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Tuesday, 18 July 2017 21:39

Irn Bru Cup 2017-18 Preview

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Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos 16/17 &emdash;
The draw for the Irn Bru Cup first round has been confirmed, with the Scottish Premiership colt teams returning for their second year in the competition and here at YFS we’re taking a look at the competition in greater depth, casting our eye over the exciting fixtures from the opening round.
The new format for the tournament was introduced last season, with the winners of the first round also being joined in the second by clubs from Wales, Northern and the Republic of Ireland, whose sides are making their debut in the competition this season.
The eye-catching tie of the round is an all-colt clash between Aberdeen and St Johnstone, who suffered second and first-round exists last year respectively.
Celtic will look to impress once again as they start off with an away match against Annan Athletic, whilst Old Firm rivals Rangers face a tough challenge away to Championship side Dumbarton.
Elsewhere - Motherwell, Hamilton, Partick Thistle, and Kilmarnock have all bagged home ties in the opening round in the South section of the draw, with Aberdeen, Dundee, Ross County and Hibernian likewise in the northern section. 
However, Hearts face a trip to Formartine United – their third consecutive away game in Irn Bru cup games having yet to draw a home tie.
The introduction of colt teams was widely praised over the past year, with Celtic going the furthest as they reached the third round only to be put out in a 5-1 defeat to Livingston.
It was generally a tournament to forget for many colt teams last season however, with Ross County, Inverness, Dundee, and Kilmarnock failing to get past the opening stage. The rest of the Premiership clubs, besides Celtic, fell in the second round.
Whilst many of the colt sides will be looking to improve on last season, Dundee United will be looking to mount a successful title defence after the playoff defeat left them out of the Premiership for another year.
Linfield and Crusaders will join from Northern Ireland this season, whilst Sligo Rovers and Bray Wanderers will enter from the Republic of Ireland. The New Saints will make their return to the competition from Wales after reaching the semi-final in an impressive showing last campaign, and they’ll be joined by Connah’s Quay Nomads.
All ties are set to take place on August 15/16.
North Section
Tuesday August 15
Aberdeen Colts v St Johnstone Colts 
Buckie Thistle v Brechin City 
Dundee United v Cowdenbeath 
Dunfermline Athletic v Arbroath 
East Fife v Peterhead 
Formartine United v Heart of Midlothian Colts 
Hibernian Colts v Elgin City 
Raith Rovers v Brora Rangers 
Ross County Colts v Forfar Athletic 
Stenhousemuir v Cove Rangers 
Stirling Albion v Montrose 
Wednesday August 16
Dundee Colts v Alloa Athletic 
South Section
Tuesday August 15
Albion Rovers v Spartans 
Clyde v Stranraer 
Hamilton Academical Colts v Edinburgh City 
Kilmarnock Colts v Berwick Rangers 
Morton v Livingston 
Partick Thistle Colts v Stirling University 
Queen of the South v Airdrieonians 
St Mirren v East Kilbride 
Wednesday August 16
Annan Athletic v Celtic Colts 
The East of Scotland FA/Scottish Lowland Football League Under 20 setup is bracing itself for its biggest season yet, after a summer expansion. Joining the setup for the first time are Mid Annandale, Bonnyton Thistle and Burntisland Shipyard. Mid Annandale are an established South of Scotland League team at senior level, whereas Bonnyton are due to make their bow this year in the same competition. Burntisland Shipyard's first team play in the East of Scotland League. All three clubs have been strong performers in the SYFA ranks in recent years, with Mid Annandale sweeping the board in the D&GYFDA Under 17 age group, Bonnyton racking up a number of Scottish Cup successes and Burntisland excelling in the AFYFC.
Also returning this year after an absence is Selkirk, whereas last year's champions East Kilbride make the exciting upwards move to the SPFL Development League West. The draw for the Knockout Cup has been made, and is as follows:
First Round
Preston Athletic v Spartans
Edinburgh University v Mid Annandale
​BSC Glasgow v Selkirk
Edusport Academy v Cumbernauld Colts
Lothian Thistle HV v Bonnyton Thistle
Whitehill Welfare v Heriot Watt University
Edinburgh City v Tynecastle
Burntisland Shipyard v Stirling University
​Quarter Finals
Whitehill Welfare or Heriot Watt University v BSC Glasgow or Selkirk
Edinburgh University or Mid Annandale v Lothian Thistle HV or Bonnyton Thistle
Preston Athletic or Spartans v Burntisland Shipyard or Stirling University
Edinburgh City or Tynecastle v Edusport Academy or Cumbernauld Colts
​Semi Finals
Preston Athletic or Spartans or Burntisland Shipyard or Stirling University v Whitehill Welfare or Heriot Watt University or BSC Glasgow or Selkirk
Edinburgh City or Tynecastle or Edusport Academy or Cumbernauld Colts v Edinburgh University or Mid Annandale or Lothian Thistle HV or Bonnyton Thistle
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 12:25

