from seven-a-side football into competitive football and compete on all fronts. Obviously winning a cup would be amazing but the aim was to win the title and also do well in the Scottish Cup.
“The players have adapted amazingly well with some developing faster than others. Initially, the physical aspect of 11-a-side competitive football was a big challenge but that lads have overcome all the challenges put in their way amazingly well.”
Ferry’s journey started in the group stage of the Diamond Jubilee Cup, a competition that would see them face off against eventual title rivals Fairmuir, Riverside and Pitfour en-route to the final.
In the end, just six points separated the top four in the Café Royale League, with Pitfour and Riverside the only two sides to beat Ferry domestically.
“We only lost two games all season, one against Pitfour away, 2-1, and one against Riverside away, 4-3. Both were the weeks after good Scottish Cup wins and I genuinely believe the lads took the eye off the ball a little in these games, without detracting from our opponent’s performances in any way.
“Games against Fairmuir and Riverside were always tight affairs with the game against Riverside at Dawson just about winning us the league, in an incredible 3-2 win.
“The games against Fairmuir were also good with us edging them and drawing one also, whilst in the reverse fixture against Pitfour we won 7-1.”
As well as establishing themselves as one of the teams to beat in the Café Royale League, Ferry were the last DDYFA side standing in the Scottish Cup, eventually bowing out at the quarter final stage.
While their run didn’t end with the biggest prize, the cup run brought about Captain Euan Reekie’s highlight of the season.
“My favourite moment was winning the Round of 16 in the Scottish Cup away to Deveronvale in Banff. The night before the team had travelled north and it was really good to be together in the hotel.
“We knew it was going to be hard, but we went into it with the right attitude and we won 3-1. It was a brilliant experience and there was a big crowd, the noise when we scored was amazing.”
Ferry needed extra time to advance past Lewis United, and striker Blaike Kyles believes the Aberdeen outfit were the strongest side he and his teammates faced.
“Our toughest opponents in my opinion were Lewis United, who we played in the Scottish Cup. They were a skilful, physical side who liked to play football the correct way. I thought we matched them all over the pitch but was a really tough match which we just edged after extra time.”
Manager Riley believes that Ferry’s Scottish Cup exploits will prove to benefit his players in the coming years.
“The Scottish Cup was a great experience for the group and we did amazingly well beating good sides like Fairmuir and Deveronvale and also overcame an excellent Lewis Utd team from Aberdeen, albeit in my opinion we rode our luck defensively that day.
“We eventually fell at the quarters to the Celtic Boys Club and genuinely think we let ourselves down that day, possibly the occasion got the better of the lads but too many just didn’t turn up.
“I didn’t believe that they were any better than Lewis but the whole experience will make the group stronger.”
With so many Scottish Cup matches under their belt, Ferry had fallen behind in the title race, but had managed to book their place in the final of the Jubilee Cup with a 6-1 win over Pitfour.
Aiden Lockhart was the hero against Carnoustie, as Ferry came from behind to triumph 2-1 in their first ever cup final, and Riley was quick to praise the midfielder.
He said, “I would have to say our three main performers were Aiden Lockhart, Blaike Kyles and McKenzie Martin who showed outstanding levels of consistency and performance throughout the season.
“Aiden’s creativity and goals from set pieces makes him always a threat whilst Blaike’s finishing is as good as anyone you will see in Scotland at that age.
“McKenzie proved what I have always thought, that he is going to be a top-class ball playing centre half that reads the game amazingly well.”
Ferry hosted Riverside in early May in a match that would decide the Café Royale League title. A win for Riverside would see them crowned champions, while only a win would do for Ferry as they worked their way through a backlog of fixtures.
After their two previous encounters, captain Reekie was expecting a difficult tie.
“Our toughest opponents were probably Riverside as every game against them was really tight. The first time they were 3-0 up at half time but we turned it around and won 4-3 with a brilliant second half performance, having been slow to start the match.
“The last time we played them, if we won we would go one point behind them with two games in hand, in the title race.
“Riverside went 1-0 up early on but we scored two quick goals with about five minutes left. As we approached the last couple of minutes they equalised, only for Aiden Lockhart to score an amazing free kick with the last kick of the game! It was absolutely brilliant.”
While their cup success and Scottish Cup run were highlights for the manager, the Riverside match was also his highlight of the season.
“A personal highlight for me, was the home league match versus Riverside. If they won, they won the league. If we won, we had five games left against the bottom five sides, meaning we could catch them and win the league. It was set up for a classic first versus second title decider and didn’t disappoint.
“We were 1-0 at half time in a pretty even game, but really turned it on in the second half, which ultimately paid off when we scored two goals in two mins with five mins to go! In the last-minute Riverside then equalised, only for Aidan Lockhart to curl in a sublime 25-yard free kick into the top corner with the last kick of the game.
“The noise when all the goals went in from Riverside and our fans will live long in the memory and what a game it was!!
“We then went on to score in excess of 30 goals in five games to seal the league title.”
Kyles netted twice in the Riverside match, and unsurprisingly, it was also the high point of his season.
He said, “Beating Riverside in the title decider is definitely my highlight of the season. The way I celebrated my two goals and the full-time whistle felt great.
“I can’t wait for more of the same next season.”
While Kyles and Lockhart grabbed the headlines throughout the campaign, manager Riley felt that one of his Ferry originals was the team’s unsung hero.
“My unsung hero at Ferry Athletic is Cormac McCarthy. Cormac is a lad that has been with us since day one, and now we are at 11-a-side he doesn’t get as much game time as others, but never misses training, works as hard as he possibly can and plays with a massive smile on his face.
“He typifies that football is for everyone, has an amazing attitude and just loves being part of the group. Hats off to you Cormac!!!”
Both Reekie and Kyles had their unsung heroes in the side.
Kyles said, “Cammy Coll, week in week out he battles through games doing the dirty work that most players hate to do and does it really well.”
Reekie added, “Personally, I think our unsung hero is Blair Milne as he is not the player to score all the goals but as a centre midfielder he will sit back and cover the defenders and likes to get stuck in and is always all over the pitch, and a brilliant help to the team.”
After a remarkable first season at 11-a-side football, both Reekie and Kyles have high hopes for the 2018/19 season.
Reekie is hoping to, “win as many trophies as possible and hopefully go further in the Scottish Cup.”
As for Kyles, “I want to stay injury free, keep scoring goals and win as much silverware as possible.”
Riley had this message for his players.
“I would like to thank the lads for their incredible effort and work today which ultimately was suitably rewarded. Please don’t rest on this as this is the beginning, push yourselves to the limit and work hard and practice.
“Enjoy football, enjoy everything about it and realise how fortunate you are to have such good team mates and always remember if you do your best that’s all I, or anyone can ask but just make sure it is your best. Thanks lads.”
While Ferry’s successes domestically and nationally have been very impressive, the style of football they have played is truly a sight to see. For players so young to have the confidence to pass the ball in the manner they do says a lot about them as a team.
