West Region (404)
Two young brothers have cleaned up their club’s football pitch after piles of rubbish were left scattered over the astroturf.
Aiden and Aston Blair, who play for East End United, had gone for a kickabout with their dad, John, when they noticed the mess.
John Blair spoke to YFS regarding the boy’s gesture, saying: “I was thrilled, amazed and absolutely proud of them”.
Now that Scotland is officially in Phase Two of Covid-19 lockdown easing restrictions, families and friends are now permitted to go and spend time together if they follow Scottish Government guidelines which have been outlined.
Most of the population have been making the most of this opportunity, spending time with family after a long period apart however small minorities of people have been going against this and have caused disruption to local community facilities.
On June 13th, pictures of the rubbish-infested pitch of East End United were released on the club’s social media pages.
A statement said: “The pitch has access for people so they can enjoy a kickabout for both young and old. It’s worrying the lack of respect and care for each other that we’re willing to let broken glass remain on the park where a child could get seriously hurt.”
The club confirmed that broken bottles and several empty cans of alcohol among many other things had been left abandoned on the pitch.
“All we’re asking for is to show respect” - the message from the club as the statement was concluded.
The morning after the statement was released, Aiden and Aston, who play for East End United 2007’s, went down to the local facility and picked up and disposed of all the rubbish that had been dumped without being asked.
“I took the boys down for a kick about down the pitch and they said to me to take some rubbish bags down and we can clean up the mess,” said Aiden and Aston’s father.
“The incident was mentioned on the parents WhatsApp group and originally all the parents were going to get together to dispose of the rubbish, but Aiden and Aston didn’t know about that,” John added.
The news of the brother’s goodwill gesture was posted on the club’s social media platforms, to which they were rightfully credited and praised in a post which said: “Two young boys cleaning up after young boys and girls but how embarrassing they’ve cleaned up after adults. Well done Aiden, Aston, and also your parents”.
The fantastic efforts of the boys have not been taken for granted by the club by any means, as it was announced that a representative from the club will buy both boys a gift, as a token of the club’s appreciation.
“Following on from today’s events and with a generous offer of recognition from Big Alex, both boys will be receiving new football boots of their choice,” a post on the club’s social media pages announced.
“We want to stress that the boys did not wish anything for their efforts today, but these sorts of acts shouldn’t go without a thank you,” the club added.
When asked about if Aiden or Aston had decided on what boots they would be choosing, John said: “The boys still haven’t picked what boots they would like, they’ve been going through hundreds and hundreds of pairs but their spoiled for choice and can’t decide!”
YFS would like to extent the gratitude shown to Aiden and Aston by saying a massive thank you and well done for a fantastic gesture, especially during the current challenging times everyone is facing.
The new Development League will "give younger players a pathway for progression” according to West of Scotland League (WoSFL) chairman Dave Mckenna.
Speaking exclusively to YFS, he said the new format is planned to give younger players opportunities within the current game.
Dave, who is also club secretary at East Kilbride, shared his insight on youth players: "There is a big gap from between when the kids come through at ages 16 and 17 and a lot of the teams start to struggle to attract and retain players because people at that age start to think, where is this going to go?”
“Unless the players get picked up which a number of them do and end up playing in the ‘Club Academy Scotland Pro Youth’ set up, which can lead to getting contracts to play in the senior leagues but there isn’t always huge numbers.”
“What this development league is planning to do is give players at that age a pathway that will initially be within their own club’s development ranks, playing on a Friday night to then eventually making their way to the first team to play on a Saturday”.
Once approval is given to the WoSFL from the government for training to resume following the Covid-19 pandemic, the plan is for the new Development League to start.
As a younger player starts to grow older they will become even more eager to be scouted by a better team, however if this move unfortunately doesn’t happen for them as they reach ages 16 or 17 they may begin to doubt themselves and wonder if they have a future in football.
Currently the Scottish Lowland Football League (SLFL) runs a development league whose format allows teams from the Lowland League and the East of Scotland Football League (EoSFL) to play each other and give younger players much needed experience for progressing their game.
