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South West Region (174)

Tuesday, 22 September 2015 15:47

Largs cruise to victory over Coylton

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Fixture: Largs Colts v Coylton U14
Competition: CAYFA U14 League
Venue: Barrfields
Date: 19/09/2015
 
Colts hosted the league leaders Coylton on a lovely Saturday morning for football at Barrfields. The visitors had lost just one goal all season and were obviously full of confidence given the league position they held following five wins and a draw as well as a clean sheet and success in the first round of the Scottish Cup. Colts were just about at full strength with Irwin in goal and a back four of Loudon, Dalglish, Weir and Robson. In the middle were R.Coupar, Bainbridge, Cormack and McTaggart. Up front were the familiar pairing of Smith and Brown. 
 
Colts started well and on three minutes a run from half-way by R.Coupar was not closed down and the midfield dynamo carried the ball through to 25 yards out before unleashing an unstoppable effort into the back of the net for a stunning opener. Colts continued with the high tempo and were passing the ball through the Coylton defence. On six minutes Smith played in Bainbridge though it was well defended and cleared. Colts had much of the ball and territory for this period with some short simple passing. When Coylton did get the ball the defence were handling well.

On twelve minutes Colts should have made it two when Smith unselfishly played in Dalglish on the left though it went just wide of the post. R.Coupar was called into action defensively when blocking a dangerous run from Coylton, something which the central midfielder did well all through the game. Coylton then had their best spell of the game for 10 to 15 minutes winning a couple of corners at which Colts looked slightly shaky. On 26 minutes Colts failed to clear and Coylton maybe should have got the equaliser only for the post to come to Colts' rescue. Coylton then had an effort from distance which keeper Irwin had covered as it cleared the bar. Just before the break Colts had a corner and worked a set piece play for Weir to strike on target. R.Coupar got the ball and Colts won another corner which Coylton managed to clear as the first half ended.
 
Half Time: Largs Colts 1-0 Coylton
 
Largs brought on debutant Leishman in place of Dalglish as the second half started. Coylton went at Largs from the whistle with a long ball which Weir managed well out for a corner. On four minutes Smith managed to get an outstretched leg to a through ball though it dribbled agonisingly wide of the post with the keeper beaten. On 41 minutes a ball played into Smith was controlled into the air by the head of the big striker before he struck on the half volley into the bottom left corner for a great finish and the second goal of the game to the hosts.

Colts were pushing again at this point and when R.Coupar played in Brown the striker finished superbly into the net for the third and ultimately decisive goal for Largs. Cormack then made way for MacNeil in a straight swap. On 49 minutes Colts made it four when a free kick from Weir found Smith who slotted the ball home. Brown was then played in by R.Coupar 12 yards out though the keeper saved this time. Leishman was creating sp ace and receiving the ball well at left back making some good runs and passes. On 53 minutes Leishman played a ball through for Brown which was just cleared by the defence. In the act Brown was injured and just before this Bainbridge was also injured. Both players left the field to be replaced by Wilson and J.Coupar.

With six minutes left Colts failed to clear a deep free kick, leaving it to each other and Coylton accepted the invitation to score a consolation goal. Brown returned to the action and after a through ball from Leishman the keeper saved well for a Colts corner. J.Coupar put in a good ball from the corner though it was half cleared to R.Coupar to put the ball back into the area before the referee called a halt to the game.
 
Full Time: Largs Colts 4-1 Coylton
 
A huge thank-you to Cumbrae Builders for being the match sponsors on the day.
Thursday, 24 September 2015 00:00

Ayrshire leagues round up - 19th/20th September

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It was back to league business at the weekend in the West of Scotland YFL and Central Ayrshire YFA, with a number of sides maintaining their 100 per cent records.
 
In the West of Scotland under 17 section Kilwinning Rangers were 3-0 victors in the weekend’s crunch match at Bellfield Youth, making it four wins from four. Girvan Youth also took full advantage to move up to second place with an 8-1 home victory over Hurlford United. In the match of the weekend Troon won a seven goal thriller at home to Glanafton to stay in touch with the pack in fourth place.
 