SWF Youth Cup 1/4 Final Draw 2017 - 17s

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The draw for the SWF 17s Youth Cup 1/4 Final is as follows:
Central Girls v Montrose Youth
Glasgow City v Glasgow Girls
Hamilton Accies v Celtic 17s
Forfar Farmington v Rangers FC
All ties will be played on, or before, Sunday 3rd September 2017.
To watch the draw as it took place Click here.
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 12:20

SWF Youth Cup 1/4 Final Draw 2017 - 15s

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The draw for the SWF 15s Youth Cup 1/4 Final is as follows:
Celtic 15's v Rutherglen Girls
Hamilton Accies v Rangers FC
Aberdeen Girls v Hearts 15's
Hibernian 15's v Central Girls FA
All ties will be played on, or before, Sunday 3rd September 2017.
To watch the draw as it took place Click here
Tuesday, 04 July 2017 12:16

SWF Youth Cup 1/4 Final Draw 2017 - 13s

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The draw for the 1/4 Final of the SWF 13s Youth Cup is as follows:
Pollock United v Cumbernauld Colts Yellow
Glasgow Girls 12's v Hearts Maroons
Motherwell Claret v Central Girls 12's
Bayside Blacks v Bedlay CFC
All ties will be played on, or before, Sunday 3rd September 2017.
To watch the draw as it took place Click here
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 11:53