When asked about the Development League’s structure, Dave said: “The plan is to have an East and West part to the development league and at the minute, it’s shaping up to be two conferences in the East and there would be two or three conferences in the West depending on the amount of teams.
“All of that would be situated under the Lowland Development League and run under the direction of the SLFL Board”.
Dave also confirmed exclusively to YFS that, as it stands, around 35 West Region teams have applied for their newly established development league.
“The Development League idea was very well accepted by clubs because it’s going to be a step-up to either the Lowland League, the South of Scotland League, the EoSFL, the WoSFL, or to more senior clubs because it’s a higher level of football, not only off the park but on the park as well,” Dave added.
One problem that faces the Development League however is travelling to and from different parts of the country on a Friday night for players and staff.
“For geographical reasons more than anything, these games will be played on a Friday night and travelling on a Friday night can be difficult for people leaving work or college etc, so what we will be doing is splitting into two geographical grouping of clubs from the East and clubs from the West,” Dave confirmed.
“But we are also planning to have an all in-cup so that teams from all divisions or conferences will get the chance to play each other, that’s our plan.”
New facilities have “changed the outlook” for recently merged South Lanarkshire club EKYMC.
Graeme Robertson, a coach at the new side, feels the upgrade will help attract more players to the club and help them in their search for Scottish Cup silverware.
“We are certainly improving as a club and hopefully with the facilities we are putting in it will encourage more players to come," he said.
“Our new facilities have changed our outlook as a club for local players. We used to struggle for numbers but now we have players contacting us and looking for chances to play.”
In 2013, two of East Kilbride’s oldest and most-established football clubs announced an unanticipated plan to merge. The proposal was created to give local players a clear pathway from youth level to well beyond adolescence.
East Kilbride Youth Club (EKYC) and East Kilbride Youth Men’s Club (EKYM) would merge but both clubs would retain their historic and precious identities on the pitch. They would work together off the field and be collectively known as East Kilbride Youth and Men’s Club (EKYMC).
Both clubs were in dire need of a permanent home; an area where they could establish themselves within the local community and give their academy the facilities to develop and compete.
Months went on with the club passing on various potential sites for their new academy. The original site at the Murray Sports Centre was rejected after the club found issues with the pitch and lack of space to build in the surrounding areas.
Historically, EKYM have played all their league games at Kirktonholme but the area was not under their ownership. Therefore, both clubs agreed to make Kirktonholme their base of all operations for the overall club. They used the government’s asset transfer scheme which gave the club a 25-year lease on the area.
Since then, both clubs have funded a project to renovate Kirktonholme sports pitches into a joint-team training facility and arena. The newly updated area now features four changing rooms, referee’s room, kit room, sports bar, lounges and two outdoor grass pitches.
The club were recently funded £44,000 to renew both football pitches at Kirktonholme - a positive and professional move for both amateur sides.
Graeme has also been a key member in the merger and developments at Kirktonholme.
“We found that we were struggling like a lot of other amateur sides,” he said. “It seemed that both us and YC had teams that got to under-19s and it didn’t go anywhere after that. It just disbanded.”
“The plan was to use both clubs to start a football academy so we could have a steady stream of players. We could then develop players from the age of four to nineteen and beyond.”
Very few amateur clubs experience this level of professionalism and there has been local speculation over the future of both clubs and what level they plan to operate in.
“There has been talk about progressing to the West of Scotland League further down the line, but it has not been decided.
“My personal thoughts is that I don’t want to go towards professional football,” Graeme added. “We have been an amateur club since 1921 and I think that should be there to stay.”
“There’s never even been an East Kilbride side who has won the Scottish Cup. That’s the holy grail for all East Kilbride sides to win it for town. We have got to the semi-finals and were in the quarters last year."
Many grassroots teams across Scotland have been doing different things throughout quarantine to keep themselves busy since training and leagues around the country have been cancelled.
