Features & Blogs (95)
(Photo copyright of Ian Sneddon, Falkirk FC)
Every year across Scotland, a handful of young men fulfill their boyhood dreams when they sign full-time for a football club. Here at YFS we're putting the spotlight on the new kids on the block who've just made the grade from youth academy level to the professional game, as they make the next step in their promising careers. Here, focus is on Falkirk FC.
Falkirk is without doubt one of Scotland’s most productive clubs in terms of youth development. Having produced millions of pounds worth of homegrown talent and reaching multiple Scottish Cup semi-finals and finals, the Bairns’ academy mantra of "Nothing but the best" has been lived up to.
With recent academy graduates such as Craig Sibbald and Peter Grant establishing themselves as stars in the first-team, and players such as Scott Arfield and Stephen Kingsley reaching both the Premier League and International stage, the next generation of Bairns are on their own path to make the step up. We take a look at some of the brightest talents paving their way into the Falkirk academy.
McBride can best be described as a pacy forward, who constantly presses defenders and puts them under pressure. He displayed his ability at international level back in February, when he netted the only goal in Scotland under 16’s 1-0 win over Croatia at the Oriam Centre. He was also a key player in the Falkirk side which reached the final eight of the SFA Youth Cup in the previous campaign.
The former Scotland under-16 international recently earned a call-up to the Scotland under 17’s side for a tournament at St George’s Park this month, merely a few months after signing his first professional contract for the Bairns.
One of six graduates from the Forth Valley academy, the 16-year old featured on several occasions for the development side last term and will look to increase his importance to the team after signing his first professional contract.
The teenage midfielder was a regular feature in last season’s development side for Falkirk and recently signed his first professional contract in the summer. Jervis, who played school football for Broughton High School, was once a youth player at Hibernian during his early teens.
Described as an attacking threat from midfield, Jervis scored his first goal for the development side against Hearts on his return to Edinburgh. Speaking to Falkirk TV, Jervis said: “It’s a good experience (to play in the development side) and it has given me a head start over other boys.”
Jarvis made his first-team debut in a pre-season friendly during the summer, coming on as a substitute in a 3-2 win over East Stirlingshire. He will be hoping to solidify his spot in the development side this upcoming season, and may even have his sights set on a first-team cameo at some point.
Every year across Scotland, a handful of young men fulfill their boyhood dreams when they sign full-time for a football club. Here at YFS we're putting the spotlight on the new kids on the block who've just made the grade from youth academy level to the professional game, as they make the next step in their promising careers. Here, focus is on Kilmarnock FC.
A strong youth policy has helped Kilmarnock retain their Scottish Premiership status over recent seasons, so who is going to be the next Greg Kiltie or Greg Taylor to break through to the first team at Kilmarnock?
The 17 year old shot stopper from Mauchline, recently signed a two year deal with the club meaning that at the end of the deal he will have been at the club for nine years. He joined as a ten year old and has progressed up through the clubs youth systems all the way to the Under 20s. During his time at the club he also attended Mauchline academy and played for the school team, helping the school reach the Under 14 Ayrshire SFA League Cup Final in 2013. A game which Lyle made a number of great saves, but his side narrowly lost 1-0 to Grange Academy. He has been around the first team since 2016 and featured on the bench three times last season but is yet to make his first team debut.Despite struggling to breakthrough to the first team he has cemented his place in the Under 20s side that managed to reach the semi-final of the u20’s Cup. This season he has been heavily involved in the first team's pre-season and has featured once on the bench in competitive games. This being in the 4-2 home win over Clyde in the League Cup group stages. With Jamie McDonald, and Cammy Bell returning to the club, the young goalkeeper might struggle for first team minutes, but he will certainly be intent on making his mark on Killie’s first team this season.
The centre half also signed a two year deal in the summer and will be looking to add youthfulness into an ageing Killie back line. 18 year old Wilson will wear the number 41 shirt this season and attended the Grange Academy in Kilmarnock. As a teen he played the majority of his football in Kilmarnock and captained local side Crosshouse before he joined St Mirren. However, he soon returned to playing his football in Kilmarnock joining the Under 17 side and was another key player to the side of who reached the semi-final of Under 20s cup. Growing up and playing the majority of his football in Kilmarnock he will be dreaming of donning the famous blue and white and perhaps one day captain his home town side.
- Aidan Wilson
- Cammy Bell
- Jamie McDonald
- Curtis Lyle
- kilmarnock fc
- st mirren fc
- Greg Kiltie
- Greg Taylor
- grange academy
- TriSeries Tournament
- motherwell fc
- crosshouse bc
- Ayrshire SFA Cup
- Mauchline Academy
- braidhurst high school fc
- craigmount high school
- Oliver McDonald
- Ewan Mclevy
- Innes Cameron
- SPFL Hot Prospects
- Kris Boyd
Who is Scottish football’s next big thing? Who could be the next James McFadden or Andy Robertson? Here at Youth Football Scotland we’re casting our eye over the main SPFL teams to find just who’s on the cusp of breaking out.
Here, we provide some insight on the exciting prospects at Hibernian FC.
One of the Hibees stand-out youngsters is Edinburgh-born Ryan Porteous. With the build and maturity of a season-professional, it is scarcely believable that the center-back is just 18 years of age.
Porteous has already gained a reputation as a tough-tackling throwback of a defender, who is more than capable of playing out from the back, and has already three times for Neil Lennon’s side in this season’s Betfred Cup, scoring a brace against Arbroath in the group stages.
Porteous, who hails from Dalkeith, enjoyed a fruitful spell at League Two outfit Edinburgh City last season, featuring on 24 occasions and scoring three goals as he helped The Citizens to secure their SPFL safety. His goal against Annan Athletic helped City to secure their first ever victory in the SPFL.
The young defender could easily have struggled against experienced strikers at just 17 years old, but he was a standout in Gary Jardine’s side, with the manager hailing his leadership abilities, composure on the ball and maturity.
A Scotland Under 19 international, Porteous appears to be in good hands, working as an understudy to experienced defenders such as Efe Ambrose and Paul Hanlon. The lifelong Hibs fan looks destined to have a bright future ahead of him.
Another Hibs youngster making an impact in the first team is Porteous’ teammate Fraser Murray, who hails from along the M8.
At just 16 years of age, Murray made his Hibernian debut in a Challenge Cup tie against Turriff United, opening the scoring in a 3-0 win for the Hibees.
He had to wait until April for his next first-team appearance and League debut for Neil Lennon’s side against Raith Rovers, and this debut was even better. Murray was the star of the show as he pulled the strings in midfield and was unlucky not to find his name on the scoresheet, also picking up the man-of-the-match award as a bonus.
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News after the match, manager Neil Lennon was full of praise for Murray: “To make a debut like that at 17, it augurs well. I’m not going to get carried away but we know we’ve got a good player there and he showed all his qualities.”
The Glasgow-born teenager possesses a quality which is both difficult to find in football and extremely valuable; goals from midfield, scoring twice in Hibernian’s Betfred Cup group stage with goals against Alloa Athletic and Montrose. In just 8 games for the first team he already has an impressive three goals under his belt. With this form, it will be difficult to leave him out of the side.