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Sunday, 06 December 2015 18:27

Campsie Black Watch: gone, but not for long

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• Eleven-time SYFA Scottish Cup winners Campsie Black Watch pull out of the West of Scotland Under-21s Youth Football League.
• Campsie say that the decision was made due to a lack of players
• Interviewees: Jim Shanks
They are one of the most historic and successful names in Scottish youth football and yet they are absent from the 2015/16 West of Scotland Under-21s Youth Football League. Campsie Black Watch, record 16-time finalists and 11-time winners of the SYFA Scottish Cup, record holders of Lady Darling Cup and winners of over 30 league titles, announced, to the shock of many in the grassroots game, that they would not be fielding a team for the first time since 1943. 
Just a year after their penalty shoot-out victory over Goldenhill BC in the Scottish Cup final at Airdrie United’s Excelsior Stadium, the Lennoxtown club, whose first national final came in front of 10,000 people at Easter Road way back in 1947, pulled out citing a lack of players. It is a long way from Campsie’s glory days when they won three successive Scottish Cups in 1984, 1985 and 1986, a remarkable feat which remains unequalled. 
A club spokesperson told the club’s disappointed supporters via social media in the summer that the Blackies were “down but not out” and vowed that they would rise from the ashes in time for the 2016/17 season. “We are reloading and will be back with a bang soon”. 
Reacting to the announcement, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy manager Stewart Maxwell said: “I think everyone was surprised to hear their sad news.” 
Campsie Black Watch committee member Jim Shanks, who has been involved with the club for seven years both as a first-aider and administrator and was involved in the decision-making process, explained the club’s decision: “The thinking behind the decision was the lack of players.
“The players that had promised to come and join the club did not happen, plus the fact that some players that had turned up for pre-season would have found it difficult at Premier League level, so the decision was taken to withdraw.”
He added: “Over the past years I would think a lot of clubs have had the same problem and a lot of these clubs did not survive – Knightswood, Baillieston to name a couple, but if you look there has been a lot of other teams who had to fold due to lack of players.”
However, Shanks is confident that the Blackies will buck that trend and live to fight another day. “We as a club have been going since 1943 so I think it is the committee’s duty to keep the club alive. It would be too easy just to walk away and let a great club fall by the wayside. 
“We as a club are confident that Campsie Black Watch will be back in Scottish football next season.”
Monday, 30 November 2015 15:55

5 star performance from Antonine sees off Broomhill

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Fixture: Antonine FC v Broomhill SC U17
Competition: League Cup - 1st Round
Venue: Clydebank High School
Date: Sunday 29th November 2015
Antonine welcomed Broomhill to Clydebank High for an already twice postponed 1st round cup tie.
This was only the second game 6 weeks for Antonine due a mixture of poor weather and free week allocations, but there was no sign of rustiness from the home side as they started on the front foot. Lewis Smith came close as his goal bound shot was blocked well by the Broomhill defender.
Broomhill then came close themselves after 15 minutes when a cross was hit to the back post but the striker couldn't get a great contact on it and he put it past the post.
25 minutes into the game and Antonine broke the deadlock as a Hamilton free kick was superbly headed home by top scorer Lewis Smith. Chris Donaghy then came close with a long range effort that had the keeper scrambling across his goalline.
After created plenty of chances, the Antonine pressure finally paid off as they doubled their lead 10 minutes before half time. Joe McKendrick passed to Scott Hutton, and his shot from 20 yards out flew into the top corner. 2-0 Antonine.
Minutes before the break Jason.Smith then crashed a thunderous drive off the post with the keeper well beaten but it was cleared to safety.
Half Time: Antonine FC 2-0 Broomhill SC
3 minutes into the second half and Antonine further extended their lead as Dean Miller and Brendan Kelly combined to play in Fraser James out wide left. He then glided past 2 players with ease, and from a tight angle he chipped the keeper to score a wonderful solo goal which was his 12th of the season.
