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The GoFitba project came to a close last week at Spartans and it is clear to see that it has been a tremendous success for everyone associated with the Edinburgh club.
Spartans have been running the project, started by the Scottish Football Partnership Trust to teach children from disadvantaged areas about the benefits of exercise and healthy-eating, to the children of Granton Primary School.
The club is very excited to be a part of the GoFitba project, as was emphasised by Club Community Coach, Kerr Allen.
“We got involved because we thought in the local area to be working it would be something that would benefit the kids that we work on and overall on a whole it has definitely helped them.
“The kids have come in from Granton Primary School, it’s probably one of the closest schools to our academy that we’ve got. So when they got involved we thought, who would benefit from it, what kids would benefit from it?
“The project went really well. I think at the start the kids weren’t really sure what exactly it was going to result in but I think by the end of it definitely, from the first week to the last, you could see a massive development in the kids and especially what they do about healthy eating.
“The main highlight for me was probably speaking to the parents at the end. We made a couple of phone calls just to try and get some feedback and just to see how it was affecting them back home and the comments we had were that the boys were coming home wanting the food that we’ve given them for lunch and their dinner and they were discussing with their parents exactly what they’ve been doing.
“So for me that’s what we wanted to happen. We wanted the kids to take on board what we’ve been telling them and for them to go home and be speaking to their parents and asking their parents to make these meals that we’ve been giving them is probably the biggest highlight for me.
“The last day was really good. The kids loved it. Because it was the last day we said that the kids could choose what they ate and the big thing for me was when we said kids’ choice for food we were expecting chippies, McDonalds, etc... But the kids actually chose chicken fajitas.
“It might not be the healthiest thing but for kids to choose chicken fajitas over McDonalds, takeaways and stuff like that I think that was massive.
“I think that was a result of what we’ve been learning over the last few weeks. I think if we’d asked them on the first week their answers might have been different.”
It is clear to see that this is a project that has had a positive impact on the children of Granton Primary as well as the wider community and it may not be long before we see other schools in the area get involved in the initiative in the future.
The squads for the Senior Lothian Schools Cup Final between Broughton High School and Firrhill High School have officially been announced.
Both sides have performed very well to reach this stage of the competition and will both be keen to compete against each other on Friday 11th May.
The squads are as follows:
Brougton High School
Norani Vuna
Callum Reynolds
Owen Barnes
Jude Zietara
Joe Coats
Kris Gaff
Dan McKinlay
Michael Reilly
Matty Combe]
David Whalen
Joe Jeffrey
Washe Manyathelo
Louis Pettinger
Coach: Craig Howieson
Firrhill High School
Jordan Brown
Greg Deighton
Hugh Dawson
Euan Mitchell
Calum Henderson
Blair Primrose
Gavin Wells
Oli Coutts
Kieran Richmond (Captain)
Jack Pasmore
Calum Ritchie
Scott Peggie
Cameron Milne
Robbie Campbell
Luke McMahon
Coach: Gavin Richmond
The match will take place at 7:30pm at The Spartans Community Football Academy at Ainslie Park. Admission is priced at £2 for adults and £1 for concessions
The squads for the Under 16's Lothian Schools Cup Final between Preston Lodge High School and George Watson's College have officially been announced.
Both sides have worked extremely hard to reach this stage of the competition and will no doubt be looking forward to facing off against each other on Friday 11th May.
The squads are as follows:
Preston Lodge High School
Connor Currie
Ewan Ford
Ben Jenkinson
Sam Bird
Tommy Doran
Daniel Mair (Captain)
Billy Stewart
Finn Higgins
Lewis Fitzpatrick
Jack Main
Ben Tracey
Zak Johnstone
Calum Stevenson
Nathan Muir
Aidan Paul
Byron Archibald
Coaches: John Hall, Kieran Cooke, Graeme Bennion
George Watson's College
Rory McCrae (Captain)
Dylan Brown (Vice-Captain)
Euan Burgess (GK)
Toby Packer (GK)
Ben Sibson
Jack Hughes
Ben Reilly
Daniel Um
Jamie Clark
Jamie Richmond
Henry Aggrey Van Mark
Jack Carr
Joshua Henderson 
Rory Stephen
Niall Hutchison Reid
Coach: David Proudfoot
The Final will be played at The Spartans Community Football Academy at Ainslie Park and will kick-off at 5:15pm. Admission prices are £2 for adults and £1 for concessions.
Wednesday, 18 April 2018 23:46

Gala Fairydean make it three on the trot

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Gala Fairydean made it three wins on the spin after a superb first half had them well on their way away to Hutchison Vale Colts in the quarter-finals of the Colin Campbell Sports Cup.

