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The season might be entering its final stages, but spring is just the beginning for a selection of Scotland’s most promising youth players. On 10 April, The Celtic Football Academy travelled to Murcia in Spain on a three-day session in which the stars of tomorrow were put through their paces by a team of top coaches.


More than just ball skills


We all know the pressures that can be part and parcel of playing football at the highest level. Money, adulation and media attention are great in their own way, but can also lead to some high profile falls from grace. For this reason, the event doesn’t just focus on the skills that are needed on the field of play.


For example, footballers and gambling have always gone hand in hand, but today’s gamblers typically prefer to visit a casino online. Of course, there is no harm in a leisurely game of secret slots or similar, but a major part of the Academy event is to help young footballers recognise the signs when a harmless leisure activity can turn into a problem, both for them and those around them.


Developing skills on and off the field


Of course, the main focus is out in the middle, and over the three days, the participants were involved in more than ten hours of drills, mini-games and other exercises, which reflect exactly what goes on in the regular academy.


There were also a series of classroom session and lectures from keynote speakers on what it takes to succeed as a professional footballer in the 21st century.

 


Who was in attendance


The event was aimed at youth players who are just starting to come up through the ranks and could become household names over the coming decade. Open to Scottish footballer born between 2002 and 2007, there was undoubted talent on display, and some top coaches from the Celtic Academy to help them develop their skills.


To the winner the spoils


While the session was open to any qualifying applicant willing to stump up the £325 fee, there was something extra special on offer for those who could demonstrate the skill and attitude to really make it as a professional.


Following extensive feedback and one-on-one sessions with the coaching staff, the best of the best were offered a unique opportunity to spend an entire week with Celtic as part of the Youth Academy. There is no better way to fully understand the life of a professional footballer than to spend a week in that sort of company.


About the Youth Academy


Every professional team understands that it needs to constantly look to its future, and invests in youth development in some shape or form. However, the programme at Celtic is universally accepted as world class. Since the inception of Project Brave, there has been almost as much competition amongst the academies as there is out in the middle between the first teams.


Earlier in the season, Celtic’s academy was awarded elite status by the Scottish FA, meaning it is considered by those who matter to be among the top academies in Scotland. A brief glance through the alumni certainly suggests that the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Current first team stars including Kieran Tierney (pictured, above), James Forrest, Liam Henderson and Callum McGregor are all products of the academy, and there are plenty of current academy players who have had early opportunities for first team glory.


It will be intriguing to see who among those who attended Murcia this year will be the first team stars dominating the back pages in ten years time.


 
 
In this edition of #WhatsYourStory we preview Drumchapel’s 2006 + 2007 age groups, who are both headed to the Blackpool International Trophy with Trans World Soccer.
 
Drumchapel United are a relatively young club, having been founded in the summer of 2001. The club are a huge, volunteer-run organisation with 98 coaches, 23 playing squads and over 400 players registered to our squads.
 
We caught up with the coaches of the two outfits, who will be testing themselves against some great teams from around the continent this weekend, to find out what they are most looking forward to about their trip.
 
‘We are looking forward to testing ourselves against quality opposition, but more importantly spending time as a squad with each other away from football.’
 
A common theme amongst teams travelling with Trans World Soccer this Easter is that they are looking to grow as a squad, and a trip away gives them a perfect platform to do so.
 
Drumchapel have had some serious success off the field in recent years, with the SFA awarding them Legacy Club status, making them just one of five clubs in the West of Scotland region to receive the accolade.
 
Last year the club also won the SFA’s Best Community Club award, becoming the first side in the region to do so.
 
The 06 and 07’s will be hoping to emulate this success on the pitch in Blackpool this weekend.
 
#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 
 
 
Knightswood U9s (left) and U10s (right)
 
This edition of #WhatsYourStory follows Knightswood, who have two groups heading to the Barcelona Easter tournament with Trans World Soccer.
 
We caught up with the club to get an insight into what they are most looking forward to about the trip to Barcelona.
 
