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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.  
 
Boroughmuir Thistle U15 Purples enjoyed an experience they’ll “remember for a lifetime” during their history making trip to AC Milan this April.
 
The Scottish team became the first girls’ squad to take part in the ‘Milan Experience’ during their five-day long trip to the home of the European giants.
 
They had the opportunity to sample life as a Rossoneri superstar; from undergoing medicals and taking part in media sessions, to training at the same facilities as the club’s women’s and youth squads - they even got the chance to test themselves in games against Milan’s U14 and U15 girl’s teams.
 
They also toured the club museum and had the chance to meet Milan legend Franco Baresi – a player so iconic his number six shirt was retired after his final season with the club.
 
To top it off, on the Sunday they travelled to Caravaggio to see the women’s first team take on Atalanta, before heading to San Siro to watch the men play Lazio.
 
And to make things even more exciting for the girls, pictures from their trip were displayed on the big screens for all to see prior to kick-off.  
 
It was an incredible experience, and one the girls have taken so much from says tour organiser and parent Scott Freeborn:
 
“Whether they play football for the rest of their lives or they go on to do other things, it’s something they’ll never forget,” he said. “I was talking to one of the mums a few days ago who mentioned her daughter had been contemplating focussing on netball.
 
“Now she’s come back she said she’d do it again in a heartbeat; she loved being part of the team and all the debrief sessions they spent together.
 
“She came out of her shell in a sense – on a personal level as well as a football level – and now she’s fully motivated to work hard and be as good as she can be.
 
“And she wasn’t the only one, a lot of [the girls] are ambitious and want to be elite players in the Scottish game and they’ve learned a lot from travelling and spending time together.”  
 
The trip wasn’t just a big opportunity for Boroughmuir Thistle, it was a chance for AC Milan to show their commitment to the growth of women’s football at the club – meaning the red carpet was rolled out and they went above and beyond to make it as incredible an experience as possible.  
 
Freeborn explained: “It was a big deal because this is AC Milan’s first ever partnership and training camp on the girls’ side of things, so they’re making a big deal out of it.
 
“They’ve taken a lot of videos and interviews which they are going to use to create a video package for their own PR.
 
“They really went the extra mile for our girls in terms of the training sessions.”
 
It was a partnership that began about 18 months ago, when a club parent with strong Italian connections put Thistle in touch with Brescia WFC, who were former Italian Champions, and a relationship was born.
 
In Easter 2018, a team of older girls had travelled to Brescia for a training camp, and the idea was to continue that arrangement, but as Freeborn explains, plans soon changed:
 
“A few months after [the Brescia trip], AC Milan decided that they wanted a top division women’s team, so they actually bought out the rights to Brescia’s league place and a lot of the staff and players came over – including the guys we had contact with.
 
“Basically, everything moved lock, stock and barrel over to AC Milan and they were very keen to keep things going.”
 
As well as three training sessions with the Milan coaches, where they got to experience first-hand the in-house techniques developed at Milan over the years (“There was an opportunity for our coaches to learn from them as well, which was great,” said Freeborn), Thistle also got to go toe-to-toe with the regions best young players when they took on Milan’s U14 and U15 teams.
 
Although competitive matches, the results didn’t go their way, but Freeborn knows the girls learned a lot from the fixtures.
 
He said: “My understanding is that [before the first match] the girls felt a bit nervous about going into a game with one of the biggest teams in the world and they maybe didn’t play the football they’re capable of.
 
“They discussed being relaxed, confident and putting into practice what they do in training because they’re all good players who have made a good start in the League.
 
“And they did that in the game against the older girls, they played much more like they can do.
 
“They held their own against an older team, so it was a great experience for them.”
 
As with the rest of the trip, the Scottish players were made to feel right at home by their Italian counterparts after both matches, and Freeborn believes it’s a credit to everyone involved in their trip that they were made to feel so comfortable.
 
He said: “The AC Milan girls were not stand-offish after the game; they hung around swapping Instagram accounts and they’ve been messaging our girls since they got back.
 
“For a Scottish club to go to a big powerhouse brand like AC Milan and be made to feel so welcome is really nice to see.”
 
 
All Star Events is hosting the first Inner City School Football Tournament at The Oriam in Edinburgh on Tuesday 21 May 2019, from 10am until 2pm.

The event organisers are a group of Edinburgh College Year 2 HND Students. The four-strong team at All Star Events are passionate about bringing children together in sport and could think of no better event to organise than a school’s football tournament.

