Advertising Features (122)
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 00:00 Written by YFS Editor 1
Youth teams in Scotland are regular attendees at tournaments around the United Kingdom and on occasion, throughout the rest of Europe. It’s not unusual to hear of a Scottish team visiting the Netherlands at Easter, or major tournaments in Italy, Spain or Sweden during the summer break. However, have you ever heard of a Scottish youth team setting off around the world and participating in an international tournament in the Far East? No? Us neither.
When the Great Wall Cup, which takes place in Beijing, got in touch with us looking to reach out to Scottish teams – it certainly caught our eye. Over a series of forthcoming articles, we will take a closer look at one of the most unique and exciting tournaments on the planet.
Taking place between 27th July and 1st August this summer, the Great Wall Cup offers an exciting blend of competitive tournament action with a fascinating insight into Chinese culture.
Following the opening ceremony, held at a prestigious, matches are hosted at the impressive ’26 Degrees Sports Centre’. Teams already confirmed for this year include outfits from India, Australia, USA, Indonesia, Mongolia, Brazil, Canada, South Korea and United Arab Emirates. So if you’re looking to play against a wide variety of teams from different continents and footballing cultures, look no further.
Whilst on the field matters take the centre stage, there is no lack of adventure when the final whistle is blown on each day’s action. Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City are included in the team excursions, in addition to a closing banquet combined with the prize giving ceremony. And the Chinese food needs no introductions to the Scottish general public!
For those worried about the language barrier, each team is assigned and English speaking team co-ordinator. This also gives each team first hand assistance to guide them through the week of activities.
This year’s event is open for the following age groups:
U12 (Born 2002) | 7-a-side
U14 (Born 2000) | 11-a-side
U16 (Born 1998) | 11-a-side
U18 (Born 1996) | 11-a-side
Fancy watching a short piece which encapsulates what the tournament is all about? Watch the promotional video below:
Thursday, 13 March 2014 15:43 Written by YFS Editor 1
Powerleague Glasgow, is back and better than ever before. The flagship complex of the UK wide 5-a-side football provider, has been renovated with no less than £500k worth of improvements.
To celebrate the relaunch, they are opening their doors free of charge for a whole weekend, to youth football teams.
The new facilities available at the venue, located a stone throw away from Glasgow's city centre, will take 5-a-side football in Scotland to a new level. The brand new state of the art pitch surfaces, boasting a much more colourful feel, are complimented by varied goal sizes and a newly installed 7-a-side pitch.
Another exciting new twist is the addition of overhead pitch video cameras, giving you the bird's eye view of every kick of the ball. On selected pitches you can have your entire game recorded and take away footage of the entire match or the clip of your magic moment.
YFS has teamed up with Powerleague Glasgow to offer a full weekend of completely free pitch hire for youth teams. From Friday 21st - Sunday 23rd March, teams can book a pitch without paying a penny. And if they're quick, they could be allocated one of the pitches with an overhead video camera.
Powerleague area manager, Scott Penman, said: “We are proud of the new facilities on offer at our Glasgow complex. Youth players and teams are a huge part of the 5-a-side football community and with our relaunch, we are delighted to give local youth teams the opportunity to sample the new pitches free of charge.”
If your club would like to take advantage of the offer and book a free slot for your team, fill out the short form below.
Performance Analysis in Sport... you’ve probably heard of it, but are you aware that it’s not just for the professional teams? At AnalysisPro Ltd, our mission is to make analysis available for all through educating and supporting users across many different sports and providing affordable and powerful products.
So what is performance analysis in sport? In the simplest terms, think of it as a tool that can reinforce your coaching and feedback mechanisms. We all know a picture paints a thousand words, so why not supplement your delivery with video resources to further understanding and spell your message out for you? It is near impossible for coaches and players to recall everything that happened in a match or training session, so filming these activities gives you a resource that you can review to find those key bits of gold dust, which we hope will lead to an improvement in performance of both the players and the coach.
At AnalysisPro Ltd, we have over 15 years experience in the field of Performance Analysis working with international and elite teams, being at the forefront of video analysis and seeing how the industry standard workflows have developed and been utilised across a wide range of activities. Using timeline-based video analysis software has become the recognised standard for creating powerful analysis and feedback resources, but until recently, these processes have been limited to the elite levels due to high costs of software and equipment.