Their team spirit was epitomised by their Jubilee Cup run, that saw them come from behind to win their quarter, semi and final matches.
For a team that have a habit of starting matches slowly, they haven’t done too badly and while Pitfour, Fairmuir and Riverside will fancy themselves to lift silverware next season, Ferry’s big game experience and their team mentality make them the team to beat in the 2005 age group.
Ferry Athletic 2005s Double Winning Squad: Finlay Lyttle, Haydn Farmingham, Gene Taylor, Euan Reekie, McKenzie Martin, Blaike Kyles, Stevie Grogan, Will Hanbury, Dylan Gill, Cameron Coll, Cormac McCarthy, Blair Milne, Luke Conway, Jamie Doig, Josh Reekie, Adam Snedden, Aiden Lockheart, Aiden Cobb
The 2017/18 season was one to remember for Monifieth Athletic as they completed a league and cup double without losing a game.
In 2016/17 they lost the J Bolton Cup Final to St Murdochs, and manager Dougie MacKinnon admits his side only had one aim for the season.
“Our aim was to win the league and the league cup, which the lads duly delivered.
“The self-belief and confidence has grown with each game.
“Passing, communication, off the ball movement and discipline have all improved and developed and the awareness has also been worked on and improved.
“Team spirit is key and we`ve watched them gel and bond both on and off the pitch.”
The W Mills League title was very much a four-horse race, with Monifieth competing with Riverside, Dryburgh CC and Riverside to try and take the title. In the end, the title was shared with Riverside and MacKinnon believes that they were well worth their share of the title.
“They were very worthy opponents and all our games were hard fought, fair and, overall, good games.
“We edged it over them with two wins and a draw, but they were a very tough side to play against.”
One of Monifieth’s meetings with Riverside was the semi-final of the Chuck McGowan Cup. Oli Carmichael and Ross McDowell were both on target as Monifieth set up a cup final clash with Dryburgh CC.
Captain Cameron Dryden feels that Dryburgh were more than a match for Monifieth.
“Dryburgh CC were our toughest opponents as our three meetings produced 16 goals, nine to us and seven to them.
“We won two and drew the other, but the games were closely fought and could have gone either way.”
MacKinnon echoed his captain’s sentiments, saying, “Our toughest opponents were without a shadow of a doubt Dryburgh CC.
“They’re well drilled, well organised and well capable of beating anyone put in front of them. They, like us, play from the back and can split open any team with fast and accurate passing. They also have pace and good fitness levels.”
The cup final would prove to be a classic with Monifieth running out 4-3 winners thanks to a late goal from Ross McDowell.
Dryden netted from the penalty spot to tie the game at 3-3, and 12 months on after being on the wrong end of the result, he admits it was the perfect way to win the cup.
“My favourite moment of the season was winning the league cup final, as we had suffered defeat the year before and to get back to the final and win was the best feeling.
“It was one of my best moments as being captain, to win the trophy but to also score in the game and experience the exhilaration of Ross McDowell’s injury time winning goal.”
As for the manager, his highlight of the season was Monifieth’s trip to face Dundee Thistle, where they ensured a share of the title.
“My own son Sean MacKinnon scored a goal with each foot and each half to secure us the league title.
“The score line was enhanced by Oliver Carmichael later in the second half, but I was really proud and pleased for Sean as he had a few disappointments this season.”
The Queens’s Jubilee Cup brought Monifieth’s only domestic defeat of the season as they went down 1-0 to Fairmuir. While the result didn’t go their way, MacKinnon took heart from his side’s performance against the top-flight champions.
“It showed us and, indeed, everyone else that we`re more than capable of matching any team put in front of us.
“There was only one goal in the game but if we`d taken our chances we`d have won. Saying that, they beat us fair and square and therefore deserved the victory. We did, however give them a fright I think.”
While strikers McDowell and Carmichael grabbed the headlines with fine showings in front of goal, both MacKinnon and Dryden believe one player has played an important role in Monifieth’s success.
Dryden said, “Bryce Ness often goes under the radar but always has an important contribution in every game.”
MacKinnon added, “Bryce has a massive personality and sets himself very high standards. He’s dependable and fears no one.”
With top flight football secured for next season, Dryden is looking forward to “Being part of a team playing to their full potential to secure our place in the top league.”
After their invincible season, MacKinnon had this message for his players.
“I`m proud of them all. Each and every single one of them. Stay focused, stay committed and never ever give up.
“Most importantly, never try to be the best in the team but always strive to be the best for the team.”
Monifieth Athletic 2002 Double Winning Squad: Dylan Kelly, Jamie Lynch, Phillip Lowe, Lewis Lawson, Ross McDowell, Sean MacKinnon, Lewis Kelly, Josh Wanless, Oliver Carmichael, Adam Gray, Michael Galloway, Cameron Dryden, Liam Annan, Aedan Gillespie, Greg Kemp
The 2017/18 season was one to remember for Kirrie Thistle as they completed a league and cup double.
YFS caught up with manager Chris Kettles and members of the squad to find out more about their super season.
Kirrie’s first season at 11-a-side football saw them finish fourth in the Café Royale League, and manager Kettles is delighted with the progress his players have made over the past 12 months.
“My aims at the start of the season were to improve our passing style to a level that would make us a better team and harder to beat.” He explains.
“They have all progressed so well. It took us ages to decide the Most Improved Player award due to so many of them coming on this season!
“They are getting better technically and learning our style and applying it better, but there’s still lots to improve on with that too.”
Kirrie were the form team in the league as they went on an unbeaten run that stretched seven games, with Broughty United inflicting their first defeat in February.
The two would face off again in the semi-final of the Reilly Falconer Cup seven days later in a match that would prove to be one of Kettles highlights of the season.
“My favourite performance was away to Broughty in the semi-final. The first half display was like nothing I’d ever seen by a team so young!
“They’d beaten us the week before in the league, and to then be 6-0 up at half time, having missed another four or five good chances, was simply unbelievable!
“A day when the boys were quite outstanding!”
Dundee West would be the opponents in the first of Kirrie’s two cup finals, and defender Cammy Simpson was expecting a tight match after the side’s first meeting. He explains “We won 3-2 but it was a very tough game.”
Kirrie did come out on top by six goals to three and it was winger Jake Kettles that grabbed the headlines with two goals and two assists.
Manager Chris was full of praise for the contributions the winger made to the side throughout the campaign.
“He picked up Player’s Player and Supporter’s Player and has also been so important for us. Whether playing centre mid or in attack, he always plays well and scored 30 goals this season. His awareness and ability on the ball is fantastic.”
Defender Simpson also netted in the final, and the manager was full of praise for the central defender.
“He’s one of our centre backs and must be scary to play against! He’s so strong and determined, and always gets the task of marking the opposition’s danger players, which he usually does very well at!”
Kirrie conceded just 15 goals in their 20 league matches, and Kettles was quick to acknowledge the contributions of defender Bradley Milne to the side’s impressive defensive record.