Event team manager Andrew Fraser said: “We are delighted to be using the Oriam’s indoor 3G pitches for soccer 7’s school teams for this upcoming tournament. This was an event that we have wanted to do for some time allowing all levels of Primary School teams a chance to play at these facilities in the friendship of sport. On conducting research, it was apparent that very few primary school football teams had a league, cup or any competition they could feasibly enter.”

Sixteen school teams from all over the Lothians will face each during the tournament. There will be two Cups available based on team abilities, allowing all levels of teams to participate. The winning teams will receive a trophy and all players will take home a participation medal.

This event has partnered with “Sporting Start”, a charity that enables young people in Edinburgh and the Lothians to experience and enjoy sport. They help individuals and groups who face financial - or other opportunity limiting barriers - to access or participate in sport. They aim to provide funding support to help with coaching, courses, events, facilities and sports equipment, for example.

Sporting Start was founded in memory of Martin Macari, an inspirational and talented sportsman whose life was cut short by cancer aged 47. A passionate advocate for the power and joy of sport, Martin was a role model who led by example as player, coach and leader across multiple sports. 

As a father, one of Martin’s greatest hopes for his children was that they develop a love of sport from an early age and thrive from the many ways sport would enrich their lives. He strongly believed that every young person should be given this opportunity.

Andrew said: “On searching through sporting charities for this tournament the team came across Sporting Start. A charity that was initially unknown to us, but we discovered that both the team at All Star Events and Sporting Start shared the same ethos in regards to youth sport in the Lothians and we are delighted we have partnered for this tournament.”

The tournament has also received sponsorship from Football Nation, who will be providing event tracksuits; Bala Sports, who will be providing Fairtrade Match Balls; Scotmid and various other local businesses which will help the event to be a lasting experience for those pupils involved. The event is also hosting a Fairtrade Fruit and Water stand that all participants are free to enjoy throughout the tournament.

“It is hoped that the success of this tournament will allow it to become an annual event allowing more schools to be part of a footballing experience for their pupils,” added Andrew.
 
The event will be a seven-a-side format, with every team playing five matches – and possibly a sixth if they make the final. Group stage matches will last 15 minutes and knock-out matches will last 20.

There are a limited number of spaces still available to primary schools and if you would like further details, or information on how your school can participate, please contact the organisers on [email protected]com or directly on 0131 297 9625.
 
 
Coach Gordon Kaye says it was “a bit of a no brainer” to sign his Lochend U12 side up for this Easter’s UK International Cup.
 
The squad – along with Lochend’s U10 and U11 sides – will be part of a 100-team international tournament this April at English Football’s state-of-the-art St George’s Park complex.
 
And Kaye believes the opportunity for his experienced team to get a taste of one of the world’s top footballing facilities is too good to miss:
 
“We’re quite tournament happy,” he said. “We’ve done a few before and they’ve all gone really well.
 
“It’s great for the kids and it’s great for the parents to get together, so when we got the email [about the tournament] and saw the Youtube video we thought we were on to an absolute winner.
 
“To go to a place like St. George’s Park, which is one of the best training facilities in the world, is an amazing opportunity for the boys and I’m sure the vast majority of them really appreciate that.”  
 
The Lochend U10’s, U11’s and U12’s will all be heading down in the same coach, which will save the club some money, but that hasn’t stopped everyone pulling together to raise funds for the trip.
 
Kaye explained: “We have a little bit of money left over from the last fundraising – not a huge amount, just enough to get us started – so that’s handy.
 
“We did some bag packing in late December and we had a small get-together where we did a little bit of fundraising - we’ll probably have some sort of charity dinner-like affair as well.
 
“Last time we had a penalty shoot-out competition and we managed to get Leigh Griffiths to come down and help us out which was tremendous.
 
“He’s quite pally with one of our former coaches so we invited him down and obviously the kids loved that.”
 
And Kaye is confident that all the effort the club has put in over the years to be able to go to tournaments like this will all be worth it, and that the team will end up stronger if they continue to make the most of opportunities like this Easter’s.
 
He said: “We’ve started to hear the boys talk about it in the changing room, they’re getting really excited about it.
 
“I mean, for them any sort of tournament is something they’ll jump at – especially if it means going away and staying together.
 
“So, it’s something that’s really keeping them going and it’s great advertising for the club; it’s a way of convincing people to stay as well as getting new people in because we’re seen to do these tournaments and the kids have access to these kinds of opportunities.”
 
One of the factors that drew Lochend to the tournament was the chance to test themselves against teams from around the world, and Kaye is confident the boys will come back better players:
 
“They’ll be playing with different kids which helps because even though you can get friendlies with different opposition up here it’s quite hard,” he said. “You generally end up playing the same sort of teams.
 
