Home My YFS
South East Region

South East Region (404)

When Lewis McClure, Broxburn born and bred, steps foot onto the campus of Delta State University as a student for the first time, he’ll be over 4,000 miles from home. He’ll go from living beside the banks of the Union Canal to residing with driving distance of the Mississippi River. He’ll walk on sidewalks instead of pavements, to the store instead of the shop, to buy twizzlers instead of strawberry laces and enjoy Mississippi Mud Pie over Sticky Toffee Pudding (Okay, you can definitely find Mississippi Mud Pie in the UK. Anyway...)
All of these changes exemplify the America McClure imagines is “ten times bigger than anything over here”, and the challenges he says he’s ready for. The former Broxburn Academy pupil will go to Delta State in Cleveland, Mississppi on a soccer scholarship courtesy of Future Pro USA. He’ll meet up with fellow Scot Andrew Robertson, the head coach of the Delta State Statesmen, as he splits his time between studying a business degree, playing football and watching the institution’s other teams. McClure says he’s looking forward to taking in the basketball team’s games in particular, having had a taste for it during a campus visit earlier this year.
McClure first realised he wanted to experience life across the pond just before the onset of his teenage years. “I think I first had the idea of going to America when I was about 12 years old, but it was just a dream,” he said.
“It wasn’t until recent, this last year, that I saw the opportunity through YFS and with Future Pro for the scholarship and it took off from there, and now my dream is realised.”
A composed central midfielder who can also play centre back, McClure puts an extreme focus on training hard and doing the “extra bit”, a trait that has helped him throughout his football life so far. The first club he played for was Broxburn Athletic, before spells with Tynecastle, Broxburn once more, and Bathgate Thistle, who merged with Fauldhouse. “I’ve been quite lucky to play with so many successful teams,” he says, and points to a Blackpool Cup win with Tynecastle and an undefeated season that led to a treble while with his last club. McClure singles out former coach Steven Sharpe for his help in assisting where he finds himself now. Sharpe worked extensively with McClure during his recovery from a pelvic injury that kept him out for almost eight months. It was here the importance on training hard intensified, with McClure’s recovery entailing early training sessions and extra hours in the gym. On Sharpe, McClure says: “He’s probably been the biggest help in football, and without doubt the biggest character. What he did when I was injured helped me a lot, and now he’s like more of a friend than a coach.” Sharpe’s dealing with Chron’s and Colitis and the associated charities led to McClure running the Edinburgh Marathon for that same charity, raising a massive £1600 in the process.
McClure’s return from injury and his marathon highlight a determined and ambitious individual, two qualities one needs to make a decision like going to the US. Especially when such a decision involves leaving behind your family and girlfriend for eight months at a time. “It’s tough,” begins McClure. “Me and my girlfriend for example, we’ve been together for just over two years. It’s going to be hard but she’s been really good, she’s very proud and she’s happy for me. She realises this is just something I have to do.
“It’s a dream come true for me and I’m going to be living that dream, but we’ll make it work.”
If you are interested in a Scholarship in the USA, Click Here to sign up for an Assessment Day.

Portobello CFA’s double meant they were crowned champions of the South East Regional Cup after beating Tynecastle FC at New Countess Park. Despite having their chances, Tynecastle were unable to stick the ball past star player Thomas McLean as Russell Bowers and Josh Sharkey netted one a piece to win the cup.

Portobello started the game well with various chances coming in quick succession, arguably one of their best came in the 15th minute.

Russell Bowers pass to Tadgh Flanagan-Woodhead inside the area on the right allowed the player to get a shot away. However, the effort was saved at the near post by keeper, Kyle Wilson.

They had another good chance moments later, this time from a free kick in the 18th minute.

Portobello’s Dean Coyle stepped up at the edge of the left side of the box with his shot going towards the left-hand side of the net. However, Tynecastle keeper, Wilson made himself known once more as he dived to save the effort.

Tynecastle then began to grow into the game in the last 15 minutes of the half with a ranged effort coming in the 29th minute.

Charlie Green decided to challenge the keeper with a shot from 15 yards out but the ball arrived straight at the keeper.

Despite Tynecastle looking like they were getting a grip of the game, they conceded their first of the match in the 37th minute. Portobello’s Flanagan-Woodhead and Bowers linked up once more with the former sending the player through on the right side of the area.

Bowers then sunk the ball into the bottom left hand corner giving his side the advantage going in for half time. 

