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Hampden BC working hard to make 11-a-side transition

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The switch from playing 7 a side up to playing 11's in a competitive league with teams you may never have faced before has always been a daunting challenge for young footballer's. The transaction is probably one of the biggest test's of character in youth football for young players along with the move from 17's to 19's and 19's to 21's. Some say that it some times can make or break a young person's footballing career.
 
Everybody can talk about the massive change from 7's to 11 a side and have their own personal opinion but in my mind the best way to find out how it really affects a club is to speak to someone involved and recently I caught up with Paul Pearston from Hapmden BC 13's who just a few month's back started playing 11's football competing in a very tough Glasgow and District under 13's league. Firstly I posed the question to Paul of how were the club on a whole coping with the massive leap.
 
"We are enjoying it, we like the competitive nature of the 11's game although it is a big step and personally I think that before the step to 11's they should move from 7's to 9 a side because the difference is really massive to be honest."
 
Paul shares that opinion with a lot of people who think 7's straight to 11's is to big a step up and feel that 9 a side should be brung in to break it up a bit, I also asked Paul how his players were coping with the change and if he could see any differences in them now they are playing 11's.
 
"Some of them are struggling a bit with some of the new things that are introduced in 11 a side for example the offside rule and even the goalkeeper with the goal size obviously being bigger but on a whole I think they are enjoying it. I think a lot of the boys like the competitive nature I can see they are all learning and bringing new things in to their games like positional sense etc. Its hard to start of with but I always said I'd give my boys a year then judge them on how they are doing."
 
As of now Paul's young Hampden team are doing well in the league with a few hard fought wins against Dumbarton, Cardonald and Clyde in recent times. The boys, like every other team new to 11's, will adapt to the game and all the differences and I'm sure they will be better from it. As for Paul he still has a good few months left before his years up and he can judge his players on how they have taken to the 11's game.

Forde McGhee | YFS West Region Journalist
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