This has been a tough time for everyone. One of the age groups within Dumbarton’s local community club, Dumbarton United 2005's have been doing a range of things in lockdown to keep them occupied since the cancellation of training sessions and their league.
They were sitting 2nd place in the table with four games to go and, if all four had been won (including a game against the league leaders), the title would have belonged to them in what was only their second year as a newly formed age group within the club structure.
This was disappointing, although understandable given the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, but to keep their thoughts off what could have happened, the players have:
● Participated in an online FIFA tournament which also involved the coaches
● Completed the Run 5 Donate 5 Challenge
● Completed the Toilet Paper Challenge
● Had FIFA cards created by their sponsors for players
● Completed several home workouts
● Donated to the local food bank
● Completed the KTA Keepy Up Challenge
● Continued their monthly Magic Number Competition
The yearly club presentation was also hosted on Zoom, which was a great success and allowed the players and coaches a chance to catch up and close off what was a disappointing end to the season.
Andrew Carroll, one of the club’s strikers, enjoyed the new type of presentation, and said: “Our coaches felt that we deserved to have an awards night due to our fantastic season.
“It was unusual but worked surprisingly well. It wasn’t our normal presentation as we would have obviously seen each other in person if it was.”
Finally, the club has also received messages from a list of players and former players including Barry McKay, Murdo Macleod, Andy Considine, Kyle Hutton, Lawrence Shankland and Ross Doohan, who all wished the players and coaches good luck for next season, whenever that will start up again.
Everything that they have done has really helped the whole team's morale and mental health, as well as physical health with some of the challenges.
However, the club is still finding this time tough to get through, as so many around Scotland are, but they are hoping to come back stronger next season. They are actively looking for more challenges to keep them busy and are positive they will find some.
When asked about the entire Coronavirus situation, lockdown and missing football, David Lavery, head coach of the side, said: “I’ve been coaching for almost ten years and during that time I thought I had seen most things, however, what we are going through currently is the most difficult time I could ever have imagined.
“We have 20 boys in our squad who all love and live for their football and it has been taken away from them with no real clear picture of when they might get it back.
“I know there are far more important things going on at the moment and football may seem pretty insignificant to some people, however, I genuinely believe that football has such an important part to play in these boys lives and mental health, particularly at the age they are, so hopefully, in the coming weeks or months, we can start to take steps to return to the pitch with the boys.
“If someone had said at the beginning of February that I would miss 20 teenage boys the way I do just now I’d have laughed, but that is the reality of the situation.”
The most important things to do right now are to stay safe, stay happy, stay fit and healthy and protect your loved ones.
“There is no better time for a youth player to come in and shine,” according to Beith Juniors gaffer Bryan Young, as he spoke to YFS about the new Under-20s Development League for the west of Scotland.
The new format will come into force next season, following the approval of plans for a new West of Scotland Football League (WoSFL) that will merge into the SPFL pyramid system.
The WoSFL will join the sixth-tier, alongside the existing East of Scotland Football League and South of Scotland Football League. The establishing of the league is the dawn of a new era for football in the west of Scotland and opens the door to more opportunities for youth players.
It was announced on the April 14 that 67 of the 68 clubs who applied to be part of the WoSFL had been reviewed and accepted.
63 of these clubs had been the members of the West Region Junior Football Association (WRJFA) and after several months of voting and discussions between the clubs they felt that joining the SPFL at the sixth-tier was the best way forward for all clubs at junior level.
“For Beith as a club, there was a lot of thought put in to it to be honest with you,” Bryan said, speaking on the decision from the Juniors side to join the SPFL set-up.
“For me personally coming into the role such a short time ago and being my first job, it was quite exciting and quite frustrating at the same time because there is so many unknowns at the moment, but if I was to answer it I think it’s a real positive for Scottish football as a whole.”
Previously, junior football has been the starting point for many younger players’ careers and has given them the experience that is needed of playing in a first team consistently. It was also a platform for younger players to be scouted and be picked-up by professional clubs.
