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Monday, 08 June 2020 10:19

Berwick Clubs Join Forces

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Lowland League side Berwick Rangers and juvenile club Berwick Juniors have agreed an ambitious new partnership designed to give the area’s young talent a pathway to the senior game. 

The youth outfit have adopted the name Berwick Rangers Juniors as part of the plans and will also adopt the Berwick Rangers badge, retaining black and gold as their familiar club colours. 

Berwick Rangers Juniors will use the new identity across all social media and marketing as links are strengthened. 

Dave Buglass, Berwick Rangers director, said: “The club have had ties to the Juniors in the past, but they weren’t very strong. 

“We felt it was only right to strengthen our connection between the two of us and create the partnership.”

A new board of directors was appointed at Berwick Rangers in January, as the club adjusts to life outside of the SPFL, and one of the key focuses has been on improving the flow of local players to the first team. 

Officials from both Berwick Rangers and the Juniors had held several encouraging talks which led to the partnership being formed.

Berwick Rangers Juniors will now have access to some of the Wee Gers’ facilities as part of their agreement. The Juniors teams will be able to use the pitches at Shielfield Park, Old Shielfield and Ivinson. 

Club officials, coaches and volunteers will also be able to use meeting rooms and recreational space for fundraising events at Shielfield Park, which will be a major help to the Juniors.

“One of my aims with the partnership is to see more children through the gates on a Saturday,” Dave added. “We want to engage with our community, and this is definitely a great chance to do that with Juniors players having the chance to be ball boys and girls and come down with their parents to support the team.

“We train at Edinburgh University and most of our players are based in Edinburgh and the East Lothian area, so with the partnership we aim to have a couple more local lads in the first team squad in the near future.

“The most important thing is turning the kids into good people, giving them the social skills and communication skills that allow them to go on and have a good life. 

“Secondly, if they are really good footballers, we are able to give them a pathway to get to the Berwick Rangers first team or even just keeping them playing football for as long as possible.

“We need to continue to tell our story positively on social media and as more people see how the club is becoming more professional more people will pay attention and be interested in Berwick Rangers. We have just launched a Berwick Rangers podcast, Let It BRFC, and there are lots of great initiatives underway.”

Berwick Rangers also want to give all the Juniors coaches the chance to enhance their experience, starting with a new coach in-service programme. 

This will come in the form of online sessions which will be launched on June 10 by former Berwick Juniors and current St Johnstone midfielder Liam Craig, who will give the coaches an insight into his playing career and his first steps into the world of coaching. 

Craig is planning to set-up further calls with fellow professional players as special guests who can talk to the coaches about their experience within the game and support coach development for the Juniors volunteers.

The Borderers are not only helping the Juniors on the playing side but will also provide advice on the way the Juniors are run off the pitch in order to maximise the club’s growth. 

This will come in the form of the board of directors lending their expertise to the Juniors with marketing, communications and applying for grants. 

The board of directors will also meet up with the Juniors committee every three months to track the progress made as a result of the partnership. 

Dave added: “The Juniors will get the chance to make use of the great club facilities, use of our communications and marketing experience and our experience and network of coaching education. 

“For Berwick Rangers, it completes our pathway to the first team and allows us to engage even more with the community.

“We definitely view this as a long-term partnership. We recently had a community day and the Juniors played an intrinsic role in that, with the crowd total reaching just under 600 fans when we were averaging over 300 at the start of the season.

“The good thing is these are parents and children who are all from the town, so more people will be speaking about the club and spreading the word of what we are doing.”

Wednesday, 18 March 2020 09:59

Gala and Salvesen Merge to Create New Youth Team

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Salvesen CFC have merged with Gala Fairydean Rovers to create a new under-20s team, which will play in the East of Scotland Development League from the start of the 2020/21 season.

It is hoped the move will benefit both teams, by creating a pathway for Salvesen’s youth players into Lowland League Football, and allowing matches to be more accessible to Borders'-based Gala, as the team will be based in the capital.

Kenneth Wood, a coach at Salvesen, said: “We lose players to senior teams, [and] as a consequence our teams are not as strong as they used to be.”

Kenneth contacted former Hibs and Celtic player, John Collins who had previously worked with Salvesen chairman Graeme Buckley at Livingston FC. 

Through Collins’ connection with Gala Fairydean Rovers - he is an ambassador with the club - an opportunity arose for Salvesen and Gala to merge and form a new team.