Broomhill pulled a goal back when a well delivered free kick was met by the head of their striker that rose highest inside a packed penalty area, and he guided the ball into the bottom corner.
Antonine re-stored their 3 goal advantage as Smith crossed for Chris Donaghy to head home his 7th of the season. 4-1 Antonine.
The visitors never gave up though, and a mazy run from the midfielder made it 4-2. Minutes later Broomhill almost reduced the deficit even further as a shot from 25 yards thundered off of the crossbar.
With 10 minutes left to play, Lewis Smith picked the ball up in his own half, the defender expected Smith to pass the ball and tried to play offside, but Smith went himself before calmly slotting home his 20th of the season to make it 5-2.
Antonine had further chances to extend their lead, but that was it in terms of the scoring as the home side move onto the second round of the league cup after a great
performance from against a team a league above in the form of Broomhill.
Full Time: Antonine FC 5-2 Broomhill
Man of the Match: Steven MacIver
Thursday, 12 November 2015 00:00

Glencairn hope to emulate greatest ever season

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Rutherglen Glencairn are currently sitting third from bottom in the Super League First Division, the same can’t be said for their next crop of players, coached by Alex McArthur and Andy McFadyen. Their 21’s are sitting pretty at the head of the West of Scotland 21’s Premier Division.
They remain unbeaten having won twelve and drawn one game in all competitions, and still fighting in four cup competitions. They are averaging more than four goals in every match and conceding only the one in defence. YFS was able to grab a word with one of the team behind that success, Head Coach Alex McArthur.
Alex gave us the background to his coaching career, saying “After I gave up on the playing side of things, I was asked if I’d like going into coaching with a local team that my son played for. Then Andy MacFadyen and I took over at Blantyre Victoria, where we were for five years with the youths.
“Then when Blantyre’s first team manager Willie Harvey went to Rutherglen in 2010, he asked Andy and I to go along with him. The Glens didn’t have any youth team as such, so we went along and have been here ever since.”
After gaining promotion in their first season of 2010/11, the Glens have won silverware every year since. Alex explained “The progression with the lads has been great. We played in the West of Scotland 21’s First Division during our first season and we managed to gain promotion, which I thought was a relatively decent standard to have set ourselves.
“Then in our second season, we won the West of Scotland Cup, and then our third year was a phenomenal year. That was the treble winning team. They all went onto play either junior or senior football, which was a great achievement as they were up against strong sides such as Goldenhill, Knightswood, Drumchapel, and Campsie Black Watch.
“The following year was a poor season for us, as the treble team had to be broken up because of their age. So we decided to rebuild. We probably built wrongly and we had a really poor season as I said. However, at this age in football you’re going to have poor seasons and you have to persevere with things.
“We stuck in there and came back fighting and decided to rebuild the squad. We rebuilt and then last year won the Lady Darling Cup, which we thought was a good achievement. We managed to keep seventeen of that squad together, and have added to it and as you can see. This season so far has taken off quite dramatically for them.
“There are five players that are last season 21’s, but the majority of them will be here for two or three seasons. One player in particular, Euan Conroy, has been here since he has been sixteen and he still has another season to go next year. Ryan Bennett, our captain as also been here for a considerable length of time and was in the treble team with Euan.
“So, we will try to keep the majority of the boys together and will aim to add to them when we can. That’s what 21s football is all about. It’s about adding. It’s about moving boys on and ultimately about progression for them.”
“I think there is a strength in this group of players and they’re determined to go on and win things. In the dressing room they talk of emulating that treble team and it’s a little bit of a standing joke with us, but deep down I believe that it’s a possibility.”
On the start made by Glens this season, he said “It’s been an absolute great start. The boys are scoring goals and they’re defending very well. Our toughest game so far was against a very strong Tower Hearts side.