SWF Youth Cup Last 16 2017: Full round-up

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The last 16 of any tournament signals the start of the ‘business end’ of the competition, and the SWF Youth Cup reached that very stage at the weekend. 
The 13s age group had one match with a special visitor, as Motherwell FC star Louis Moult took in the Fir Park clash between Dundee United SC Girls and Motherwell Claret. The striker was treated to an extraordinary game, with Motherwell coming out on top in a goalfest. A Leigha Dobbins hat-trick saw her win Player of the Match.
Elsewhere, there was a five goal thriller between Pollok United and Glenrothes Strollers, and Alex Fisher and Erica Wyse sealed victory for last season’s winners Bayside Girls FC Blacks against Musselburgh Windsor. Bedlay saw off Linlithgow Rose to reach this stage of the competition for the first time in their young club's history.
13s: Full Results
East Kilbride 1 - 9 Hearts Maroons
Westdyke Girls 13s 0 - 3 Glasgow Girls 12s
Musselburgh Windsor Girls 1 - 2 Bayside Girls FC Blacks
Bedlay CFC 4 - 0 Linlithgow Rose 13s
Donside Girls FC 1 - 3 Cumbernauld Colts Yellow
Motherwell Claret 9 - 5 DUSC Ladies
Pollok United 3 - 2 Glenrothes Strollers
Central Girls 12s - Celtic 13s – Central awarded victory
At 15s there were two last minute winners, the first concerning Aberdeen Ladies in their trip to Broxburn Athletic Colts. Georgia Park came up with the crucial goal three minutes from time with a composed finish. The Player of the Match award went to Isla McDougall who was tenacious in midfield and a creative force in attack. Coach Scott McDougall spoke to YFS and praised both teams. He said: “The quality of football played was fantastic and should be complimented, despite the bowling gale that had to be contended with!”
Eve Traynor was the poster girl in the match between Boroughmuir Thistle Purple and Central Girls FA, popping up in extra time to send the latter into the quarters with virtually the last kick of the ball. There were also big wins for the Old Firm. Rangers faced Hibs Development and Kirsty O’Brien was a hat-trick here with Reanna Bates, Freia McDonald and Roise McQuillan also scoring twice. Celtic’s bid to retain the trophy continues strongly, as they kept a clean sheet against Raith Rovers and racked up plenty of goals at the other end.
In a titanic tussle between two of women’s football giants, Hibernian scraped past Glasgow City thanks to goals from Eve McFadden and Eilidh Adams. Jessica Smith picked up the Player of the Match award. More history was made as Rutherglen Girls got the better of Stenhousemuir to reach the last eight for the first time.
15s: Full Results
Blackburn Utd Ladies 15s 0 - 4 Hearts 15s
Broxburn Athletic Colts Girls 0 -1 Aberdeen Ladies
Boroughmuir Thistle 15s Purple 0 - 1 Central Girls FA
Celtic 15s 9 - 0 Raith Rovers
Glenrothes Strollers 1 - 8 Hamilton Accies
Hibernian Development 1 - 9 Rangers
Hibernian 15s 2 - 1 Glasgow City
Stenhousemuir Girls 1 - 7 Rutherglen Girls
In the 17s, Glasgow City FC recorded a thumping win against Dunfermline Athletic Girls but perhaps the most exciting match of the round was an eight goal bonanza between Morton Girls and Montrose Youth. Morton bounced back from 3-1 down at one point to make it all square but Montrose saw off the challenge and booked a place in the quarter finals.
17s: Full Results
Bonnyrigg Rose 17s 1 - 2 Forfar Farmington
Central Girls FA v Dryburgh – Central awarded victory
Glasgow City 9 - 0 Dunfermline Athletic Girls 17s
Hamilton Accies 7 - 2 Murieston Utd Girls
Morton Girls 3 - 5 Montrose Youth
Musselburgh Windsor - Celtic 17s – Celtic awarded victory
Rangers v Hibernian 17s – Rangers awarded victory
Westdyke Girls 17s 0 - 2 Glasgow Girls
The University of the West of Scotland's (UWS) first team finished top of the British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) 3A League. They finished with 21 points closely followed by Edinburgh's 2nd team with 18 points. A very competitive league, but their can only be one winner and that was UWS. We caught up with the President of the Sports Union at UWS, Jonathan Cranstoun, to find out how they did it. 
The level of skill along with the improvement and dedication of the team has allowed them to overcome their opponents in the league and prove themselves to be amongst the best. Jonathan commented, "The team have developed throughout the past few years, developing a close bond with each other, which has been a key part in the success of the team. Working closely with the university and their scholarship programme has allowed the club to attract some top players to the university." Having the opportunity to bring strong players onto a university squad allows them flexibility within the line-up as they know that each and every player can come onto the pitch at any moment and show that they deserve to be on the team. 
Although the team finished top of the league, the season was very competitive throughout, with their closest challengers being their biggest test. Jonathan said, "The biggest match this year must have been through on the east coast on the first of March against Edinburgh 2nd team. We knew we had to win this game to secure the league and our biggest win of the year. We have had a rivalry this year with Edinburgh so it has been great to come away with the win." UWS ended the game 4-2 against Edinburgh, away from home. Being able to comfortably beat your strongest competition in the league must have been a great feeling and cemented them as the best team in the league. 
Last season, the squad finished first in the BUCS 4A League, and finishing top of the next division means they can only hope to continue the climb. Jonathan said this about the changes between seasons, "We haven't had much change apart from attracting new players as we have had the same main squad for a few years now, which is a key reason for our success. Next year will be a big challenge for the club as we go into Division 2 and will be losing a few of our key players so we will have to focus on recruitment during freshers." Having the option to recruit fresh faces, can help to reinvigorate and bring a keen and exciting atmosphere into the team. 
Picking a star player can be a hard task in such a team based sport like football and Jonathan was asked to do exactly that. He commented, "Our star player this year has to have been Scott Murray, he scored three out of our four goals during the league clinching match against Edinburgh when we were down 2-1 at half-time." Being calm and collected under pressure is the quality of a star player who can go far in football. The whole team raillied around each other and were able to pull out a victory after a half-time deficit. 
We hope that The University of the West of Scotland continue to find success throughout the BUCS 2A League with fresh faces and veterans of the league working together to find the victories they are after. 