In the WOSYFL under 16 division Ayr Boswell’s flawless start continued with an excellent 9-1 win at Glenburn MW. There were tighter affairs elsewhere with Galston winning 2-1 at Troon Thistle, and local honours were even as Dreghorn drew 1-1 at Irvine Thistle.
 
It remains finely balanced at the top of the WOSYFL under 16s second division, with both Bonnyton Thistle and Dean Thistle maintaining perfect records. Dean turned on the style to win 7-0 at Prestwick, whilst Bonnyton ground out a 3-2 home victory over Carrick Colts. Elsewhere KSC Garnock are off the bottom after a fine 3-2 home victory over Largs Colts. In the league’s other tie Nithsdale Wanderers were emphatic 6-0 winners at home to Ayr Craigie to stay in fifth place.
 
Bonnyton’s 6-0 victory at Cunninghame YFC keeps Thistle top of the WOSYFL under 13 league alongside Bellfield Royals. Dalyrmple Thistle and Glenburn MW meanwhile stayed in forurth and fifth place with wins over Prestwick CFC and Knockroon Thistle. Hurflord were convincing home winners over Caledonian Thistle and Tass Thistle Titans had an impressive 4-1 win at KSC Barca.
 
Valspar stretched their lead in the CAFYA under 17 league with their 7-1 home victory over Glenburn MW, with Girdle Toll repeating this scoreline to win at Bellfield Youth and go third. KSC Royals and Irvine Meadow shared the points in a 4-4 thriller at Kilwinning Sports Club, while KSC Phoenix’s goalscoring form continued with an excellent 8-3 victory at Bonnyton Thistle. In the league’s remaining match Whitlett’s Victoria were emphatic 9-0 winners over Argyle Villa.
 
In the two weekend fixtures in the CAYFA under 15 division one, Tass Thistle Colts shared the points in a 2-2 home draw with Hurlford, whilst Glenburn MW won 4-2 away to leapfrog Valspar into fifth in the table. In the Under 15s second division Cumnock’s convincing victory over Crosshouse Boys Club was their third win from three to keep them in the hunt at the top.
 
It was a full card of fixtures in the CAYFA under 14 section, and Largs Colts impressive start continued to with a 4-1 home victory over league rivals Coylton. Colts now top the table while Valspar remain in the chase with a 4-1 victory at home to Galston. Irvine BC remain close behind after a 4-0 home victory over Tass Thistle. Meanwhile both Ayr Boswell and KSC Barca had 3-0 wins over Cumnock Juniors and Caledonian United to each stay within reach of the top. Elsewhere Prestwick won a 9 goal thriller 5-4 at home to Kilmarnock Portland whilst Rosebank and KSC Kilwinning Thistle shared the points in a goal less draw to stay in the lower half of the table.
Wednesday, 16 September 2015 00:00

Scottish Cup, CAYFA, WoSYFL Round Up - 12/13 September

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The weekend saw the opening round of Central Ayrshire YFA and West of Scotland YFL fixtures for the SYFA Scottish Cup, and there were plenty of goals to digest.

In the West of Scotland YFL, last year’s under-15 SYFA Cup winners Crosshouse Boys Club are off and running with a convincing 4-0 win away at league rivals Valspar. There were some thumping wins elsewhere with Ayr Boswell and Galston nine-goal victors at KSC Garnock and Glenafton. Troon Thistle won some local bragging rights putting seven past Irvine Thistle at home, whilst there were convincing victories for Dreghorn YFC, Carrick Colts, Stewarton Annick, Galston and Dean Thistle. Glenburn edged Ayr Craigie 2-1 in the weekend’s closest tie, and Greystone Rovers will be delighted with their 6-3 win away at Bonnyton Thistle.

There were two weekend Central Ayrshire YFA under-17 cup ties, each a high-scoring affair, with KSC Phoenix 6-4 the victors at home to Whitletts Victoria, and Glenburn winning 7-3 away at Bellfield.