“Bradley is our captain and he picked up Player of the Year as he’s been tremendous for us as sweeper.
“He’s improved so much and reads the game well. Not much gets past him and he’s very important for the way we pass out from the back.”
While Kettles, Simpson and Milne all made telling contributions throughout the campaign, the manager believes that the efforts of Rory Davidson encapsulate what Kirrie’s success had been built on.
“Our regular keeper got injured badly during preseason and we didn’t have a backup. Rory volunteered to go in for as long as I wanted him to and played most of the season there.
“I then changed the goalie with four games to go and his attitude was fantastic, still smiling and being willing to do his bit for the team, wherever that was!”
The final few months of the season saw Kirrie working through their backlog of fixtures.
April and May brought the first Angus derbies of the season as Kirrie took on reigning champions Forfar Boys and Kettles admits there was little between his side and their neighbours.
He said, “Both were very close! They won 2-1 down in Forfar, with two ‘dubious’ penalties! We beat them 1-0 in a very tight game to effectively end their title hopes late in the season.
“My favourite match was probably beating Forfar at home, as that put us in pole position to win the league, and of course it’s a local derby, and we felt hard done by against them twice before!”
Amidst their league fixtures was a second cup final of the season as Kirrie returned to North End Park to take on title rivals Celtic Boys.
It wasn’t Kirrie’s day as they went down 4-0 despite Davidson putting on one of the goalkeeping displays of the season, and captain Milne admits that Celtic were worthy winners on the day.
He said, “We played well against them in the league by beating them and we also beat them in a semi-final, but in the cup final we weren’t at our game and they played much better.”
There was no hangover in the league as Kirrie kept up their fine form, eventually clinching the title with a 3-0 win against Brechin.
With Celtic Boys and Forfar both three and five points behind them respectively, Kettles is expecting another closely run title race next season.
“It has to be Celtic and Forfar again. Finishing second and third shows they’re the closest to us.
“Celtic strengthened their team during the season, and Forfar will try to do the same, as I know their manager is trying to get some of my players!
“We’ll just be along similar lines, and try to improve the players we’ve got, although I wouldn’t be surprised if the pro youth teams try for a couple of our players again.”
As for the squad, Cammy Simpson is aiming for “To have more clean sheets.”, while Jake Kettles is hoping to “Be more consistent throughout the season.”
After tasting success, the captain is hoping to “Win the league again and get to more cup finals.”
Kirrie Thistle 2004s Double Winning Squad: Rory Davidson, Dagan Bell, Connor Smeaton, Cammy Simpson, Logan Richardson, Jake Kettles, Kian Martin, Archie McLean, Robbie Waddell, Sam Ellis, Keir Crighton, Sam Murray, Zak Innes, Thomas Duffy, Bradley Milne
Monifieth Athletic had a dream season in 2017/18, as they completed a domestic treble, losing just two league games in the process.
YFS caught up with manager Andy McCafferty and captain Aidan Lorente to find out about their super season:
The 2003 age group consisted of just one league, rather than the two seen at the other age groups. Monifieth had finished as runners up in the 2016/17 Watson McInally League, and McCafferty admits that silverware wasn’t his priority for the season.
“Our aim at the start of the season was to be one of the best footballing teams in our league, not necessarily the most successful in terms of trophies but to pass the ball better than the previous season and to be brave in possession of the ball across the whole of the pitch.
“I think in the main, we achieved that aim although it was tough at the end of the season to maintain the level with so many games played in a short period of time.
Monifieth started the season with a 10-game unbeaten run in the league before losing 1-0 against Dundee West in November.
The adverse weather put a halt to Monifieth’s progress, as they were kept out of action until the new year.
McCafferty was delighted with the attitude of his players during their hiatus.
“The players have turned 14/15 during the season and have worked hard consistently to keep fit over the winter months and be physically prepared for the long run in to the end of the season.”
Monifieth were thrown back into the deep end as they faced off against Fairmuir in the semi-final of the Jean Pierre Babin Cup after their lay off, and the match would prove to be one of McCafferty’s highlights of the season.
“We had just had a very frustrating seven-week break over the winter and were back in mid-January to a very tough away cup tie plus our top scorer at that point, Arran Ferry was out with tonsillitis!
“We gave away a goal after two minutes which then looked like we had a mountain to climb but the boys didn’t panic, applied themselves brilliantly that day, scored some great goals and got the team to their first ever cup final.
“That was a great moment for me this season.”
Captain Lorente was the hero that day as he bagged three of the goals in the 4-1 win, and he believes that his goal that gave his side the lead was his best strike in a goal-laden campaign.
He said, “I managed to score a hat-trick that day but my second from 25 yards with my left foot was my best goal all season.
“I think Fairmuir were our toughest opponents this season. We played them four times this year and each game was very close, luckily, we were able to win three of them including the two semi-finals.”
McCafferty echoed his captain’s sentiments about Monifieth’s games against Fairmuir.
“Fairmuir were excellent against us and again, the four games we played against them were very tough games.
“The league has been very competitive this year with not much between any of the teams. Aside from Fairmuir, I think Riverside and Celtic Boys have definitely got stronger as well as ourselves and will be better again next year.
“Dundee West also beat us 1-0 early in the season and have always been tough opponents but we have always enjoyed playing against them as they too like to try to play good football.”
Four more wins in the league and a second semi-final win over Fairmuir left Monifieth sitting pretty at the top of the table and with two cup finals to look forward to after the Easter break.
With 10 league games and two cup finals to play in the final six weeks of the season, Monifieth, like their title rivals had a relentless schedule ahead of them.
The first of their games saw them take on reigning champions Pitfour away from home. McCafferty was full of respect for the team that his side would face four times before the season’ conclusion.
“Pitfour have consistently been the team to beat in the East Region in our age group and for them to have maintained that level over a number of seasons is an indicator of how well they have done as a group and how well Dave and the coaching team have done at St Madoes.”
It was Monifieth that took the points away from St Madoes as they recorded an emphatic 7-2 win. Seven days later, the side’s faced off in the final of the Tommy Clark Trophy.
As they had done in the league, Monifieth came out on top thanks to Arran Ferry’s second half strike that secured them a 2-1 win. Despite the league result, McCafferty wasn’t surprised by low scoring final.
“The cup finals were very tight affairs and always destined to be a one goal margin of victory for either of the sides – luckily, we got the goals to win them which was fantastic.”
Four games in seven days brought Monifieth another 10 points as they closed in on the title, and McCafferty was full of praise for how his players navigated such a hectic schedule.
“Mentally I think it was a terrific achievement and showed their character and determination to succeed.
“Being honest, I think the football suffered a little with so many games in such a short period of time which meant it was difficult to coach over that period as the focus was on playing, recovery and then the next game – however, I couldn’t be prouder of the boys commitment and determination which was outstanding all season.”
A trip to Graham Street put Monifieth on the brink of the title as Ferry netted both goals in a 2-0 win over Fairmuir.