Bryan agreed, adding: “I think this new u20s league is very exciting, if it’s done the way it should be done. With the whole Covid-19 situation, money is going to be tight for these clubs, there is no better time for a youth player to come and shine.”
The creation of the Development League has seen youth teams begin to affiliate with new WoSFL members and create development teams to allow younger players a new pathway to the first team.
Auchinleck Talbot, a team who have dominated junior football for many years, winning countless trophies, have recently affiliated with Crosshouse 2004s to create an U17s side.
A statement on the ‘ATFC Youth Academy’ Facebook page said: “We are delighted to announce that we will have a new U17s team in the academy. Crosshouse 2004s have agreed to move to play under our banner as Auchinleck Talbot u17’s. This is a great addition to the academy as we look to strengthen the pathway towards the new West Development League & hopefully to the first team”.
Bryan, only entering his second season as The Cabes’ manager, also believes in giving youth a chance: “The best advice I could give any young player is, just because someone tells you you’re not good enough that doesn’t mean you aren’t.”
The gaffer played almost his full career in junior football, spending 12 seasons at Auchinleck Talbot. He won five Scottish Junior Cups in that time, making him one of the most decorated players in Junior football.
Having previously coached Johnstone Burgh under-21s and Johnstone Burgh 09s, he still coaches Pollok 09’s as well as managing Beith.
“People told me I was too small, but you need to overcome it and adapt your game. At Auchinleck I done my first six months grinding it out, being on the bench to try and prove myself, it was really difficult.
“Self-belief is one of my main messages. It doesn’t matter what people say, if you don’t believe in yourself no one else will.”
In late February, YFS received an email from Alex Lacy - former Vale of Leven player and current FC Argyle coach. He was setting up a new Academy for his former club, and wanted to get the news out there. When we sent our reporter Alistair Fenton along, we didn't just get a press release - instead, we got a passionate story about the boys Alex coaches, and how bright he thinks their future can be.
During a chat initiated by YFS, I asked Alex Lacy if the SFA’s recent directive on gradual increase of heading practice from age 6-16 in training will have any effect on the development plans of his 2006 team (“not a bad thing, we don’t header it much anyway at those ages”). It offered him the opportunity to passionately open the doors behind the development of this squad.
Like many so-called ‘deprived’ areas in Scotland, this area of Dunbartonshire is recognising the value of such initiatives to help promote inclusivity, community regeneration and individual development, and Alex and his team of four coaches and others have enthusiastically grabbed this opportunity to help achieve these common goals through football.
The recipe for success? Although Vale of Leven’s most ‘capped’ player - 517 appearances over 20 years - when Alex’s initial kick-about with his 8-year-old grandson grew arm and legs the team he formed with Gary Mullen was under the auspices of FC Argyle.
Although one might expect a local rivalry between the neighbouring Alexandria teams, the result was quite on the contrary. The Argyle team’s swap over to Vale seemed the natural fit at that age group to achieve one of many broader goals.
This has allowed to help develop a structured Pathway/Youth Academy system through the ages, with the goal on this occasion being the community-minded wider inclusion to all.
The various boys age groups are covered, but the aim is to extend this further - to include girls, disability, walking football options for all ages and other such related inclusive activities.
Instead of slobbing on the couch, taking on Ronaldo or Messi on their games consoles, the idea is to also channel kids’ natural energies towards all the other social, community and personal benefits initially through football.
Their next venture is a classic example of the broad-reaching ambitious plans for Vale football and community development. A huge amount of effort has gone in to arranging a tour to Torrevieja near Alicante in Spain on 20-24 April, with the full squad, now about 42 in number includes 20 players.
Areas of development covered in such initiatives often go largely unnoticed, but consider these - players, personal fitness, engaging friends and acquaintances in ‘getting out there’ - all of which lead to excellent team-building and team-working skills.
It helps coaches too, to build upon improving their technical skills, but also furthering their team-leading and general man-management skills. Parents, too – through no fault of their own - who are often at a loss as to how to re-integrate into group involvement, can build confidence in such environments, which is key to their own and others personal development.
