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East Region (306)

Friday, 04 November 2016 17:22

Bayside Girls approach finalé after heroic season

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For many teams, winning the Scottish Cup is the holy grail. It will overshadow everything else that happens that season, and probably the next season, and the one after that. However, a couple of weeks after they triumphed at Toryglen, we found out that there's a lot more to the story of Bayside 13's Girls.
Tomorrow the team host Dundee United SC at 10:30am, at Pitreavie Playing Fields in Dunfermline. The game may be a dead rubber from a league perspective, as Bayside have already clinched the title, but it carries massive significance. After an incredible era, this will be the squad's last game as Bayside, before pastures new beckon.
Whilst many of the top club teams in Scotland have players travelling from far and wide, that couldn't be further from the case for this side. The core of the group all stay a stone-throw from Bayside's Southern Fife base. They have played together for five years and grown from a group of friends having a kick around, to some of Scotland's finest young footballers.
Last season Bayside won every local honour possible. This season they've got a couple better and triumphed in not just the Scottish Cup, but the new SWF East Region Super League. Those achievements are all the more impressive, when you consider the lack of depth in their squad. With just eight players, they were forced to come through some key matches with each  player playing every single minute of the tie.
Whilst the team spirit has been a key factor in Bayside's success, individual talent isn't in short supply either. The team have now received international recognition, with goalkeeper Alicia Yates called up to Scotland Under 15s.
Remarkably enough, these on field achievements have been matched by an incredible gesture off the park. Coach Paul Bryson explained: "This year they raised £1500 for an end of season trip, but after reading about a three year old with a physically limiting brain condition, they decided to donate the money to help young Emily buy a bike for Road Racing."
Emily’s dad, David, told the Dunfermline Press: “We were absolutely gobsmacked and couldn’t believe it. Stuart (Bayside's head coach) was saying that the girls had been collecting money to go to Manchester but we weren’t expecting anything like that.
"That kind of generosity from people is hard to describe; when it’s friends or family you understand them donating, but something like that blows you away.
“It’s a huge thing for Emily and will be life-changing for her because she can buzz about on her bike and not worry about falling. She is moving her legs freely and stretching her muscles which is what she needs at this stage as she’s growing and getting stronger.
Bryson rounded off by saying: "Tomorrow will be the last game for Bayside, their last with us as coaches and they will see young Emily with her bike at the end of the game. It has been a fairytale story with hard work fulfilling dreams and some truly altruistic acts on the part of the girls. I believe it is a story that will both inspire girls that they can satisfy aspirations with provincial clubs and that also they can give something back to those who are not afforded the same opportunities physically in sport or indeed in life."
YFS applauds the incredible achievements on and off the park by Bayside. We look forward to following the next chapter of these young players' careers. Well done to Alicia Yates, Jamie Lee Bain, Eve Mooney, Caitlyn Wilson, Grace Dewar, Carys Allan, Amy Hood, Katy Davoren and Mya Bates.
Thursday, 29 September 2016 21:52

