It was never going to be an easy ride for Edinburgh University’s under-20s this season. Due to students returning from holidays, and starting with an entirely new squad, they were always going to be up against it.
The club’s manager, Steven Moffat, spoke of his side’s resilience despite those challenging circumstances: “Last season was bizarre to say the least. As a result we struggled for form and results at the start of our season but stayed committed throughout.” he told Youth Football Scotland.
“As the season progressed we began to learn more about each other and the team, which helped improve performances and inevitably results began to come our way.”
It required a remarkable turnaround to make the season into a successful one, as Moffat revealed: “It showed in the league table as well, at Christmas we were sat bottom of the league but by the end of the season we’d finished third and reached two cup finals”, he said.
“Despite not getting the results we wanted from the finals it showed how far we had come over the season.”
In terms of one specific fixture, there is one that Moffat is eagerly anticipating next year: “Obviously we want to compete with every team but as we are a university team it is always great playing against Heriot Watt. I believe we are both good sides and I do not think there has ever been a dull game between both sides.”
Edinburgh University have a very unique pre-season schedule, in the sense that they do not particularly have one. The manager explained in further detail: “Again, as a university we don’t receive our players back until later in the year as most go home or travel once the academic year is over and so there isn’t really a pre-season for us.”
“Lads that do hang around over the summer though are allowed to train with the first team who compete in the Lowland League. It is a great opportunity for the lads to push themselves and be ready for when our season starts”, he added.
“There is also the chance they impress enough during pre-season with the first team that they get a chance to play and claim a place in the first team squad for the season.”
Edinburgh University find themselves in the same challenging scenario for next season: “This season we start fresh once more and will have nearly a completely different squad to last season”, Moffat said.
“Our aims however will remain the same; to develop players individually and collectively, continue developing players for the first team, and compete throughout the season in every game whilst sticking to our values and beliefs.”
Best of luck to Edinburgh University under-20s in the 2015/16 season!