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National Competitions (608)

Aberdeen University Mens 2s Team were able to narrowly win the Scottish 4B league in the British University & College Sports (BUCS) competition. We spoke to the captain, Declan Adamson to find out how they were successful.
Staying motivated and striving to find success can be a tough challenge for some teams and players but Aberdeen were able to find their motivation to win the league. Declan said “After a disappointing campaign in the 4B last season, we have been determined to gain promotion this season which has resulted in us winning 9 out of 10 games.” Aberdeen earned themselves twenty seven points this season, tied with Dundee & Angus who lost the league on goal difference.
Being promoted to the 3A league means stronger competition for Aberdeen but they are taking it in their stride. Declan commented “Promotion to the 3A means that next season we will travel further afield in a national league and that means we have opportunities to test ourselves against stronger teams from all across Scotland.” This attitude has confidence written all over it for Aberdeen if they are to face tougher competition than they are used to, they need to remain positive.
The most important game of the season was against Dundee & Angus College, and not only was it the most important game, it was the most memorable for Declan. He said “Without a doubt our 3-0 win against Dundee & Angus College. Having narrowly lost 2-1 away to D&A 1s earlier in the season they remained unbeaten.” D&A College and Aberdeen were neck and neck all season and this game was one to remember. “Anything but a win for us in what would’ve been the penultimate league game would’ve made it impossible to win the league. We spent the majority of the second half camped inside our own half but scored twice on the break to give us the crucial win which allowed us to win the league.” This game was crucial for Aberdeen to win and they came out on top in order to win the league.
Although 2nd place isn’t anything to be ashamed about, Aberdeen finished 2nd in the same league last season and have used this as fuel to motivate them this season to finish 1st. Declan said “Last season’s disappointment definitely helped motivate us this season.” Not only did this motivation help them win the league, they also brought in some new players. “We had really fruitful trials at the beginning of the season and also brought in a few quality players from the 3rd team. The squad this season is stronger which allowed us to make that jump and reach 1st place.” The players are obviously motivated and the addition of new, fresh players gave them the boost they needed to gain promotion into the 3A league.
The teamwork and chemistry was a huge factor in the success of Aberdeen Uni. Declan said “We don’t reply on any one player but are really strong as a group. Defensively we’ve been solid all season and that starts from the front.” It sounds like Aberdeen were strong all over the park and this was crucial to the team’s promotion. “Almost everyone has at least one goal to their name this season and we have a few players who are capable of scoring out of nothing.” Aberdeen seem very capable of outscoring their opponents and especially when it counts.
Congratulations on Aberdeen University on winning the 4B and we wish them luck in the 3A league next season. 
James Young High School were the winners of the West Lothian Schools Football Association (WLSFA) Under 15 age group and we caught up with the coach Nevil Cunningham to find out the details of their success.
Being winners of the WLSFA is a huge achievement for James Young HS although they also won last season. Nevil said “The team are absolutely delighted to have won again this season. They did feel a bit of pressure to retain the title but have done themselves and the school proud.” The players must be feeling a real sense of pride and accomplishment to have won the league for 2 consecutive seasons. The players will be walking with their heads held high at James Young Highschool.
Nevil had many moments to be proud of throughout the season but he had 2 moments that stood out above the rest. “Our wing back, Ben, had a great hat-trick but a shout out has to go to our fantastic keeper Ryan, who has kept us in games so many times. He had several point-blank saves again in our last game against St Margarets.” Ryan and Ben were standout players this season but the great team effort and synergy helped them to get the points they needed to win the league for the 2nd time.
Although they had success in winning the league they also came across some challenges during the season. Nevil commented “Early on in the season we played Deans Highschool who were probably our main rivals for the title this year. We managed to come out on top 4-3 after a very topsy-turvy game that could have went either way.” A close game between two of the top competitors in the WLSFA.
It takes a lot of motivation and strive to win the league back-to-back and James Young HS have great chemistry that brings them together in order to win. Nevil said “We have a lot of boys who play together regularly at club level which helps with the cohesion of the team”. Playing football at a club level also helps with building up skills and experience of playing with a team and helps to create the necessary skills to compete. He also said “The boys are also good friends, this is one of the great things about school football as it allows them to play together as on the weekends they have outside commitments.” Playing football at club level means that the boys don’t always have time to play together as part of a team outside of school because they all play for different teams.
Nevil would also like to thank Murieston United for allowing them to use their 3G facilities. He said “It really is a great help to us and the boys always enjoy playing on such an excellent surface and I would also like to thank all the parents for their support over the years, it is greatly appreciated.”
Tuesday, 21 March 2017 12:01