“We both share the same football philosophy," Kenneth added, "so it made sense to join up and create a huge pool of talented young footballers.”

Kenneth, who will be part of the coaching staff in the new under-20s team, also said a large portion of the praise should go to Salvesen chairman, Graeme Buckley, who pulled the strings to make the move happen.

“Now the club are on the up and moving forward with Graeme on board, and with his knowledge and direction for the club it’s very exciting times ahead.”

“My aim is to raise the profile of our youth teams and produce players for the under-20s and eventually the first team,” said Wood, when asked about the future of the new team and his aims.

He continued: “Everything is in place and both clubs are delighted to work together and make this project a success.”

“It is a very exciting project to be involved in."

Hutchison Vale vs Lasswade Thistle U15

These two have had many incredible battles with each other over the past couple of seasons, and now the two clash once again for a place in the final of the South East Region Cup.

These two are the only undefeated teams in the SERYFA First Division and hold a place not just amongst the best teams in the region, but also the country.

Lasswade hold top spot for now, sitting six points ahead of Hutchie Vale having played two games more. The last encounter between these teams resulted in a 1-1 draw. Perhaps this is a sign of how even this match will be.

These two contested the final of this competition two seasons ago, with Hutchison Vale coming out on top on that occasion. This has all the making to be a classic cup match.


Salvesen Vikings vs Portobello CFA U14

Two of the top sides in the U14 SERYFA First Division face off in the South East Region semi final as Salvesen Vikings take on Portobello CFA.

Just three points separate the two at the top of the table, and it looks as though we can expect an equal game from two sides who have had fantastic campaigns so far this season.

The two have only met once so far in the league, that match resulting in a 1-1 draw. There will have to be a winner this weekend, and it’s difficult to determine who that winner will be.

However it does mean one thing. This is sure to be a thoroughly entertaining match.


Edinburgh City Whites vs Edinburgh City Blacks U17

Seeing two teams under the same banner competing in the semi final of a cup competition is not something you see everyday and is a testament to the work done at Edinburgh City as their Whites and Blacks clash for a place in the South East Region Cup Final.

Despite being in different divisions, with the Blacks in the First Divsion and the Whites in the Second, this game will be difficult to call.

The Whites have had a great season so far, reaching the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup and will come into this game off the back of an impressive comeback win over Salvesen to win the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup.

For the Blacks, they are still in with a shot of catching up to Division 1 leaders Spartans, but their focus will be on this weekend and their quest to secure some silverware of their own.

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Hutchison Vale vs Hillfield Swifts U16

It’s a top two clash in the SERYFA First Division as Hutchison Vale host Hillfield Swifts in a match that could decide the fate of the league title.

Hillfield Swifts have some ground to make up on the league leaders, having fallen 13 points behind Hutchie Vale with three games in hand, but you have to feel that in order to realistically challenge for the title, a win is needed this weekend.

That win will not be easy to come by. Hutchison Vale are having a fantastic season so far and the Scottish Cup semi-finalists remain undefeated in the league so far this season.

Vale won the previous encounter between the two, securing a 3-1 win. Hillfield Swifts will be looking to not only avenge that loss, but also pull themselves right back into the title race.


Bathgate Thistle White vs Blackburn United Black U15

Two teams competing at the top end of the WLAYFC A League clash for a place in the County Cup final as Bathgate Thistle White take on Blackburn United Black.

Blackburn go into the game as firm favourites, given their perfect record in the league with eight wins out of eight.

Bathgate are not that far behind, sitting five points adrift having played one game more than their opponents this weekend.

Form often goes out the window when it comes to cup football however, and it sets this one up for a fantastic cup semi.

Salvesen CFC vs Edinburgh City Whites U17
 
This Saturday marks the first cup final in the South East Region this season as Salvesen CFC and Edinburgh City Whites compete at Spartans Academy in the final of the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup.
 
Cup finals are always special occasions in the youth football calendar, and this looks to prove to be no exception. Edinburgh City Whites go into the game as favourites, having only lost one game in the SERYFA Second Division, and having made it to the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup this season.
 
Salvesen have had a mixed bag when it comes to this season, but have done extremely well to make it to the final of this competition. They will also have the added motivation of putting their previous encounter with City behind them as they look to avenge their big loss earlier in the season.
 
Ainslie Park is set for what is sure to be an interesting game, and is one of the places to be this weekend.
 