“People will have to catch us and that is the one thing that we’ll try and tell the boys. Every team that comes here now will see us as a scalp, and they’ll want to beat us and they’ll up their game as a consequence. The boys will have to learn that they have to be 100% on their game every single week from now on.”
Wednesday, 11 November 2015 09:18

Ayrshire leagues round up - 7/8th November

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A packed fixture card saw a first few casualties last weekend as November conditions finally took hold. But there were still plenty of matches and goals as the Ayrshire leagues enter the winter timetable.
In the West of Scotland YFL both Troon Thistle and Glenburn MW recorded narrow home victories to gain ground on Kilwinning Rangers who did not play. Troon’s 4-3 victory over Bellfield keeps them in second place, with Glenburn a point behind after their 2-1 defeat of Girvan Youth.
In the WOSYFL U16s Division A, there were three home victories on the card. Ayr Boswell ran eight goals past Galton’s three, second placed Crosshouse kept up the pressure in beating Valspar 5-2, whilst Glenburn MW had a solid 2-0 win over Coylton FC.
As for the U16s Division B, Dean Thistle extended their lead to five points with a 3-1 win at Largs Colts. Second placed Nithsdale meanwhile slipped up in a 2-2 home draw with Bonnyton Thistle. Stewarton Annick’s 4-1 win at Glenafton moves them up to third place, whilst Carrick Colts ran in the goals in a 7-0 victory at Prestwick CFC.
There was a change at the top of the WOSYFL Age 13 Division, as Bellfield Royals won 4-0 at Dalrymple Thistle, with the shock of the weekend coming as Ayr Boswell lost 5-3 to Tass Thistle Titans. Bonnyton Thistle stay in third place after a 6-0 win at Knockroon Thistle, with Glenburn on level points after an impressive performance against Girvan Juniors. Valspar’s 2-1 home defeat of Troon Thistle Titans keeps them in fifth place, whilst Hurlford were among the goals in an 8-1 home defeat of Auchinleck Talbot. Bottom placed Prestwick CFC, meanwhile had a morale boosting 4-1 home victory over Crosshill Thistle.
Over in the Central Ayrshire YFA U15 division one all the fixtures beat the weather, as both top sides won on the road. Glenburn’s 4-2 win at Prestwick CFC keeps them top with more games played, whilst Hurford BC ran out comfortable 6-1 winners at KSC Rovers. Tass Thistle United meanwhile stunned undefeated Crosshouse with a 2-1 home win, and in a goal packed encounter at Valspar Auchinleck Talbot ran out 6-3 victors.
In division two, three matches beat the weather. Galston won an action packed encounter 6-4 at Largs Spartans to move joint top with Cumnock Juniors, whilst Irvine Victoria won 3-0 at Crosshouse Boys Club 2001. Caledonian Colts were also comfortable winners in their 5-0 home defeat of Hurlford United.
In the CAYFA 14s section leaders AC Irvine drew 1-1 at Coylton, but Largs Colts missed out on a chance to close the gap on the top two with a 2-2 home draw with Crosshouse BC. Valspar are up to fourth after a resounding win at Rosebank, with Tass Thistle also winning away, 2-0 at Prestwick CFC.
Robbie Trevett, a 13 year-old Scottish footballer, was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in July 2013. Robbie is one of around 115,000 people in the UK with the cruel condition, however, with the help of his family, friends and football club, Robbie is sure he can continue to battle Crohn’s successfully.
Crohn’s Disease is a condition which can be found in people as young as two years-old but is most commonly found in teenagers and young adults. The disease affects the bowels and digestive system, with the immune system attacking itself, producing antibodies. The symptoms of Crohn’s vary widely, including abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite which leads to weight loss (Robbie suffered largely from this dropping to around 4 stone) and joint pains, the symptom which ultimately lead to Robbie’s appointment where he was diagnosed with Crohn’s.
