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Friday, 03 March 2017 21:50

Exciting times ahead for Rossvale Girls

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Rossvale Girls Football Club has progressed immensely since it was founded. Established in 1976 in Bishopbriggs, Rossvale FC is now becoming noticed as a renowned team. Michael Docherty, one of the coaching staff, tells us why it has enjoyed so much success in recent years, and also gives advice for other teams on how to be successful and how he wishes his team to progress in the future.
 
So, how many players are there on the team, and what are the age ranges?: ‘Currently we have 15 girls at Under 13s level, and 15 girls from 7-11 years of age.’ Docherty is extremely proud towards his team, stating that they have found so much success due to their ‘superb commitment and enthusiasm, as well as learning the game and skills.’ However, what Docherty believes is vital is to create a relaxed environment and to allow the girls to enjoy the experience: ‘We try to make it fun and enjoyable by using different drills and games within coaching sessions.’ 
 
As well as allowing a care-free environment, Docherty also places an emphasis on creating a community for the team: ‘Rossvale as a club try to involve parents as much as possible, creating a family-feel while the girls are learning.’ Some of the team’s best attributes are, according to Docherty, their ‘ability to work well as a team, and raise confidence and team-building skills.’ On the casual side, Docherty believes in celebrating the girls’ success through activities and outings: ‘We try to arrange fundraising to allow girls to have days out. At Christmas, we took the girls to laser quest, then dinner.’ 
 
Although the team has built up an impressive reputation in the league, it has not been easy to get there. ‘In the past, we’ve worked hard getting the girls sponsored, and we are currently in the process of acquiring a new sponsorship deal as the girls head into proper league setup.’ Adding to the importance of a family-like environment, Docherty adds that: ‘Overall, the girls and parents seem to like what our coaches are doing. They give up their time coaching, going on courses, and taking games, and it's all done voluntary. But as head coach I can say that it's all for the good of the girls!’
 
To further motivate his players, Docherty has ‘had the players from the Scottish Cup Final, Glasgow City vs Hibernian, show them what can be achieved if they believe they are good enough, work hard, and listen and learn from their coaches.’ Docherty also stated his future aspirations for the team, which include: ‘meeting future teammates and other kids in rival teams. Also, hopefully in progressing to the league-levels, the girls will form a stronger bond.’ 
 
Giving his players some final words of encouragement for the future, Docherty adds that: ‘In the future, if the girls fall away from love of the game as they get older, I'm hoping that what they learn will put them in good stead for the future.’ 

Stirling University XI 2nd team were successful in their run to win the British Universities and Sports (BUCS) league, and they were able to do it without a team manager. I caught up with the captain, Harry-Ball Lindsay, to find out the secrets to their success.

Harry thought that the main reasons for his team success were the strength and cooperation of the team. “Our team unity has been by far the most pivotal part in our successful BUCS campaign.” He added “We have spent the majority of the season without a manager so I would say that this year deserves more credit” This is an astonishing achievement and it really shows the team unity as they had to work together to organise and compete with no manager to push and motivate them.

Their most exciting and intense match sounded like a real nail-biter and we were able to get the details from Harry. “Our away game against Strathclyde in my opinion was one of our toughest challenges, where we found ourselves against a very strong side.” Strathclyde finished 3rd in the league only 5 points behind Stirling, making this match even more pivotal. Harry commented “The game was about to finish with 1-1 on the scoreboard when we were able to pull out a last-minute winner which secured our 6th consecutive win in the BUCS and kept them undefeated.” Strathclyde has just come off a great 3-1 win over Edinburgh Napier Men’s 1st making the win the game more intense for Stirling as the morale was in the favour of Strathclyde. Harry said “It was a brilliant feeling winning that tight challenge and subsequently really boosted our morale to go on to win the league”

Last year wasn’t as successful for Stirling but were still able to place 2nd, I asked Harry what changes were made this year to make sure they finished 1st. “There has been more of a team spirit this year. Bringing in some new players has been key to winning the title.” Finishing 2nd last year seemed to have made the team more ambitious. “Also, the fact we didn’t win it last year made us even more determined to prove we were the best university side in Scotland.”

Although it is always hard to pick a star player Harry was able to pick their top goal scorer Malcom Burgess as the star, but not without recognising the achievements of his whole team. “Malcom Burgess scored 20 goals in both the BUCS and East of Scotland competitions. However, I think that everyone has played a key role this season. Especially the commitment from the boys which has been outstanding, particularly the time we spent without a manager.” Harry’s most memorable moment was a tight victory against the previous year’s champions – Abertay.  “Beating last years champions on their home soil with a close 0-1 win, but it was enough to secure the 3 points and really stomp our authority on the competition”

Harry commented “I couldn’t be prouder of being a part of this fantastic squad, and despite being the second team and playing in a league of first teams, we hope to repeat winning one of the most highly demanding university sporting titles.” It is clear that this team has a great mindset and motivation to prove that they are the best Scottish side in University football and we hope that the have the success they are looking for. 