East Region Cup set for debut weekend

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This weekend will see a new dawn in the SYFA East Region, with the first round of the Regional Cup. The competition, which mirrors its namesake in the Central, South East and West Region, will bring together teams from throughout the region to compete for one trophy at age groups U13 - U19.
The East Region covers a large portion of Scotland's coast, from the southern tip of Fife through to the north of Angus. Within the geographic area there are various regional associations, including the Dundee & District YFA, Fife FDL, Association of Fife YFC and Perth & Kinross YFA. Every team from within these leagues will come together to compete for this new piece of silverware.
Regional secretary Hugh McGregor said: "We are extremely excited to be launching this new competition. It will give teams from throughout the region the opportunity to test themselves and play a range of teams they wouldn't usually come up against."
A sponsor has already been confirmed, in the form of Domestic Supplies, who will be providing the trophies. A decision on the cup final venues has yet to be made. McGregor commented: "We will work as a committee to organise the best set of finals possible for the region. We have to take into account geography, quality of venue and availability. There will be a lot of work required to ensure the competition lives up to expectation from the first round right through to the finals, but we are pleased to be taking the first steps."
Goalkeeping coaching is often difficult to come by. Goalkeeping analysis is even shoddier when you consider that the general line of scrutiny is ‘you should have done better.’ How exactly? Andy Collier, the academy goalkeeper coach at Dundee United, is looking to put that right.
“Having been brought up in Scotland and playing as a goalkeeper in professional football, until three years ago, I know first-hand how difficult it is to find quality goalkeeping coaching at an affordable price,” he says. 
“I have spoken to many coaches of children’s and youth teams, and have discovered that goalkeepers are often forgotten about, not through choice but because most coaches’ specialisation is in outfield coaching.”
Collier’s new venture is to focus solely on goalkeepers, and their individual coaching, with the introduction of the AMC Goalkeeping Academy. Young ‘keepers will get the coaching skills required in order to fulfill their potential and improve their respective sides. Most importantly it will be a fun day out for those who sign up.
The first holiday camp took place on 2nd May, in Glenrothes, and Collier explained how it was a huge success. A number of ‘keepers came away with improved skills and they had plenty of enjoyment along the way. An extra 8-11 year old session was added on because of the numbers. A second camp is organized for 30th May in Dundee.
Collier may have had is own goalkeeping career cut short but he is now passing on his skills to the next generation of goalkeepers. Who knows, a future Scotland international may emerge from this current crop of shot stoppers.
For more details, please contact:
Andy on 07450 827189
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Facebook: AMCGoalkeepingAcademy
Samba and Dundee is not a pairing you’d expect to see together. In fact I doubt they’ve ever been put together in the same sentence. Until now that is.
On the 6th – 10th September the Dundee International Sports Centre plays host to the IFA Under 17 Futsal World Cup, where Scotland will look to take on the likes of Spain and Brazil with a home crowd right behind them. It is sure to be an absolutely thrilling occasion.
“I can’t wait! It’s been in my diary since I heard it was going to happen,’ says Colin Harley, coach at EH futsal. “It’ll be brilliant to see the best countries in futsal coming over to these shores.”
On the 15th May stage two of the trial process took place. Those involved were players successfully picked after the first round of trials. The players selected at stage two would be the ones to make the team for the tournament so it was an important night. Despite the young heads there were some suitably skillful and mature performances on show.
“It’s been a really good standard,” Harley comments. “It’s going to be a massive challenge for the guys come September but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for them.”
Not only will the tournament act as a special occasion for those players involved to represent their country, it should also act as a huge boost for Scottish futsal. With the support of the nation, coinciding with the tournament, Harley believes the sport could flourish.
“What it should do is open all the doors that there are for us to grow the sport across the country. The Scottish Youth Futsal Federation are doing that already. We’ve got regional hubs but there are pockets of the country that we’re not hitting.
“If we hit this right then every kid in the country will be interested in futsal and playing futsal. If they’re anything like me, or the kids that I’ve coached, they’ll be hooked.”
So what can spectators expect to see at the tournament? Having witnessed the game on several occasions, first hand, it is an end-to-end spectacle full of flare and skills. The trials on Sunday were no different. Manipulation of the ball is key and inventiveness is the ultimate aim if you’re going to grab the goals needed. What else would you expect from the sport that brought us Barcelona maestros Iniesta, Xavi and Messi?
“If a young player gets involved in futsal from an early age they’ll learn all the right things, all the right habits that they can take into an 11-a-side match and vice versa,” Harley explains.
“It teaches you discipline, it teaches you, in a small area, all the right things that you need to know about positioning, about how to use the ball. The ball is a fantastic tool in itself in that if you’re not a good football player you won’t be able to work a futsal ball.”
Not only is it a great spectacle, in itself, futsal serves as a spectacularly efficient tool to develop skills for football. If you want to be a great player then futsal-based skills are essential.
So that’s what the Under 17 Futsal World Cup has the potential to bring Scotland. By bringing the tournament here it has created a fantastic opportunity for the sport to progress. On one hand people could well have another fantastic spectacle to watch and play. On the other hand it could bring us a whole new generation of skillful footballers, which can only be a good thing for the national game.
Brazil and Spain will be the favourites for this tournament as they are years ahead of others in embracing futsal. You can play it professionally in those countries after all. But with everyone’s backing Scotland could start to follow that pathway itself. Semi-professional teams could be on the horizon and after that the possibilities are endless.
For the time being we look forward to September with a huge sense of anticipation. With everyone coming together we can show the visiting teams what Scotland has to offer. Who knows, in the future samba skills and Dundee might no be so far apart. 
Monday, 02 May 2016 15:38

Watch: Forfar Boys v Kirriemuir YFC U17s

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Video highlights from the Ellwood Cup final at Dundee North End courtesy of Alasdair Hooper.

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 09:07

Watch: Arbroath Lads v Pitfour FC U13s

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Highlights from the Diamond Jubilee Cup final at Dundee North End. Commentary by Callum Patterson.

Thursday, 14 April 2016 09:55

Watch: Forfar Athletic v Raith Rovers U20s

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The SPFL Development League East came to a gripping finalé as Forfar took on Raith Rovers, with both teams hoping for Stirling Albion to slip up and allow them to take pole position for the title race. Watch extended highlights courtesy of Forfar Athletic TV.