So, from little acorns grows a huge oak of a community, integrating with each other, carrying out to a wider audience with a football hook, all from kicking a ball about with an eight-year-old five years ago. Vale of Leven are heading to success for sure.
For more information on the new Vale of Leven Academy and how you can get involved, contact Alex Lacy on 07807866743.
Ardrossan Winton Rovers vs Drumchapel United U13
Both of these teams have an outside chance of catching up to league leaders Clydebank in the PJDYFL Division 2 table.
Drumchapel United have the better chance of catching up, having to make up 10 points on the leaders having played the same number of games. United have only lost three games all season and a win this weekend would give them a mental boost in trying to catch up.
Ardrossan have a more difficult challenge, having to make up twelve points having played two games more than Clydebank. The comfort being that there are still plenty of games still left to play.
Linwood Rangers vs Stamperland Juniors U17
The top two face off in the third division of the PJDYFL in what could be a potentially league deciding match.
Stamperland Juniors have the advantage for now, holding a five point lead at the top having played one game more than their opponents this weekend. A win for them this weekend could prove to be the win that effectively wins them the title.
Linwood Rangers stand in their way and will have to put in an impressive performance to defeat the league leaders on Saturday. Having lost just two games this season, they have been impressive to watch.
It’s very difficult to predict how this one will go, but it certainly looks like this is going to be an entertaining clash.
Summerston BC vs Drumchapel Amateurs U17
Just two points separate the top two in the GDYFL U17’s League in what has been a closely fought title race.
Drumchapel Amateurs hold top spot and remain unbeaten so far this season in the league. The only points that they have dropped this season have come at the hands of their opponents this weekend in a 2-2 draw back in October.
Summerston also remain unbeaten in the league, but have fallen behind Drumchapel thanks to having drawn one game more. A win would move them top and give them a key psychological adavantage for the rest of the season.
This is certainly one to keep an eye on!
St Patrick’s Sports Academy vs Ashfield Juniors U13
The top two face off in the A Division of the GDYFL League’s and it’s one where anything can happen.
St Patrick’s currently occupy top spot but have disadvantage in the title race due to the number of matches that they’ve played. They are currently five points clear at the top having played four games more than their opponents.
Ashfield are in great form and will take that confidence boost coming into this game. Juniors have a perfect record in the league, securing seven wins out of seven as they seek to mark their first foray into 11-a-side football with a league title.
Don’t write St Patrick’s off however. They will feel they have a point to prove as they try to hold on to top spot.
Knightswood FC vs EKRR Youth U15
The two undefeated teams remaining in the GDYFL A Division face off in what is sure to be an incredible game.
Knightswood are flying at the moment and have a perfect 10 wins from 10 games in the league so far. That record has seen them open up a five point lead at the top ahead of second placed Drumchapel United.
EKRR Youth however are right on their tale and boast an undefeated record too, despite having drawn one game. They have three games in hand over their opponents and a win this weekend would certainly blow the title race wide open.
Here’s hoping for an excellent game.
EKYC used one of their games in hand over PJDYFL Division 1 leaders Port Glasgow Juniors to their full advantage as they closed the gap to just five points with a big 6-1 win over Hillwood FC Thistle.
The Scottish Cup quarter finalists now have five games in hand over the league leaders and will be expecting to close the gap further in the coming weeks. Meanwhile BSC Glasgow suffered a setback in their pursuit of the league title after they lost 4-2 at home to Hillwood.
In Division 2, Ardencaple closed the gap at the top to just three points after their impressive 3-0 away win at Baljaffray. The win moved them within three of leaders Clydebank, although the table toppers do have two games in hand.
Park Sports Project of the fourth division continued their title chase with a comfortable 8-0 victory away to bottom side St Stephens BC Green. The win moves them within 10 points of leaders Clydebank Mercury with five games in hand.
In the GDYFL A Division, St Patricks Sports Academy kept up the pressure on second place Ashfield Juniors with a hard fought victory over Finnart. Academy extended their lead at the top to five points, however Ashfield still have four games in hand. Clyde Community also kept their title hopes going with a big win away to Thistle Weir.
