Bervie Caley Youth soared to the top of the U16’s Soccerworld B League this season, with 20 wins in 20 games. They finished eight points clear of title rivals Westdyke, with the two Aberdeen clubs ahead of the rest of the pack for the whole season.
Manager, Thomas Smith, spoke to Youth Football Scotland to discuss his team’s highs and lows throughout the season.
"The team got off to a good start by having a pretty hard pre-season, and playing friendly games against tougher opposition. Thus they ended up playing strong teams that ended up second and third in the league within the first three games of the season, winning both. This got the confidence going," he said.
"We lost early on in the Scottish Cup and lost to A league opposition in both local cups, one in a quarter-final after beating A league opposition in the previous round. However we closed the season with twenty wins out of twenty games in the league."
Smith highlighted two games as being decisive of their victory in the league, saying: "Firstly our game against Banchory away from home midweek, where a clinical performance saw a 3-0 win in what could have been a tricky game. Then our third game from the end of the season where we played Westdyke. They were close in second place, having only lost to us early on in the season and drawing one other match. It could have been a nervy game but the Bervie players were up for it and we were 2-0 up at half-time, with our goalkeeper having only touched the ball once and the Westdyke goalkeeper playing a stormer. The second half settled down and the final score was 2-0. The hard work had already been done, and the league was won.”
However Smith also insisted that there had been lessons learned during the season.
"A good hard pre-season is essential - the fitter you are at the start [of the season] is shown in games and results. We identified the formation that works for the team and where each player is best positioned. This was reflected in our last six games where we played against top half of the table opposition and only lost two goals," he said.
"We identified the weaknesses in players and the positions that we need to strengthen for our move up to A league. When we were playing Culter Boys, who finished third in the A league, they were a bit sharper in movement and in set pieces. That’s something for us to work on in pre-season."
Smith was pleased with the performance of his squad throughout the season but he also credited individual players for their performances, which was recognized with awards at the end of the season.
Of Kyle Gordon, who picked up manager’s player of the year, Smith said, "Kyle Gordon, our captain, read and played the game with ease throughout the season."
Murray Collie picked up the award for top scorer, though Smith also acknowledged David Salmond for his goal scoring, stating: “Murray Collie scored many goals, more so early on in the season, and David Salmond picked up the goal scoring in the tougher end of the season matches."
Will Montgomery was recognized with player’s player of the season while Elliot Boyd was awarded with most improved Player. However Smith praised his side collectively, saying: “The whole squad played well when required. We had various players missing at times and those that stood in rose to the challenge.”
Topping their league, Bervie Caley will progress to A league next season but establishing themselves there is only one of their aims.
"We would like to have a better run in the Scottish Cup in the coming season, having reached the third or fourth round in previous seasons,” Smith said.
“We would also like to finish third or fourth place in the A league, then stabilise for a push further the following season. Hopefully we’ll reach the semi-final or final in the local cups, and we would like to retain players who are being watched by other teams until such time as they are ready to move up through the ranks."
Congratulations to Bervie Caley Youth, U16’s Soccerworld B League champions, 2014/15!
Bervie Caley wish to thank the following organisations for their help this season:
Augean North Sea Services
E Watson & Son
G F Bisset