Fixture: Hampden Weir RAFC vs Holytown Colts
Competition: PJ&DYFL D1
Venue: Weirs Cricket Club, Albert Park, Kintore Road, Glasgow G43 2HA
Date: 22/01/17
 
It was billed as game of the day in the Lanarkshire FDA 'A' League, with Hampden Weir hosting Holytown Colts and both teams within touching distance of the top of the table.
 
A thrilling tie at Weirs saw the home side come out victorious. This match had everything with a last minute goal getting Hampden Weir the three points.
 
Hampden got off to a great start with a fantastic ball over the top from Lewis Young for Ryan to meet sweet on the half volley rifling home past the keeper. An equaliser not long after by the Holytown player who smashed a thunderbolt into the top corner past Rio who couldn't get anywhere near it.
 
Half Time: Hampden Weir RAFC 1-1 Holytown Colts
 
Second half got underway with a determined Hampden side out to show their capabilities. They took the lead with a penalty slotted home by Lewis after a handball in the box. The third came shortly after, with lovely movement to lose his man, Jack got in front of his defender slamming home from an in swinging corner. The goals didn't stop there after another spectacular finish from the Holytown player who once again smashed the ball high into the top corner.
 
Holytown gained the momentum for a short while, and equalised after a fine double save from Rio who despite his best efforts couldn't prevent the ball crossing the line. At 3-3 there was more drama, and with only a minute remaining Hampden had a free kick awarded 25 yards out. It was taken by Niall who made the keeper work hard to save. He spilled the ball and it fell into the path of James who slipped the ball into the near post sending the players into party mode.

A hard fought victory and an enthralling match to watch from the sidelines. Well done to both sets of players for giving their all.
 
Full Time: Hampden Weir RAFC 4-3 Holytown Colts
 
 
Friday, 11 November 2016 00:00

European Success for Jim Baxter Memorial U17s

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One of the biggest youth soccer tournaments in Europe, the Trofeo Malgratense hosts youth teams from all across Europe as they come together to test their strength and skill. Cumbernauld-based team, Jim Baxter Memorial U17’s travelled to Barcelona in October and head coach, William Dalziel, spoke to YFS to share their experience.

It was a discussion between the players and coaches that prompted the team’s choice of the Spanish tournament. Dalziel said, “When we initially spoke to the players, they had requested the club coaches to find a tournament in Barcelona. This tournament suited our needs and timings during the October holidays in 2016.” Having spoken to other Scottish teams who had attended the tournament previously, JBM coaches were encouraged by their recommendations of the Trofeo Malgratense.

JBM arrived in Spain the evening before the tournament began, staying in Santa Susanna, a small town around an hour’s drive away from Barcelona. As part of the opening ceremony, all of the participating teams marched through the local town of San Vicenc de Montat to the stadium which hosts the home games of C.F Sanvincenti. Dalziel said, “The local residents clapped and applauded for all the teams. As the teams entered the stadium, they were welcomed with tremendous applause from all the supporting fans.” The opening ceremony also proved to be a particularly special moment for JBM captain, Adam Hughes, who gave a speech on togetherness and fair play during the ceremony.

The Cumbernauld-based side got there tournament started against Spanish side, Selección Maresme. The Scottish team were quick to throw down the gauntlet, coming away with a comfortable 9-1 win. Their next match saw them come up against German side, JFV Dietkirchen/Offh, who Dalziel described as ‘tournament favourites’. The game was closely contested by both teams but it was the German team who came away with a 1-0 win.

To progress to the final, wins were now essential for JBM. Their next match saw them come up against another German team, SV RW Walldorf, with the Scottish side claiming a 2-0 win. They continued their winning form into their last fixture in difficult conditions. In blazing heat, JBM came away with another 2-0 win against Danish side, Tune IF, to qualify for the final.

JBM and tournament favourite, JFV, were to meet again in the final. Both teams were applauded by the Danish side and the other German team, as well as the supporters of each side. Both teams played well in a fixture just as competitive as their earlier meeting but this time, JBM were the victors with a 2-0 win, with Dalziel hailing his team as ‘The Barcelona Lions’.

This is some feat for a team that were discounted by other teams in their league two seasons ago. Dalziel said, “JBM were a team written off two years [ago] by most local Cumbernauld teams after their rebirth in December 2014.” This made their achievement all the greater, making history as the first Scottish team to win the tournament in its thirty-one years.

