Kirkfield United Reds finished top of the WLAYFC League B in a dominant fashion, with a record of 21 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. They won the league with 61 points and 1 games left in hand, followed by the second place East Calder Colts at 49 points and 4 games in hand. A commanding lead to have, and we caught up with the manager, Darren Foster, to find out the secrets to their success.
Playing the whole season and only having 1 loss and 1 draw is a great achievement and the coaches and players recognise that. Darren said, "We the coaches are over the moon for the lads. They have been outstanding this season having only lost 1 game and 1 draw is an unbelieveable achievement in itself. They totally deserve to be called champions." The hard work and dedication has paid off for Kirkfield and they have achieved the highest level of success for their age group, going all the way and winning the league.
Picking a favourite moment from the whole season is a tricky task for any manager, but Darren was able to pinpoint an obvious one. He commented "My favourite moment of the season has to be seeing the look on the lads faces when that final whistle blew and them realising they had done it and had won the league. It was a fantastic feeling, very proud." Seeing all the hard work throughout the season pay off must be a relief. To realise that you worked hard and achieved what you aimed for at the start of the season must be an ecstatic feeling.
Despite the incredible season, they still had to treat every match the same and come in with the same attitude. Their biggest challenge in the season came at home against East Calder Colts. Darren said, "I think our home tie against East Calder Colts was our biggest challenge. Both teams were pushing for the league and previous games were always a close affair so to win 7-4 and gain the 3 points to give us a cushion at the top was great." Being able to prove yourself against one of the top competitors is sure to give you a confidence boost.
Every team has to have a plan at the start of the season, they have to know their strengths and weaknesses and be able to utilise them effectively. Even more important is to turn your weaknesses into strengths, this is what Darren had to say. "Keeping the lads positive and getting them to believe in their own ability was key for us. Some of our lads didn't believe in themselves when they came to us so having them enjoy the game again was great." Being able to enjoy the game is key to a lot of players, if you don't enjoy the game, you won't bring passion and dedication to every match. Darren commented, "I believe they are having fun while training and playing you will always get the best from them." Having a team that all enjoy playing the game and playing with each other is bound to bring success.
The boys at Kirkfield Reds are excited for the challenge ahead for next season. Darren commented, "Our plans for the future are to build on our success and be as competitive in the top league as possible. I'm sure we will relish the challenge." It is good news to hear that the boys aren't shying away from the challenge of the top division. They seem keen and confident to prove themselves.
Darren had some final comments to add, "We would like to thank all our parents that have put the time and effort into bringing the lads to training and games. Without them we wouldn't have a team. Also a huge thank you to our sponsors, Research Resource, KC Coaches, Valerios and Paterson Electrical for their generosity." Parents and sponsors play a huge role in allowing the teams to continue playing at a high level, so well deserved praise from Darren Foster and Kirkfield United Reds.
We wish them luck in the A League next season and hope they can remain successful.