The affordable and powerful software, processes and support we can provide at AnalysisPro Ltd means that we now have many users from all ranges of performance, whether that is Aston Villa or our Support Manager’s local schools and clubs. Through educating our users and understanding their requirements, we are able to provide a variety of software levels at different prices to ensure that the processes carried out at the elite levels of performance can be mirrored in the grass roots clubs too.
Nacsport is a video analysis software we provide which is the perfect start for clubs looking to get the most out of their videos and performance. It runs on the Windows platform and starts at just £130, allowing you to break down your footage into clips for easy review. With these clips you can create presentations, adding your coaching notes and drawings onto these clips to highlight your key points, then save this out as a short video to show to your team before training perhaps. That’s just one example workflow you can use, with many more features available throughout the range of software. Check out this video to see Nacsport in action and have a look around our YouTube channel to see some example workflows and the other great things we can provide:
But don’t just take our word for it, we would like to give you FREE access to the software so you can check it out yourself! Two months of full access to the software is being offered to YFS users, without costing them a penny.
Simply fill out the form below and Analysis Pro will send you a link to download and install the software and help to get you up and running.
We’re passionate about getting as many people as possible exposed to the benefits of performance analysis, so please feel free to get in touch with us to find out more and let us know about what you are looking to achieve so we can tailor advice to suit your requirements. Keep up to date with our news by following us on twitter @AnalysisPro and checking out our website (click here).
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 19:33 Written by YFS Editor 1
2014 may only be a matter of weeks old, and some youth teams have hardly kicked a ball due to the wintry weather, but for one new player in the grassroots football scene it has been ‘all systems go’.
Grassroots Interactive Coaching (GIC) is a brand new website, which launched earlier this month. The mission is ‘To help amateur coaches be the best they possibly can be in order to help advance the nurturing of young talent and to make it available for all, not just the professionals.’
By embracing technology, GIC are in the process of building an ever expanding platform to cater for the every need of the grassroots coach. In place already are a number of innovative resources, with growth subject to an ongoing analysis of need amongst their members. “What the coaches want and need is what we will source and provide,” said founder David Lowe.
What exactly does GIC offer? To kick off they provide an extensive bank of pre-planned and detailed training sessions which are ready-made for coaches. Or for those looking to mould their own sessions but short on ideas, you can create your own session from their library of training drills. This will be joined shortly by the ‘Grassroots Buddy’ smart phone and tablet app. This exciting development will allow quick and effective animated visual demonstrations of training session exercises and match tactics to players. It will also give users the power to share their ideas with the community and search a global repository of methods and tactics from other grassroots coaches across the globe.
Computer Science graduate, Lowe, became aware of the need for such a resource when writing the dissertation ‘Using Technology to Enhance Grassroots Football’ (click here to view in full). However, he really knew it was an essential development after having the chance to sample the grassroots scene in the land of the current European and World champions, Spain.
Lowe said: “I used to live in Spain and regularly used to go and watch the local academy training. I was in awe of the professionalism and organisation of the sessions. During this period I watched the Spanish team grow into a world dominating team. Upon returning to the UK this experience inspired me to follow my ambitions and take my FA coaching badges.”
He continued: “As a novice coach two things struck me. In this country we are trying to play catch-up. Rather than trying to outdo countries such as Spain we are trying to emulate them (they have a 20 year head start so that's not going to work) and as much as I believed I knew about football tactics, I still found that I spent half of my training sessions explaining the drills and requirements to the athletes. During this period I was also studying Computer Science at University. By the time I graduated I was determined to create a coaching environment that not only helped grassroots coaches but also inspired change and pushed boundaries in technological tools for the amateur coach.”
Exciting times are ahead for members of GIC. In addition to the brand new coaching app, in the pipeline are community coaching forums; an online training apparatus shop; a social media feature that allows coaches to 'follow' each other and rank content (meaning those with the most highly thought of sessions and tactics rise to the top); and a partnership with a website developer to provide ready-made websites for football teams to organise their day to day running.