Calum Ferrie GK (Dundee)
Kept a clean sheet (in-open play at least) in the result of the week, Inverness 1-2 Dundee (Inverness pen). Calum had to face long periods of pressure and fended off a tonne a shots from overage Inverness strikers Ebbe and Boden.
Marton Hornyik (Dundee)
The 15-year-old defender had to deal with Inverness overage strikers Ebbe and Boden in Dundee’s 2-1 win, with the Inverness goal coming from the penalty spot, so an impressive clean sheet for the younster in my eyes.
Ryan Porteous (Hibs)
Another clean sheet for Ryan as Hibs beat Partick 4-0.
Reghan Tumilty (Ross County)
Returned to his old club and again impressed against a Dundee United side that included a handful of first teamers. Ended 2-2 there with County grasping the title with one hand.
Josh Robertson (Dunfermline)
Another young player making an impressive impact against older players in Dunfermline’s 2-1 away win v Killie at Rugby Park.
Finlay Robertson (Dundee)
Very young Dundee Midfielder facing Inverness players 5/6 years more senior and taking all 3 points.
Davis Keillor-Dunn (Ross County) 
Another lively performance in his sides 2-2 draw at Dundee United.
Adam Watson (Hibs)
Adam with another solid performance this week as his, and his sides good form continues. 4-0 v Partick.
Rory Currie (Hearts)
Bagged a hat-trick in Hearts’ 3-1 away win against a good looking Aberdeen side.
Kevin O’Hara (Falkirk) 
Scored a brace in a 3-2 win over St Mirren.
Oli Shaw (Hibs)
Yet another hat-trick for Oli in a 4-0 win v Partick.
Aberdeen University Women's Football Club won the Scottish Student Sports Cup in thrilling fashion, narrowly beating out Stirling Women's to a 3-1 victory. We caught up with Emily Gallacher the captain, to find out how they did it. 
Beating out all other women's university teams is a huge accomplishment and something that the team can be extremely proud of. Emily said, "We are amazingly proud of our accomplishments, this has been a reward for all our hard work and dedication throughout the season. Looking around the pitch after the final whistle blew, we were ecstatic, the 7am starts and 11pm finishes had paid off." It sounds like the training, dedication and commitment has all came together to produce a cup winning team. 
Although they had a great game, the team faced challenges throughout the game and had to push themselves to make sure they came out on top to lift the cup. Emily commented, "Our biggest challenge of the day was just keeping our heads and remaining focused. After experience with losing leads in the final minutes of games before, we knew we couldn't let it happen again, and we reacted in the best way possible." Emily and her team lost a goal with 15 minutes to go before full time and this made them fight harder and they responded brilliantly. 
The teams success in the Conference Cup has not been a fluke. Aberdeen Womens Team have done better this season in the league than any previous seasons and the motivation and drive to succeed is what pushes them. Emily said, "We've upped our training this year and re-structured our sessions so we can focus on specific tactical aspects of the game seperately from the rest of our squad. This year we've had the most members join AUWFC, and although many of them are beginners, their love for the game and desire to improve spurs us all on." It seems like AUWFC have a winning attitude and look forward to any competition where they can prove themselves. 
Although AUWFC played strong together as a team, Emily was given the hard task of choosing 1 player that stood out above the rest. Emily commented "Caitlin Read ran constantly throughout the match. Playing up front alone against a solid Stirling back 4 is no easy task but she showed desire to win the ball back and press their defence when they had the ball." Having a passionate and dedicated player helps to bring the team together and motivate the others to push and work hard.
AUWFC have made a strong impression after winning this cup and are looking to continue their growth and remain as a club that welcome new, enthusiastic players. Emily commented, "We are looking to continue our growth and uphold our reputation as a team that continues to support beginners and create talented footballers. Over the years we've seen a fantastic increase in numbers and supporters which is a credit to the womens game all over the world." Women's football has seen an incredible growth worldwide recently and to see a University team feel the effects of this also is a great thing to see and we hope that support and willing players continue to grow.
The full match DVD from Aberdeen's cup final triumph can be purchased by clicking here.