Dalziel was full of praise for the tournament and would recommend it to other clubs. He said, “The tournament was immense, very well run and is something that will be remembered for a long time by this young team. The planning took almost a year, and the support from parents and all associated with the club was tremendous.” This support was key to the organisation of the trip, with numerous fundraisers including a winter tournament, race nights, sponsored walks and bag packing being well supported by all those involved.

JBM, who are based in Cumbernauld but features players from Airdrie, Kirkintilloch, Lenzie, Lennoxtown and Cumbernauld, have not got off to the start they were hoping for this season. Having finished as runners up in the B-league of the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Youth League last season, the club are still finding their feet in the first division. However Dalziel is confident that his side’s European success is a turning point in their season. He said, “This tournament has now raised the confidence of the boys and hopefully will allow us to re kick start our season once again, and push the boys forward to raise their position in the league and also the profile of the club.”

Everyone at YFS congratulates Jim Baxter Memorial U17’s on their achievement in Europe, and wishes them all the best for this season.

Sunday, 16 October 2016 17:19

Bellshill bounce back to defeat Rangers

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Bellshill were back to there usual selves today. After reading the riot act after last weeks game and back to hard graft in training, it was pleasing to see a great reaction from the team.
 
Bellshill came bursting out from the blocks, taking an early 2 goal lead within 10 mins.
 
A corner from Ryan McGrath which seen a near post run made by Connor Phairs who headed in the opener. Bellshill quickly went 2 up, a Ryan McGrath intelligent quick free kick seen John McFall bomb down the right wing. His cross deflected back out to Ryan McGrath where he fired in a cracking 25yard low shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
 
Rangers replied back with a goal, with a shot fired into the near post.
 
Bellshill then went 3-1 up, another perfectly cross corner from Ryan McGrath was this time met by Christy Lawlor who powered in the 3rd goal.
 
Half Time: Bellshill Athletic 3-1 Rangers SABC
 
Bellshill kept fighting on in the 2nd half. A ball cleared up the park seen Connor Phairs pick the ball up and drive over to the left hand side, he wiped in a cracking cross for Dean Cornes who found space at the back post to volley in a shot from 10 yards out, into the roof of the Rangers net.
 
Rangers grabbed a second, after a great movement from the visitors.
 
Both teams played really good football, both passionate and looking for the win, with plenty of competitive tackles. Both created chances near the end but Bellshill held out to grab the 3 points.
 
Overall a great performance from Bellshill and shows that not only can we compete in this very tough competitive league this season but we can pick up hard fought wins.
 
The hosts will be hoping this win can kick start our league campaign.
 
Full Time: Bellshill Athletic 4-2 Rangers SABC
 
Bellshill MOTM - Centre half Antony Taylor, who put in some quality tackles.
 
 
 
 
Friday, 14 October 2016 16:43

Stage set for Kieran McDade Memorial Match

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Kieran McDade was a 13 year-old schoolboy who played football for Dunbeth Football Club and collapsed on 18th August, whilst taking part in a club training session. He very sadly passed away in hospital the following morning and is dearly missed by everyone who knew him. 
 
Tributes came in from youth clubs around the country during the weekend that followed, with teams the length and breadth of Scotland organising their own way to pay their respects. He was a young Celtic fan and as a mark of respect the Hoops’ fans were planning to show their respect by doing a round of applause on the 13th minute. Striker Leigh Griffiths went one better by scoring on the 13th minute before celebrating with a Celtic top saying 'Kieran 13' on the back. 
 
Tomorrow (Saturday 15th October) will see a tribute match take place in Kieran’s honour, with a unique twist. Kieran’s team – Dunbeth – will take on a squad comprising of one player from each of their league opponents in the Forth Valley FDA (FVFDA). It’s promises to be a fantastic show of unity, as the teams who generally do battle on the football field come together as one. 
 
The match takes place at Albion Rovers FC's ground in Coatbridge. Kick-off is at 6pm with the price for adults at £5 and for children it is a donation. The selected players for FVFDA are:
Owen Mitchell (Cumbernauld Colts) 
Bailey Hutchinson (Sauchie Juniors) 
Robin Turnball (Dunblane SC ) 
James Carter (Dunblane SC) 
Logan Potter (Cowie United) 
Kieran Stewart (Westfield colts) 
Andrew Donnelly (Westfield Colts) 
Grant Hutchinson (Stirling Albion JA) 
Max McDougall (Strathendrick) 
Jon Bell (Strathendrick) 
Joshua Blyth (Stenhousemuir FC) 
Martin Strain (Falkirk CFC) 
Daniel Miller (Bonnybridge YFC) 
Justin McDade (Bonnybridge YFC) 
Thomas Arbukle (Falkirk navy blue)
Josh McClenagham (Milton) 
Team Manager: Davy Reynolds
 
The pre-match entertainment will come from Dance City, a dance group featuring Kieran's niece.; kick off will be taken by Kieran's sister Amy; and the half-time interval will showcase a challenge match between Dunbeth and Albion Rovers' 2010 squads.
 
