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Thursday, 17 August 2017 08:57

Scottish FA Youth Cup 2017/18 - Round 1 & 2 draw

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The draw has been made for this season's Scottish FA Youth Cup early rounds. A number of Lowland League and Highland League sides have been given the opportunity to knock out SPFL opposition. The full draw is as follows:
North Section
First Round:
Inverurie Loco Works v Nairn County
Inverness Caledonian Thistle v Banks O’ Dee
Deveronvale v Formartine United
Lossiemouth v Keith
Ross County v Elgin City
Byes: Montrose, Clachnacuddin, Forfar Athletic, Fraserburgh, Turriff United.
Second Round:
Turriff United v Lossiemouth or Keith
Deveronvale or Formartine United v Ross County or Elgin City
Inverurie Loco Works or Nairn County v Montrose
Forfar Athletic v Inverness Caledonian Thistle or Banks O’ Dee
Fraserburgh v Clachnacuddin
Central Section
First Round:
Albion Rovers v Clyde
Cowdenbeath v Whitehill Welfare
Dundee v Raith Rovers
East Kilbride v Airdrieonians
Byes: St. Mirren, Burntisland Shipyard, Alloa Athletic, Hamilton Academical, Queen’s Park, Heriot Watt University, Tynecastle, Livingston, BSC Glasgow, Edusport Academy, Berwick Rangers, Stirling Albion, University of Stirling, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, Edinburgh City, Cumbernauld Colts.
Second Round:
Albion Rovers or Clyde v Alloa Athletic
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale v Stirling Albion
Cowdenbeath or Whitehill Welfare v East Kilbride or Airdrieonians
Edusport Academy v BSC Glasgow
Burntisland Shipyard v Livingston
Hamilton Academical v Queen’s Park
Tynecastle v Cumbernauld Colts
Berwick Rangers v University of Stirling
St. Mirren v Heriot Watt University
Edinburgh City v Dundee or Raith Rovers
Southern Section
First Round:
Stranraer v Mid-Annandale, Bonnyton Thistle v Selkirk.
Second Round:
Stranraer or Mid-Annandale v Bonnyton Thistle or Selkirk
All First Round ties to be played on or before Sunday, 3 September. All Second Round ties to be played on or before Sunday, 1 October.
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 22:38