In the CAYFA under-15 section Auchinleck Talbot were convincing winners at Crosshouse BC 2001, and there were also heavy victories for Crosshouse BC Athletic and Bonnyton Thistle. Winlinton Wolves and KSC Rovers recorded seven and five-goal away wins at Valspar and Galston respectively. Tass Thistle Colts enjoyed a fine 5-2 victory at Cumnock Juniors with West Kilbride 2001s also winning 3-1 on the road at Irvine Victoria. Meanwhile Hurlford were 1-0 victors in a close fought encounter at home to Greystone, whilst Glenburn MW had just enough at home to knock out Tass Thistle Utd by three goals to two.

The CAYFA under-14s also saw some tight cup matches, with league leaders Coylton 1-0 victors at Ayr Boswell Colts and KSC Barca’s 2-1 win at ASC Irvine. Cumnock also had a good 3-2 win at Crosshouse BC, with Valspar 7-3 winners at Stewarton Annick. Meanwhile Caledonian United and Largs Colts are also through to the next round, with Caley defeating KSC Kilwinning Thistle 3-1 and Colts earning a bye against Tass Thistle.

Elsewhere, CAYFA league business continued, and in the weekend’s top of the table clash Valspar continued their flying start to the under-17s league with an emphatic 5-1 victory over Bonnyton Thistle. Cumnock 99s moved up to second in the chase winning 5-3 at KSC Royals, and Girdle Toll are up to 6th with their 1-0 defeat of Irvine Meadow.

In the West of Scotland under-17 YFL, both Kilwinning Rangers and Bellfield maintained their 100 per cent records. Bellfield’s emphatic 7-1 win at Hurlford kept them top, whilst Kilwinning ran out 4-1 winners over table rivals Troon. Girvan move up to third with a 7-1 rout away to Glenafton.

And in the only WOSYFL under 13s league fixture this weekend , Bellfield remain undefeated after their 7-1 thrashing of Hurlford.

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 00:45

Watch: Crosshill Thistle vs Crosshouse BC U13

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Video highlights from the West of Scotland YFL league opener at Crosshill Park.
 
Saturday, 29 August 2015 10:28

Watch: Coylton FC vs Maybole FC 2004s

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Video highlights from the match between Coylton and Maybole 2004s, courtesy of Ed Hanna.
 
Sunday, 09 August 2015 00:00

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!

Wednesday, 05 August 2015 15:09

Terrific Troon eye up league title

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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!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 12:29

Largs Colts aim for top-five finish

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Last season saw Largs Colts 2002s competed in 11-a-side for the first time, they did themselves proud by clinching a fifth placed finish, only one point off fourth, and sealing their place in a cup final against KSC Barca.

Colts' coach, Campbell Coupar, spoke exclusively to Youth Football Scotland regarding the season just past, and the season ahead: “The team performed well in their first season at 11’s finishing fifth in the league and reaching their first cup final”, he said. “The high point was defeating the league winners Bonnyton 4-0 and the low point was probably the performances and results in the cup, especially in losing the cup final.”

It is not all about results for Coupar however: “A major plus was that a number of coaches called Largs Colts 2002 out as the best passing team they had played during the season. It was pleasing to see the team play some great passing football at times and to have this reputation.” he declared with pride.

He foresees a few teams putting up a strong challenge for next season’s title. “Valspar, AC Irvine and Galston I would expect to be very good. Kilmarnock Portland and Tass were the only teams we did not beat last year though I believe we are much better prepared this time around. The good thing is with a variety of strong teams it will test the boys and help them to develop individually and as a team.”

So far Colts have been very active on the transfer front, adding in Fraser Blair, Louis Bainbridge, Ben Robson and Lewis Cormack, all local lads from Larg. The manager revealed that all four boys are great friends and attend the same school, which is sure to help them settle into the club with ease.

Coupar also told us that his side have a busy pre-season schedule ahead: “Pre-season has been mixed, and in the early stages, difficult, given the number of boys still on holiday. We have another five pre-season games planned as well as a tournament to round things off, which will be great preparation for the season ahead.”, he said. “Fitness will also be a big focus over the next three weeks in readiness for the first competitive games.”

In terms of targets for the next campaign, the Colts gaffer was not expecting his side to jump to the top of the league just yet: “It is likely that the league will be very different this year with teams from the West league making it a much tougher and larger league.

A finish in the top five again would be positive progress and ideally winning a cup to get the first silverware. We would love to make the rounds of the Scottish Cup outside of our region and travel somewhere. Overall, being hard to beat and being recognised as a very good football side whilst being true to our philosophy would be an achievement.”