Robbie's mother, Suzanne Trevett said, "In January, 2013, Robbie started getting unexplained ankle and leg joint pain and swelling and we had numerous trips to Minor Injuries Dept at Victoria Infirmary, it was put down at the time to football injuries, so was playing football off and on at this time.  
"In March of this year he was eating very little and was losing a lot of weight. He had went very quiet and subdued and no longer wanted to go out with friends or play football, as football is his life and has been since four years old. I thought this was very strange.  
"I kept taking Robbie to the GP who kept giving him antibiotics for infections, but he continued to gradually get worse not eating at all and at 11 years old he had dropped down to four stone, he still had swollen joints, mouth ulcers, sleeping constantly, constant trips to the bathroom and chronic pain in his stomach.  I finally got referred to hospital and Robbie was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease on the 12th July, 2013."
Despite awareness of the disease constantly increasing, there still remains to be no cure for the disease, making it a life-long condition. Although treatment is available, which can lead to periods of rest from the disease, the search continues for a cure. One method of treatment, which is available to sufferers of Crohn’s and will hopefully aid Robbie, is the removal of badly affected parts of the intestines and then the re-joining of the bowel. This will give Robbie his appetite and energy back, as well as putting his Crohn’s into remission for at least a couple of years, on the way into his bid to be back playing football.
"Robbie’s surgery is happening on Wednesday 11th November" said Suzanne. "He will be a week to ten days in hospital and thereafter eight weeks recovery at home. It is hoped he will be back playing football around February/March."
One of the 115,000 sufferers of Crohn’s in the UK is ex-Manchester United midfielder and Scotland captain Darren Fletcher. For years, Darren was ashamed of his condition and kept it as quiet as possible, the only person in football who knew was previous manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Even his manager at the time David Moyes hadn’t been informed that the reason for constant missed training sessions and rushed trips to the bathroom was in Crohn’s. The only reason Fletcher revealed the truth and spoke of his suffering at the hands of Crohn’s was the guilt he felt in lying to colleagues, and even friends his reason for absences.
After a long time of keeping the condition secret, Fletcher decided to speak of his suffering in a press conference at Manchester United’s Carrington training ground, letting the world know about the condition which looked to have ended his career.
"Darren Fletcher is a big inspiration to Robbie and it has given him the determination to not give up on his football" said Suzanne. "Having a condition like this, Darren has proved it is achievable. Robbie, since getting ill, has not let Crohn’s Disease get the better of him for all he has been through and still to go through. Myself, the family and his coach George, are very proud of him. He has a great support from everyone.  
"He has fought and will keep fighting Crohns and his attitude towards this disease is amazing even although he has been ill and not had a break from it for almost three years.  
Despite such a mentally and physically draining medical condition, it is still very much a realistic goal to get back playing football, especially considering Fletcher played at a level as high as the Champions League just months after finishing his treatment and recovery from the disease.
Robbie Trevett can be an inspirational to all young footballers out there, not just those who suffer from Crohn’s, or even any disease, but everyone, everytime they suffer a setback can look up to Robbie Trevett and take strength from his battle.
Glasgow City are a football club famous for all the right reasons. But we will ignore most of the reasons for the moment and move straight to the football. 
The club's players and staff are committed to playing dynamic, possession-based football. They have made themselves known as a sensible and ambitious club. 
The senior team made people sit up and take notice recently by making the quarter-finals of the prestigious UEFA Womens Champions League in quite dramatic fashion. With the club essentially being amateur in nature, it was justly considered quite an awesome achievement.
So, the question, is how was this remarkable feat achieved?
City's approach to football is all encompassing, the progress serious and the infrastructure in place modeled on the great Barcelona. The fruits of their labour are present in a form of a rapidly developing group of young girls who have a very real chance of achieving great things. 
The club's younger teams are frequent visitors to the latter stages of domestic cup competitions, the most recent example being the coming finals being played at the popular Toryglen venue, where City have a team competing in each of the three age groups. En-route, the semi finals gave us a glimpse of things to come. 