Forward Callum Marshall got Gala off to a dream start after just 11 minutes when he netted to put the away side one nil up.

However, Hutchison levelled shortly after to level the game with only 19 minutes played. But Gala were not settling for the draw, Marshall netted his second of the match just 60 seconds later to help Gala restore their lead.

The prolific Callum Marshall then grabbed his and Gala's third of the day to give the away side a comfortable two goal advantage heading into the second half of this cup tie.

Unlike the first half the second was fairly uneventful with the home side grabbing the only goal of the half which was just a consolation as Gala ran out eventual winners thanks to Callum Marshall's hat-trick as Gala made it three straight wins.

Gala will aim to make it four in a row as they return to league action on Sunday at home to Salvesen FC but Hutchison will aim to bounce back as they travel to Dunbar United Colts.

Thursday, 12 April 2018 16:14

Craigie confident ahead of Currie cup showdown

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Craigroyston Boys Club U14s are feeling confident ahead of Friday’s Ian Mackay showdown with Currie Star.
It is the third cup final the team has reached in the past two years.
Speaking at their Muirhouse Parkway pitches on Wednesday evening, Coach Stephen Delworth believes his players have been training well ahead of the match.    
He said: “Our preparations have been really good.
“We have great training pitches down here, and they really help the lads play football on the deck – like it’s supposed to be.
“We’ve done a bit of extra training this week. On Monday night we worked on fitness. Tonight, we’re working on our play with the ball in order to keep the boys sharp. Tomorrow night we’ll do the same, and then we’ll relax on Friday before the game.”
The desire for the team to play attractive football was echoed by goalkeeper Liam Cawley.
He said: “We’ve been doing a lot of passing and moving drills in the build up to the game because we think that’s a better way to play than to just punt the ball up the pitch.
I prefer it when we score good team goals – they’re better than long ball goals.”
Discussing the upcoming match itself, Delworth is aware of the threat Currie Star possess, but he’s positive Craigroyston will have enough to overcome their west Edinburgh opponents.
He said: “They’re on a run of good form in the league at the moment – as are we.
“I think if we just play our normal game we’ll have enough to win on Friday. We like to pass the ball a lot and play a lot of football, so teams find it hard to come up against us.
“We’ve got a lot of pace and strength in the team to cause them problems. It’ll be tough, but it should be a great game.”
Cawley agrees that the form he and his teammates are in could prove the difference come Friday.
“We had a good game at the weekend – 11-0 against Edinburgh South – so if we can play like that in the final I’m confident we can get a win,” he said.
“Whether it’s a league game or a cup final we treat every match the same so I’m confident that if we turn up on the day and play our A-game then we will win.”
The final takes place this Friday, 6:30pm at Paties Road Stadium. Click here to pre-order your discounted DVD bundle from the game (only available pre-match).
Tuesday, 03 April 2018 10:07

ANALYSIS | Edinburgh City vs Spartans FC

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Strikes from Callum Hall and Nathan Kay proved to be the difference as Edinburgh City overcame Spartans in a Lowland & East of Scotland Development League Cup Final with few clear-cut opportunities.

Both teams came into the final with identical league records - Spartans are ahead of Edinburgh City only on goal difference - and it showed; neither side was able to stamp their authority on the game early.

Both teams lined up in a 4-4-2 formation, and for long periods they nullified each other, particularly in the middle of the park, where no one was able to get their foot on the ball and dictate the game. In the opening exchanges both teams were limited to long range efforts and set-pieces.

For Spartans, winger Arron Singh was a handful on the left-hand side and looked the most likely to create something whenever he started running at the Edinburgh City back line.

Unfortunately for Spartans, his supply dried up as the half wore on and he found himself having to come deeper to get involved in play, where he was far less dangerous.

In contrast, Edinburgh City’s own wide men – goalscorer Hall on the left and Harry Pullar – began seeing more and more of the ball as they looked to target the wide areas. This was in no small part to the other goalscorer, striker Kay, who held the ball up all afternoon and linked well with the wingers as Edinburgh City began to take control of the game.

However, chances were still few and far between as Spartans defended resolutely.

As is so often the case when two evenly matched sides go up against each other, it was likely to be a moment of magic or a mistake that would break the deadlock. To Spartans dismay, it was the latter; Hall pounced on a poor pass out from the back, carried the ball to the edge of the box and fired low past Jordan Pettigrew to give Edinburgh City a half time lead.

Spartans looked to change it in the second half: a switch at centre half saw Michael Allan replace Lewis Grant as they moved to a back three; right back Calum O’Neil filled in at centre back with left back Gabriel Hill and right winger Murray Hand operating as wing backs.