 
Melrose FC vs Eyemouth United U14
 
A table topping encounter in the SERYFA Fourth Division sees leaders Melrose look to pull further away from their rivals Eyemouth United.
 
Melrose are 12 points ahead of United at the top, but have played plenty more games than their opponents. The eight game catch up that Eyemouth need to do puts more pressure on Melrose to get the points needed to solidify their place at the top.
 
Eyemouth have a perfect record in the league this season, with eight wins from eight games so far. A win this weekend would close the gap at the top to nine with plenty of games in hand. Second placed Newtongrange Star, who are also undefeated in the league will be looking at this match with interest.
 
 
Spartans FC vs St Bernard's Midlothian U19
 
Two teams still with a shot of winning the SERYFA U19's league title face off this weekend, as second placed St Bernard's Midlothian travel to take on third placed Spartans.
 
The home side, Spartans, have performed very well this season and will certainly fancy their chances this weekend. They sit six points behind league leaders Blackhall Athletic, but also have the benefit of four games in hand. 
 
St Bernard's are second with two games in hand over the leaders. They have also played two games more than Spartans and have a three point advantage over their opponents. A win for Midlothian would cement their place in second and put pressure on Athletic to stay ahead.
 
 
Gartcairn FA vs Blackburn United U13
 
The WLAYFC League Cups are set to get underway this weekend and one of the ties of the tournament comes in the A League as Gartcairn FA host Blackburn United.
 
Both teams are performing well in the league and look set to make the title race very interesting come the end of the season, but all of that will be put to one side as the two sides compete in cup competition.
 
Gartcairn sit second in the table, just two points behind leaders Milton Rovers having played one game more, whilst Blackburn United sit third, three points behind Rovers with two games in hand.
 
This one will be difficult to call, which is exactly what you want from an entertaining cup clash.
 
 
West Lothian vs Carluke United U14
 
The A League in the WLAYFC is too close to call this season, but two teams battling it out for the title are set to clash this weekend as West Lothian host Carluke United.
 
West Lothian hold the distinction of league leaders for now, though the result of this game could have a massive effect on their chances of staying there. The are three clear of second placed Airdrie, and five clear of their opponents this weekend.
 
Carluke United are unbeaten this season and hold two games in hand over West Lothian. A win would propel them within two of Lothian and surely give them a massive mental advantage of their fellow title challengers for the rest of the season.

Lasswade Thistle vs Blackburn United U13

This weekend sees a lot of semi-finals to be played in the South East Region Cup, one of these games comes in the form of two teams who have taken to the competition well since transitioning to 11-a-side football.

Lasswade Thistle have had a decent start to competitive football and sit comfortably mid-table in the SERYFA First Division. They only sit seven points off of top spot and will look to round off a great season with an appearance in a cup final.

Blackburn United on the other hand couldn’t have hoped for a better season than the one that they have had. The WLAYFC A League side are unbeaten in the league with a 100% record and will take that confidence into their game this weekend.

The winners of the tie will play the winners of the second semi-final between Portobello CFA and Nova Star.


Inverkeithing United vs Hutchison Vale U14

At the 2006 age group, Inverkeithing United and Hutchison Vale are both still challenging for the SERYFA Division 1 League title, but will have to put that quest on hold as they face off for a place in the South East Region Cup semi final.

United have not lost a game in the league this season and sit four points off of top spot. The Fife side have enjoyed an impressive couple of seasons since making the transition to competitive football.

Hutchison Vale have also been impressive this season. The sit narrowly behind Inverkeithing in the league and are only six points off of top spot. 

These two have not met in the league yet this season and will be looking to build on what has already been a good season by booking their place in May’s cup final.


Portobello CFA vs Bonnyrigg Rose FC U15

Moving onto the 2005 age group, two sides could provide one of the games of the region this weekend. Here’s hoping they reproduce their five goal thriller earlier in the season.

Both teams remain in the title hunt for the SERYFA Division 1 title, but will welcome the opportunity to book themselves a place in a cup final in May. 

The winners of this tie will face the winners of the match between Hutchison Vale and Lasswafe Thistle. Those two have been on fire in the league and whoever wins this tie will be in for a tough game in the final.

Expect a game between two sides hungry for silverware.


Edinburgh City Whites vs Edinburgh City Blacks U17

Derby matches are always great spectacles, but especially in the context of a South East Region Cup semi final.