Lowe’s closing comments? “No more playing catch up with the rest of the football world. Let the UK be at the forefront with cutting edge technological tools and a way of sharing all that we have learned with fellow coaches.”
The best news yet, is that GIC have 50 free memberships to give away to YFS users. To claim yours, simply fill out your name and email address below...
Friday, 21 February 2014 00:00 Written by YFS Editor 1
Youth Football Scotland is supporting a competition to give away up to 100 FREE football kits.
The competition is called Host Your Kit and has been launched today by Glasgow headquartered UK cloud company iomart.
If you are a youth team aged from 11 years to 16 years and playing in a Scottish league then you could win your side a brand new adidas strip for 13 outfield players and a goalkeeper. All you have to do is explain why your team deserves a new kit. The best entries win one - easy!
Phil Worms, Director of Marketing for iomart, says, “We’re looking for entries that are funny, sad or just plain desperate. So if your kit has turned pink in the wash, is three sizes too big, or you just want to save your parents from having to fork out, enter Host Your Kit and you could win a fantastic adidas kit worth over £300 for your team. Any teams who send us video entries will be looked on favourably so let your creativity run wild!”
This is the third year of Host Your Kit. Previous Scottish winners have included young teams from Perth, Jedburgh, Kirkcaldy, Falkirk and Glasgow.
For more details visit www.hostyourkit.com. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter @hostyourkit and Facebook.
iomart is one of the UK’s leading providers of mission-critical cloud and managed hosting services. It owns and manages datacentres at eight locations across the UK, a fast fibre network and offers a unique 100% uptime guarantee. For more information visit www.iomart.com.
Sunday, 09 February 2014 23:25 Written by YFS Editor 1
A brand new initiative, providing a fresh platform for Under 19 and Under 21 players to showcase their talents on the national stage, is weeks away from its launch.
Edusport Academy run a residential football academy based in Central Scotland, for talented young French footballers – testing them against a number of Scottish senior sides whilst training daily at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Complex.
The academy is running a season end tournament which will feature their own teams; a team comprising of players recently released by senior clubs; and a national select squad for players plying their trade with Scottish Youth FA clubs.
The recruitment for the side consisting of players from SYFA clubs begins today. Nominations are being accepted, prior to trial events taking place in the coming weeks. The team’s coaching staff will include former Hibernian star Guillaume Beuzelin.
Edusport Academy founder and director, and former Motherwell player, Chris Ewing said: “There are a lot of talented players at the Under 19 and Under 21 age groups who have been unfortunate to miss the boat when it comes to senior football."
Ewing continued: "By bringing together a group of the strongest players from the SYFA, and testing them against a high level of opposition, it gives them the opportunity to show they could play at a higher level and put themselves on the radar of senior and junior clubs. Should players have the academic profile and be interested in pursuing a scholarship in the USA, this is also something that we can help with. Not to mention, the pride that comes with being selected for a national representative squad.”
Edusport Academy U19/U21 Select Squad (Nominate a minimum of one and as many as three players below)
Every year the pupils from Largs Academy are given the opportunity to travel to England with Transworld Soccer and enjoy a weekend of fun with some of the English Premier Leagues most prestigious clubs. This year the tour included Manchester United, Manchester City and Newcastle United and this reporter was lucky enough to be taken along for the ride.
The journey begins with an eye wateringly early start over on Scotland’s west coast where the pupils are shepherded onto a coach in the early hours of Saturday morning to begin their adventure, with a brief detour via Glasgow to pick up a bedraggled journalist, before powering down the motorway to our first stop of the day; Old Trafford.
The home of the current Premier League champions and most successful team was awash with fans from all parts of the world as over 70,000 people clamoured to gain entry to the stadium before their lunchtime kick off with Newcastle United. The boys in attendance were given the chance to do a little shopping beforehand where they were able to indulge in purchases that varied from replica goalkeeping jerseys and hats all the way through to replica Marouanne Fellaini wigs!
After a quick dose of retail therapy it was into the stand they headed for a match that unfortunately did not live up to its blockbuster billing with the home side offering tame resistance before losing 1-0 at home in front of their disappointed fans. Nevertheless not a body in the group was downhearted as the atmosphere had been electric and it remained fantastic experience.