Five days later Pitfour were beaten 2-1 again with Greg Will and Lorente making it a cup double. Fairmuir’s 5-3 win over Pitfour meant a win over Broughty United would complete the treble, and Monifieth did it in style as they ran out 7-1 winners in their penultimate game of the season.
Captain Lorente admits the season surpassed all expectations.
He said, “Winning the treble was amazing, the team has never won anything before so to win three trophies in one season was a great experience.”
Monifieth boasted the league’s best defensive record with 27 goals conceded in 26 games, seven of which came in their final day defeat against Pitfour, and McCafferty believes their fine form at the back was the catalyst for their success.
“I think our two top goal scorers, Aidan Lorente and Arran Ferry both had a big part to play this season, but I also think that our back four of Ben Dorward, Sean Kydd, Jamie Lannon and Aaron Dewar were excellent all season and the key to our success was built on being difficult to score against.
“Until we shipped in seven goals in the last game of the season! Which still hurts a bit, but I can forgive them one bad day at the office!!
“Greg Will was outstanding in the midfield for us all season. He’s super-committed and good on the ball when in possession.
“Elliot McCafferty’s set piece deliveries were outstanding all season and I know how hard he has worked in the last 12 months on his technique.
“Thirdly Thomas Welsh our goalkeeper who has a terrific attitude, always wants to do well and has made some really important saves this season at crucial moments.
With 11 clean sheets in the league and two penalty shootout wins, Lorente also feels Welsh has been instrumental to Monifieth’s success.
“Thomas our goalkeeper has been brilliant this season. Goals win games, but Thomas has made some amazing saves in big games this year.”
With preseason for 2018/19 already underway, McCafferty is relishing the challenges the new season will bring.
“There’s definitely some added pressure for the boys who have now put the spotlight on themselves
“However, the goal from my perspective and from a Monifieth Athletic perspective won’t change from the last six years or so - which is to try and improve each individual within the squad and to improve the way the team play football.
“If success in the form of trophies comes again, then great but as a club we are trying to develop technically good players who can adapt to different systems of play and hopefully the ones who work really hard can go onto achieve something in the game.”
Lorente added, “My aims are to win more trophies next year and maybe go further in the Scottish Cup and East Region Cup.
“We went out early in both these cups this season which was disappointing for everyone in the team so hopefully we can do better next year.”
After their treble winning season, McCafferty had this to say to his players.
“I am extremely proud of what the boys achieved in season 2017/18 and more importantly, the way in which the boys tried to play good football even when things were going against them was really satisfying.
“Their discipline and sportsmanship were also fantastic, and I don’t think we had a red card all season and very few yellow cards. If they keep working hard and focussing on good habits, there is no reason they can’t have more success next season, but the boys should also remember how great it feels to win a trophy or two because it may not happen again.”
The new league format for the 2003 age group was always going to throw up some surprises, but Monifieth’s story is one that very few would have predicted.
To contextualise their achievement, Pitfour won 18 games to complete the treble in 2016/17. This season, Monifieth won 33 games to seal all three pieces of silverware and write themselves into the club history book.
As well as that, for long spells of the season the title was very much a four-horse race with Dundee West, Pitfour and Fairmuir all finishing on over 60 points, meaning there was little to no margin for error for Monifieth.
Ultimately, it was their strength as a team that got them over the line on all three fronts, and their ability to grind out wins during the final weeks of the season. No matter the opponents, they approached every game with the same attitude and more often than not out-passed their opponents.
While Aidan Lorente and Arran Ferry both had fruitful seasons in front of goal, it was the other end of the park where Monifieth shone, as they boasted the best defensive record in the league.
The Scottish and East Region Cups will both be areas for improvement next season after first round exits in both, although no national competitions to compete in during the run in certainly aided their title challenge.
Next season will bring about new challenges as Monifieth try to defend their titles in what is becoming a stronger league every season. Whether they can reach the heights of this season is yet to be seen but if they continue play the same style of football and show the same work rate and determination, it’s going to take a very good side to beat them.
Monifieth Athletic 2003s Treble Winners: Thomas Welsh, Aaron Dewar, Cameron Watts, Bartosz Kwiatek, Elliot McCafferty, Sean Kydd, Jamie Lannon, Aidan Lorente, Arran Ferry, Ross McLean, Paddy Boyle, Greg Will, Ben Dorward, Cameron Knight, Lewis Banks, Matthew Thoms, Dylan Ferguson, Ruari McQuillan
The 2017/18 season was one to remember for Fairmuir 2002s, as they completed the league and cup double undefeated.
YFS caught up with manager Graham Buchan and captain Mark McCrory to find out about their super season:
Fairmuir watched rivals Dryburgh complete a domestic clean sweep in the 2016/17 campaign and manager Buchan admits his sides aims for the new season were simple.
“The aim this season was to try and win at least one bit of silverware and to give 100% every game.
“We started off pre-season with a strong squad, but we decided to go with a new set up, a new formation.
“It took a while for the lads to get used to but after a tough pre-season of fixtures and after four or five league games, the boys really started to kick on.
“In terms of progression; the biggest progression was the cohesion of the squad. There were no longer any individuals on the pitch. The team played as one and fought for each other.”
As well as long-term rivals Dryburgh, newcomers to the league Jeanfield Blacks were fancied to challenge for the titles, and captain McCrory felt the Perth side were more than a match for his Fairmuir teammates.
“Our toughest opponents this season, for me, would have to be Jeanfield. One of our first games of the season was against them and we grabbed a 3-3 draw, but it gave us a taster of what they were about, and they weren’t messing about in the league.
“They were there to prove themselves. Our second meeting with Jeanfield was at home at the closing end of the season and they proved to be tough opponents as predicted but our boys didn’t give up and were able to come out of the game with a narrow 1-0 win.”
Buchan added, “I’d have to say Logie, Ferry and Jeanfield were all difficult games. They are all very good teams in their own way with different strengths throughout their teams.”
One of the few games played over the winter months saw Ferry knock Fairmuir out of the John Clark Motors Cup. The effects of the winter weather left Fairmuir with half of their league fixtures left to play over the final six weeks of the season, while rivals Dryburgh remained unbeaten at the top of the table.
Buchan was delighted with how his side navigated their hectic end to the season.
“The boys were simply outstanding in the final few months. We were low on numbers due to injuries etc. as we went into most games with a maximum of one sub. This was a massive challenge.
“On top of three games a week, most players also had big games for their school in between. It was clear to see in some games that we were fatigued but the fighting spirit took over that saw us grind out important results to produce an outstanding season.”
After 17 league fixtures, the season climaxed in a winner takes all encounter between Fairmuir and Dryburgh at South Road.
“To be honest, there wasn’t much of a team talk needed before this match. This game meant everything to the players, to the supporters and to the coaches” admitted Buchan.
“I told the boys not to go home after the match thinking, ‘What if I had done that? What if I had just pushed myself that little bit harder?’
