North Region (350)
Ross County have been holding Zoom training sessions online to keep their Academy players fit and conditioned during lockdown.
The scheme has been lead by Gordon Duff, Pre-Academy Manager, who has led over 16 sessions across all year groups, with around 45 kids taking part or sending in information about their exercise every day.
The online sessions have been greatly appreciated and have had strong positive feedback so far.
William Urqurhart a player for Ross County’s under-16s, spoke highly of the training: “It had been great to have structured training sessions again to help keep my ability up to scratch.”
Under-18 goalkeeper Logan Ross echoed Urqurhart’s sentiments: “On the mental side it’s especially good because we can keep up to date with what’s going on and we are still able to revise new tactics with the use of technology in front of us, showing and explaining stuff.
“I’m enjoying the new training but I’m finding it hard as it can get frustrating not having a coach there to help if your struggling with a drill, but it keeps me physically fit and some training is better than no training”
County have planned now for various different training sessions across the coming weeks, bringing in special guests to host them. These plans include Personal Training Sessions, Online Yoga as well as some mental health course in Digital Awareness and Resilience courses.
The club have also been keeping the players and young peoples’ minds active by offering learning resources for pupils whilst schools are closed.
So far, they have brought out three ‘Learn from Home’ workbooks and a ‘Fun for You’ workbook, ranging in difficulties and styles of drills.
These were brought out to support young people with enjoyable and interactive material that can help them stay focused on their education even in these tough times.
These resources were offered to several local schools to aid them in adapting to e-Learning and as a result of this some schools have chosen adapt these workbooks into their Health & Wellbeing modules.
This was just one of many examples of how Ross County has supported their community during these unprecedented times.
As well as that we’ve seen that the club are driven in ensuring that their youth players can reach their full potential and be the stars of tomorrow.
Inverness side Balloan FC have offered their kit budget to citizens who are struggling to make ends meet during the coronavirus pandemic.
Days before the lockdown, club secretary James Fraser and other members of the Balloan hierarchy and training staff bought almost 200 mini balls and hundreds of cones from their funds.
They then invited players from all age categories to come and collect a ball and six cones, so that all players would have a chance to practise and play football at home.
Since then they have been posting several practise drills per week that the players can do with their new equipment at home.
The club prides itself on being one of the top teams in the Inverness Street League, having 180 registered players at the club over three different age categories.
It is also a club that takes its’ community responsibility seriously with lots of events such as bag packing at local supermarkets and race nights, so as well as playing and winning lots of football games every season, being at Balloan keeps a player busy.
After an online meeting with other senior members at the club, it was agreed that the team’s kit budget should be offered as funds to people who need it.
They announced on their Facebook page that if anybody knew someone who is struggling to pay for bills or food or other essential needs, the club would be able to help cover them.
The Highland side will also soon be announcing that the remaining kit budget will be be used to fund online study aids for pupils who are struggling to study at home. This is still being set up and organised but will enable pupils to access accounts which will make online education easier and give pupils more ways to enhance their skills and education whilst in lockdown.
Balloan aren’t a rich club and they aren’t a big club. They’re a club that appreciates it’s supporters and the community which most of their players come from. They do what they can to thank them for coming and watching the kids whatever the weather or wherever the location.
These are strange times and some may say that football is irrelevant during this crisis, but for those in need grassroots clubs like Balloan, with an ear to the ground and strong community contacts, have shown that they are in a unique position to help.
Westdyke CC vs CBC Hilton United U17
These two have not met since the first match of the season back in August and their meeting this weekend has more meaning and stakes than their last encounter.
It was Westdyke who came out on top back then, securing a 3-1 win and setting them up for what has been a very impressive campaign so far. They remain unbeaten and sit top of the table, three points ahead of their opponents this weekend.
CBC Hilton have also had a great start to the season. They haven’t lost a game since that opening day defeat and have racked up the goal count in the process and are only one win away from taking top spot.
A measure of revenge will surely be on the minds of United and that will certainly add to the spice in the game. Westdyke will need to be on their game as they face a United team hungry to prove themselves as title contenders.
Dyce BC vs Peterhead BC U16
Two teams both still in the hunt for the league title face off in a vital clash in the ADJFA A League.
Leaders Westdyke will be casting a keen eye on the result of this game, knowing that the winner will likely prove to be their biggest challenge in their quest to win the league title.
Dyce come into the game in fine form. Having only lost one game in the league this season, a 2-1 defeat against Westdyke, they find themselves in third place, six points off the top with three games in hand over the leaders, one of which will be played this weekend.
Peterhead on the other hand have more motivation than just catching up at the top. The last encounter between these two saw Dyce leave convincing 6-0 winners. A win this weekend would put that loss firmly behind them as well as bring themselves to within one point of Westdyke.
Kintore United vs Westdyke Thistle U15
The entire complexion of the ADJFA C League could change drastically over the weekend, with both of these teams still harbouring hopes at a league title.
Kintore United find themselves at a disadvantage in the race. While they do find themselves in second place, just five points off the top, they have played four games more than leaders Thistle Youth. With very few games left to play it is becoming a more difficult task by the minute. That isn’t to say that they can’t have a major impact on proceedings.
Westdyke Thistle sit third, five points adrift but with two games in hand over Thistle Youth. A win here would keep the pressure up on the leaders, but Kintore will be motivated to avenge their previous loss to Westdyke two weeks ago.
Thistle Youth vs Stonehaven YFC U15
One eye will also be kept on Thistle Youth’s match against Stonehaven this weekend, making the C League one of the most looked at divisions this weekend.