SPFL Development League 2017-18 Preview

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Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos 16/17 &emdash;
The 2017–18 SPFL Development League season kicks off in earnest exactly four short weeks from now and here at YFS we’re taking a look at the season ahead. We’ll round up the latest news, cast our eyes over the recently released fixture list and highlight the most enticing match-ups, and provide insight on some of the most exciting up-and-coming stars to watch this season. You can also check out our preview of the Irn Bru Cup draw, featuring Scottish Premiership ‘colt’ teams, here: http://www.youthfootballscotland.co.uk/component/k2/item/19680-irn-bru-cup-2017-18-preview.html
The shape of the league will be different to last year, as three clubs made the controversial decision to quit the Under 20s set-up. Rangers were the first high-profile side to do so and will instead embark on a year-long programme playing against teams from south of the border and across Europe. Inverness Caledonian Thistle also left the league along with Dunfermline Athletic. Rangers finished sixth last season, whilst Caley were second-bottom and Dunfermline placed tenth.
Inverness Caley’s Highland rivals – and last year’s champions – Ross County, will open the season with a trip across the A96 to play Aberdeen in what also looks look the most interesting encounter of the opening round of fixtures. County won both ties between the sides last year but key players from the league-winning side, including top scorer Greg Morrison, have stepped up to the first team.
Hamilton Accies, runners up last season, face St Johnstone while third-placed Celtic, who finished with the best goal difference in the league in 2016-17, travel to Falkirk.
The second round of fixtures plays host to two big city derbies, the first Edinburgh derby of the season, and the Dundee derby. Hibs, who’ll be without the league’s top scorer last year in Oli Shaw who moves up to the senior team, welcome city rivals Hearts and the Dundee sides lock horns with United taking up the away dressing room first. The return fixtures are February 13 for the Dundee derby and March 27 for the Edinburgh derby.
Accies and Motherwell were the highest and third-highest scoring teams in the Development League last season, and the Lanarkshire sides’ first meeting is on October 3 at Motherwell, with the return match played on the penultimate week of scheduled fixtures.
SPFL Development League opening fixtures, to be played Tuesday August 22, 2017:
Aberdeen v Ross County
Dundee United v Motherwell
Falkirk v Celtic
Hamilton Accies v St Johnstone
Hearts v Dundee
Kilmarnock v Hibernian
Partick Thistle v St Mirren
But that’s enough about the teams themselves and we’ll now turn our attention to the players. The Development League’s modus operandi is to promote players to the first team, so who will be the ones to watch this season? 
Ieuan Williams of the Dunfermline Press believes it’s too soon for Ross County duo Ross MacIver and Davis Keillor-Dunn to break into the first team just now, but that should not be taken as a slight on the pair. “Another season in development under Stuart Kettlewell's guidance can only aid their cause if they manage to break into the senior squad. Both are comfortable with the ball at their feet and beating their man, and while Keillor-Dunn is a more natural winger, MacIver is versatile, adept at playing on the flanks or through the middle when required.”
Image result for declan glass
Kieran Green has taken charge of many Academy matches during his time as an SFA-licensed referee, and thinks highly of two attacking midfielders, Dundee United’s Declan Glass (photo, right) and Harry Cochrane of  Hearts. On the former, he said: “He’s a player I have refereed in school games and a couple of Club Academy games also. Technically gifted with the ball at his feet, and a player with a tremendous attitude and personality on the pitch. He will go far in the game.” Speaking about Cochrane, he said: “His playing style is a true number 10, in the hole. He’s very physically mature for his age.” 
Image result for michael johnston celtic
Ronnie Charters, sports reporter with Radio Clyde, reckons Ronan Hughes of Hamilton Accies and Celtic’s Michael Johnston are must-watch talents. 
“The Accies have a reputation for producing top young talent, none more so than the two James’s - McArthur and McCarthy - in the last decade. Ronan Hughes is the latest teenage prospect exciting the coaching staff at New Douglas Park. Martin Canning has high hopes for the gifted playmaker who’s came right through the ranks from the Accies’ Under 11 side but is keen to see him continue his development at Under 20 level.
“When you think of a Johnstone playing on the wing for Celtic, many will think of Jinky. But Celtic could have a new lord of the wing. Michael Johnston is fast becoming one of the hottest talents in Britain and recent performances saw him linked with Premier League Champions Chelsea. Johnston put in an impressive performance to help the Hoops' Under 20s secure a Scottish Youth Cup triumph over arch rivals Rangers last month.”
Callum Scott of the Burst Baw Scottish Football Podcast has high hopes for Kilmarnock FC starlet Innes Cameron. He said: "The striker has already been dubbed as the next big thing to come out of the Killie youth academy by manager Lee McCulloch, and it comes as no real surprise. The teenager was one of the many bright sparks to shine for Scot Gemmill’s Under 17s at this year’s European Championships in Croatia, bagging a vital goal against the Faroe Islands. The frontman was also subject to an approach from English Championship club Derby in the summer, the fee believed to be £200,000, but Kilmarnock were able to hold onto their youth prodigy, and Rugby Park is the best place for Cameron to be at this stage in his career."
And a final thought from me on Celtic’s Jack Aitchison. Aitchison is a name known to more than just Celtic fans, thanks to the fact the 17-year-old has already made the first team appearances in the league for the Hoops and has an impressive record at international level with Scotland. But it’s only this season where he’ll officially make the step up from Under 17 to Under 20 football, but there’s nothing standing in the way of the forward firing his way to the top of the scoring charts - and into Brendan Rodgers' thoughts once again.

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.