A late treble of goals from Edinburgh City Blacks saw the side win the South East Regional Cup against Hutchison Vale FC, despite trailing behind for half an hour. Ben Wardlaw opened the scoring for Hutchie but within 11 minutes near the end of the fixture, Ewen Gillespie netted twice with James Farrell also on the score sheet for City. Hutchie player, Matthew McCormack also netted into the seventh minute of injury time.

Chances were few and far between in the first half but Hutchison Vale’s effort in the 17th minute almost broke the deadlock. Aiden Walsh long distance effort from the right side struck the top corner of the near post but the effort did not deflect in but instead go out of play.

Inspired by this effort, Edinburgh City tried one of their own in the 27th minute. Keiran Millar controlled the ball in the centre of the field before firing the ball with his left foot from 20 yards towards goal. However, the ball flew wide to the left of the goal.

Hutchison Vale broke the deadlock soon after when Ben Wardlaw netted in the 33rd minute. Good link up play between Josh Ferguson and Laurence Linklater allowed Ferguson to unleash a strike from the right side, forcing the City keeper to make a save. However, Wardlaw got onto the end of the rebound and sent the effort home to put his side up at half time. 

The first clear-cut opportunity resulted in the first goal when Fauldhouse opened the scoring in the 11th minute when Ben Magee’s trike deflected into the path of Guy Sim who had already timed a run into the box. He outraced the Tynie defender to the ball and slotted beyond the goalkeeper from yards out. 

Tynecastle had a chance to score in the 21st minute when Callum Bremner played a short-free kick into the path of Owen Winnik who was waiting just inside the box, but he couldn’t direct it onto target and he side footed the ball well over the bar.

Fauldhouse’s advantage was nearly doubled in the 25th minute when a free-kick was cushioned into his path, his powerful half-volley looked destined for the back of the net but a Tynie defender just managed to get a touch and deflect the ball out for a corner.

It was a very back-and-forth cup final and Tynecastle were next to try their luck in the 32nd minute when Gary Tickle floated a ball into the path of Nicky Weir, but his first-time volley on the edge of the box lacked placement and flew wide of the goal.

Dan Purves then tried to curl an effort into the bottom corner from just outside the box on 34 minutes, but Matthew Craig was quick to get down low and save the shot at his near post.

Tynecastle had a flurry of opportunities to level the scores minutes before half-time. The first came when Purves floated a lovely pall into the unmarked Winnik, who opted not to take a touch and volleyed a first-time effort. Unfortunately for him though, his strike sailed over the crossbar.

Barely a minute later Bremner took the ball down brilliantly on the edge of the box, swivelled and hit a strike which flew narrowly wide of the near post.

Matty Brown then tried his luck after a good run saw him reach the edge of the box, his strike had power but like the one before him, wasn’t quite precise enough to hit the target. 

Gala Fairyden Colts winner in extra time crowned them champions of the Division 3 League Cup in a thrilling game against Gorebridge United at New Dundas Park on Sunday. Goals from Josh Lamb and Declan Bell meant the Colts led by two at the break. However, strikes from Liam Spencer and Lewis Brannan levelled the scoring. Colts went ahead again with Cammy Finlayson’s strike before Gorebridge put things level once again with Jay McCallion’s goal. Finlayson netted again in extra time putting his side ahead for the third and final time, winning the game and the cup itself.

Gorebridge United put the pressure on first in this cup tie with their first chance of the game coming two minutes in. A corner taken on the left side of goal by Byron McKinley was met by the on target headed effort of Bari Collins. The shot was saved by the keeper; however, the referee blew for offside regardless.

Gala Fairden Colts grew into the game, unfazed by the opposition’s pressure they had a chance to go ahead in the 13th minute. Josh Lamb’s shot from outside the area was arriving at the bottom right hand corner of goal if not for the services of goalkeeper, Reiss Trench to stop the effort.

Moments later, Gorebridge had the opportunity to net from a clinical position. Lewis Brannan’s pass to Arron Cockburn which was subsequently flicked onto Byron McKinley in the 17th minute put the player on goal with only the keeper to beat, however, the towering presence of Max Logan meant the shot was saved.

Another chance came soon after for the blue and yellow side in the 28th minute. The solo effort from Gorebridge’s Lewis Brannan meant the player tucked his way past defenders to arrive in the right-hand side of the penalty area. His shot on goal that followed struck the near post and proceeded to go out of play.

Colts then secured the first of the match with a remarkable effort in the 34th minute. Lee MacRae’s run past defenders on the right side meant the ball was laid off to Josh Lamb outside area. Lamb’s dipping shot struck the left post and into the net putting his side ahead.

