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Valspar aim for top three finish

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Valspar 2002s are aiming to build on their three cup runs last year by finishing in the top three of the league for the 2015/16 season.

Richard McNulty, manager of the West Coast club, told Youth Football Scotland that the upcoming season will be "challenging" for his side.

However, he drew confidence from the team's fantastic performance in three cup competitions last year, reaching one semi-final and two finals - winning the first of those finals against Prestwick, which McNulty called "the high of the season". 

The team had a "slow start" to the season last year, but finished reasonably in their first 11-a-side season. "Adding players midway through the season helped improve the squad and helped to kick off our season," said McNulty, who already had a strong first eleven at his disposal.

At this stage in pre-season the team have added just the one player. However, McNulty insists every player has a part to play, saying: "Every player in the squad is key."

It will be a difficult season to predict for Valspar as it is a brand new league they will play in. But the club, which celebrated its 40th birthday last season, already have first-hand knowledge of some of their competitors. 

"Our longest rivals have been AC Irvine. I would expect them to be strong again this year, but there is a whole host of teams capable of winning the league, with Rosebank, Ayr Bosewell, Galston, Tass, and Largs just a few of the names in the frame."

Clearly the league title will be an open affair, with McNulty adding: "I think there will be six to eight teams vying for the top spot."

So how has the head coach prepared his side for what will be a open race for the title?

"We have played some good quality teams in friendlies so far, with a couple more lined up. On the 7th-9th August we travel to Stirling to play in the Loch Lomond festival," which he also described as "fantastic". 

Away from the league, Valspar will look to build on their cup success: "We would be looking to reach a cup final and have a decent run in the Scottish Cup, which can be difficult depending on the draw."

Good luck to Ayr Valspar 2002s for the 2015/16 season!

Andrew Petrie | YFS South East Region Journalist

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