Kevin O’Hara (Falkirk)

Hat-trick hero for the Bairns in a 3-0 win v Dundee. Nice to see Kevin’s hard work for club and country pay off at this level. A player with a real eye for goal and blistering pace.

Hat-trick Hero... Kevin O'Hara

Oli Shaw (Hibernian)

Keeps his place in TOTW again this week for a superb solo effort in a 2-1 win v Celtic on Tuesday. A win that sees his side leapfrog Hamilton into 2nd, well and truly back in the race for the title with 3 games left.

Calvin Miller (Celtic)
Had to slot Calvin in this week for last Friday’s 3-0 win v Hibs. Big game that one for both sides, Calvin popped up with 2 goals and an assist in a comfortable 3-0 win. Unfortunately the reverse fixture on Tuesday didn’t go his way.

Davie Turnball (Motherwell)
Grabbed two goals from midfield in a 4-0 win over St. Mirren. Both excellent long range strikes, the second is particularly special. Check out that goal here, 5mins 50sec in for what has to also go down as goal of the week…
Davie is on the fringes of the Motherwell first team, I don’t think any first team goalie in Scotland could’ve stopped his second, hats off to you Davie.

Mark Lamont (Partick Thistle) 
Mark’s calming playing style in midfield was central to an impressive 3-1 away win versus a strong looking Inverness side. Grabbed an assist in the process.

Fraser Murray (Hibernian) 
Keeps his spot after playing a key role in his sides 2-1 win in a top of the table clash with Celtic. Made the scoresheet for the second week running.

Alistair McCann (St. Johnstone)
Second goal in as many weeks for Ali. Last week it was against an older and more experienced Dundee United side, this week it was Accies away who were on the receiving end, ended 2-2. 

Michael McMullin (Partick Thistle)
Despite a shakey Partick start and conceding early on, they settled down well and handled the attacking overage Inverness players in style, McMullin was vital. They went onto win 3-1.

Mark Finlayson (Falkirk) 
An attacking full-back who was rewarded with an assist and a clean sheet in a solid Falkirk 3-0 win.

Tony Gallacher (Falkirk)
Yet another attacking Bairns full-back Tony, on the left flank was equally as impressive as team-mate Finlayson. Tony also claimed an assist and the well earned clean sheet.

Ben McKenzie (St. Johnstone)
The young Saints custodian saved a penalty and weathered the Accies onslaught to earn an unlikely point away at in form Hamilton. Also extra credit for facing an overage Hamilton front line.

Updated league table: 

1   Ross County  29 22 62
2   Hibernian  29 24 58
3   Hamilton Accies  29 29 57
4   Celtic  27 26 52
5   Motherwell  29 24 51
6   Falkirk  30 5 46
7   Rangers  28 3 42
8   Aberdeen  27 1 40
9   Partick Thistle  28 -3 39
10   Dunfermline  28 -7 37
11   Hearts  29 -4 34
12   St. Mirren  29 -21 31
13   Dundee United  27 -14 27
14   Kilmarnock  28 -17 27
15   Inverness CT  29 -28 27
16   Dundee  28 -19 24
17   St. Johnstone  28 -21 24

Next weeks key fixture: Ross County v Hibernian:

Top plays second in what is, undoubtedly, the biggest game of the season so far. With the home side taking a 4-point lead into the game over Hibs, you sense a County win would leave them with one hand firmly on the trophy. 

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