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Wednesday, 05 August 2015 16:15

Kasule aims for Victory with Broomhill

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Vic Kasule, Albion Rover’s biggest cult hero, is launching a comeback into football.

The 80s star is the current coach of Broomhill BSC under-19 side, and he is on the lookout for some fresh faces. But what does Kasule, who was once described as "an armoured car of a winger with a cannon for a shot", look for in a youth player?

"Ability, commitment and passion are all important. Players are all different shapes and sizes. You can coach teams and individuals to be better players as long as they show the passion and commitment to be better," he told Youth Football Scotland.

The former Rovers, Meadowbank Thistle, and Shrewsbury, winger can offer the young players looking at a career in football an insight into the game, according to club spokesman Steve Prince.

"Much of what [Vic] does is what you might see anyone doing as a coach at youth level, however where we are looking to develop players for the professional first team it is a huge advantage to have ex professionals like Vic. I think it give us the extra 1% that make all the difference to these young players, success at the highest level is about small margins, Vic give us that,"Prince said.

It seems like an unlikely partnership, and it all came about from Vic standing on the side-lines as spectator. "I was watching my son play for Broomhill and someone asked me to watch over a group of Primary 2 kids at the Clubs 4v4 session at the Park.  Before I knew it I was involved with a team," Kasule said.

"Vic got involved a few years ago as many parents do, watching their kids and helping out. We are dependent on volunteers to run teams and Vic answered our call. As well as taking the under-19s, he is also involved with our 2002s and still takes the little kids at 4v4s on a Saturday," Prince adds.

It’s a big season for Kasule, who is still recovering from a high-profile tragedy. He was caught up in the Clutha Vaults crash in 2013, an incident he admits will stick with him for life: "I am still recovering to honest, [I’m] not sure if these experiences ever leave you.

"What it has made me is far more tolerant, I appreciate life and the people I share it with a lot more, and I want to give something back. Life is too short, so I say use it and use it well!"

Good luck to Broomhill SC and Vic Kasule over the course of the next season!

Tuesday, 04 August 2015 16:19

Monifieth build for the future as a Legacy Club

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Monifieth Ladies, the only Legacy Club in Angus, are having a very successful season so far.

“We recently joined with four other football clubs within the Carnoustie/Panmure area,” said Graeme Mearns, Chairperson of Monifieth. This already added to their Quality Mark status, and earned them the title of Legacy Club.

But it isn’t just off the pitch where the Ladies are developing.

"At the moment, we are sitting top of our league," beams Alison Bell, club secretary and coach of the Monifieth Reds under-13s. "We are hoping we remain at the top of the league because this would be the first time for the girls to win the league," she adds with a grin.

Mearns continues the success story, telling Youth Football Scotland how one of the under-15 sides also sit perched at the top of their respective league. "We’re also bottom of the league at under-15, and mid-table in under-13," he continued.

Whether a girl can land it on a sixpence or land on her backside, as long as she is trying and enjoying herself, that is the most important thing to Mearns. 

"We’re an open club, a registered charity, and we cater for girls of all abilities. So no matter what they’re ability at football we provide a place for them," Mearns said.

This approach has seen a plethora of girls of different standards come through the club. Girls who have represented Scotland, and girls who could nt kick a ball when they started. But, as Mearns points out, it is not about churning out the next Julie Fleeting.

"Monifieth Ladies is about getting girls to play football to try and improve their health and their fitness and making sure they enjoy it," he said.

This ethos is helping develop girls off the pitch as well, according to Bell: "It makes them a better person because it makes them respect others, get on with others and take each to their own. Football really does bring a lot out of them, and they’re a good bunch of girls."

Mearns added, "I think the girls get a lot of bonding together and become a part of the community, and we want them to be part of the community."

The friendly approach is clearly working for the side, who currently have just under 100 girls signed to the club and registered with SWF. And looking to the future, Bell and Mearns can both see room for expansion.

"We’re hoping to get back in an under-nine’s team, to bring in younger players," Bell said. "At the moment the youngest we’ve got is under-11s so to bring in girls and to get them all through the age ranges, would be ideal." 

A senior team may also be on the way for Monifieth Ladies, giving the youngsters a natural pathway into the adult game.