It seemed to be working; they began the half playing much higher up the pitch, and with an intensity that Edinburgh City were struggling to match. Still, the issue remained creating chances and all Fraser Morton in the Edinburgh City goal had to deal with were a few long-range shots.

With just over 20 minutes to go, Spartan’s made one final roll of the dice: their number nine Rowan Fife was replaced by defender Oran Hosey, which allowed Anthony Laing to move up into midfield and number 10 Olly Hetherington to spearhead the attack.

It didn’t matter though, just a few minutes later Hall pounced on more sloppy Spartans passing and dinked a left-wing cross to the back post, where Kay was there to smash high into the roof of the net. A goal his performance deserved.

Spartans committed plenty of bodies forward in the dying stages as they went searching for that elusive goal that would have set-up a frantic finish, but Edinburgh City never looked in danger of being breached. In fact, with Kays endless running and the introduction of fresh legs in the middle of the park, they looked dangerous on the counter as the game became stretched, and could have easily added to their own tally had it not been for some sloppy final passes and the linesman’s flag.

But in the end the two goals proved to be enough as Edinburgh City ran out deserved winners on the day.

Edinburgh South Community Football Club have today announced the appointment of Paul Doig as their first community football coach.
Doig had previously worked as the Head of Community Development at Raith Rovers and has also worked as a part of the community programme at Hibernian.
He will begin his new role at Edinburgh South on the 2nd April and will be responsible for working with local schools and the local community to provide football coaching for girls.
Edinburgh South already have an established pathway for young bys playing the game and with Doig's appointment it is hoped that that can be replicated for the girls game as well.
On his appointment Paul Doig said, “Edinburgh South CFC is a club l know well and l’m delighted to be part of what l’m sure will be a continuing success story. The Club from Soccer School upwards is the club of choice for hundreds of boys and the onus is now on making it equally attractive for girls. It is a challenge l relish and look forward to getting it moving.”
Brian Waugh, Chairman Edinburgh South Community Football Club said, “The club celebrates its 50th birthday next year so it has taken a while but l’m very pleased to welcome Paul as our first paid employee. However given the incredible progress made in the last few years l’m confident this pace will be maintained and that Paul will be an integral part of the club’s very rosy future.”
Edinburgh South has a great record of inclusion and aims to provide football for all children regardless of abilitiy. They currently have more than 600 children playing the game and have over 50 teams playing now.
They also have a strong coaching base, with over 140 volunteers giving their time and money to provide these children with the opportunity to play football.
This was a game full of emotion from both teams. Tension between the two was running high as this was a highly anticipated semi-final clash between two great teams.
Unfortunately for Edinburgh City they were the team on the losing end today. Airdrie proved difficult to break down and it showed as they came out as the victors today in a comprehensive win. This now means that Airdrie will progress into the final to play against a ruthless Musselburgh Windsor side.
Edinburgh City will surely bounce back from this and take it as a learning curve, they will surely improve and come back a better, stronger and hungrier team.
The match started off as a scrappy game as both teams found their way into the game but eventually some great, free flowing football developed as both teams grew in confidence.
Edinburgh City showed at times to be a better footballing side but crucially they didn’t capitalise on opportunities, allowing Airdrie the opportunity to take their chances and really punish their capital opponents.
Edinburgh City started off great playing the ball about and with some great over the top through balls, although nothing materialised from this.
It was Airdrie who drew blood first, a great ball was floated in and it was one of the Airdrie players who got there first and scored from the inviting ball in.
This only gave Airdrie confidence as they looked to add to their lead. To Edinburgh City’s credit their heads did not drop until Airdrie put in another cross which was not dealt with and as a result Airdrie doubled their lead with a good finish from five yards out.
Edinburgh City had been playing very well up until now, although in the first half number 17, Aaron Mackay was a revelation. He was winning 50/50s all over the pitch and supporting his attack but also doing the dirty side of the game putting in tackles for the teams benefit.
The first half ended 2-0 to Airdrie, although it could be argued it was against the run of play.
Edinburgh City made a tactical move to begin the second half.
Three new substitutions went on to try and target this game differently as their original game plan hadn’t worked out.
Edinburgh City had struggled in the physical battle and they were being bullied in certain aspects.
Airdrie were up for this game as much as their capital rivals
The three new substitutions offered something different and Edinburgh City were now looking more likely to get a goal.
