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Galston YFC look to build on Cup success

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It is rare for cliches to hold true, but for Galston YFC 2002s victory in the CAYFL League Cup was the high point of a season defined by the issues that come with a small squad and a transition up into 11-a-side age group of under-13s. 

"Last season was very much a season of two halves," team manager Hugh McNeillie told Youth Football Scotland.

The clear highlight for the club was winning the CAYFA League Cup, beating eventual league winners and runners-up, Bonnyton Thistle and Tass Thistle respectively, along the way to victory.

Despite this, last season’s performance in the league was not what McNeillie would have liked, with the first half of the season dogged the transition to 11-a-side.

"[We] had two decent seven-a-side teams with very styles," McNeillie said. "We struggled initially to find the right balance/adjustment to the 11-a-side game both in terms of organisation and competitiveness on the bigger pitch."

With pre-season well under way for the club, McNeille is looking forward to the competitive fixtures within the Land of Burns tournament at the start of August with the manager "happy with the fitness levels from the boys".

That comes with the addition of two "excellent young coaches" who McNeille says have "a real passion for the game" which has made their pre-season preparation looking "to be better this season".

In addition to a positive pre-season, the Ayrshire club has signed two new players for the forthcoming season. Andrew Dickson, described as "a quick and trick left-sided attacking player", and Jai Ewing, "a commanding central midfielder", have both been signed.

That improvement in the squad is a necessity if Galston are going to live up to their manager’s hopes for the 2015/16 season.

"if we play to our strengths and continue our performance level of 2015 then a top 4 place in this improved league is a strong possibility. Where in the top four will come down to how much the boys put in and other factors such as staying injury free," McNeillie said.

With probable rivals for success in the form of AC Irvine, Largs Colts, Tass Thistle and Valspar, the league is looking increasingly competitive.

"Personally I feel we have a good balance and the boys are better equipped for 11-a-side in their second season," McNeillie said.

Good luck to Galston YFC 2002s for the 2015/16 season!

Conor Matchett | YFS Radio Presenter/Journalist
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