The club would aim to do this themselves, but know that they are not alone.  The Scottish FA is "always a help," Bell said. "Especially with myself joining as club secretary as well, if I am stuck they are willing to always help. They’re always on the end of a phone."

Good luck to Monifieth Ladies for the rest of their season!

Fixture: Bannerman Yellows v Bannerman Reds
Competition: MacMillan Cancer Support Charity match
Venue: Bannerman High School

Two teams met in June at Bannerman High School to raise money for MacMillan Cancer Support. The game had barely kicked off when the Red’s Nicky Fraser collected a ball over the top from his brother Marcus and lofted it over Danny Clinton, the Yellow’s keeper.

However, the Yellow’s went on to dominate most of first half with the greatest chance coming from John Dickson and Connor Brannigan.

The Reds took another chance well, Lee Martin putting the Reds 2-0 up, firing in a deflection from a corner.

The Yellows still dominated possession though, with Dale Dickson missing a clear-cut header before Connor Brannigan saw his shot hit off the post. Despite these opportunities, at half-time the Reds went in 2-0 ahead.

Half Time: Bannerman Yellows 0-2 Bannerman Reds

The second half started frantically with both sides attacking. A pass deflecting off the Yellows Josh Robertson’s back was caught on the volley by Stephen Paterson, and his shot soared into the top corner to make 3-0 - an absolutely stunning strike.

The Yellows had nothing to lose and went all out attack. They were awarded a free kick on the left, and John Dunlop’s cross was met by Dale Dickson, who powered his header into the far side of the net, making it 3-1.

They grew in confidence following this goal, and the Reds started to tire. A ball played to the right found Jack Connolly. He jinked right and stuck his shot past by Yellows goalie, Stephen Thomson. At 3-2, the game was well and truly on, and the Yellow’s continued to press. They attacked and attacked and found an assist from an unlikely place, first-half goalie Danny Clinton. He took a long throw to find striker Dale Dickson, who slotted home his second of the day to equalise. There looked to be a final twist to mark a memorable comeback, but Stephen Thomson in the Reds’ goal was able to make a great save to deny Chris O’Neil.

The game went to a penalty shoot out then. With almost everyone missing, and with the Yellows 2-1 up, Stephen Paterson, the host of the day, stepped up to bring the Reds back into it... and skyed it over the bar to give the Yellows the victory. It was a great day overall and altogether £1000 was raised for MacMillan Cancer Support by Stephen Paterson and his friends and family. 

Full Time: Bannerman Yellows 3-3 Bannerman Reds

The Milk Cup campaign has continued for Rangers under-15s, Motherwell under-17s and Partick Thistle under-17s in Northern Ireland, with the tournament progressing into the semi-final stages. 

The teams have been split into groups of four, depending on their final standings in the group stage, with the three Scottish clubs meeting teams from around the world.

Rangers’ final game of the league group came against AS Roma USA, which ended up 1-0 to the American side after a cagey affair.It was late sub Daniel Ferguson of Roma who was finally able to make an impact after both sides had squandered many chances. This meant the boys in blue finished seventh in the Junior Section, entering them into the Junior Globe competition for teams between fourth and eighth.

The semi-final was against Sydney United, with the Glasgow side winning 2-0. It was a much better performance by Rangers, who were pushed all the way by the impressive young Australian side. Josh McPake was able to pounce on a poor clearance and slot home coolly to make it 1-0 early on. The next goal did not come until the second half when substitute Zak Rudden, who has been on fine form in this tournament, scored a wonderful lob over the Aussie keeper, Jacob Botic.

This result put Rangers into the final of the Globe competition, where they will face County Down on Friday.

In the Premier Section, both Partick Thistle and Motherwell have been in action, and on Wednesday both teams played their final games of the group.

Motherwell secured a 2-2 draw against Chilean side O’Higgins,  at The Warren in Portstewart. Youngster Robbie Leitch opened the scoring for the Steelmen with a wonderful free-kick from the left-hand side. But it was the Chilean’s who drew the next blood, with Diego Abraham Gonzalez slamming in a volley from inside the box.

