Highland league side Deveronvale, based in Banff, are providing young boys and girls the opportunity to develop their footballing skills and follow a pathway into their senior sides.
Deveronvale Community FC currently fields sides from Under-fives, all the way to the Under 20’s. Some of the boy’s age groups have a second side, such as the Under 13’s and 16’s and there are also Under 13 and 15 sides for the girls, seeing 340 players registered under the Deveronvale Community Football banner.
Deveronvale’s youth system has evolved in many ways over the years and continues to do so as they seek further success. Deveron Youth have recently joined up with the system, The June 2017 opening of the Kim Little centre has looked to develop a full pathway for female players by giving primary age girls a chance to play and at the recent Community FC AGM the whole group was officially tied together and a fundraising group established.
Head of Youth Development at Deveronvale, Kev Stewart has spoken of the positive strides being taken, “We’re pretty much well into a transition period of bringing everything together, going through our development plans and policies and adapting to suit.” Kev and the rest of the football club are excited about the future and what it may hold.
The club have achieved Community status in the Scottish FA Quality mark and have intentions to work towards becoming a legacy club, the highest attainable mark.
This season has seen Vale’s youth sides producing some excellent performances, impressing in both league and cup competitions. The clubs under 15 side had a run in the Scottish Cup, making it as far as the fourth round. Meanwhile the under 13’s side made the last sixteen, losing out in a hard fought tie against Ferry Athletic.
In the league, all of Vale’s sides have been competitive. The under 15’s once again stick out, finding themselves in second place in the ADJFA U15 A. Their under 13 counterparts have had no issue finding the net, finding themselves the fourth highest scorer in their league and their second under 13’s side sit third in the ADJFA League C section 2. Vale’s first under 16 squad are currently play in the A league, while their second under 16 squad are table toppers in league C.
The Scottish Highland League football developmental league also allows players from the Under 15, 16 and 17’s sides to play additional football. Vale’s side have only recently re-joined this level of football, going into the East league after not participating for a few years. They acknowledge they are in a rebuilding phase, having only secured one point from seven games this season, but are willing to put in the effort to secure more game time for their young players.
Deveronvale’s ladies sides are now returning for the new season, having enjoyed a very successful campaign last term. Both the Deveronvale ladies side and their Under 15 girl’s side won their respective league titles in 2017. While the U13’s were incredibly close to emulating that success, finishing runners up.
Deveronvale are looking to continue their impressive work in girl’s football. Kev Stewart said, “We’re looking to get our girls in earlier, hence the start-up of the Kim Little Soccer Centres in June, with the aim of getting these girls playing four vs four and five aside at a young age”
The hard work and resulting success is evident at Deveronvale. Paul Sutherland and Jody Munro have recently made their way into the first team, joining another six youth products in the squad that currently sits tenth in the Highland league. In addition to this, five youth players are currently out on loan at junior clubs, with hopes Vale can continue to send multiple players along the pathway to Highland league football.