“I told them to have no regrets, to give their absolute everything from the first whistle to the last whistle and not to let their heads go down if we conceded and went behind because we are capable of scoring at any stage of a match.
“They had the instruction of ending the match as league champions.”
The pre-match huddle is something of a Fairmuir trademark, and McCrory provided some insight into what he said to his teammates before the biggest game of their season.
“When it came to the Dryburgh game I was reassuring the boys that we had nothing to lose, so we go out there and give it our all. In the huddle I was trying to motivate each of my players to help them get out at the other end as winners and lift the league shield.”
The match between the two longstanding foes proved to be a classic, as Fairmuir, inspired by Jake Grady’s hat trick fought back from 3-1 down to win 4-3 and clinch the title.
Both McCrory and Buchan look back on the Dryburgh game as the highlight of their season.
McCrory said, “The feeling of beating Dryburgh in the last game of the season, coming back from 3-1 down with 20 minutes to go was just unreal.
“You couldn’t ever imagine it in those circumstances but the Fairmuir boys showed fight and pride for the badge and gave it their all to came out on top.”
Buchan added, “To win the league by beating our rivals was an amazing feeling. Our whole season boiled down to this one game, all or nothing. A great achievement!”
The season wasn’t done there for Fairmuir, with the Queen’s Jubilee Cup quickly added to the trophy cabinet after a convincing 5-1 win over Ferry.
Glenrothes Strollers denied Fairmuir a shot at the treble with a penalty shootout win in the semi-final of the East Region Cup, but the Glenrothes result didn’t take the shine off the season for McCrory.
“To win the Queen’s Jubilee cup in the fashion we did, the boys should be pleased at the way the season has played out.
“Lastly, to get put out in the semi-finals of the East Region Cup is obviously heart-breaking but we couldn’t have asked anymore from the boys, they gave it their all and that’s all there is to it.”
Buchan was quick to emphasise that Fairmuir’s success was down to strength of the squad.
He said, “I honestly couldn’t single any player out. There were so many top performers throughout the season; every player deserves a massive mention.”
McCrory added, “There are many key players that I can think of for being our unsung hero, but overall Fraser Nelson takes the cake for me.
“He’s been improving massively throughout the season just progressing every game he played. Without him our team could have been in real danger throughout the season.”
Having won back the title from Dryburgh, Buchan is expecting them to be challenging his side on all fronts once again but knows his players will be ready for the challenge.
“They have a good strong squad throughout and they will be determined to get back on top.
“There is a great confidence amongst the squad and we will only get stronger. We don’t think we are better than anyone else; the players go into every game with the same mentality, just to give 100% and enjoy the game.”
For both manager and captain, 2017/18 is their second invincible season, and both believe that this season’s achievements top those of the 2013/14 campaign.
McCrory said, “Obviously being part of that invincible 2013/14 season was an unforgettable moment. However, it doesn’t come close to comparing with this seasons efforts and outcome.
“To be unbeaten in the league with the best defensive record, it’s a tremendous achievement for the boys and they should be really proud of their contributions.”
Buchan added, “The first season was unforgettable with excellent life long memories for everyone involved.
“This season for me though tops the first season for the simple fact of how hard and competitive the season has been. Every game is a difficult game with so many good teams throughout the league.”
Both McCrory and Buchan had a final message for the Fairmuir squad and supporters.
McCrory said, “I’d like to say how proud I am of each one of my teammates and coaches. None of it would have been possible if it wasn’t for all the time the coaches put in to get us where we needed to be, and our supporters have been brilliant throughout the season.”
Buchan added, “Thank you to everyone who pulled on the Fairmuir jersey this season! Each and every one of you have really been outstanding and it’s been a privilege to share this season’s success.
“We go again next season!”
Fairmuir 2002s Double Winning Squad: Cameron Hendry, Evan Adam, Mark McCrory, Alex Stewart, Ben Tolmie, Logan Bonella, Ross Hazel, Jake Grady, Jamie Timmons, Rory Jagusinski, Ethan Samson, Ethan Tosh, Kane Hynes, Fraser Nelson, Matthew Nelson, Nairn Bonner, Seff Mohammed
The 2017/18 season produced two invincible sides, an East Region Cup finalist and plenty of drama in both leagues.
Here’s how the 2016/17 season went down:
The W Mills League kicked off with two of the sides that would go on to battle it out for the title facing off on the opening day of the season. Monifieth looked to have made the perfect start to the campaign when they raced into a 3-0 half time lead but couldn’t hold on as Dryburgh CC fought back to earn a 4-4 draw.
In the top flight, newly promoted St Murdochs travelled to Broughty United in early September. Doubles from Simon Sharpe and Rory Jagusinski secured Broughty a first win of the season.
Blairgowrie, Jeanfield Blacks and Scone Thistle had all joined the DDYFA set up from the Perth leagues, and made their mark early in the season as Scone and Jeanfield both took points of title chasing Fairmuir.
The early signs were that the W Mills League was going to be a four-horse race, with Monifieth, Lincraig, Dryburgh CC and Riverside all starting brightly. Monifieth beat Riverside 3-0 while Dryburgh and Lincraig drew 3-3 at the end of September.
Dryburgh Athletic had started strongly in the league but came unstuck at the hands of Glenrothes Strollers in the third round of the Scottish Cup.
Like Dryburgh, Fairmuir were also unbeaten, and they started October with a strong showing away to Logie Harp in less than ideal conditions. Jake Grady netted twice as Fairmuir leapfrogged Logie in the table.
Monifieth’s fine form in the W Mills League continued as they swept Lincraig aside with a 3-0 win, while Dryburgh CC beat Riverside 4-1.
Riverside’s 5-2 win over Lincraig ensured they remained in the hunt for the title.
Lennox Slater scored one of the goals of the season to earn Logie Harp a point against Broughty United. The big striker thundered in a late equaliser to secure Logie a 2-2 draw in early November.
Ferry Athletic had been making strides in the Scottish Cup but were knocked out by St Andrews BC in the Last 32. The visitors ran out winners by three goals to two.
A 1-0 win over Dryburgh CC ensured Monifieth kept up their unbeaten run in the W Mills League.
Dryburgh had been the dominate side in 2016/17, but they were knocked out of the John Clark Motors Cup by Jeanfield. Despite fighting back to earn a 3-3 draw, Jeanfield’s Sam Townsley produced the goods in the penalty shootout, meaning there would be no double treble for Dryburgh.
Jeanfield’s penalty success didn’t transfer into the new year, as they lost their semi-final shootout 9-8 to Broughty United. Ferry Athletic would be Broughty’s opponents in the final of the John Clark Motors Cup after they beat Fairmuir 3-2.
The final of the Chuck McGowan Cup would bring together Monifieth and Dryburgh CC once again. Monifieth beat Riverside 3-0 in their semi, while Dryburgh edged past Lincraig.
Monifieth were held by Lincraig before Dryburgh CC drew against a revitalised Dundee Thistle. Riverside took another step towards the title with a 5-0 win over Lincraig.
