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East Region (297)

The Scottish FA’s East Region team, led by Regional Manager Kevin Lee, has a bold vision for the future of football in the area. With the move to a new and larger office it provides the organisation with the space for regional development and which should signify the start of another incredibly positive time for aspiring footballers in the east. 
The team has a variety of aims set out, the most obvious of which is to increase participation in the sport. There are, of course, numerous ways for this to be achieved such as increased coverage, club and league expansion and creating new opportunities to play. One particularly eye catching initiative Kevin Lee and the rest of the team are keen to encourage is that of futsal, a variant of five-a-side originating in South America and is one of the fastest growing games worldwide. The game is designed to embrace the fast-paced, skill based indoor alternative to the traditional game. The Scottish FA supports in the running of adult futsal leagues in Dundee and Perth and a national Vauxhall Schools Futsal Programme at Secondary Schools.
Building an attractive modern game is also key to the East Region team’s plans. Kevin Lee stated that he wants to ‘increase the number of clubs with access to their own facilities either by ownership or leasing venues’. The news that Letham Community Sports Club are currently constructing a 3G pitch with the expected completion date being in September is hugely encouraging and a forward step in providing facilities for the area. 
Furthermore the Scottish FA East Region team aims to support the development of clubs, via skilled coaches and an increase in the volunteer workforce, through a newly formed club learning and development framework. Regional Manager Kevin Lee particularly emphasized developments with women’s coaching with 3 female coaches ‘currently doing their B Licenses’.  Increasing the number of Ethnic Minority groups involved in the People’s game is also key and is spelt out in the Scottish FA’s Equity Strategy. 
Finally, increasing the number of talented players from the East Region is also vital. A number of significant procedures are being put in place to ensure the women’s game grows as much as the men’s game, something Kevin Lee is very keen to promote. Girls and Women’s Development Officer, Samantha Milne, outlined that the number of girls playing football during her time at the Scottish FA had ‘risen from a few hundred to around 1300 to 1400 girls’. Understandably with increased participation such as this the likelihood of unearthing better talent is far greater. These efforts in relation to both male and female football will help make the East Region as strong as it can possibly be. 
All in all the vision of the Scottish FA is clear: to grow our national game through developing a culture of improved performances at all levels, taking the game to a wider audience and expanding on the benefit, enjoyment and value that football can bring to everyone across Scotland. The move to the new Regional Office is a hugely positive step in advancing the game within the East Region. 
Brechin Squad list:  Church-Forbes, Somerville, Allison, Barreiro , Szyjut,Duncan, Booth, Irvine, Campbell, Anderson, Mitchell, Souter, Trialists (3)
Following a successful season, finishing third in the league, the U15's have now moved up to U16's for the 2014/15 season and Stanley Socca, last year's Scottish Cup opponents, returned to Brechin for a pre-season friendly.
Brechin were playing four trialists and were playing without their first choice goalkeeper. 
Keen to avenge the 6-3 defeat from the last game Brechin started strongly. They were rewarded for the early pressure with just six minutes gone. Anderson floated in an excellent ball from the corner which was flicked on by Booth to one of the trialists. He was in the right place at the right time to head home and into the top left corner past an outstretched goalkeeper.
The game settled into a midfield battle with both teams trying to gain the advantage. Thankfully for Brechin an excellent diving save from stand-in goalkeeper Church-Forbes kept them in the lead up to the half time whistle.
Half Time:  Brechin City Youths 1-0 Stanley Socca
The second half started with Stanley coming out strongly, but Brechin stood firm and gradually began to gain the upper hand. Some excellent interlinking play by Booth and Szyjut in midfield and up front Anderson and Irvine began to play havoc with the Stanley boys. This was supported by the Brechin back line who stood firm in the face of any Stanley attacks.
An excellent move brought about Brechin's second goal in the 60th minute. Anderson picked up the ball in midfield, spotted Irvine ahead, and laid a perfect ball through. Irvine chased through and drove into the box and slipped a ball under the advancing keeper only to see the ball rebound off the post. Anderson had followed up the initial pass and pounced on the rebound, driving the ball into the back of the net.
Further pressure from both sides failed to make any difference until almost the last moment of the game. A loose ball in the Brechin goalmouth was finally driven across the line to draw a goal back for Stanley.
Full time: Brechin City Youths 2-1 Stanley Socca
Friday, 01 August 2014 09:27