The 13's age group claimed their place in magnificent fashion with a 7-1 dismantling of a talented celtic team. The 15's had similar story to tell, making a statement of their intent with a 4-1 dismissal of a battling Hibs team. The 17's age group, however, had their work cut out, meeting with their talented Hibernian counterparts. The Edinburgh side were keen to show that the Glasgow side's dominance of Scottish women's football is not easily maintained, but the resulting 4-1 defeat suggests that more work needs to be done.
Overall, City have proven again that a sensible and meticulous approach to football, along with a strong dash of ambition, can lead to great things.
At the YFS Open Night in Glasgow, we interviewed Jamie McKenzie, the First Team Coach of Red Star 2005s, who currently are competing as U10s.
Their season is almost at a close, with just one more Festival in Haldane left for them to compete in, after having competed in 13 so far this year in the surrounding area of Glasgow.
McKenzie is pleased with how the year has gone.
"The boys have come on well this year, so I'm very happy."
"The Glasgow Cup we did last month was probably our best festival this year. We played very well. I think we had 11 games over the whole weekend, and we won nine and lost two which is a good performance."
Jamie also has his eyes firmly fixed on next season and revealed his plans to us.
"We're hoping to go to the Blackpool Cup next year, taking the boys down to England for the first time. And again, we'll do all the festivals we did this year."
At present, the Coach seems pretty happy with the way his team are performing, and the personnel he has within the squad.
"We have 18 boys we work with all the time, they're hand-picked from the local community. At the moment we're not looking to increase the squad, if anything trying to downsize slightly."
All the best for next season's festivals! It will be great to see what they can do down in England.
At the YFS Open Night in Glasgow, St Cadoc's Youth Club 2004s Head Coach Joe Hamilton spoke to us about the club he has been involved with for three years and which is embarking on the adventure of competitive 11-a-side matches for the first time next season.
After a successful pre-season, Hamilton is looking for a strong season and has subsequently modified his squad.
"We've had some new players in, and some players leaving, so we've had to get back to a squad of 40 with 4 teams."
St Cadocs Youth Club is most definitely a community club, as Joe explains.
"Most of the players have been there since the age of 5, Primary 1. It's all about kids from the local area. There's also a netball side to it as well for girls in the local area. There's about 600 kids involved in it now between the football and netball. It seems to grow every year."
The objectives for the future are relatively simple, with an emphasis on keeping kids and volunteers interested and starting to play 11-a-side matches. The progression to 11s is a step that the squad seem positive about, says Hamilton.
"We've done some training sessions on it and they seem very interested."
St Cadocs have quite a hectic season, competing in two different leagues - the Paisley, Johnstone & District League and the East Renfrewshire League.
"We get quite a lot of challenging matches," Hamilton adds. "The standard is going up. It's getting more physical as well as they're getting older."
The interview ended with Joe telling the camera he enjoyed the Open Night and that is "great to see what Youth Football Scotland is doing."
Thanks Joe! Good luck to him and St Cadoc's Youth Club 2004s for this season!
Terry Daley, Head Coach of Arthurlie Juniors Blaze 2004s, spoke to YFS at our Open Night at Glasgow's Woodside Hall about his team's chances and prospects for the 2015/16 season after what has been a "starting off period" for the club, which formed just last season.
Daley took the decision to separate his squad into two teams - one blue, one white - due to varying levels of ability within the group. The white team is for developing players, whilst the blue team is for those players who are currently at a later stage of their progression.
It's a situation which pleases the coach and, Daley believes, brings out the best in his players. 
"The white team work hard to get into the blue team," he said.
Asked about what the club were looking to achieve, Terry said he is "trying to make both teams as strong as possible for going into 11-a-side. We'll try and have them working together, both teams, as the blue team makes the white team stronger."