The first cup final of the season proved to be a classic, as an injury time goal from Ross McDowell won Monifieth the Chuck McGowan Cup at the expense of Dryburgh CC. The striker secured a 4-3 win for Monifieth.
Fairmuir hosted league leaders Dryburgh in a top of the table clash and picked up a 3-1 win over the reigning champions that allowed them to chip away at their lead. A 2-0 win over Ferry 48 hours later kept Fairmuir in contention for the title.
A 0-0 draw between Riverside and Monifieth meant the W Mills League title race would go the wire, while Lincraig beat Dryburgh CC 2-1 to knock them out of contention.
Ferry booked their second cup final appearance with a 3-2 win over Dryburgh in the semi-final of the Queen’s Jubilee Cup. Fairmuir would be their opponents after beating Logie Harp 1-0.
Fairmuir continued their marathon of matches against Jeanfield and picked up a 1-0 win as Dryburgh’s lead at the top of the table continued to decrease.
As well as fighting it out for the domestic title, Fairmuir and Dryburgh were both competing in the East Region Cup. Wins over Rothes Juniors and Pitreavie Pumas respectively earned them a place in the last four.
Ferry Athletic came out on top of their cup final derby against Broughty United. Ewan Stewart was the hero, netting the winner as Ferry ran out 2-1 winners.
Riverside’s 3-1 win over Lincraig and Monifieth’s 3-1 victory against Dundee Thistle ensured they shared the W Mills League title. It meant a league and cup double for Monifieth while Riverside were promoted back to the top flight at the first time of asking.
The outcome of the Maryfield League title would be decided by the final game of the season as Dryburgh hosted Fairmuir. Despite trailing 3-1 with 20 minutes to go, Fairmuir clinched the title with a thrilling 4-3 win.
The final weekend of the domestic season saw Fairmuir and Ferry face off as both tried to end the season as double winners. Fairmuir would take that title with a 5-1 win in the final of the Queen’s Jubilee Cup.
Dryburgh bounced back from their loss to Fairmuir by booking their spot in the final of the East Region Cup. They would take on Glenrothes Stroller who beat Fairmuir on penalties.
Strollers knocked Dryburgh out of the Scottish Cup and inflicted more misery on them as they triumphed 3-1 to lift the East Region Cup.
After a tough campaign in 2016/17, Riverside found their feet in the W Mills League and were well worth their status of joint champions. They will look to carry their momentum into next season.
Monifieth showed tremendous character to go through the campaign unbeaten and lift the Chuck McGowan Cup. They may feel that they had enough to win the league outright, but 2017/18 was still a tremendous season for them.
After a near perfect 2016/17 campaign, not much went Dryburgh’s way in 2017/18. Their early Scottish Cup exit looked to be a blessing in disguise as they opened up a big lead on Fairmuir, but their failure to take points from their rivals ultimately cost them the title.
Despite that, reaching the final of the East Region Cup is still a fine achievement, and they will fancy themselves to retake the titles from Fairmuir next season.
Ferry Athletic saved some of their best form for the cup competitions, reaching both the domestic finals. A cup win, a third-place finish and a stronger squad than they started the season with represent a good season for them.
Fairmuir’s invincible season is even more remarkable given that they played 10 of their 18 league games over the final six weeks of the season, on top of several cup fixtures. Their defensive record, 12 goals conceded in 18 games, was the foundation of their success throughout the campaign.
The 2017/18 season was full of twists and turns, with a new side taking home all three of the domestic titles, new winners of the East Region Cup and a record breaking striker.
Here’s how the 2017/18 season went down:
The new format saw all 14 teams competing in the same league. The first set of midweek fixtures served up a Broughty United derby, as Broughty faced off against Broughty Panthers. It was the Panthers that took the bragging rights thanks to a 6-0 win.
That same set of fixtures saw Monifieth hold Fairmuir to a 1-1 draw at Graham Street.
Dundee West got the better of Pitfour when the sides met in 2016/17, but the reigning champions flexed their muscles with a 7-1 win in the last week of August.
The Watson McInally Champions quickly bounced back as an injury time penalty from Callum Rae held Fairmuir to a 3-3 draw at Charlotte Street before they knocked Blue Brazil out of the Scottish Cup.
Carnoustie knocked Monifieth out of the Scottish Cup with a 2-1 win.
Pitfour were the pacesetters early on, but they were run close by Ferry Athletic at Dawson Park. The St Madoes side lost keeper Archie Kelly-Barton early on but held on for a 4-3 to keep up their unbeaten run.
Dundee West ended Monifieth’s unbeaten run thanks to Nick Fletcher’s goal at Charlotte Street. Pitfour continued their run in the Scottish Cup with an 8-1 win over Deveronvale.
The winter weather was in full effect as most teams were put out of action for several weeks.
One match that survived the frost was Broughty Panthers and Dundee United SC’s Tommy Clark Trophy quarter final. Wilson Price was Broughty’s hero as the keeper saved an injury time penalty to earn Broughty a 3-2 win.
2018 began with a bang for Monifieth, who ended a seven-week hiatus by coming from behind to beat Fairmuir in the semi-final of the Jean Pierre Babin Cup. Aidan Lorente was Monifieth’s hero as he fired in a hat trick. Carnoustie were beaten by Pitfour in the other semi-final.
Pitfour visited Dundee West in the East Region Cup, and advanced into second round thanks to a 2-0 win. It would be the start of a run that saw the St Madoes side advance to the final, where they would meet Blue Brazil.
Riverside were one of the season’s surprise packages, and they served up one of the games of the season when they travelled to take on Broughty Panthers. Sam Grimes netted in the fourth minute of injury time to earn 10-man Broughty a 3-3 draw.
The second domestic cup final of the season would also be contested by Pitfour and Monifieth. Pitfour beat Broughty Panthers 4-3 while Monifieth needed penalties to see off Fairmuir.
With the business end of the season approaching, there was still plenty of football to be played.
The first of four Monifieth vs Pitfour matches kicked off the home stretch of the season, and it was the league winners that picked up a statement victory as they won 7-2 at St Madoes.
Pitfour were thrown back into action 48 hours later against Fairmuir and picked up a 2-2 draw while Monifieth recorded a big win over a depleted Dundee West, whose own title aspirations were slipping away.
While Monifieth took the points in their league meeting, Pitfour were still very much the 2003 age groups cup final experts. Despite this, it was Monifieth that grabbed the glory in the first final between the sides thanks to Arran Ferry’s strike that secured a 2-1 win.
Cavan McLaren scored a hat trick for Dundee West as they beat Pitfour 4-3. It was a result that left Pitfour relying on other results if they were to retain their league title.
Both Celtic Boys and Carnoustie were in fine form in the final months of the season, and the latter managed to do what only Dundee West and Fairmuir had done before them by taking points from Monifieth. Khalid Bjeirmi’s late free kick earned Carnoustie a 2-2 draw.