Glasgow University clinch the BUCS 2A League

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With many of the leagues in the British Universities & Colleges Sport Tournament (BUSC) being won. We caught up with the winners of the 2A league, Glasgow University.
The teamwork and calm under pressure were a huge part of the team’s success. Ben Fulton, the goalkeeper said “Team ethic to never give up highlighted with late goals against Aberdeen and St Andrews, plus desire and resilience against Aberdeen at home allowed us to clinch this league.” Glasgow played Aberdeen away from home and were 2-1 down with ten minutes left until full time. They were able to score 2 goals before the final whistle blew in order to claw back a 3-2 victory that was vital in keeping them in the title race.
Although the game takes a physical toll over the players, the biggest challenge for Glasgow was staying mentally strong during the closing games of the league. Ben commented “The last 3 games were the most intense, knowing what we had to do to win the league was a lot of pressure. The mentality to stay strong and ensure we done our jobs to guarantee our success was our biggest challenge. Being able to come back from close games and being able to hold against Aberdeen at home with ten men showed us that we were capable of going all the way.”
Glasgow haven’t always had the success they had this season, last season they finished 3rd in the same league. They were able to drive themselves to do better and used last year’s 3rd place finish as motivation to do better. Ben said “Togetherness of the squad and fighting as a team in order to win no matter what, in several matches we were just able to pull out the points we needed”
It isn’t all work and no play for Glasgow, Ben commented “My favourite moment of the season had to be Eamon Nugent Double’s sublime knee slide celebration after scoring the 3-2 winner away to Aberdeen.” They team spirit must have been a huge factor in contributing to this win.
With their promotion into the 1A Division, Ben is happy to be back on top. “After a few seasons of narrowly missing out on promotion, the boys are excited to be back in the 1A.”
Maybe Glasgow will strike gold in the 1A division and find themselves at the top of that league next season. 
Under 13s
Portobello CFA 4-5 Syngenta Juveniles FC
St Peters FC 2-0 Larkhall Thistle AFC Blue (AET)
Under 14s
Banks O'Dee Albion 3-1 Drumsagard FAC
Barrhead YFC 3-1 Leith Athletic
Under 15s
Glenvale AFC 3-0 Blantyre SA Black
Jimmy Johnstone Academy 2-2 Spartans FC Youth (Spartans win on penalties)
Under 16s
Rangers SABC 0-1 Lewis United Youth 
Portobello CFA 0-2 Tynecastle FC
Under 17s
Harmony Row YC 1-2 Syngenta Juveniles
Banks O'Dee Albion 3-1 Giffnock SC Thistle
Under 19s
Hillwood BC 1-2 Airdrie United
Beith Juniors FC 1-6 Clydebank FC
Under 21s
Barrhead YFC 3-0 Antonine FC
Rutherglen Glencairn JFC v Tower Hearts FC (09/04/17)
Thursday, 16 March 2017 09:29

SSS College Cup - quarter final draw 2016/17

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The draw is now complete for the quarter finals of the Scottish Student Sport College Cup, following UHI's exciting last 16 victory over NESCOL. The draw is as follows:
Glasgow Kelvin College v New College Lanarkshire
City of Glasgow College v Ayrshire College
Dundee & Angus College v West Lothian College
Edinburgh College v University of Highlands & Islands
Ties will be played on Wednesday 22nd/29th March. This is followed by semi finals taking place on Wednesday 19th/26th April and the final on 3rd May at Oriam.
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 14:04

Preparations underway ahead of Centenary Shield

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Preparations for this year’s edition of the Centenary Shield are well underway for the Scotland Schoolboys Under 18s ahead of the tournament kicking off next month.

The yearly competition, which takes place between 3rd March and 6th April, is currently held by last year’s winners England. They have had the final say in much of the recent tournaments, winning four of the last six Centenary Shields, with the exceptions being Ireland in 2015 and Northern Ireland in 2013.

Set up in 1973 by the Scottish FA to commemorate their centenary year, the competition was last won outright by the Scots in 2000, whilst they also become joint winners with Northern Ireland in 2011. Scotland have also won the competition on three previous occasions prior to 2000.

Scotland have so far played a series of friendlies in the last few months to get up to speed and gel as a side, the first of them coming against Alloa back in December at Toryglen, in a tight affair which finished 1-1.

Soon after, early February rolled around and Scotland faced Australia in their first international friendly, at New Western Park. This friendly was considerably more exciting than the last, as the two sides played out a 3-3 thriller in Renfrew. Scotland’s goals that day came courtesy of Luc Bollan and Ciaran Dunne, who scored the second of his double with a penalty, deep into injury-time.