There was little time to be downbeat anyway as we were soon moving across the city to the Etihad Stadium, home of United’s bitter rivals Manchester City. Upon arrival we were met with friendly staff who whisked us off onto a private tour of the stadium where we able to learn everything from the length of the grass roots below the pitch (eight inches) to the fact that jerseys sold in shops are not in fact replicas of the shirts that players wear on match days as they have special ventilation holes down the sides and are given away to charity after each game.
In between times there was an opportunity for the boys to attempt Sky Sports crossbar challenge in the very warm up rom used by the players before matches, a look at the tunnel the players walk down on match days and a chance to pose in Manuel Pelligrini’s chair in the press room before a trip to the club superstore to pick up more souvenirs before dinner.
The main meal of the day would be provided by the wonderful staff at the Premier Inn in Bradford who laid on a lovely buffet dinner of curry, pizza, chicken and chips followed by waffles and ice cream before the youngsters were invited to get changed before heading out for a couple of rounds of ten pin bowling. I’m not at liberty to divulge the outcome of the competition in question but I did overhear that a certain teacher was still giving his pupils a lesson outside of class!
Next up before bed was media training where the boys would have the opportunity to perfect their match day walk-on’s in front of a green screen before heading over to the press area where they would be grilled about their days activities by this grizzled journalist in a simulated conference designed to give them a feel of what it would be like to be a top flight footballer in that situation. Although light hearted and fun it was interesting to learn about certain pre-match rituals involving bacon, coffee and, in one instance, a chicken giving us all something to think about as we headed to bed ahead of another big day.
Another early start was on the cards and the Premier Inn staff did themselves proud in providing a hearty breakfast ahead of another long day as we boarded the coach again with our destination on this occasion St. James’s Park in Newcastle, the home of Newcastle United. Situated in the very heart of the city the 52,000 capacity stadium cut an imposing figure across the skyline but the welcome from the club couldn’t have been warmer and, after a final trip to the tills, we were off on a second private tour of the trip.
Our two guides took us around the ground showing us the executive suites, dug outs and changing rooms and we were also able note the unusual shape of the pitch which slopes down into the Gallowgate end. Legend apparently has it that when Newcastle play towards it the noise created by their fans sucks the ball towards the goal although I’m inclined to believe that there may just be an urban legend.
Finally we exited the ground via the changing rooms and past the busts of the late, great sir Bobby Robson and “Wor” Jackie Milburn with his three FA cup winners medals before hopping aboard our transport for the final football related stop on our tour, a series of friendly matches against teams supplied by the Newcastle United Foundation at the Walker Activity Dome training pitches on the east side of the city.
All 42 boys were then given the chance to impress against children of their own ages regardless of their level of skill or ability and appeared to have a great time being given the opportunity to show off in front of their peers and in the end the scores didn’t seem to matter as everyone had a great time despite the inclement weather and soon were on the bus for the trip home.
Heading back across the border our adventure was punctuated by one final pit stop to fill up on pizza and Krispy Kreme donuts before arriving back in Largs. A special thanks for the weekend going to the Transworld Soccer group for arranging such a fantastic trip and to the pupils and staff of Largs Academy for having me along.
Encompassing all that is good in football today from the past and present into the future it was both fun and educational for all involved and hopefully it created some lasting memories for those lucky enough to be a part of it.
For more information on The Ultimate Premier League Experience, click here.
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 17:53 Written by YFS Editor 2
The Preston M&L Easter Cup is offering a fantastic early booking discount to youth teams across Scotland for their annual Easter Cup tournament.
The tournament has attracted teams from across the UK and Europe; already this year confirming a booking from a youth squad from Germany.
You can find more details on the Easter Cup by visiting their website at www.eastercup.co.uk and by visiting their Facebook page by clicking here
Below are the details on their early booking savings -
"Early Booking Discount – Book by 30th November!
If you pay all of your groups accommodation deposits (if applicable) and players registration entry fees before 30th November 2013 you will receive Early Booking Discount and Savings as detailed on the pricing structure.