Early into the second-half Motherwell were given a penalty after the O’Higgins captain was adjudged to have handled it, but Ryan Watters saw his penalty saved. O’Higgins built on this to dominate the game, and made the breakthrough with Jose Ignacio Garces scoring a rebound. The lead did not last long though, with Tom Leighton nodding home a long throw. The final whistle went, and Motherwell found themselves in 12th place with a win, draw, and loss apiece. This placed them in the Vase competition, in a semi-final against County Armagh.

It was a tight game that went all the way to penalties after neither side could make a breakthrough. And unfortunately, Motherwell were not able to come out on top, losing 5-4 to the Northern Irish side.

Partick meanwhile were looking to draw on their one win and one loss against the Zambian side, Lusaka Academy, who were yet to win. It was a game that almost never happened after a visa mix-up from the Zambians, which saw them sleep on the floor of Copenhagen Airport.

It looked like they might still be in a tiresome mood as Partick scored immediately through Ian Stokes. But Lusaka hit back through striker Jere, whose excellent touch took him round one man to beat the keeper. The sides went in at half time drawing, but Lusaka stated their intent almost immediately after the whistle. Kwalela sent in an excellent cross that was tapped in by Nsunzu to put the Zambians ahead.

Musakanya increased the gap between the two sides, firing in from outside the box. The game finished 3-1 and Partick ended up finishing 17th, having to compete for the Salver.

The first game of two in the Salver finals was against Higashi Fukuoka, and it finished 5-1 to the Glaswegians.

Friday, 07 August 2015 00:00

Giffnock SC Reds aim for stability

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It was a mixed season for Giffnock SC Reds 2002s. They are the second string of the boys club, but still managed to finish sixth in the Paisley Johnstone & District Division 1. John McLachlan, club secretary and coach of the Reds, told Youth Football Scotland he was happy with the team’s performance and that they had "exceeded all expectations."

The team certainly managed some impressive results, and McLachlan picked out some of his season highlights.

"Taking a point from our first team in a league game in December and taking the eventual league winners, Glenvale, to the 89th minute in a league game in April before they secured a 3-2 victory," McLachlan said.

However, the season ended disappointingly for the boys, somewhat running out of steam and losing their last three games. Looking ahead, McLachlan is going for another stable finish.

"Our aim is to consolidate our top half finish of last season," he said. "To achieve anything more would be a great result. Also, to have a decent run in one of the cup competitions would be a nice bonus."

With three new "quality" sides joining the PJ&D Division 1, and having six changes in our Reds personnel, it may be a tough ask. "I think we might find ourselves in a ‘mini-league’ within a league with those teams we had great games against last year, such as Erskine Athletic, St. Cadocs, Barrhead and St. Andrews," McLachlan said.

It has been a difficult pre-season too, with McLachlan finding training tough to organise as so many boys are away on holiday. "So far, we’ve only managed a maximum of 10 boys at training at any one time. Having said that, the attitude of the boys has been excellent and we hope to take that into the Barrhead Tournament over the weekend of 7/8/9 August."

It is fair to say the coach has a very positive outlook for his side, having added another six boys to the squad. "Yes, six new signings mean we are quietly confident that we will do well again this season," 

But, McLachlan is not just interested in glory, he wants everyone to enjoy themselves. “All 17 in the squad will play their part this season,” he said.

Good luck to Giffnock SC Reds for the 2015/16 season!

Ardencaple FC were the stereotypical ‘nearly men’ last season, with an unfortunate loss to Oban on penalties in the Michael McGinley Memorial Shield after a decent league season in which the Dumbartonshire club finished fourth despite what coach Paul Weir called "some decent performances towards the end of the season".  

A team that likes to play football, with Weir describing their playing style as having "the emphasis on having a good first touch, passing and moving off the ball", Ardencaple will look to go one step further this season.

A move to the Paisley and Johnstone League, away from the Dumbartonshire Football Development League, faces the squad with Weir aware of the challenges a new league will throw up. "[Moving league is] a big change for the boys," he told Youth Football Scotland.

The Ardencaple squad should be up to the challenge however, with two very astute signings for the forthcoming season. First was Reece Court, who has moved down an age group to join up with his classmates at 2000s.

"Reece has been playing above his age group for a number of years, so the fact he decided to drop down to his age group should mean he will be one of our key players next season," Weir said.

