(Photo copyright of Ian Sneddon, Falkirk FC)
Every year across Scotland, a handful of young men fulfill their boyhood dreams when they sign full-time for a football club. Here at YFS we're putting the spotlight on the new kids on the block who've just made the grade from youth academy level to the professional game, as they make the next step in their promising careers. Here, focus is on Falkirk FC.
Falkirk is without doubt one of Scotland’s most productive clubs in terms of youth development. Having produced millions of pounds worth of homegrown talent and reaching multiple Scottish Cup semi-finals and finals, the Bairns’ academy mantra of "Nothing but the best" has been lived up to.
With recent academy graduates such as Craig Sibbald and Peter Grant establishing themselves as stars in the first-team, and players such as Scott Arfield and Stephen Kingsley reaching both the Premier League and International stage, the next generation of Bairns are on their own path to make the step up. We take a look at some of the brightest talents paving their way into the Falkirk academy.
McBride can best be described as a pacy forward, who constantly presses defenders and puts them under pressure. He displayed his ability at international level back in February, when he netted the only goal in Scotland under 16’s 1-0 win over Croatia at the Oriam Centre. He was also a key player in the Falkirk side which reached the final eight of the SFA Youth Cup in the previous campaign.
The former Scotland under-16 international recently earned a call-up to the Scotland under 17’s side for a tournament at St George’s Park this month, merely a few months after signing his first professional contract for the Bairns.
One of six graduates from the Forth Valley academy, the 16-year old featured on several occasions for the development side last term and will look to increase his importance to the team after signing his first professional contract.
The teenage midfielder was a regular feature in last season’s development side for Falkirk and recently signed his first professional contract in the summer. Jervis, who played school football for Broughton High School, was once a youth player at Hibernian during his early teens.
Described as an attacking threat from midfield, Jervis scored his first goal for the development side against Hearts on his return to Edinburgh. Speaking to Falkirk TV, Jervis said: “It’s a good experience (to play in the development side) and it has given me a head start over other boys.”
Jarvis made his first-team debut in a pre-season friendly during the summer, coming on as a substitute in a 3-2 win over East Stirlingshire. He will be hoping to solidify his spot in the development side this upcoming season, and may even have his sights set on a first-team cameo at some point.