“But now we’ll be playing against kids from completely different areas and I hope they’ll take a lot from that.
 
“It’ll be a good experience for them generally to understand what it takes to go away to a tournament and play football in a different area so that’ll be good, and hopefully they’ll be able to expand their footballing horizons and enjoy the whole experience.”
 
The UK International Cup takes place at St. George’s Park from Friday April 19 to Sunday April 21. Keep an eye on the YFS website and social media channels for more coverage.
 
The draw for the first round of the SWF U13's South East Region Cup has been made.
 
The draw sees a Boroughmuir derby taking place as Boroughmuir Thistle Jags take on Boroughmuir Thistle Violets.
 
The full draw is as follows:
 
 

Boroughmuir Thistle Violets v Boroughmuir Thistle Jags

Hutchison Vale v Hibernian FC 

Hearts FC v Blackhall Athletic

Spartans Douglas v Blackburn United

Spartans FC v Cockenzie Star

Dunbar v Boroughmuir Thistle Whites

Haddington Athletic v Dalkeith Thistle Cardo

Edinburgh South v Murieston United Blues / Blackburn United Black

Broxburn Athletic v Tranent Colts

Arniston Rangers v Hibernian Greens

Boroughmuir Thistle Purples v Musselburgh Windsor Whites

Blackburn United Yellows v Penicuik Div 2 / Murieston United Whites

Musselburgh Windsor Blues v Loanhead Youth Miners FC

North Berwick v Hibernian Whites

Penicuik Div 3 v Hearts Development

Lauderdale v Linlithgow Rose

 

All ties are scheduled to be played in the 24th March

 
The draw for the first round of the SWF U15's South East Region Cup has been made.
 
The draw sees a Boroughmuir derby taking place as Boroughmuir Thistle Jags take on Boroughmuir Thistle Purples.
 
The full draw is as follows:
 
 
Arniston Rangers vs Edinburgh South CFC
 
Blackhall Athletic vs Tranent Colts
 
Bonnyrigg Rose vs Spartans FC
 
Boroughmuir Thistle Jags vs Boroughmuir Thistle Purples
 
East Lothian Girls vs Blackburn United
 
Hutchison Vale vs Dalkeith Thistle
 
Linlithgow Rose vs Hibernian FC
 
Murieston United vs Musselburgh Windsor
 
 
All ties are scheduled to be played on Saturday 2nd March.
 
February marks the month where many of the SERYFA cup finalists will be decided and there are more than a fair few on display this weekend. Here are five games in the South East Region to keep an eye out for this weekend.
 
Craigroyston CYFC vs Linton Hotspur FC Colts U13 - George Salmon Cup - Last 16
 
The top two in the SERYFA 3rd division face off this weekend for a place in the George Salmon Cup quarter-finals against Musselburgh Young Stars.
 
The previous meeting between these two sides produced a 1-1 draw, however there must be a winner in this one, which should make for an entertaining match.
 
 
Musselburgh Windsor vs Lasswade Thistle U14 - Willie Bauld Cup - Semi Final
 
A potential meeting in the final against either Hutchison Vale and Edinburgh South CFC awaits the winner of this tie. Lasswade Thistle won the league title last year but remain five points behind Windsor, having played a game less.
 
The last meeting between these two sides saw them play out a 1-1 draw, so expect a close game that could go all the way to penalties.
 
 
Hutchison Vale Colts vs St Bernards BC Midlothian U15 - John McConnell Cup - Semi Final
 
Hutchison Vale Colts have had a tough start to this season in the first division. They are without a win in the league so far and yet are still one game away from a cup final.
 
They face a tough task in St Bernards, who have won both of their previous meetings this season, but anything can happen in cup competitions and an upset could very well be on the cards here.
 
 
Spartans FC Whites vs North Berwick Colts U16 - Division 3 League Cup - Semi Final
 
North Berwick Colts have been impressive this season. They are currently 11 points clear at the topof the SERYFA third division and have lost just three games all season in the league.
 
This makes them a target and Spartans Whites will certainly be motivated to book their place in the League Cup final at Colts' expense.
 
 
Hutchison Vale vs Leith Athletic U19 - Colin Campbell Sports Cup - Quarter Final
 
This game should have goals written all over it. The last meeting between these two sides in the league saw Leith win the match 7-4 so here's hoping for another goalfest this weekend.
 
Leith currently sit top of the table, unbeaten in league competition and Hutchison Vale will hope to get a measure of revenge as well as book their place in the semi-finals.
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