While Monifieth and Pitfour had been battling on three and four fronts respectively, Fairmuir had kept up their unbeaten run. Monifieth travelled to Graham Street knowing that the winners would likely be champions, and when Arran Ferry netted a double, it looked like the title would be heading to Monifieth.
After taking a big step towards the title, Monifieth and Pitfour met at North End Park for the second time and for the second time, Monifieth ran out 2-1 winners.
Once again, Pitfour were straight back into action with a league game against Fairmuir. A win would have kept their title dreams alive and when Pitfour found themselves 3-0 up it looked like the title race would continue, but Fairmuir fought back and ran out 5-3 winners to all but confirm Monifieth as champions.
Monifieth were confirmed as champions with a 7-1 win over Broughty United. Their final game saw them go down 7-2 against Pitfour. It was a consolation win for Pitfour, but the match saw striker Ally Alcorn break the club record for the most goals scored in a season.
The 2017/18 season ended in Tayport as Pitfour faced off against Blue Brazil in the East Region Cup final. After a season that saw them lose all three of their domestic titles, it was third time lucky for Pitfour, who thanks to Ben Clos and Alcorn’s 74th goal of the season, recorded a 2-1 win to be crowned East Region champions and end their season on a high.
While there was no silverware for Celtic Boys or Carnoustie Panmure, both finished the season strongly and will certainly be in contention for silverware in some form next season.
Another of the season’s surprise packages were Riverside, who finished fifth in last season’s Watson McInally League. Out with the top four, they were the “best of the rest”, and if they can turn some of their draws and defeats into wins, there’s no reason they can’t challenge for silverware next year.
Given some of the football they played last season it’s easy to forget that Dundee West were part of the second tier. Finishing joint third alongside Pitfour represents a strong season, especially when you consider the threadbare squad they operated with for most of the season. If they can recruit a few bodies, then they will fancy themselves to lift silverware.
While Fairmuir ended the 2017/18 season without silverware, there were still plenty of positives for a squad that looked stronger at the end of the season than it did at the start. Losing one league game is still an impressive achievement, but the four draws are ultimately what cost them the title.
They managed to get their long-awaited win over Pitfour, although they will need to get the better of Monifieth if they are to lift their first trophy.
There can be few teams that played as many matches as Pitfour did in the 2017/18 campaign. Their 2016/17 campaign consisted of 12 league matches, this season they had 26, and given the five-month gap between their ninth and 10th league games of the season, they were always going to be fighting an uphill battle.
Playing 20 games in 45 days, including four games against Monifieth, two against Fairmuir, one against Dundee West and the latter stages of the East Region cup is not just physically draining but mentally also. Despite all they had gone through ahead of their East Region Cup final, they showed their champions quality and picked up a well-deserved piece of silverware after the longest season of their footballing careers.
Monifieth are undoubtedly the success story of the season, going from bottom of the league two years ago, to champions of arguably the most competitive and unforgiving of the DDYFA leagues. In the biggest matches of their season, they were fearless and never strayed from their footballing principles.
The 2017/18 campaign was full of twists and turns on all fronts, with first time champions in all of the competitions.
Here’s how the 2017/18 season went down:
After going through the entire 2016/17 unbeaten, Forfar Boys were beaten by Broughty United on the opening day of the season. It was a statement win from Broughty, who were the league’s early pacesetters.
Dundee West were one of three newly promoted sides into the top flight, and they went down at the hands of Ferry Athletic in their second game. Owen Boath grabbed a hat trick for Ferry that day, a trend that would continue throughout the season as he went on to notch 38 goals in all competitions.
In the Watson McInally League, two of the sides in contention for the title Riverside and Dryburgh faced off early in the season. Both sides were unbeaten, but it was Riverside that took the points with a 2-1 win.
In the top flight, highflying Broughty were beaten 2-1 by new boys ACSC, while title contenders Celtic Boys were beaten by Dundee West by the same score.
November 5th saw fireworks at Dawson Park as Ferry dumped top of the league Broughty out of the Dundee West Anniversary Cup thanks to a 2-0 win.
Monifieth Athletic inflicted Riverside’s first defeat of the season at the end of November with a 1-0 win.
Forfar Boys stole the headlines in 2016/17, but their neighbours Kirrie Thistle were stealing the show in 2017/18. Their first game of 2018 saw them keep up their unbeaten domestic run and knock Fairmuir out of the Reilly Falconer Cup with a 5-2 win at Graham Street.
Dundee West were finding their feet in the top flight and beat Montrose 6-1 to set up a cup final with Kirrie Thistle, who beat Celtic Boys in their semi-final.
Riverside and Dryburgh faced off again in the Watson McInally League, and Riverside took another step towards the title with a thumping 7-1 win.
Maryfield United and St Andrews Colts both made it to the Mac Brown Cup final after wins over Monifieth Athletic and Vale of Tay.
Kirrie’s unbeaten run was brought to a halt by Broughty United, who picked up a 3-1 win in the DS Rennie League. The Angus side got their revenge a week later as they picked up a 7-2 win in the semi-final of the Reilly Falconer Cup. That set up a meeting with title rivals Celtic Boys, who beat Forfar Boys in the other semi.
The first cup final of the season pitted Dundee West against Kirrie Thistle in the final of the Dundee West Anniversary Cup. Both sides were in fine form ahead of the final, but it was Kirrie who came out of top of the back-and-forth final thanks to a 6-3 win.
With the winter weather putting most of the teams out of action for weeks on end, there was a backlog of fixtures for the sides in the hunt for the title.
Celtic Boys beat Broughty 4-3 and Forfar Boys won 2-1 against Kirrie as the title race looked like it would go to the wire.
In the Watson McInally League, there wasn’t as much tension as Riverside were crowned champions and secured promotion at the first time of asking.
Kirrie were held to a 3-3 draw by Ferry Athletic, with Owen Boath bagging a hat trick. Dundee West’s 9-4 win over Broughty United all but ended their title dreams.
St Andrews Colts ended their 24-year trophy drought as they beat Maryfield United 3-2 in the final of the Mac Brown Cup.
Kirrie returned to North End Park for their second cup final of the season as they faced Celtic Boys in the Reilly Falconer Cup, but the effects of their fixture backlog were clear to see as they were outclassed by a rampant Celtic, who ran out 4-0 winners.
There was no cup final hangover for Kirrie, as they picked up a 1-0 win over Forfar to move into pole position in the title race.
Fairmuir were saving their best form for the East Region Cup. They fought back from 2-0 down in their semi-final against Burntisland Shipyard before winning 5-4 on penalties to set up a final clash with Pitfour.
Kirrie were crowned champions with a 3-0 win over Brechin. Kian Martin, Cammy Simpson and Zak Innes all netted to make it a league and cup double.
The final match of the season saw Fairmuir face Pitfour in the East Region Cup final. There was nothing between the sides throughout the 70 minutes, and Fairmuir thought the cup was won when Mark Ross hit the inside of the post in injury time.