B Division leaders Lochgilphead Red Star maintained their comfortable lead at the top with an entertaining 6-3 win away to Cambuslang FC. Busby AFC kept pace with a 4-1 win of their own against Glasgow Boys, but still trail Red Star by 11 points with a game in hand.
Cambuslang Colts made it 12 wins from 12 in the C League this season with their triumph against Southside Star. Second place Cambuslang Academy kept pace with a 4-1 win at home to Cambuslang Colts Yellow, but remain 12 points adrift with three games in hand.
With Thorn Athletic not playing last weekend, PJDYFL Division 1 leaders Gleniffer Thistle made the most of their opportunity to extend their lead at the top with a 4-0 win away to bottom side Dumbarton United. Westerton United White missed their chance to leapfrog Athletic, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Giffnock SC.
Broomhill BC Greenock’s inaction this weekend afforded Parkmoor the same chance to extend their lead at the top of Division 3. A 4-0 win against OLM United widened the gap to six points, with the league leaders holding two games in hand. Port Glasgow BC also kept themselves in the hunt, beating Stamperland 3-0
In the GDYFL A League, St Patricks Sports Academy moved one step closer to the league title with an impressive 4-2 win away to second placed Knightswood. The win maintained their perfect record in the league and widened the gap to 20 points, with Knightswood holding five games in hand.
B League leaders Cambuslang Red Star also moved closer to the league title, beating one of their closest rivals Rutherglen Glencairn 3-1. The win extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points. Ashfield Juniors moved into second place with a comfortable win over Harmony Row and hold two games in hand over Red Star.
Hillwood were able to close the gap at the top of the PJDYFL Division 1 table to just three points with their 3-1 win at home to Erskine YFC in what was the only game to be played in the division this weekend. Leaders Giffnock North BC still have three games in hand over Hillwood.
Morton Community missed a golden opportunity to close the gap at the top of the Division 2 table as they were held to a draw with Neilston Juniors Youth. Morton could have moved to within seven points of leaders Stewarton Annick with a win.
Thorn Athletic continued their fine run of form at the top of the Division 3 table with a convincing 7-1 win at home to Erskine Yellow. The win sees them move eight points clear of second placed Cunninghame Youth. Baljaffray also kept their title hopes alive with a big win over Barrhead YFC.
Division 4 league leaders Harmony Row played the only game on offer in the league last weekend, and took full advantage with a 4-2 win away to Dumbarton United Black. They move 12 points clear of second placed Largs Colts, who have two games in hand.
Knightswood maintained their perfect record at the top of the GDYFL A Division with a 5-2 win at home to Giffnock SC. Their triumph makes it 10 wins from 10 in the league so far this season.
And in the match of the day in the B League, leaders Carmunnock FC secured a big win over one of their nearest title challengers Thistle Weir. The win extends Carmunnock’s lead at the top to five points, followed by new second placed side Oban Saints, who beat Rutherglen Glencairn on Sunday. Saints have one game in hand over the table toppers, and can close that to two by winning their game in hand this weekend against Rossvale Thistle.
Glenvale missed the opportunity to close the gap on PJDYLF Division 1 league leaders Giffnock North United as they were to surprise 3-3 draw by Erskine YFC. The Paisley based side are now 10 points off the top, with only one game in hand over their nearest rivals.
In Division 2, Ashfield Juniors were able to close the gap on leaders Giffnock SC Reds, securing a narrow 2-0 win over St Cadocs YC. They move to within four points of top spot now, with a game in hand over Giffnock to play. Elsewhere Baljaffray were so close to pulling off a shock result against Pollok United, but in the end fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat to the league’s third placed side.
St Patricks Sports Academy secured a big win at the weekend over GDYFL A league leaders Drumchapel Amateurs to keep themselves in the title hunt. The win moves them to within 10 points of Drumchapel with two games in hand. A win in both of those games you have to feel is vital if they want to secure title glory come the end of the season.