East Fife Youth Academy achieve Legacy Level

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East Fife Youth Academy have become the first club from Fife to be awarded the Scottish FA Quality Mark Award at Legacy Level. 
Lorna McAuley, Head of East Fife Youth Academy, said: "When I became head of the academy, we looked at the Scottish FA Quality Mark criteria and it was evident we were ready to move up to the next level. We decided that the club had it in our capacity to go for legacy status."
"It has given us great pride to achieve Legacy status. We are one of only six in the east of Scotland to do so. The club is very proud of it, the youth academy is very proud of it and the whole local area is very proud of it."
The club's success on and off the field has lead to considerable growth. From the East Fife Youth Academy Soccer School to the Under 19 players on the cusp of the first team, there is a buzz about the club.
"We have taken on approximately 100 new kids in the last year. It's hard work, but if you turn up on a Saturday morning at any match and see the kids running about, full of pride, with their East Fife strips on. That's quite powerful."
"We strive to do the best we can for the young players. Hopefully one day, some of them will be running out at Bayview Stadium. For East Fife to be taking the field with home grown players would be to the benefit of the club and the youth academy."
Scottish FA’s East Region Manager Kevin Lee said: “East Fife Youth Academy is one of our flag ship clubs within the East Region and are leading the way in a number of developments.
"The club is a perfect example of how various sections of the football community can come together to deliver a shared vision. Lorna and her team achieved Quality Mark Legacy Status in 2013 and have ambitious plans to continue with their developments. 
"We look forward to offering our continued support to them on their journey." 
Thursday, 24 July 2014 13:43

Dundee Rangers 2002 - Crossbar Challenge

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YFS TV visited Dundee and managed to catch up with Dundee Rangers 2002's while we were in town. How did they get on? Find out below...
As the Commonwealth Games fast approaches the Baton has been making its way around the country in celebration. While football won’t play apart at Glasgow 2014, it has made its mark on the relay and specifically through bearers such as coach Rhys Davis.
Considered a role model in the community, Rhys found out he was being nominated in an unusual way. “I found out I was nominated to begin with just through word of mouth from the children I coach, who said they had been voting for me” he said. “And then the other coaches told me they had put my name forward because they thought I would be a good role model, so that was pretty humbling to hear.”
Rhys has been hard at work and has been in and out of schools in Fife promoting multiple sports such as Rugby, Basketball, and even Shinty through taster sessions. This is part of his work with Fife School of Sport Education and with Active Fife. It’s this work alongside his coaching at Hillfield Swifts 17’s Girls which made Rhys a perfect nomination and eventually a bearer.
“On the day of the announcements some people were having trouble with their emails (some selected bearers received blank emails with no text)” said Rhys. “Thankfully mine was working but I had to do a double take. I read the email once and came back again in ten minutes to check it. It was a moment of real joy and really nice to see.”
Increasing participation in sport is the main focus of his work and while it can be a difficult task it’s one that Rhys has always enjoyed. “It’s always been something I’ve been interested in” he said. “It’s hard work but I really enjoy it.”
Exactly a week on from the day and the moment Rhys noted his name in the Commonwealth Games history books, he noted he wasn’t short of support with Aunties, Uncles and Hillfield Swifts coaches and players in attendance. Rhys added “My Mum and Dad were very proud. They’ve always known I’ve wanted to do this kind of work so it’s nice for them to see it going so well.”
Rhys admitted before the occasion "It feels such an honour to carry the baton. I'm really excited about being part of the relay.”
He added “I hope that seeing me up there will mean something to the children I work with and give them something to aspire to."
Thursday, 26 June 2014 14:11

Swifts in Minibus Summer Transfer

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Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts are celebrating after securing a new minibus for the club. Its maiden voyage with new look graphics was to take their 2004 team to the first Spartans Festival last weekend and already the teams and players are seeing the benefits.