Please note: This offer does not apply to any additional places added after 30th November 2013. (Deposits and players registrations fees are non refundable)"
Thursday, 24 October 2013 13:50 Written by David Chalmers
Rothes Juniors Under 16's (1998) and Under 14's (2000) enjoyed ‘The Ultimate Premier League Experience’ last weekend when the two teams booked a trip past the border on Friday and Saturday.
Starting on the Friday the boys travelled down to Manchester from Glenrothes for a tour of the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City and a former Commonwealth Games arena. The tour included sitting in one of the stands and the dugout, walking out of the tunnel, visiting the press conference room and the dressing room, and a nutritional talk and quiz. The boys also had the chance to purchase items from the club shop. Some of the boys got to sit in the players seats.
The bus didn’t have to travel too far for the next stop on the tour as Old Trafford welcomed the teams for a Museum and Stadium tour of the current Barclays Premier League champions. After enjoying the museum in their own time, one of United’s tour guides showed the players round the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ with different viewpoints of the stadium embedded in visits to the press conference room, the home dressing room, players’ lounge and the Busby Babes memorial. The press conference room provided a surprise that we’ll leave open for any future visitors!
Following the tours of City and United’s stadiums, the boys were booked in for a training session at City’s Youth Academy. A 2 hour-long session saw two City coaches take a team each and provide top-class drills before having a fun game at the end.
After arriving at the hotel for the night, Trans World Soccer put on a quiz to determine who would be ball-boys the next morning and the night ended in a media session with the players enjoying a gruelling press conference experience and filming Sky Sports-like player graphics which will go in to the tour DVD.
Rothes Juniors also had the experience of a Premier League match day when they attended St.James Park for the 12.45pm kick-off between Newcastle United and Liverpool. Entering through the tunnel, Newcastle’s Sylvain Marveaux happened to be standing around and one or two of the boys got a photo with the Frenchman.
Three lucky players from the 1998s and three from the 2000s were also chosen to be ball-boys at the match, which ended 2-2. Yohan Cabaye opened the scoring for the home side before Mapou Yanga Mbiwa was dismissed for a foul inside the box and Steven Gerrard slotted home his 100th Premier League goal. Substitute Paul Dummett volleyed the Toon into the lead again in the second half but Daniel Sturridge headed home a Luis Suarez cross to level proceedings for the second time. Tim Krul and the woodwork denied Liverpool the lead before the full-time whistle was blown and the boys were whisked away to play challenge matches against Newcastle Kickz at 4pm.
Rothes Juniors Chairman Brian Dickson spoke to YFS, Trans World Soccer and Up Next Studios, describing his delight at the trip.
“This has been an exceptionally big trip for us as a club. We’re a relatively young club; 1995 we were established. So this is the first trip of this type for us.
“[It’s a] big investment, a lot of fundraising has been involved. The expectations have been met on all accounts, and some. We didn’t come here to win games or anything; the whole objective was to get memories for all the kids, and I think we’ve got that in spades.”
“It was nice to see the Newcastle game, though it ended 2-2, it would’ve been nice to get a winner out of that. The bottom line was to get them the memories.”
Dickson enjoyed taking a backseat for the trip and praises Trans World Soccer’s services. “We’ve got another six teams at different age groups that we’re looking to bring on this kind of trip in the future. It’s nice to not have to be the organiser for a change, it was really nice to leave Andrew and his team at Trans World Soccer to get on with it and they’ve done a really good job, no hiccups at all.”
When asked for a personal highlight, the chairman said “For me it was the media training session. The kids didn’t have any expectations of that but I think the roars of laughter and the energy that came out of it after a long day was nice. I think the boys thoroughly enjoyed it.”
Tuesday, 22 October 2013 14:19 Written by YFS Editor 1
Our friends at Trans World Soccer have a fantastic opportunity for a youth football team to get up close to the stars of the English Premier League. See below:
Match: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur
Date: 24th November, 2013
Price: £90 per head
Return transport from agreed pick up point
Behind the scenes tour of Old Trafford
Free places for coaches
Why not check out the video below, as Notre Dame High School enjoyed the 'Ultimate Premier League Experience'...