Thistle have been awesome this season, having lost only one game this season against Kintore United. The hold top spot in the league, seven points ahead of their opponents this weekend, who could find themselves back in with a shot at the title.
Stonehaven have played two games more than the table toppers, but a win would move them to within four points of the top, and pile more pressure on Thistle Youth to continue their fine run of form.
With so much still to play for in this league, it is certainly one to keep an eye on this weekend!
CBC Hilton vs Colony Park U14
In the B League, there is still plenty to play for, but a win is what’s required for either team if they want to keep their title hopes alive.
The win is more important you have to say for CBC Hilton. Hilton have had a great season so far and still find themselves with a realistic chance of catching top side Stonehaven YFC. Six points off the top, they will be looking for a crucial win this weekend, but they will need to produce a great performance to beat a strong Colony Park.
Colony Park are unbeaten in the league so far this season and have only dropped points against one team this season against leaders Stonehaven. Park are three points off the top but have the benefit of two games in hand.
The last meeting between these two resulted in a 3-1 win for Colony Park in the first game of the season. Expect another close game between two teams with real motivations to win.
Lewis United Rangers and Banks O’Dee Albion prepared for their titanic clash in the A league this weekend with wins to keep them neck and neck at the top of the table. Rangers were convincing 5-1 winners away to Cove YFC and Albion were also comfortable winners against Longside BC.
Westdyke Thistle kept up the pace on B League leaders Middlefield Wasps with an emphatic win over Kemnay FC. Middlefield Wasps maintained their three point advantage with victory over Turriff United, however Thistle still have three games in hand.
CBC Hilton United took over the top spot of the A League with a big win over bottom side Cove YFC. Westdyke’s 1-1 draw with Deveronvale allowed United to take over first place. Westdyke still have one game in hand over their title rivals.
Northstar CFC maintained their lead at the top of the B League with a 6-1 win over FDS 2003. Second placed Ellon Meadows were made to work for their 6-3 win against Huntly, however it wasn’t enough to close the eight point gap between the two.
Westdyke took advantage of the fact that they were one of the only sides to play in the A League last weekend as they extended their lead at the top of the table with a 6-1 win over bottom side Westdyke Thistle.
In the B League Stonehaven United secured a much needed victory over leaders Northstar CFC. A loss for United would have almost certainly seen them out of the title picture but the 2-0 scoreline keeps them within touching distance, with a game in hand.
The result also allowed Culter Boys to close the gap at the top to just three points after their victory against Newmachar Youth.
There are new league leaders in the C League as Aberdon overtook Culter United. United suffered defeat at the hands of Colony Colts, which opened the door for Aberdon to take top spot with a win over Byron Dons in an entertaining 5-4 spectacle.
A large number of games fell victim to the weather on Sunday in the Aberdeenshire leagues, however there were still results that had major league ramifications.
Westdyke took themselves to within one point of league leaders Deveronvale last weekend. A convincing 4-0 win away to Cove Youth United.
Cove United took advantage of their game going ahead last weekend by closing the gap on top spot with a big win over Glentanar CFC. They closed the gap on League C Section 1 leaders Turriff United to five points.
In C League Section 2 Deveronvale Reds also took advantage of their game going ahead with a win over Mormond Thistle to extend their lead at the top of the table to three points.
Banks O’Dee Albion continued their dominance of the A League with a 5-1 win over Thistle YFC. The win maintained their whopping 15 point lead at the top of the league. The only other game in the league saw East End Lewis Youth beat Cove YFC, 3-2.
Banks O'Dee Albion Under 17s picked up a domestic treble in what has been a fantastic season from the Spain Park side. Albion played 45 games during the course of the season, that was ADJFA and Highland League development fixtures, along with 13 cup matches, 11 of them were away from home including the two cup finals.
During that period, Albion scored 241 goals conceding just 34. Lucas Muller came into the team at the start of the season having played for the 2001 age group prior to that and helped towards 23 clean sheets throughout the campaign, a real custodian for Banks O'Dee Albion.
Albion started the season by winning the Highland League Development Cup, beating Wick Academy 2-0 followed by adding the quadruple on top of that with the Under 17s Highland League Development League, the under 17s ADJFA A League, the Raymond Kelly Trophy and the Mark McEwan Regional Trophy.
The only trophy this talented group of players missed out on throughout the season was the Scottish Cup and Albion were knocked out in the fifth round by Dundee side Fairmuir, who reached the final of the tournament.
Recently, Albion beat Lewis United Rangers 6-0 in the Mark McEwan Regional Trophy final where coach Alan Barry and player Kacper Lewecki took time to speak to YFS about their achievements. "It was a really good end to the season and a good win over Lewis United Rangers, we've had a really good attacking team with real composure and having Lucas Muller as our goalkeeper this season has made a huge difference.
"The boys found their formation this season, we changed a few things and are now a bit more settled in terms of the way we play, me and Robin Adair coming into the team created a bit of fire again in the team and Dave McKerron has been at the club for a few years now. This has probably the best squad we have had at Albion in the five years at 11 a side."
In addition to this, Albion have also developed their ex players into professional footballers, Kyle Dalling, Lewis Duncan and Max Barry are all featuring in the Aberdeen reserves set-up whilst Dylan Stuart and Luke Kinsella are first team regulars at Turriff United.
Kacper Lewecki has signed a pro contract with parent club Banks O'Dee and the youngster is looking ahead to the challenge when he said, "I think it'll be a good experience and it'll be a new challenge, I came to Banks O'Dee Albion as I am a 2003 birthday and was looking for a new challenge after leaving Dyce. I have done it here and hopefully I can push onto the next level now.
"We haven't just won the treble, we have won it by playing some good football and have entertained for the people who have came out and watched the games."