“As a charity we plan lots of social activities for our kids in addition to weekly football” said Jamie Kinnear, Club Treasurer. “We have already used the new minibus to take all our girls teams to the Scotland v Sweden game at Fir Park and we are taking all our Fun Fours teams to Blair Drummond Safari Park in a few weeks. The additional transport for the kids for families without transport makes us fully inclusive for all the kids at the club.” 

Jamie added “As a community club with 350 kids we really benefit from this new minibus. We already have a minibus but this is now 12 years old and at the later stages of its lifespan. A new addition to the club enables us to allocate one minibus to our 11aSide teams and one minibus to our 4,5 and 7aSide teams.”

As a registered Charity the club were eligible to apply for funding from a local trust fund called ‘The Muirdean Enviromental Trust’.

“This is a fund that was set up by ATH Resources in Crossgates in Fife some years ago for the benefit of local communities affected by the open cast coal mine and the coal lorries using local roads” said Jamie. “As Treasurer I applied for funding for a new minibus late in 2013 and this was granted up to £15,000.” 

Not only is the club benefiting from the new minibus, but from the charity status itself. Jamie added “The committee, coaches and parents love then fact that we now have two minibuses and we are now really seeing the fruits of being a registered charity. As a club we are growing from strength to strength and all our kids "big and small" love a wee trip to their big game in the Swifts Minibus.”  

Jamie concluded by saying “The club would like to thank The Muirdean Trust for providing the funding for our new minibus and a special mention goes to Robert Arnott, Chris Cunningham and their committee for their support.” 

Wednesday, 25 June 2014 10:47

2013/2014 Season Review: Dryburgh Athletic U15's

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Submitted by: Donald Ferguson
Summarise your season in five words: Fun, Hard, Exciting, Team work
What was your high point of the season?:  My high point of this season would have to be yet again wining the league and unbeaten for the second year running. 
What was your low point of the season?: losing in the semi-final of the cup against ferry athletic also for second year running. 
Players player of the year: Mitchell Hay
Coaches player of the year: Ryan Taylor and Ryan Smith
Most improved: Would have to say Recce Coats. Recce has been at Dryburgh for ten years and every season he gets better and better.
Who was the unsung hero of the season? This question is easy, Paul Cooney. He’s there every week as a former manager, but he’s the loudest on the touchline and he is always rallying the lads when we are getting beat. He never lets our heads go down.
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 13:50