These two don’t normally meet since they reside in different divisions, with the Blacks in Division 1 and the Whites in Division 2.

Both sides have been going well in their respective leagues, with the Blacks 16 points off of top spot, but with the benefit of having a massive five games in hand. The Whites on the other hand are ten points off top spot in their league, and have four games in hand.

Many would look at the difference in leagues as an indicator of how the match is going to go, but cup semi finals are capable of bringing up results you don’t really expect.


Armadale Calcio vs Edinburgh City FC U19

The South East Region Cup is a great competition because it brings up matches that you wouldn’t normally see and that is no different with this tie here.

Both of these sides have had decent seasons so far. Armadale have a lot of ground to make up if they want to catch up to WLAYFC League leaders AC Rovers, but having lost just two games in the league this season they can be happy with how they’ve played.

Edinburgh City have less of a mountain to climb, with five points to make up on leaders Blackhall Athletic, but the benefit of five games in hand.

The winners of this tie will play either Edinburgh South or Dalkeith Thistle in the final in May.

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 12:42

South East Region Round Up - 1/2 February 2020

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U13s

It was a great weekend for Nova Star in the SERYFA First Division as they secured a stunning first league win of the season against Hutchison Vale. Their record before the game saw them secure two draws and four defeats before their victory on Sunday.

Leith Athletic maintained their unbeaten second division record this season with a narrow 2-1 win away to Tynecastle Maroon. The win sees them creep closer to table toppers Tranent Colts. Athletic have four games in hand over the leaders.

In Division 3A, Craigroyston missed an opportunity to move further clear at the top of the table as they played out a thoroughly entertaining 4-4 draw with Musselburgh Young Stars. The draw opens the door further for Penicuik Athletic, who now have four games in hand over Craigroyston, to take top spot.

Edinburgh South Cobras were able to move to within one point of Division 4 leaders Newcraighall Leith Vics after their emphatic victory over Hillfield Swifts Colts. The two have now both played 10 games each, but will be looking over their shoulders at Lauderdale FC and Ancrum FC, who are following close behind.

In cup action in the SERYFA leagues, Lasswade Thistle advanced to the final of the Peter O’Neill Cup with an impressive 3-1 victory away to Salvesen CFC. They will face either Edinburgh South Athletico, Edinburgh South CFC or Musselburgh Windsor for the trophy.

Lasswade Thistle Reds followed their sister team’s steps and also booked their place in a final, beating Lochend FA for a place in the final of the Edinburgh Cup. They will face the winner of the second semi-final between Dalkeith Thistle and Haddington Athletic.

With Gartcairn Academy in WLAYFC County Cup action, Milton Rovers took advantage to take top spot in the A League last weekend with a 7-0 win away to Bathgate Thistle Blue. Rovers still have one game in hand over Gartcairn at the top.

Kirkfield United continued their dominance at the top of the B League by securing an emphatic win over bottom side Armadale Stars to move 15 points clear at the top and maintain their perfect record in the league this season.


U14s

SERYFA Division 2 leaders Peebles put some much needed distance between themselves and second placed Edinburgh South with a 3-1 win away to Edinburgh City Whites. The win puts them four points clear at the top, though Edinburgh South do have three games in hand. At the other end of the table, Spartans FC Reds secured a vital win over Cramond FC to move themselves further away from bottom side Longniddry Villa.

In Division 4, Newtongrange Star YDA kept up the pace on league leaders Melrose with a comfortable win over Cramond FC Romans. Newtongrange now move to within 11 points of the leaders, but also hold a massive seven games in hand. The game of the division came between Cockenzie Star and Lothian Colts Blues, as they played out a 5-4 thriller in the Blues’ favour.

In the cups, Craigroyston CYFC secured their place in the final of the David Innes Cup by beating Dunbar United Colts 4-0. They will now face the winner of the second semi final between Edinburgh South and Musselburgh Windsor.

Melrose also have cause to celebrate as they booked their place in the final of the Charles Kilvin Cup in an entertaining tie that had to be separated via a penalty shootout. They will face their title rivals Newtongrange Star in the showpiece event.

Airdrie United were the big winners in the WLAYFC A League last weekend as they secured a big victory over leaders West Lothian FC. United are now just six points behind West Lothian.

In the B League Carluke Athletic extended their lead at the top of the table with a big win over Broxburn Athletic Colts. They are now a whopping 15 points clear ahead of second placed Linlithgow Rose Maroon, who could only draw against Bathgate Thistle Red.