As well as Court, Ardencaple have snatched an ex-academy prospect in the shape of Kyle Ritchie, a player who was involved in the Dumbarton FC pro-youth setup for three years. "This experience will set Kyle in good stead for the upcoming season where his competitive nature and will to win will be a key asset to the team," Weir said.

With the added tenacity of a possible derby fixture with Dumbarton Riverside to look forward to, alongside a rejuvenated squad and a new league, the aims for Ardencaple look achievable.

"We’ve managed to make a couple of improvements to the team from last season, so I’m looking to be challenging for the league as well as have a decent run in the cup competitions”, and with that disappointment at the end of last season in the cup, the possibility of replicating or even exceeding that achievement will be top priority going forward into the forthcoming season," Weir said.

Good luck to Ardencaple FC 2000s for next season!

Rangers FC have today announced the re-branding of their Development Fund, formally known as the RDF.

Now reffered to as the Rangers Youth Development Company, it was once used as a means of generating funds for the club as a whole, making an outstanding £120 million throughout it's existance. Starting from now, it will directly be invested straight into the club's youth academy, with the intention of developing and identifying youth talent through the financial support.

The RDF has been an excellent support method for players at Rangers throughout the years, helping out former stars such as Charlie Adam and Alan Hutton. as well as Danny Wilson, recently signed on a free transfer from Hearts.

This rebranding is the latest in a series of attempts by chairman Dave King to rebuild Rangers.

Bears' first team manager, Mark Warbuton, speaking to rangers.co.uk, was fully supportive of the rebranding. He said: “Youth development is a crucial part of any football club’s operation and I fully endorse and support the work of the Rangers Youth Development Company.

“I have only been at the Club a short time but I already recognise the passion and pride supporters have for Rangers and they clearly have backed the Rangers Youth Development Company for over 50 years."

Funding for the new initiative will be generated by Rangers Lotto, Stadium Bricks. half-time draw known as Rising Stars and scratchcards.

The Rangers Youth Development Company Director of Operations, Colin Stewart, was also keen to support the rebranding. He said:"We are delighted to rebrand as the Rangers Youth Development Company and we are passionate about supporting the Club’s youth programme in any way we can," he told the Rangers website.

“We have provided £5.5 million in the last decade and with the support of the Rangers fans we will continue to provide funds for the development of players like Danny Wilson, Alan Hutton, Charlie Adam, Andy Murdoch, Ryan Hardie and Tom Walsh."

Rangers fans will be able to donate towards the cause in a variety of methods.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015 12:14

Glenvale celebrate stunning treble

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What does it require to go through an entire league season unbeaten, win a cup without losing a single goal, and seal an illustrious treble by winning the Winton Murdoch cup? Whatever it requires, Glenvale AFC under-13s certainly have it. David Borland's boys from Paisley stormed their way to an outstanding, treble-winning campaign this year.

Speaking to Youth Football Scotland, Glenvale gaffer David Borland described his team's feat as "superb". He announced himself as "delighted" to be leading such a great group of players. 

"With five league games to go, we found ourselves two goals down to Giffnock Reds with only 13 minutes remaining. We managed to fight back to win 3-2, with the winner coming from the last kick of the game", he said proudly.

He acknowledged the circumstances which posed the need to adapt as their season drew further on: "It was our first season ever playing 11-a-side, so every single week we were learning.

"The biggest thing has definitely been that we have been prepared this season, and have learned to warm up properly."

The man at the helm of Glenvale was full of praise for his two captains, Liam McMenemay and Sean Borlan, for their contribution to the cause.

"Liam, our captain, has been a rock in defence all season for us. The way that he turned defence into attack was key for us. He has now moved on to St Mirren as a pro youth, and we wish him all the best.

"Sean, our vice captain, has lead by example in the middle of the pitch for us all season, nobody has worked harder than him. He has controlled so many games from the centre of midfield."

David Borland indicated that the Scottish Cup is a strong area of improvement for next season, after being knocked out in the quarter finals last campaign to the eventual winners, Banks of Dee.