On the stroke of half time, Colts managed to double the lead. Following Jordan Hogarth’s headed effort coming off the woodwork in the 40+1st minute, the ball dropped to Declan Bell whose initial rebound shot was blocked. The player struck the ball on the rebound once more, driving it low into the net. 

Two well-worked set pieces were the difference between Broxburn Athletic and Musselburgh Windsor at New Countess Park, as strikes from Ryan Robertson and Lewis Cole ensured Athletic’s grasp on the South East Region Cup.

The first chance of the game fell the way of Broxburn as Callum Heath fired a low cross across the face of the goal, Cole was on hand to time his run into the box and side foot an effort towards goal, which was deflected out for a corner.

Broxburn had another chance to open the scoring ten minutes in when Campbell Anthony spread a lovely pass out wide to Liam Magee who was unmarked in the wing, he spotted the run of Ryan Robertson and crossed it into him. However, Robertson managed to get his feet stuck and failed to get a proper shot away, giving Musselburgh the chance to clear.

In the 14th minute Nathan Donnelly-Kay was next to come close for Athletic, by taking advantage of some slack defending he was able to close down the Windsor defence and get his shot away, although it wasn’t the most powerful of efforts and Jack Stewart was able to deny him at the near post.

Musselburgh created their first opening with 17 minutes on the clock via an incisive counter attack, as Jack Morgan raced down the wing and fired a ball into the feet of Murray McDougal, who turned and fired a low powerful shot at goal, but it lacked precision and James Davidson in the Broxburn goal was able to hold firmly onto the strike.

Windsor started to come into the came after 20 minutes, and Ross McLaren came close to taking the lead when Sean Brown crossed towards the near post. Mclaren angled his run in front of the defender and tried to divert his effort in from a tight angle by stretching a foot towards the ball, which trickled across the face of the goal and left Broxburn with a sigh of relief.

They had another attempt at goal in the 32nd minute as a long throw-in was only cleared into the feet of Liam Gregory who was waiting on the edge of the box, his curling effort lacked precision though as it flew over the bar.

Depsite the continued pressure from their opponents, Broxburn took the lead in the 34th minute by a smartly-worked free-kick. Nobody in Windsor blue spotted the run of Robertson, who was found with a deceptive pass from Heath. Robertson continued his run into the area, advanced on goal and slotted the ball to the right of Stewart, giving his side the lead in the final. It was a quick piece of thinking which proved to pick the lock in the Musselburgh defence.

If that opportunity was clever, their next shot on goal was audacious. Donnelly Kay’s lovely clipped-in delivery was only half-cleared to Jamie Brown on the edge of the box. Instead of simply controlling the ball or heading it back in, he caught the surprise of everybody at New Countess Park by producing an overhead kick which left Stewart scrambling, but his acrobatic effort only found the side netting. It could have been the perfect end to the half for Broxburn.

In a tight cup final between Spartans and Tynecastle BC, it required a piece of brilliance from Jonathan Jarron to separate the two teams, as Spartans ran out winners in a tense match at New Countess Park.

Nicholas Reid was the first to create a chance of note in the 12th minute when a series of deflections helped the ball land at his feet inside the box, but his first-time effort sailed over the bar.

Reid was in the centre of the action again a few minutes later as he fed the ball through to Jack Crombie, he raced onto the through ball with only Aaron Heap in the Tynecastle goals to beat, but the goalkeeper came out on top on this occasion, reaching the ball just before it could be fired at goal.

Jack Gammie was the first player to test the reflexes of Niall McFadden in Spartans goal with a good free-kick in the 16th minute, it looked destined for the top corner, but Gammie was equal to the effort and prevented both a goal and a corner.

Reid then set up a chance for Lorcan Gray on 19 minutes. Reid fired a ball across the box and Gray was arriving late into the box to meet it, however, the pace on the ball seemed to work against him as he scuffed his effort and saw it trickle wide of the goal.

Reece Mason was next to try his luck for Spartans, who were well on top at this stage, when he struck a curling effort from the edge of the box, but Heap was able to stretch just far enough to tip the ball over the bar for a corner, which came to nothing.

In the 23rd minute Spartans produced an incisive passing move which saw Gray and Jarron interchanging passes, before sliding in Reid who had a great chance to open the scoring, but dragged his effort wide of the post.

The pressure from Spartans only continued and they came close to scoring a few minutes before half-time, as Reid, once again at the heart of the attack, nipped his way around the defence and managed to place his shot past the keeper, but Aaron Matheson was on hand to deny him on the goal-line.