U15s

With Hutchison Vale in cup action this weekend, Lasswade Thistle took advantage and move six points clear at the top of the SERYFA Division 1 table with a narrow 1-0 win at home to Edinburgh City Blacks. Longniddry Villa also kept up the pace with the leaders with their 3-1 win against Edinburgh City.

Two of the top sides in the Division 2 table faced off at the weekend as Cavalry Park and Hutchison Vale Colts played out an entertaining 3-3 draw. Colts now move 10 points clear at the top ahead of second placed Kelso FC.

In Division 3 Cramond FC earned a huge win in the title race as they battled to a 3-2 win over Spartans FC Colts. The win moves Cramond into first place ahead of Spartans, having played one game more. Haddington Athletic also kept themselves in the title fight with a narrow win over North Berwick FC.


U16s

Hutchison Vale moved further clear at the top of the SERYFA Division 1 table last weekend as they secured a comfortable victory over Newcraighall Leith Vics. The Vale are now 13 points clear at the summit of the mountain, but will be keeping an eye on second placed Tynecastle who have four games in hand.

Dunbar United Colts kept their outside chances of catching league leaders Spartans FC Reds alive by securing a hard fought 3-2 win over Edinburgh City Colts. The Colts moved to within 13 points of Spartans with two games in hand.

Redhall Star suffered a setback in their Division 3A title ambitions last weekend as they fell to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Currie FC Colts. The loss means they remain two points behind leaders Eyemouth United, who have a game in hand.

Division 3B leaders Currie Star Colts used the fact that their nearest title rivals, Lochend YFC, were in cup action to their advantage as they increased their lead at the top of the table with a 4-1 win against Cramond FC. They are now four points clear having played one game more.


U17s

Spartans FC Reds increased their lead at the top of the SERYFA Division 1 table with a comfortable 5-1 win over Edinburgh South Reds. They’ve opened up an 11 point lead over second placed Leith Athletic, although Leith do still have five games in hand. At the other end of the table, Hutchison Vale recorded their first league win of the season last weekend over Musselburgh Windsor to lift them clear off the bottom of the table.

Cavalry Park used one of their games in hand in the second division to bring themselves close to league leaders Beechwood, securing a 5-3 win over Spartans FC Youth. Cavalry Park are now six points adrift with a game in hand.

In cup action, Edinburgh City Blacks earned their spot in the final of the Craig Gowans Memorial Cup with a narrow 1-0 victory over Longniddry Villa. They will face the winner of the second semi final tie between Tynecastle FC and Leith Athletic.

In the second Andrew Towns Memorial Cup semi final an all Edinburgh City final was set up for the final as Edinburgh City recorded a narrow 3-2 victory over Broxburn Diamonds to set up clash with Edinburgh City Blacks in the final.

And Salvesen have also booked their place in a cup final, with their semi final win against Gala Fairydean Rovers in the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup. They will face the winner of the second semi final between Cavalry Park and Edinburgh City Whites.

In the WLAYFC U17s League, Murieston United Blue took advantage of Linlithgow Rose’s game against Broxburn Athletic Colts being postponed to draw level on points with them at the top of the table. Murieston defeated Linlithgow Rose Maroon to draw level. Kirkfield United also secured an emphatic win over Bathgate Thistle to move to within three points of top spot with three games in hand.


U19

Blackhall Athletic earned their place in the final of the David Murray cup as they beat Spartans after extra time. They will play the winners of the tie between Edinburgh City Reds and Edinburgh South CFC.

In the WLAYFC U19s League, Blackburn United closed the gap at the top of the league to eight points with their win at the weekend over Armadale Calcio.

Tuesday 8th October 2019 will be a date to remember for Alicia Yates, as it will go down as the day she made her first-team debut for Hibernian against Forfar Farmington.
 
The youngster came on as a substitute in the 75th minute of the game, replacing Jenni Currie.
 
Yates is a famiiar face for us at YFS and we have been lucky to see her develop as a player over the years, one highlight being an Under 13's Scottish Cup victory for Bayside (pictured above), beating her now employers in the final.
 
It rounds off a good week to say the least for Yates, who is also part of the Scotland Women's Under 17 squad for the upcoming European Qualifiers starting on the 14th October.
 
Yates spoke to HibsTV in the aftermath of her debut and had this to say:
 
"It feels great to play in the first team, obviously the pace of play is just so much faster so it was great t just get on."
 