Later in the month Scotland played their penultimate friendly before kicking the tournament off against England on the 5th March, as they ran out convincing winners in a 5-0 demolition of Sporting Futures USA. In their first win since playing together, Scotland had four different goalscorers on the day, with Dunne, Sweeney, Ballantyne and Brown contributing to the healthy and much-needed win.

With a final friendly to follow on 21st February against Stirling University, Scotland will be full of confidence heading into their opening game of the tournament at Cappielowe, as they seek to beat ‘The Auld Enemy’ for the first time since 2011; on that occasion, they ran out 1-0 winners in Inverness.

After the opening contest against England, Scotland then travel to Bala on 17th March to face a Welsh side who they have toppled in two of their last three meetings, winning 5-1 and 2-1 respectively. However, the Welsh won the last meeting of the two, last year in Inverurie, running out victors by the solitary goal.

Scotland wrap up the tournament with ties against Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, travelling to Belfast on the 31st of March, before hosting the latter in Stirling a week later, the final match of the tournament.

The vast majority of Scotland’s side all hail from different schools from across Scotland, varying from Dundee to Glasgow and Stranraer to Dunblane. Stewart Melville’s College in Edinburgh is the one of the only places to boast two players, those being Cieran Dunne and Nathan Brown, both goalscorers in recent friendlies. The other school which contains more than one player is Graeme High School in Falkirk, where Ross Connelly and Kyle Banner both attend.  

Kieran Sweeney is undoubtedly one of the main goal threats for the Scots. The striker, who attends St.Kentigern's Academy in Blackburn, has found the back of the net on three occasions thus far for his side in friendlies, with a brace against Sporting Futures USA to add to his equaliser against Alloa at the back end of last year.

Cieran Dunne is also tied with Sweeney for most goals in friendlies up until now. The Stewart Melville’s College student bagged a double against Australia at the start of the month, as well as opening the scoring in the rout against Sports Futures a few weeks later.

Scotland may head into the competition as underdogs, but if they display some of the quality already shown in recently friendlies then they may stand a chance of breaking their drought.

The Scotland squad for the 2017 Centenary Shield is as follows:

Cameron Ballantyne (The Glasgow Academy)
Kyle Banner (Graeme HS, Falkirk) 
Luc Bollan (Monifieth HS)
Adam Brown (Grove Academy, Dundee)
Nathan Brown (Stewart Melville’s College, Edinburgh)
Robbie Bruce (Buckie HS)
Jamie Chapman (Edinburgh College)
Ross Donnelly (Graeme HS)
Cieran Dunne (Stewart Melville’s College)
Ronan Fallens (St. Modans HS, Stirling)
Declan Glass (Ross HS, Tranent)
Josh Kelly (Trinity HS, Rutherglen)
Adam Kirkwood (Stranraer Academy)
Calvin McGrory (Eastwood HS, Newton Mearns)
Euan O’Reilly ( C.S. Auchterarder)
Matthew Reilly (St. Ninian’s HS, Giffnock)
George Stanger (Dublane HS)
Kieran Sweeney (St. Kentigurn’s Academy, Blackburn)


Monday, 13 February 2017 17:13

SYFA Cup 2016/17 - U21 Semi Final Draw

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The draw for the Semi-Finals of the U21 Scottish Youth FA Cup is as follows:
Barrhead YFC v Antonine FC
Rutherglen Glencairn JFC v Johnstone Burgh BC/Tower Hearts FC
These ties will take place on a Sunday during March.
Monday, 13 February 2017 17:10

SYFA Cup 2016/17 - U19 Semi Final Draw

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The draw for the Semi-Finals of the U19 Scottish Youth FA Cup is as follows:
Hillwood BC v Airdrie United
Beith Juniors FC v Clydebank FC
These ties will take place on a Sunday during March.
Monday, 13 February 2017 16:48

SYFA Cup 2016/17 - U17 Semi Final Draw

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The draw for the Semi-Finals of the U17 Scottish Youth FA Cup is as follows:
Harmony Row YC v Syngenta Juveniles
Giffnock SC Thistle v Banks O'Dee Albion
These ties will take place on a Sunday during March.
Monday, 13 February 2017 16:47

SYFA Cup 2016/17 - U16 Semi Final Draw

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The draw for the Semi-Finals of the U16 Scottish Youth FA Cup is as follows
Rangers SABC v Lewis United Youth
Portobello CFA v Tynecastle FC
These ties will take place on a Sunday during March.