Like most of the clubs heading to Spain, they are excited for ‘a new experience for the kids and making memories’, furthermore it is ‘giving the kids new opportunities’.
 
Knightswood have had a successful past few years, with pro youth taking 14 kids from the club and offering them contracts. Their U19’s are Regional Cup winners and their 2008 team have won over 8 trophies in one year.
 
This success has stretched to the international level also, with the U19’s winning a tournament in Holland last year, and the 08’s coming in 4th.
 
The boys will be hoping to sustain this level of success when they land in Barcelona this weekend. 
 
#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 
 
In this edition of #WhatsYourStory we look ahead to Townhead United’s trip to the Blackpool International Trophy this Easter with Trans World Soccer.
 
The Ayrshire outfit join a host of Scottish teams looking to make an impact in Blackpool this weekend, where they will pit their wits against teams from around the continent.
 
Youth Football Scotland caught up with the team coach Robbie Allen to find out a little bit more about the club, and what they are most looking forward to ahead of the tournament.
 
This will be Townhead United’s first tournament outside of Scotland, and Coach Robbie Allen said that ‘the team is looking forward to the challenge of playing lots of different teams and possibly creating links for games in the future’.
 
He also says that they are excited to ‘have a great weekend away and enjoying themselves on and off the pitch.’
 
United currently sit top of the West of Scotland 2004’s league, and coach Robbie Allen says that they ‘hope to push on to win the league and challenge for other cups this season’.
 
The boys will be aiming to make sure the Blackpool International Trophy is the start of this seasons silverware. 
 
#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 
 
#WhatsYourStory
 
This edition of #WhatsYourStory takes a look at Notre Dame’s journey to the Blackpool International Cup at the end of March.
 
The boys from Glasgow will be looking to make an impact against a host of other Scottish teams, and outfits from around the continent.
 
Youth Football Scotland caught up with the coach Chris McGeouch ahead of their trip down south, to get an behind-the-scenes take on what the team are most looking forward to.
 
‘We want to create an enjoyable and memorable experience for the children’ Chris went on to say. The chance for the boys to get down and test their ability against other groups is an exciting prospect.
 
Chris also believes that ‘this will provide them good memories and hopeful some life skills to draw on later in life’.
 
This is a special tournament for Notre Dame as it is their first tournament outside of Scotland, so they will be hoping to start as they mean to go on – with a win! 
 
1. What tournament are you going to?
 
Blackpool International cup
 
2. What are you most looking forward to?
 
We want to create an enjoyable and memorable experience for the children. This will provide them good memories and hopefully some life skills to draw on later in life. 
 
3. What is something that people may not know about Notre Dame?
 
This will be our first tournament outside of Scotland. 
 
#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 

#WhatsYourStory


In this edition of #WhatsYourStory we look ahead to Hampden Weir 2008’s trip to the Blackpool International Trophy this Easter with Trans World Soccer.


Youth Football Scotland caught up with coach Scott Brisbane ahead the of boys trip down south in Easter, and got a preview of what the team are most looking forward to.


Scott said ‘from the coaches point of view...we look forward to the boys spending time together, bonding and most of all having fun’. The team is run and coached by volunteers, after Hampden Boys Club merged with Weirs Recreation - creating Hampden Weirs RAFC.


Coach Scott expressed his delight as he believes this merger ‘created an exciting pathway for children to move from youth football from Hampden Weir RAFC right through to Amatuer level with Weirs RAFC.’


Another aspect to tournament football that Scott said they are looking forward to in Blackpool is ‘the experience the boys will get playing against teams from Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland and Europe’.


With such variety at the tournament, Scott hopes that ‘the boys will have great memories in years to come from this’.


This is the first of a few tournaments that Hampden Weir 2008’s plan on attending this year, and they will be hoping to get off to a winning start.

 

If you are interested in participating in Easter or Summer tournaments in 2018, click here and register your interest with Trans World Soccer.

 

What tournament are you attending?

 

This year we will be attending the Blackpool International Trophy held at Fleetwood towns training facility at Easter, later on we will no doubt be involved in some of the tournaments we took part in last year, this included the Glasgow City Cup, the Finnart Festival, the Barrhead Tournament and hopefully a few more.