Congratulations from everyone at YFS and we look forward to more appearances in the future!
 
The Currie 2006 squad are already counting down the days until they head to Holland for the 2020 Easter Open, revealed coach Neil Langhorn.
 
The Edinburgh side will join around 500 teams from across the globe in the Netherlands next April, and they can’t wait to get going:
 
“We are very, very excited,” Langhorn said. “Although it’s still almost a year away, the boys – and parents – are already looking forward to it massively, and we’ve started fundraising to help subsidise the trip for our players.
 
“We’re really looking forward to playing in a big tournament, travelling abroad together and playing teams from different countries. It should be a fantastic experience for the boys.”
 
A few years ago, an older Currie FC squad made the trip and had nothing but positive things to report from their experience on the continent; and after following the 2019 tournament on social media, Langhorn is confident Holland is the place for his 2006 side next year.
 
He said: “We’ve heard from the other Currie age group about their experience and are looking forward to the travelling and enjoying a bit of the local culture.
 
“We haven’t booked anything yet but are planning on taking in a stadium tour and maybe also some other trips. We also plan to enjoy what the holiday park we’re staying at has to offer.
 
“But the thing we’re looking forward to most is playing in the tournament.”
 
This Currie team have competed in tournaments before but, out with a trip to Manchester to play a local side, their experience has been limited to smaller, one day events in the surrounding area. Therefore, Langhorn believes the Easter Open is the perfect chance for the boys to grow as a team and as individual players.
 
He said: “The main thing [we want them to take from this trip] has got to be great memories of going on a trip abroad with their friends and teammates. These are the sort of thing that lives long in the memory, creating a strong bond between the boys and building team spirit.
 
“We also hope that the boys will learn a bit about themselves on the football pitch and grow their confidence and ability as players by pitting themselves against teams from other countries.”
 
And when it comes time to step onto the pitch, what will Currie have to do to get the better of the teams they’ll be up against? Langhorn reckons if they’re able to do what they do best then they’ll be more than a match for any side:
 
“What we always emphasise to the boys in any game we play in is work hard,” he said. “Support one another, get the ball down and play our passing game.”
 
“We have a really good bunch of lads, most of whom have been together for a number of years, who all get on well and are looking forward to testing themselves against the other teams.
 
“We aren’t really thinking about winning the tournament, just enjoying ourselves. But if we play to our ability then we’re confident that we will give a good account of ourselves and get some decent results.”
 
If your team fancies joining Currie in Holland next Easter, then visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/holland for more information and details on how to get involved.
 
 
 
Dunbar United Colts 2005's have anounced that they will be teaming up with Sporting Minds UK for the 2019/20 season.
 
Sporting Minds UK are a non-profit organisation, awaiting confirmation of charitbale status, that aims to raising, awareness of mental health issues young people may suffer through sport, and provide help and advice for them to help manage their mental health locally.
 
For the following season Dunbar United Colts 2005's will have Sporting Minds UK as their shirt sponsors on their home and away kits.
 
This has been made possible by The Royal Bank of Scotland, who have donated £2,000 to pay for the team's new season strips, printing costs for the team's age group and also funding for mental health first aid courses at the football club, as a whole.
 
Dunbar United Colts released a statement on what they hope to achieve as part of the new partnership.
 
"Throughout sport, young people commonly experience pressure by parents, players & their peers to succeed. From balancing day to day school work with their sporting commitments, to sometimes difficult relationships with peers & family, which can all be extremely challenging for young people. Now with the introduction of social media, this has intensified 10 fold, having ‪24/7‬ exposure to positive and negative media streams, and not giving young people any opportunity for mental 'down time'. Did you know:-
 
  • 10% of children and young people (aged 5-16 years) have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, yet 70% of children and adolescents who experience mental health problems have not had appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.
  • 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24.
  • 20% of adolescents may experience a mental health problem in any given year.
 
"The harsh reality is that sport, and football in particular, is an environment that can very often be one which players are told to 'toughen up'; without knowing the impacts it can have on some of these young payers, who can be very vulnerable to such pressures.
 
 
"When standing on a touchline watching your son or daughter play, how often have you seen an opposition coach shout & scream at their players. How does this effect the player? Your son or daughter wants to play the sport they love, without having the pressure of knowing they will be shouted at for making mistakes. How does that effect them on a daily basis? How often is this accepted as part of developing young people in the sport you love?
 