And lastly, what does the Largs manager value as one of the most important aims for the season ahead? “Fun”, he replied.

Best of luck to Largs Colts 2002s in the 2015/16 Central Ayrshire Youth League!

 

Lauren Sloan is the current captain of the senior Ladies side at Kilmarnock. The team have had a tough time in recent years, but under the management of David Howie, Sloan and her teammates are looking to mount a promotion push and get them back to where they belong, in the First Division.

Sloan has been at the club since 1999, after being knocked back by a boys club.

"I started when I was six because the boys club said I couldn't play, so it kind of spurred me on a little bit. I went through the ranks and just played. I went senior when I was 16," she told Youth Football Scotland.

Sloan makes her path to the first team sound simple, when it reality it was a very hard effort, requiring determination and desire. The youth teams now are seeing the benefits of the partnership with the professional side, with access to gym facilities and a physiotherapist as well as being able to train at Rugby Park. But before 2014, the standard of facilities was a lot poorer, which had its effects on the club's players.

"I liked playing so it was all enjoyment and it was quite close. But then they [other girls in the youth setup] slowly drop off as you get older, so I was the only one out my whole team that moved up to senior squad," Sloan said

"Now, through linking with Kilmarnock, it's amazing the amount of teams and the camaraderie you have with each team. It's getting so much bigger."

And Sloan also had some sound advice to give to girls who are thinking about taking up the sport.

"Work hard. Train hard. That's it. Work hard, train hard, you'll get there. Don't give up," she said.

"Don't let any boy say he'll beat you or he can run faster than you, because if you keep up with him you'll beat any girl on the pitch."

Sloan knows that it can be tough as a girl trying to make it in football: "It's tough because there's a lot of stereotypes in woman's football. I think before you move up to the seniors there's a lot of expectations and that's when they drop out."

If there was ever an example of why a young girl should continue into the senior ranks of their football club, look no further than Kilmarnock Ladies captain Lauren Sloan.

Originally founded as Stewarton Ladies, Kilmarnock Ladies are the oldest women’s club in Scottish history. They competed in the first ever Women’s FA Cup Final, losing to Southampton in 1971 and 1972. It was only in 1999 that the club became known as Kilmarnock and the partnership with Kilmarnock FC began.

The relationship has helped the club according to first team manager David Howie, who said: "Basically we’ve kind of pulled it together, it’s a more professional club. Pushing through with Kilmarnock also helps us with sponsorship and benefits.

"The girls get to play on the Rugby Park stadium, training there twice a week, using the physio facilities and gym facilities that we get."

This incentive is one that will appeal to anyone who wants to get involved. Getting treated as a professional will certainly tempt young girls to think of a future in football. Howie agreed, saying: “From a youth point of view we’re trying to take it and consolidate and carry that forward in the next couple of years, and become where we are in the Senior Ladies game, hopefully with all the girls staying with the club. To that point, it should strengthen the club, and keep us on a firm base for a number of years to come."

Kilmarnock Ladies have teams at under-13, under-15 and under-17 level, and Howie is confident that their development is progressing well.

"[The under-13s] have been put into a Performance League but it was essentially a Development Team. They were all very young girls, 10-11 years of age. They were going up against the best in the country, Glasgow City, Celtic, Rangers, which are strong, strong teams. Although we’re a large club from the South West, it was a Development Team that was stuck in a Performance League," Howie said.

"This year in the first half of the season they’ve been battered and bruised, but they girls are still smiling. They still come to football and love it."

The under-15’s have been performing fantastically and are on track to defend their League Cup title, with a final against Hamilton coming up.

"That team will do excellent. They are the strongest team in this league. I’m very confident that they will win their league. They’re undefeated in this season so far, going from strength to strength," Howie said.

The under-17’s have also had success previously, winning their regional league last year. They have also progressed to the last-16 of the Scottish Cup.

"This year they’re sitting about third in their league. It’s a strong squad but they are competing with the best, so we’ve consolidated there." 

The future is looking bright for Kilmarnock Ladies and it is certainly a great time to get involved!