Substitution Ryan Borthwick had a great shot saved for City, a cross was floated in which he attacked well but his glancing header was just over the bar, leaving number 1, Tony Sharkey with nothing to do in Airdrie’s goal.
The game progressed casually at 2-0 for Airdrie and they had another corner in which is attacked powerfully by number 4, Sean Mullen, who saw all his efforts come to fruition as he grabbed himself a goal from a header to put Airdrie 3-0 up, with the game surely over now.
This was the third set piece goal Edinburgh city had conceded, something that their coaches will not have been happy with.
Airdrie kept on coming and not long after it was 4-0.
This goal was somewhat debatable as it looked to be offside from the spectators view but the referee saw nothing and gave it.
Edinburgh City kept on battling till the final whistle and got their reward as forward Sam Walker went on a great solo run to slot home with a tidy finish.
This is nothing but a consolation goal at this point but it’s still good to see that Sam still had the self-belief to score such a good goal.
The game trickled to an end and Airdrie walked out 4-1 winners against a good Edinburgh City side.
Best of luck to Airdrie in their big final but commiserations to Edinburgh City as they deserved a result today.
Penicuik Athletic U14s v SERFYA U13s
Friday 16th February 2018 (6.30pm KO)
Friday night saw a large crowd turn out in Penicuik to watch the 2005 SYFA South East Region Squad take on there elder Penicuik Athletic 2004 counterparts in what turned out to be a throughly enjoyable match.
Straight from the first whistle both teams competed well with the action moving from end to end and the energy levels were high from both sets of players. The SERFYA midfield duo of Ian Galloway and Stevie Renton continuously drove the 2005’s forward at every opportunity trying to find an opening with the tricky Sami Doig showing some neat skills out on the left wing, keeping the Penicuik defence on their toes.
The Penicuik defence stood their ground and also tried to find an opening of their own but the solid defensive pairing of Gabriel Fleet and the Impressive 2005’s captain Kris Young proved hard to break.
As the high tempo continued, the 1st half drew to a close and Penicuik finally got the breakthrough with a quality high, long range strike by Ben Mapstone leaving Darcy Munro in the 2005’s goal with no chance at all.
Half Time: Penicuik Athletic 1 -0 SERYFA
The SERFYA Coaching team made five changes at the half-time interval but this made no difference to their game plan as the new line-up continued the second half in the same manner as was displayed in the first.
Likewise the game continued to flow from end to end as SERYFA tried hard to find an equaliser. However it was Penicuik who found the net with a great move down the right hand side and finished off by Athletic's Lewis Masson to score from 6 yards out.
With a 2 goal advantage it now looked like the strength of the older Penicuik boys was going to prove too difficult for the 2004 SERFYA squad but they continued to work hard and started to move the ball well around the pitch with some neat combination play and this was rewarded as Louis Conlin reduced the 2 goal deficit with a wonderful 20 yard strike to make it 2-1.
As the match drew to its conclusion the next goal was always going to prove decisive and what a goal it turned out to be. SERFYA full back Euan Walker picked the ball up just inside his own half and dribbled towards goal. As he dribbled past 3 Penicuik defenders he unleashed an unstoppable strike from just outside the box to cap off a magnificent individual performance and earn his side the leveller their efforts deserved.
As the final whistle blew both sides were happy with a justified 2-2 draw in what was a fantastic advert for South East Region football.
Full Time: Penicuik Athletic 2-2 SERFYA
SERFYA squad: D.Munro, F.Bain, G.Fleet, K.Young, E.Walker, S.Doig, B.Klimionek, I.Galloway, J.Purdie, S.Renton, F.Yule, J.Lothian, L.Neill, C.Dillon, F.Croall, L.Conlin.

Star Player: Kris Young - Fantastic captain's performance and led his team by example and never put a foot wrong all game.

Hibernian Girls are due to open their first regional academy in Lanarkshire later this month.
The move is the first of many planned regional academies to be set up in Scotland by the Hibees to ensure a steady flow of talent from around the country makes its way through the doors of Easter Road.
The players called up to the academy will train locally in Lanarkshire and will play matches as ‘Lanarkshire Hibernian.’
Hibernian Community Foundation Chief Executive Charlie Bennett is extremely excited about the development and the future of the ladies team.
"This is an exciting time in the development of girls and women football at Hibernian.
"In the last year we have invested significantly in our Girls Academy and as a result have an excellent crop of you players coming through the pathway. We are building for continued success, however, and the natural progression for us was to create this regional centre in an area that has over a period of time produced excellent footballers."
Girls Academy Manager Joelle Murray is also looking forward to the opening of the new academy, saying, "This is a unique opportunity, I think it will broaden the Hibernian brand and also create opportunities for talented players to join our already highly gifted squads within the academy.
"We have implemented some great resource for our academy players here in Edinburgh and are looking to replicate that in Lanarkshire."