Congratulations to Glenvale AFC under-13s, 2014/15 PJDYFL champions!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 16:32

Double-winning season delights Westerton

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The 2014/15 season was an extremely succesful campaign for Westerton United 2001s. Not only did they seal the Glasgow and District YFL title by playing some scintilating, easy­ on ­the ­eye football, but Fraser Clarke's men also lifted the pre­season Dumbarton Riverside trophy, completing an impressive double for the North Glasgow side.

Speaking to Youth Football Scotland, head coach Fraser Clarke spoke of his delight at his team's quality. He said: "Overall we couldn't have asked for anymore from the boys. Our league form was outstanding and the football we played was far better than some of the senior stuff I watched last season!"

The Westerton head coach praised the courage and grit shown by his players, despite their dissapointing exit in the early stages of the cup. "The only slight disappointment was going out the Regional Cup 4-­3 to St Peters. It was a very dramatic game, with three of our players playing on through what turned out to be broken bones ­ including our goalkeeper with a broken finger! "

"It was painful to go out, but the commitment from the boys when we were down to eight fit outfield players was tremendous," he said. "They did the club proud."

The head coach specifically picked out three key results which ultimately were key factors en route to clinching the title, one of which was a 2-­2 draw against Coatbridge in the wind and lashing rain. Despite relinquishing a two-goal advantage, Clarke saw it more of a point gained, rather than two points dropped. Clarke decribed this point as "a crucial result".

He also highlighted the 4-­3 victory in February against Dumbarton United, saying: "The game was played in traditional Scottish weather with pouring rain, a strong wind and a pitch resembling a ploughed field making playing almost impossible for both sides.

"We put in a gritty, sturdy performance and even managed to knock the ball about a bit. The victory was one of the most enjoyable I've ever experienced," Clarke declared with joy.

"Finally the 3-­0 victory of Clyde at Colquhoun Park in April, we knew it would be a difficult game and we spent a lot of time working on a game plan at training. On the day we produced, what I would say, was our best performance of the season. It was great to watch."

He also spoke of his player's maturity and footballing intelligence of how to get the right result.

"It's not all the glory of attacking and scoring, but how crucial a simple tackle or clearance can be. We've learnt how to hold onto a lead and not let our heads drop if things aren't going our way," Clarke said.

The Westerton man was not overly keen to pick out players as indivduals however, instead insisting that everyone had a role to play in their success.

"Every outfield player has scored this season, and almost everyone has played in every game. It was a real team effort, players have been versatile and both 'keepers have been outstanding when called upon", he said.

So what are Fraser Clarke's ambitions for the upcoming season in a new league?

"Hopefully to match this season next year in the Paisley and District league!"

Congratulations to Westerton United 2001s, 2014/15 GADYFL Champions!

Monday, 13 July 2015 18:02

East Kilbride lift B Section trophy

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East Kilbride YM under-17s won a very tough league after coming so close last year they finally got their hands on the Section B trophy as well as reaching the LFDA Cup semi-final.

Youth Football Scotland spoke to coach Martin McGill about the team's success.

"Our team performed to a very high standard and from their first game of the season we knew we had a great opportunity to do well in the league, to end up going through the league season unbeaten was a tremendous feat and it was only a draw in the last game that deprived us of a 100% record," he said.

"We had a good run in the LFDA cup, getting to the semi finals only to be defeated by a very good Blantyre side in the closing stages of the game of a very close game.

There is always one game that is vital in a team's success, and for EKYM it was a match against their biggest rivals.

"One game stands out where we played our closest rivals on their home pitch, we quickly went 2 – 0 up and we were quite comfortable until we lost a player to two yellow cards meaning we had to play about an hour with 10 men. The boys put in a tremendous effort and in the end we clinched an impressive 4 – 1 victory. This game laid a marker down for the rest of the season and set the standard that was required in every game," McGill said.

"Our team has learned that to be successful you need to put in the hard work at training and in games where things don’t always go your way, as it is the first time many of the team had won anything it will hopefully make them want more success and continue putting in the effort required.
"For myself and the other coach, we felt that having a settled line up was the best way for us to go and that it would help the full squad to grow in confidence by being part of a winning team."
As for next season, McGill is looking for further success. He said: "We hope to progress as a team and become regular challengers for the league and cups and if we can keep the team together there is no reason why we cant have further success."
Congratulations to East Kilbride YM under 17s, 2014/15 Lanarkshire FDA B Section champions!