Torran Juggins netted a brace to consign Fairmuir to defeat, despite Ryan Hutton netting late on.
The 2017/18 season saw the latest group of youth footballers make the step up to 11-a-side football. The 2005 age group produced three double winners, Scottish Cup Quarter Finalists and the East Region Cup winners.
Here’s how the 2017/18 season went down:
The campaign started with the group stages of the Diamond Jubilee Cup, with Montrose, Riverside, Carnoustie and Fairmuir all topping their groups with 100% records. They were joined by Ferry Athletic, Pitfour, Broughty Pumas and Maryfield United in the Café Royale League.
Two of the top-flights early pacesetters met in the quarter finals of the Jubilee Cup in November, as Ferry hosted Riverside. Despite Riverside racing into a 3-0 half time lead, Ferry, aided by Blaike Kyles hat trick, went on to win 4-3.
Both Ferry and Riverside, along with Fairmuir, were flying the flag for the DDYFA on the national front as they advanced into the fifth round of the Scottish Cup.
In the P Gibson League, Dundee SC inflicted Celtic Boys first league defeat of the season courtesy of a 4-1 win.
Round Five of the Scottish Cup saw Ferry face Fairmuir in the final game of 2017 as the winter weather put a halt to all three of the leagues. Blaike Kyles brace either side of Aiden Lockhart’s goal saw Ferry become the only side from Dundee left in the competition at any age group.
Ferry’s Scottish Cup heroics continued into the new year as they beat Deveronvale 3-1 to advance to the quarter finals, but their run would go no further as they went down at the hands of The Celtic BC.
Carnoustie Panmure beat Maryfield 5-3 to advance to the final of the Jubilee Cup, where they would meet Ferry, who came from behind once again to beat Pitfour 6-1 in their semi-final.
The Café Royale League title challenge was a four-way race with Ferry, Riverside, Pitfour and Fairmuir all in contention. Stuart Heenan scored a hat trick as Fairmuir beat Riverside 6-3 at Graham Street. Both Riverside and Pitfour picked up wins over previously unbeaten Ferry in February.
Fairmuir and Riverside would renew their rivalry in the Ross Ballantine Cup final after semi-final wins over Pitfour and Montrose.
Carnoustie and Pitfour were both flying high in the East Region Cup. Wins over East Fife YA and AM Soccer secured both sides a spot in the Last 16.
In the P Gibson League, Celtic Boys wrapped up the league title in mid-March with a 3-1 win over Dundee SC.
The fifth instalment of the Fairmuir vs Ferry saga produced a 4-4 draw with Stuart Heenan’s hat trick putting another dent in Ferry’s title dream.
There was another title dreamed recognised in the J Clenaghan League as Dundee United SC wrapped up the title with a 3-2 win over Newtyle.
A two-week break over Easter offered much needed respite to all the teams ahead of the business end of the season.
The Diamond Jubilee Cup final was the first match after the break, and both Carnoustie and Ferry put on footballing displays far beyond their years at North End Park.
It was Carnoustie that took the lead through Scott Hamilton, but as they had done in both their matches en-route to the final, Ferry came from behind, with Aidan Lockhart netting both the goals as they won 2-1.
Next up was the final of the Marshall Cup, as champions DUSC took on bottom of the league Arbroath Lads.
Arbroath had saved their best form for the cup competitions with wins over Dundee West Reds and Broughty Panthers earning them the spot in the final, but it was DUSC’s day at North End Park as they ran out 6-0 winners to make it a league and cup double.
Carnoustie and Pitfour both reached the Quarter Finals of the East Region Cup, but it would prove to be the end of the journey for Carnoustie, while Pitfour advanced to the semis, and eventually the final where they would meet Glenrothes Athletic.
Ferry Athletic met Riverside in a potential Café Royale League title decider. Blaike Kyles brace and Aidan Lockhart’s goal earned Ferry a 3-2 win that denied Riverside the title. The Scottish Cup Quarter Finalists did clinch the title with a 6-2 win over Maryfield.
Stuart Heenan proved to be the difference in the final of the Ross Ballantine Cup between Fairmuir and Riverside. The Fairmuir man netted nearly 40 goals in all competitions, and netted his side’s third as they ran out 3-1 winners.
The final weekend of the season saw Celtic Boys take on Mearns in the final of the Celtic Jubilee Cup. Formed in 2015, Mearns are the DDYFA’s newest side, but it was the elder statesmen Celtic Boys who made it a league and cup double.
Josh McGuire scored four times as Celtic ran out 7-3 winners against a spirited Mearns side that fought to the very end.
With the domestic titles wrapped up, there was the small matter of the East Region Cup final to draw the curtain down on the 2017/18 campaign.
Pitfour were the DDYFA’s representatives as they took on Glenrothes Athletic, and they got off to the perfect start when Brodie Pollock curled in a free kick early on.
As they had done throughout the season, Pitfour put on a scintillating passing display for the opening 25 minutes but were pegged back on the stroke of half time.
Extra time was required, and it was Pitfour that grabbed the winner when Thomas Drysdale drilled home from the edge of the box.
The 2005 age group have served up some sensational football at times this season. In the P Gibson League, Celtic turned on the style with 13 wins in their 14 league games.
There were also strong showings from Dundee Sporting, Dundee Thistle and Dundee West Royals, while Mearns put in a great showing in their cup final.
Dundee United SC showed the are not to be taken lightly next season, as they scored goals for fun in all the competitions they entered this season. Forfar Boys, Dundee West Reds and Newtyle also laid strong foundations for the coming seasons.
In the top flight, only six points separated the top four sides, but all eight sides showed that they were more than capable of taking points off each other on their day.
Carnoustie’s style of football was excellent to watch, and they stuck to their principles throughout the season. Their experiences in the East Region and Diamond Jubilee Cup will serve them well over the coming seasons.
Fairmuir will look to a lack of consistency as to why they came away from their first season at 11-a-side with just one piece of silverware. They put in a strong showing in the Scottish Cup only to come up against a Ferry side that denied them on two domestic fronts. Don’t be surprised to see those two renew their rivalry over the coming season.
Pitfour will also consider themselves a tad unfortunate on the domestic front, having shown themselves to be a match for anyone in the Café Royale League. Their East Region Cup win showed that they have the big game mentality to accompany their passing style, a combination that will make them a side to watch over the coming seasons.
Riverside were the only side in the top four to walk away from the season without a piece of silverware. They have proven themselves to be just as capable as Fairmuir, Ferry and Pitfour will have learned some harsh but valuable lessons over the course of the season. Next season, they will fancy themselves to go and lift silverware in some form.
Ferry Athletic proved to be one of the biggest surprises of the season in any league. Their run in the Scottish Cup was remarkable and they will certainly fancy themselves to push on in that competition next season.
The side effect of their national success meant they were playing catch-up in the league for most of the season, leaving them with little margin for error. This would prove to be their making however, as they came up with the goods against their title rivals on numerous occasions, and managed to edge out a strong Carnoustie side in their first ever cup final.