 

What are you most looking forward to?

 

From the coaches point of view the thing we look forward to the most is the boys spending time together, bonding and most of all having fun, we also look forward to the experience the boys will get playing against teams from Scotland, Wales, England, Ireland and Europe, hopefully the boys will have great memories in years to come from time together like this.

 

What is something people may not know about Hampden Weir?

 

 

I don’t think there is much people won’t know about Hampden, were a typical local team coached and run by volunteers, 2 years ago Hampden Boys Club joined up with Weirs Recreation which became Hampden Weirs RAFC, this created an exciting pathway for children to move from youth football as Hampden Weir RAFC right through to Amateur level with Weirs RAFC.

 

#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 
 

#WhatsYourStory


In this edition of #WhatsYourStory we look forward to Hillwood Thistle’s trip to The Blackpool International Trophy with Trans World Soccer.


Youth Football Scotland caught up with Brian, who coaches the 2003’s and he was happy to tell us a little more about the team.


The Blackpool International Trophy is important to Hillwood Thistle for a reason unlike most others, it is the first tournament for the team.


It will be a special trip for the 2003s, who Brian told us ‘were formed out of a group of kids who weren’t getting games at their own club’, so will be looking to leave their mark and get Hillwood Thistle off to a winning start in the tournament.


The team understand that it won’t be easy, but Brian says the boys are ‘looking forward to testing themselves against quality opposition as they are a new team’.


Hillwood Thistle 2003’s will be joining a number of Scottish teams at The Blackpool International Trophy, along with a host of foreign teams, but with it being their first ever tournament together, they ought to have an extra spring in their step.

 

If you are interested in participating in Easter or Summer tournaments in 2018, click here and register your interest with Trans World Soccer.
 
1  What tournament will you be going to?
 
We are going to the Blackpool International Trophy during Easter weekend 2018.
 
2  What are you / the team most looking forward to for the trip?
 
Mostly we are looking forward to testing ourselves against quality opposition as we are a new team
 
3  What is something that people might not know about Stirling Albion? 
 
Hillwood Thistle were formed out of a group of kids who weren’t getting games at their own club
 
#WHATSYOURSTORY is a campaign to learn more about the teams participating in tournaments with Trans World Soccer throughout 2018. If you, or anyone you know is participating in one of these events please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.and tell us your story. Alternatively, click here to learn more about the upcoming tournaments in 2018.
 
Wednesday, 28 February 2018 15:27

Celtic making advances in women's football

Written by
 
 
Women's football in Scotland has advanced so much in the last five years and that is through the efforts of clubs making real efforts to try and get more young girls out and playing the beautiful game.
 
Celtic FC is one of those clubs and I managed to catch up with the club's new Girls Academy Operations Manager, Edward Gallagher, Edward talked to me about his position and role at the club.
 
"My job means that I oversee the management and delivery of the Girls Academy curriculum for our under 11s through to under 19s and manage the playing and coaching operations for the academy. I report to our Head of Women’s Football who oversees the whole Girls and Women’s department at Celtic.
 
"I joined Celtic FC in December 2016 having coached within the women’s game in the USA, Finland and Scotland. I originally joined Celtic as the Head Coach of their Senior Academy team who competed in the SWFL1 and finished our first season as league runners up and also runners up in the SWFL League Cup. I moved into my new role at the beginning of this year."
 
Gallagher then proceeded to tell me more about what exactly Celtic are doing to advance the women's game in the country.
 
"The club put in a lot of support for both the girls academy and women’s first team. We currently run academy teams at 11s, 12s, 13s, 15s, 19s and Senior Academy Team, which all feed into our Scottish Women’s Premier League side. The players receive high level coaching, have access to top level facilities and have physio support on offer every night of the week."
 
The Glasgow side have shown great interest in ensuring that young girls in the game can make serious improvements to their game and look to make a career out of their passion for the sport. Part of these improvements come in the form of more coaches running sessions for the academy.
 