As touched up by Daley, the biggest challenge facing the group is the looming move to 11-a-side matches. But Daley insists they are prepared for the challenge.
"We'll be more than ready for it when it comes," he said. "More than ready."
Team spirit appears to be high within the squad and Daley seems pleased with the way in which the players conduct themselves. However, he feels this is almost holding them back on the pitch slightly.
"They're a good bunch of boys, sometimes too nice on the park, that's the problem!" He joked. But in all seriousness, he aims to "harden them up" and teach them all the little tricks of the trade which will help them march towards success.
It is still naturally early days for the club who have only been in existence for a very short while, but their eyes are firmly set on the future and next season when they play as an 11. But not before a very defiant Terry sees them through their last season as 7s "with a bang!"
Best of luck to them!

Fixture: Whiteacres FC v Antonine FC U17s
Competition: Paisley & Johnstone District YFL
Venue: Neilston
Date: Saturday 17th October 2015
Antonine traveled to Neilston on saturday to take on Whiteacres FC in the Paisley & Johnstone District YFL Under 17s league.
The away side came flying out the traps and Chris Donaghy hit the post in the opening minute of the match, and then the Whiteacres keeper had saves to deny Danny Hamilton, Harry Shaw and Fraser James. He was going to have to be on top form today to keep out Antonine. Shaun Quinn and Chris Donaghy then fired just wide as Antonine chased the opening goal.
To the amazement of everyone, the opening half hour of this game remained goalless. However, Antonine did managed to break the deadlock on 34 minutes when Scott Hutton passed to Danny Hamilton who took a superb touch to get past his marker, and he produced an even better second touch as he finished from 18 yards to make it 1-0 to Antonine.
In the last action of the first half, A seven pass build up almost seen Antonine double their lead. Hamilton's cross for Fraser James was inch perfect, but his shot hit the post and was cleared away to safety.
Half Time: Whiteacres 0-1 Antonine FC
Straight from the kick off, Donaghy came close to double Antonine's lead with an effort that just flew past the post.
On 52 minutes, the home side managed to equalise. Mikey Doak never dealt with a backpass, and the Whiteacres forward equalised with their 1st attempt on target in the match. 1-1 now.
No more than a minute later, Antonine keeper Doak produced a great save to keep Antonine level in a game in which they should have been out of sight. Whiteacres almost taking a suprise lead.
This seemed to wake Antonine up, and on 55 minutes they were awarded a penalty after Danny Hamilton had been pulled down inside the box. He dusted himself down and the spot kick to make it 2-1 and restore the away side's lead.
Fraser James then made it 3-1 a minute later, converting a Brendan Kelly cross into the back of the net.
Antonine managed to score 3 goals in 3 minutes when Dean Miller headed home a Hamilton corner to score his second of the seasonj
Joe McKendrick made it 1-5 on 60 minutes with his 2nd of the season, knocking home a Hamilton cut back into the empty net. Top scorer Lewis Smith then scored his 17th of the season after Dom Cairney had brilliantly set him up.
Smith then seen the Whiteacres keeper produce 2 great saves to prevent the striker from adding to his tally. However he couldn't prevent Danny Hamilton from curling the ball home for his 15th of the season, and to secure his hat-trick from 20 yards out.
Goal number 8 for Antonine came on 78 minutes when James slotted home the rebound after Smiths' shot, was once again superbly saved. James got his hat-trick on 81 minutes after Smith played him in, and it was a cool finish into the bottom corner.
A blistering run from Dom Cairney resulted in him getting himself on the scoresheet as he slotted home his 4th of the season.
Fraser James got his 4th goal of the game on 87 minutes, and with the final kick of the game Calum Maxwell's second goal of the season rounded off the scoring.
This was a game that Antonine dominated totally from start to finish, and if not for the excellent Whiteacres keeper, it could of been much more. Up next for Antonine is Broomhill in the league cup.
Full Time: Whiteacres 1-9 Antonine FC