And a closely contested title race in the B League got a lot more interesting after leaders Cumbernauld Colts Blue were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Cambuslang FC. That draw allowed Dumbarton United to move to close the gap to just one point after their convincing win away to Thistle Weir. With Finnart BC and Cambuslang also closing in on the top, the final stages of this league campaign could be very interesting indeed.
With leaders Glenvale in Tom McPhillips Cup action this weekend, Johnstone Burgh were able to use their game in hand this weekend to beat Glenburn MW 8-0 and move level on points at the top of the PJDYFL table. Burgh remain unbeaten in the league this season, but have picked up more draws than their title rivals this campaign.
Port Glasgow Juniors also took advantage of their title rivals being in cup action last weekend to close the gap at the top of Division 2 with an emphatic 7-1 win at home to Largs Thistle. The two have now played an equal number of games, with league leaders St Cadocs YC holding a four point lead.
In the third division, leaders Stamperland Juniors were able to maintain their perfect home record with a 7-1 win over FC Argyle. Second place Linwood Rangers kept the pace on the leaders with an 8-0 win away to Erskine YFC United. They remain five points behind Stamperland with a game in hand.
There were wins for the top two sides in the GDYFL U17s league, as Drumchapel Amateurs and Summerston BC both earned victories against Ardrossan Winton Rovers and Oban Saints respectively. Just two points separates the two at the top of a thoroughly entertaining league title race.
Neilston Juniors extended their lead at the top of the PJDYFL Division 1 table with an emphatic victory over Largs Thistle. Juniors are looking pretty good for the title this season, holding a five point lead and two games in hand over second placed Linwood Rangers.
"We had tried to obtain some sponsorship to cover the costs of tracksuits/polo shirts/game kits for the trip but unfortunately this was unsuccessful, and we had to cover all the costs.
"It’s an area in which we have struggled so far, It has been a successful year in taking four teams on trips abroad but all have been done with very limited financial support and no fundraising.
"We did receive some sponsorship for our Montesilvano Futsal Cup in June but other than that all costs are covered by their parents, which is something we are hopeful to change for 2019 (anybody out there willing to help please do so)."
"Our U13's finished overall 10th out of 28, despite some overall positive performances including 5-1 against Japanese opposition and a 4-1 victory of hosts Sporting Marconi, another top experience where they all continued to grow as futsal players.
"Our U11's went all the way in the competition coming back home to Scotland as champions, beating Italian, French and Spanish opposition along the way. One of our players was named player of the tournament at U11's age group (Jacob Donnelly) a proud moment for us as coaches and for Jacob, a kid with great commitment towards futsal.
"We have finished off the year with some thrilling matches with our friends from Carlisle Futsal Club, three weeks of fixtures vs Hamilton Accies and the introduction of our Winter Futsal Leagues which has a number of grassroots clubs from Glasgow and surrounding areas and also Academy sides from St Mirren and Hamilton Accies involved."
After a successful 2018, David is looking forward to what can be achieved in 2019. "This year we hope to continue and grow as a Futsal Academy, we will be adding more age groups on to our academy pathway. Despite just being back from Italy a couple of days our preparations for the rest of 2019 are already well under way and we have signed up to tournaments in Spain and Italy already whilst looking into others across Europe for the later parts of the year. Our efforts in 2018 have seen us been invited to America and Australia whilst even have futsal teams from south America get in touch too.
"Success for us is not accounted by the trophies which are won, it is rewarding but ultimately to continue to see kids and youths grow and develop as players and people are the most important aspect. Continuing to provide an environment in which every participant can learn, enjoy and develop.
"For us we just want to continue to grow both the game of futsal but more so continue grow the awareness of the game across the nation. People have become more aware of the game of futsal but now it’s about understanding it as its own sport and not purely just as sideshow to football.
"We understand football will always be the number one sport in this country and not something we wish to change but Futsal only becomes a benefit when done properly. We believe we offer a unique futsal experience here in Scotland one in which offers the best opportunities for both futsal players and football players."