"We have made a conscious effort to try and recruit some of the best coaches within girls football in Scotland. We’ve recruited coaches who come to our academy players with SWPL experience and boys pro youth academy experience. We have increased the amount of UEFA B and Scottish FA Advanced Children’s Licence holders within the academy and also have a further 3 coaches undertaking their UEFA B Licences starting this month. Increasing the quantity and quality of our coaching staff will result in a better learning experience for the players and increase the amount of individualised feedback available."
 
The club has even started special classes for young girls born between 2007-2011, classes which will be open to all girls whether they are attached to another club or not.
 
It is Gallagher's hope that these classes, "give young players a strong coaching foundation which isn’t always accessible to young players."
 
"The classes will be packed with Celtic games and activities. Some girls will come from boys football, so will have the chance to meet new friends and likeminded players. Secondly, the girls will get a great foundation in football and be taught a range of skills which will help set them on their way within their young footballing careers. The players will be able to pick up key skills which they can take away and use at their teams, whilst they will also get a flavour of what is done within our Girls Academy, should any players wish to move forward and join the Celtic FC Girls Academy squads."
 
The classes take place every Friday evening. Details of the classes are available below:
 
Glasgow Green
3G Astro
28 King's Dr, Glasgow G40 1HB
Registration: 5.45pm
6.00pm – 7.00pm – Ball Mastery & Celtic Turns
7.05pm – 8.00pm – Celtic Games
Cost: £4 per session (6-8pm). Please pay on the night and have correct change if possible.

If players could bring the following:
Active Clothing of their choice
Jacket/Water Proof
Hat/Gloves (If weather appropriate)
Football boots/trainers that are suitable for the astro
Shinguards
Water

Anyone wishing to register can email Edward Gallagher on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
(Photo credit: North Motherwell Boys Club 2003's Facebook page)
 
It was a proud day on Tuesday for North Motherwell BC goalkeeper Ryan Renwick as he signed a professional youth contract at Kilmarnock FC.
 
The 'keeper has been at North Motherwell for two years and impressed the Kilmarnock youth academy enough to earn a contract.

His former club sent Renwick their best wishes on their Facebook page, saying, "All at NMBC absolutely delighted for you wee man and we will continue to support you always.

"You deserve this so much, an absolute talent who has what it takes to go all way.

"The best we’ve seen across the grid and it’s been a pleasure working with you and we look forward to watching you on our TV screens soon."

Ryan has appeared on YFS channels before and you can view our interview with him after North Motherwell's victory over Drumsagard in the Scottish Cup fourth round back in November below.

Congratulations to Ryan and we are eager to see your progress at Kilmarnock.

 

 
 
(Photo Credit: West End Thistle FC)
 
It was a great day for Luke Jackson of West End Thistle FC as he signed his first professional contract at St. Mirren FC
 
Jackson joined St. Mirren on a trial basis last summer as a result of his impressive performances at the Dana Cup in Denmark and following that trial period has been signed to a professional contract at the Paisley side.
 
Jackson has been at West End Thistle FC since the beginning of the club, so much so that he was the one that came up with the teams name.
 
Thistle have released a statement saying, "Luke is a promising young footballer, he is strong, powerful and has great work ethic.
 
"He has a mixture of close control and footwork, he is a very intelligent player, his power and vision certainly bodes well. Luke proved he had talent through his trial with St Mirren and he has all the qualities to play a big part within the St Mirren squad and hopefully have a bright future ahead of him within the pro youth set up.
 
"Luke was the clubs first ever player when Thistle was founded in 2014, he is a credit to his mum Shona Crawford and his grandad John Crawford.
 
"It’s great news for the club to have one of our players take then next step and shows that this club are developing talent,everyone at West End Thistle wishes Luke all the best for the future."
 
The development of another who came through the St. Mirren Academy, Lewis Morgan, will surely be a great motivator for Luke and it certainly shows what is possible at a club like St. Mirren.
 
Good luck to Luke from everyone here at Youth Football Scotland.
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