"We will work together and make a difference by raising, awareness of mental health issues young people may suffer through sport, and provide help and advice for them to help manage their mental health locally and as widely as we can in as ,many olf the following ways as we can:-
 
  • Raising awareness of mental health for young sports people. This will be done through marketing on social media and their website, which is work in progress. 
  • Funding education and qualifications. We will seek to fund the education of coaches, staff, parents and players on mental health through working with trained specialist to undertake formal training. Spoting Minds UK will seek to fund and facilitate an individual from a sporting institution, to become a mental health first aider. This will give them formal qualification and be invaluable in helping them recognise symptoms of mental health issues and how to handle them effectively. 
  • Providing and funding direct, for 1 to 1 support. Any young person in sport, with a mental health issue, will have the opportunity to be offered 1 to 1 support with a trained professional. Sporting Minds UK have a goal to have a ‘menu’ of trained psychiatrists and psychologists who are onboard with Sporting Minds UK and who offer their services. Their aim is to eventually acquire the support of around 20 or so professionals to ensure we don’t encounter any geographic issues. 
"As a group of Dunbar United Colts club officials, we have chosen to partner with, and promote, Sporting Minds UK as out shirt sponsor, because we passionately want to help them work with young people in the community in a vital area, so personally close to our hearts."
 
Callum Lea, the founder of SportingMindsUK said: 
 
‘Sporting Minds UK is very proud to be teaming up with Dunbar United Colts 2005’s and to have our logo on their kit for 2019/2020.
 
"When we heard that they were keen to support the cause of mental health in young sports people, we were extremely excited and could tell straight away that Dunbar was exactly the sort of sporting organisation that we wanted to associate ourselves with, as a non-profit organisation.
 
"Sporting Minds UK was founded with the idea to spread positive mental health in youth sport and to try and put what really matters when our young athletes are competing, into context. We cannot thank Dunbar United Colts 2005’s for helping us spread our message and will be backing them all the way, throughout their season!!"
 
Playing in Barcelona will be a “dream come true” for the Musselburgh Windsor 2007 boys, says team secretary and coach John Fortune.
 
The Windsor team will be amongst over 300 sides heading to Spain next April for the Barcelona Easter Tournament, and everyone involved with the squad is raring to go.
 
Fortune said: “From the first time we made the team aware of our intention to travel and play in the Barcelona event the squad, staff and supporters have been excited and cannot wait to go.
 
“The squad have played numerous teams across Scotland and England, but to travel and play against some of the best teams in Europe at their age, in what is a superb and prestigious event, will definitely take it to the next level for them.”
 
This Windsor side has competed at numerous tournaments and festivals over the years – including down in England - at 7-a-side and 9-a-side. They’ve have had varying degrees of success at these events but, as Fortune explained, the experience they gain is far more important than results on the pitch:
 
“Recently we entered the Heston Rovers 2007 Cup in Dumfries, which was our first competitive event at 11-a-side. The fundamentals of how we have coached and developed the team over the years proved to be successful and despite playing some strong opposition, we came away winners of the event.
 
“These tournaments and trips have allowed us to produce a quality, bonded team that I am sure will have success in the future.”
Now they’re ready to take on Europe. And Fortune revealed that the opportunity to compete in Spain is something the players can’t wait to experience. He said:
 
“With the knowledge that the country has produced footballing idols like Iniesta, De Gea, Alba and Ramos the idea of playing in Barcelona is a dream come true for many of the boys.”
 
But they’re not just going for a holiday; they’ll be competing against teams from all over the continent, and the Musselburgh coaches expect they’ll take a great a great deal from their clashes with European competition:
 
“The team has always had a close bond,” Fortune explained. “They win together, lose together and gain experience together.
 
“Playing teams from other countries will not only provide a great insight into how football is played across Europe, but will also provide a chance to learn about language and cultural differences in sport, which they can then bring back to include in their academic and personal development.”
 
So, it’ll be a worthwhile trip regardless of results on the park, but do they have what it takes to return victorious? Fortune is optimistic:
 
“In addition to playing good quality football, to do well at the event the team will have to continue to keep the football and fair play values that they have learnt and developed over the years.
 
“With the quality and attitude of the players in the team, there is no reason why we can’t do very well at the event.”
 
If your team fancy joining Musselburgh Windsor in Spain next Easter, then visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/barcelona for more information and details on how to get involved.  
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