Tynecastle had a chance to grab a goal just before the interval, as Jack Carr showed brilliant strength to see off a defender in the box and get a shot away, unfortunately for him though, that shot was off target. 

Hutchinson Vale and Leith Athletic kicked off Sunday’s South East Region Cup final day with an entertaining opening match, in a final which could only be described as a game of two halves. After surviving a first half onslaught from Leith in the first half, Vale struck thrice in the second half to seal victory over their Edinburgh opponents.

Athletic created the first of many chances after 15 minutes when a ball was played out wide to Brodie Watt, who cut inside and struck an effort which produced a solid save from Logan Robertson. He had to be alert again just a minute later when he had to stretch low to reach Connor Young’s deflected effort and tip it away for a corner.

Leith came even closer in the 22nd minute when they were awarded a free kick from 30 yards out. Leon McDonald couldn’t have done anymore as his ferocious long-distance effort thundered off the bar, and despite the rebound falling to the feet of Maksymilan Plutka, he failed to convert his effort on target from close range.

At that stage in the game Leith had bene well on top of their opponents, and they wouldn’t have believed their luck when the woodwork was struck again for a second time in the 34th minute, this time it was Young who came inches way from opening the scoring. After weaving his way past a series of defenders with some tricky footwork, his curled effort fired off the bar and out for a goal kick. It looked like only one side was going to score the opening goal.

Watt then tried his luck again just before the half-time whistle sounded, he controlled the ball near the byline, swivelled neatly and struck a low effort which skidded agonisingly wide of the Vale post. There were no doubts as to who had dominated the opening half, and it seemed a miracle that the score remained goalless. 

Friday, 02 June 2017 21:20

Leith scrape past Spartans Youth

Written by

Although this game may not have looked like a thriller from the scoreline, it was interesting for several other reasons, most notably the fascinating tactical battle that played out in the second half as Leith tried to cling to their narrow lead and Spartans threw everything at them.

Right from kick off, Jordan Young tried a very speculative effort from just behind the halfway line, which Spartan goalkeeper Shaun Azam saved very comfortably. 

The game settled into a general rhythm of a midfield-based fight, characterised by patterns of continuous headers and the occasional rather vicious tackle.

However, it was from a handball that the first and only goal of the game came. 

Just past the ten minute mark, from just inside Spartans' half, and slightly away to the right, Leith won a free kick. 

Young launched a swirling, high ball deep into the Spartan penalty area, causing havoc, as all the Spartan defence seemed to misjudge the ball, allowing the ball to fall straight into the feet of Brodie Watt, who coolly volleyed into the net.

It was a lead that Leith would never give up.

The rest of the opening period passed without much to comment, aside from another free kick that was taken by Young, although this was dealt with in a far more confident fashion by Leith, Azam saving easily.

The tackles were flying in, and by half time, it really was a wonder no one had been badly injured. 

Half time came, with both teams feeling rather frustrated at the fact that their efforts had been significantly hindered by the solidness of the opposing defence.

A magnificent four-goal haul from Joao Balde saw Broughton overcome Preston Lodge to win the Lothian Schools FA Cup final, on an eventful afternoon at Ainslie Park.

The first chance of the cup final fell the way of Broughton when Balde floated a teasing ball towards the back post, where Robbie Ashdown-Adams was arriving into the area, but his effort flew over the bar.

They didn’t have to wait too long to open the scoring on the evening, as Balde grabbed his first goal of four in the 15th minute.

A clinical counter attacked sliced open the Preston Lodge defence as Matty Combe switched the ball over to Balde, who took a touch on his chest and slotted the ball underneath the goalkeeper; a deserved goal after a dominant opening.

Within barely a blink of the eye Broughton extended their lead to two goals, and Balde was on hand to score again. It was nearly a carbon copy of the first goal as once again Combe was the provider, sliding in Balde into the same position as before, and as before, he despatched beyond the keeper’ and gave his side a two-goal cushion.

After assisting the first two goals it was nearly Combe’s turn to get on the scoresheet himself, as an inswinging free-kick fell to him at the back post, but despite stretching, he was unable to convert it into the net.

A Preston goal didn’t look likely at that stage, as Broughton piled forward time after time and the result seemed a potential formality. However, their lead was cut on 25 minutes after a defensive mix-up. Broughton failed to clear a corner successfully and Ellis Grieve capitalised from inside the area to score. It may have been against the run of play, but suddenly the cup final was back in the balance.

Broughton really should have added a third just before the half-time interval, as Balde hung up an inviting ball into the centre after a storming run, Fynlay Connor managed to reach it but he spurned the chance and put it well over the bar from close range.