Sunday, 27 March 2016 18:22

Watch: The Norries v Kirkcaldy United U19

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Highlights from a thrilling semi final in the Association of Fife YFC. SHOW MORE
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 17:49

Watch: Fairmuir BC v Montrose Youth U14

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Highlights from the Dundee West Anniversary Cup semi final.
Neymar, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The final shortlist for 2015’s Ballon d’Or and in many eyes the best three footballers on the planet. For most it came as no surprise when Lionel Messi won a recorded breaking fifth award in seven years. It was also the eighth consecutive year that either the Argentine or Real Madrid forward Ronaldo have won football's most coveted individual award.
But there is something that links these three players, not just with each other, but with many other legends of the game both past and present. Legends such as Xavi and Iniesta, Ronaldinho and Kaka, and even the greatest of them all, Pele, all began their love of football not on the pitch, but on the court.
“In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented. In normal football you don't necessarily identify talent as easily because it's so much more physical. But with Futsal, you notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding." Those were the words of former Spain and Barcelona midfielder Xavi during the 2012 Futsal world cup in Thailand, and the rise of football's baby brother is now sweeping through Scotland.
A variant of standard association football, Futsal is a five-a-side game played mainly indoors with a smaller, heavier ball. Unlimited substitutions are allowed, and the games smaller pitches and higher tempo create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
In 2015, Russell Taylor founded ‘Futsal Escocia’ in Fife, Scotland’s first ever Futsal league for youngsters, after being inspired by similar events on TV where many of the game’s greatest players continue to dazzle, and this weekend saw the climax of a ground breaking debut season.
Following initial coaching sessions at Inverkeithing last January, interest in Futsal quickly spread. One session a week became three, before other venues in Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath had to be set up to cope with demand.
Despite the success of those initial sessions, Russell was keen to get competitive game time for the players, and in 2015 a summer tournament was arranged. "We ran a tournament just through the summer break, at '04 and '05 level, and all the teams that participated in it loved it, and all the teams that participated in it then signed up for the winter league."
The Winter League has been an even bigger event, and culminated this weekend at Beath High School. As well as sides from the summer event, Russell was able to gain support from teams all across Fife, and in total over the three months fifty teams have competed against each other, with the league running from November through to this weekend, with teams from '04, '05, '06 and '07 levels all taking part.
The popularity of the sport is not surprising, with the games adjusted rules encouraging more free flowing passages of play, and with less interruptions the intensity levels are kept consistently high. The games requirement for a more technical, less physical style is something Russell is keen to point out. "
Futsal is a little bit different in that you’re not reliant on the physical aspect of it, you’ll be lucky if there were five fouls in whole day today, so it’s more a technical element…the benefits of it are control and game awareness, you’ve got to be a lot sharper… Some players are good on the ball but in Futsal, if you’re not good off the ball as well, you get punished."
Russell is all too aware of Futsal’s unseen and perhaps under-appreciated influence on the modern professional game, and points to the fact that eight players from the current FIFPRO World Eleven began their careers playing Futsal.
"Certainly at seven-a-side the kids that excel are powerful, strong and pacey, and can kick the ball harder… But when they get bigger that’s taken away. There’s not as much space to run into when there’s eleven players on the pitch, and the ones that are maybe more technically gifted at Futsal will probably find that they are the better players when they’re older, but at the moment are probably overlooked at academies because they’re on a bigger pitch."
The claim that Futsal teaches increased technique, control and game awareness certainly carries some weight. For decades now the sport has been much loved in South America and Sothern Europe, and a quick look back over the nationalities of Ballon d’Or winners for the last twenty years will show you that fifteen of those twenty winners were from either South America or Southern Europe.
Given the games influence on young players, and following on from the success of Futsal Escocia’s ground breaking first year, Russell is now keen to expand the programme, starting with another tournament pencilled in for this summer, and an expanded Winter League to follow.
"What we’ll probably do is run it over two days in the summer, with groups playing on Saturday and then the winners of those groups playing each other on the Sunday… We had fifty teams this year and hopefully, with interest is high as this we could reach seventy teams for the league next year."
With one hundred players from teams all across Fife already on the books at the weekly Futsal Escocia coaching sessions, Russell is also looking to build competitive teams at '04, '05, '06 and '07 levels to play in the newly formed Scottish Youth Futsal Federation, which will involve playing against teams from all across Scotland, and is testament to the sports rising popularity.
And for anyone who remains unconvinced by Futsal’s potential to improve development and sharpen your game awareness, you need look no further than the current best in the business. “As a little boy in Argentina, I played futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun and it really helped me become who I am today" – Lionel Messi, record breaking five-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Players and coaches can get involved in Futsal through their local club, or through the Futsal Escocia website and Facebook page.