Bayside Girls get half-time treat at Fir Park

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Last weekend Scotland faced Sweden in what was a crucial tie in their World Cup 2015 hopes. Unfortunately for Scotland and those in attendance at Fir Park it was not the result everyone had hoped as the visitors came away 3-1 winners.
But despite the loss a certain group of fans still came away with a smile on their face. That’s because some of the players at Bayside Girls and a number of other girls teams got the rare opportunity to play on the pitch at half-time.
One mistake though meant that Bayside got an extra special treat. David Noble, Bayside Girls U9’s Head Coach explains “Well, we ended up in the wrong stand during the first half. With the clock 'counting down' to half time, we had to get special clearance to cross behind the Scotland goal to the other side of the pitch.”
“We then had to nip through the media room at Fir Park and the girls got their photo taken at the interview board! They then stumbled upon Indi Cowie, who recognised them from her visit to Fife earlier in the week - it was hugs all round and more photos.”
Thankfully Bayside’s players did make it on to the pitch and they got their chance to shine on the same stage as idols such as Kim Little and Champions League Winner and Sweden forward Lotta Schelin who they had witnessed playing only minutes before.
The opportunity to participate on the pitch came through the work of the Scottish FA as David explains “As a club, we always plan to attend the WC and Euro qualifiers. Staff at SFA East are very pro-active in generating interest in these games and in assisting girls players to attend and get involved.”
While for most who participated it was their first experience playing on a professional football pitch with hundreds of fans in support, for one Bayside player it wasn’t. David said “We had girls aged 6 - 9 on the pitch. One girl had played at the Glasgow City versus Arsenal Champions' League game and took everything in her stride. The others were experiencing the thrill for the first time. They loved the game against Hearts, especially the support from the crowd in the East Stand.”
David now hopes the players will use the experience in the future saying “I think that they see how big the game is becoming and they can aspire to greatness, recognising that this is possible in Scotland as well as in Sweden and the USA.”
While Anna Signeul’s team put the result to the back of their mind defeating Northern Ireland days later, it’s not a day any of these young girls will want to forget any time soon.
Highlights Video (Courtesy of the Scottish FA East Region)
Last weekend Scotland faced Sweden in what was a crucial tie in their World Cup 2015 hopes. Unfortunately for Scotland and those in attendance at Fir Park it was not the result everyone had hoped as the visitors came away 3-1 winners.
But despite the loss a certain group of fans still came away with a smile on their face. That’s because some of the girls at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts and a number of other girls teams got the rare opportunity to play on the pitch at half-time. It was a chance to shine on the same stage as idols such as Kim Little and Champions League Winner and Sweden forward Lotta Schelin who they had witnessed playing only minutes before.
Pauline Marwick, Head Coach at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts Girls, said “As you can imagine all the girls were so excited. They were over the moon to be on the pitch at half-time, especially after watching our national team playing on it. I think this really added to the sense of occasion”
The club certainly made a day of it with a 70 seater bus being taken through to Motherwell. Pauline said “It was a really big deal to the girls and the support from their team mates who weren't picked was just excellent. Everyone was so excited to be there and to support their team mates when they went on. We were all buzzing, and when they won their wee match, well that was just the icing on the cake.”  
While Anna Signeul’s team put the result to the back of their mind defeating Northern Ireland days later, it’s not a day any of these young girls will want to forget any time soon with Pauline adding “It's a memory the girls will have for a very long time.”  
Highlights Video (Courtesy of the Scottish FA East Region)
Wednesday, 04 June 2014 11:21

New 3G park for Letham FC and local community

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While the 2013/2014 season comes to a close for the majority of the grassroots game, one club in particular will be looking forward to next season more than most. Letham FC have been given the green light for a brand new 3G pitch at Seven Acres Park costing close to three-quarters of a million pounds.
Richard Barker, Business Development Manager at Letham Community Sports Club said "Four years ago Ken Drummond, President of Letham Football Club had a dream to build a 3G football pitch at Seven Acres, Newhouase Road, Perth. This was largely due to the lack of training facilities for the 20 teams that make up the club.” 
The new facility will replace one of the existing grass pitches which were left unusable throughout parts of the season for both games and training. The creation of the new pitch is also being seen at the club as a great way to bring the teams together.
“Due to the lack of training facilities and the size of the club, teams had to train on their own at various locations throughout Perth” said Mr Barker. “As a result we became disengaged. The new pitch will allow us to come together not just within the club, but also within the community.”
The success of the application has come down to a lot of hard work from within the club itself and thanks to the large amount of funding that has been acquired. The £728,000 project has been provided by sportscotland (£158,000), CashBack for Communities (£180,000), Perth and Kinross Council (£85,000), Scottish Football Partnership (£40,000), Robertson Trust (£40,000), and the Garfield Weston Foundation (£25,000).
The Gannochy Trust, who were one of the first to get behind the idea, are another funder. They have contributed an incredible £200,000 to the project and Dr James Kynaston, Chairman of the Trust, said “The Trust is delighted to provide financial support for such an important area of the city. The success of this project is due to the determination of the Letham volunteers who have made a huge contribution of their time and expertise to make the project happen. We would like to wish them every success with this ambitious project.”
Mr Barker said “Approval for this project finally came thanks to the support from our funders and the belief they had in the Club's vision. As a result of this some 500 plus people, from both Letham FC, Perthshire Rugby Club and the community will benefit from this.”
Work is now well underway and with six weeks of construction done, all the earthworks and drainage have been completed. Mr Barker said “As the work progresses towards completion, plans are being made for the first ball to be kicked on the new pitch on 01 September."