Troon FC 98s can consider themselves record breakers, having recently achieved their highest ever finish in the Central Ayrshire League.
That, however, was not the limit of their achievements last season, as Troon head coach, Derek Cowan told Youth Football Scotland. "We had a fantastic season last year finishing 2nd in the league, our best ever finish. We also reached the league cup final and semi-final of the McNaughton cup. The most pleasing part was the quality of football we played," Cowan said.
Cowan, whose side remarkably only lost two league games throughout last season, enjoyed similar success in a pre-season tournament immediately following their league campaign: "We finished the season over at Barcelona for the Copa Catalunya Cup where we beat three Italian teams, including Roma under-17s," Cowan told us. They also finished the group stage in first place, as well as scoring the most goals in the competition.
Troon FC, formerly known as Troon Thistle, shall link up with their fellow age groups, starting this season, meaning that Cowan’s side will become a feeder club to Troon Juniors. The manager commented that "this will give the boys more experienced coaching, playing some games at Portland Park and a clear progression plan if they develop and work hard".
"Moving from under-17s to under-19s will be a big step up but the lads are looking forward to the challenge," Cowan said.
In terms of transfers, there has been plenty of movement on that front, but Troon are not finished bolstering their squad just yet. "We have re-signed the core of the team from last season and have added three players so far. Another two or three have trials shortly which will take our squad to a manageable 17 or 18 players," said the manager.
Troon players have recently began preparations for the season ahead in their bid to move up one position from last year and win the league title. Cowan commented that the coaching staff are “not particularly well liked at this stage”, largely down to their gruelling, yet beneficial, pre-season schedule.
Which teams do the man at the helm of the South Ayrshire club see as putting up the strongest challenge for the league title? "The teams who have already had a year at this level will undoubtedly be the most difficult," he said.
Good luck to Troon FC 98s in the 2015/16 Central Ayrshire League!