There will be a minute’s silence to reflect on Kieran’s life, which was taken away from him far too early. His family described him as a 'special boy' and was loved by those who knew him. In a heroic act, Kieran also donated his organs – saving the lives of two other young people.
 
Whether you knew him personally or not, try your very best to make it down to Albion Rovers on Saturday. If you can’t make it and would like to donate to Kieran’s fund, click here.

 
Fixture: Bellshill Athletic v Lenzie YC U16
Competition: CK&DYL - League Cup Group Stage
Date: 20th August 2016
 
It was a great occasion for the new Bellshill Athletic 2001's competitive debut today. Starting off in our new home park, of which, the pitch was in great condition. The anticipation was growing as we looked to start our new era with a win after transferring the team over from Cleland BC 2001's.
 
We were up against the B League champions from last season. We knew they would be a typical Glasgow side, who would be physical & fight for every ball as if they wore there heart on there sleeve.
 
Sadly Bellshill started off slowly, maybe the occasion got them or a couple still in summer holiday mode. We made a couple of mistakes & fair play to Lenzie they took advantage & finished there chances to find themselves 2 up in 17mins.
 
Bellshill then decided to kick into gear and slowly begin to make an impact in the game. It was a pretty much level game until just before half time, when Lewis Allan made a great run to the back post where he found himself free to control & convert a good cross from David Fagan.
 
HT: Bellshill Athletic1-2 Lenzie YC
 
Subs were made at half time for Bellshill, as we looked to change things up for a more impact on the game. We noticed a few tactics we felt we could exploit our opponents with the right personnel.
 
Second half was much better from Bellshill, dominating virtually from kick off. It wasn't long until Bellshill made there mark on the game. 
 
Great passing n movement, from the Bellshill midfield which seen a perfectly timing through ball from Rory Wallace, into Connor Phairs path which the big chap controlled & fired into the back of the net to level things up.
 
Bellshill were creating plenty of chance but just couldn't finish them off, with even 1 chance being cleared off the line. Bellshill final grabbed their 3rd when Connor Phairs made a great solo run, skilfully passing 3 players before firing in a powerful shot into the net which proved to be the winner.
 
Which was good to see Bellshill start the season off with a win.
 
There was also a good solid performance from Greg Taylor on the left hand side in the 2nd half.
 
FT: Bellshill Athletic 3-2 Lenzie YC
 
 
Wednesday, 20 July 2016 15:11

Mossend FC going the distance to help others

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Education and football both go a long way to helping young people grow into adults. Whilst some people may view the technical side of the game as being the most important aspect of the game; Mossend 2003s coach Russell Sanderson, who also acts as the club’s community officer, feels that education and nurturing young players should always be the first priority;

“I think it’s about commitment, about giving something back. I want to give something back, I felt the time was right, my son is 12 now. The way society is now, t’s about nurturing and educating young kids into becoming adults.” Sanderson told Youth Football Scotland.

Sanderson’s involvement with the community and education of player’s stretches back to several years ago, during a match, when one of his player’s was caught up in a racial incident, it left the coach determined to make a difference in the attitude of young players; “It was dealt with at the time, It left a bad taste in my mouth, I didn’t like how it was handled. So one of my friends is the governing director at Kilmarnock, I spoke to him and he said to contact The Red Card. So I did that and they brought the kids to out their education workshop at the Matt Busby centre”, he said.

“We had representatives from Police Scotland, Scotland YMCA and pulled a lot of community people in. I think we've been involved in delivery to about 800 kids and young adults now, Red Card got a grant from Scottish government to do adult delivery, so that will be something different. That’s something I’m interested in doing.”

Sanderson is keen not to limit his influence to just the local community, as he looks to broaden his horizons and make a greater impact abroad; “We have a thing called Mossend Kits for Kids, what we do is we give all the old kits and send them abroad, so it’s not all about educating and nurturing kids in this country. It’s about going elsewhere, and I think it’s the next step. These kids have nothing, they probably don’t have a football and just have a bag wrapped up with rags. We’re doing what we can to help.”

As well as that, the club have set up another initiative called the Well Foundation. With the aim of providing clean drinking water to less fortunate locations, Mossend have already purchased two wells in Pakistan so far, and look to purchase more in the future.

Sanderson finished with an important message, to help the less fortunate: “Our kids are fine, they’re playing football and feeling happy and loving it. But these kids have nothing, so why not give them something?”

How often does a team win a whopping total of four trophies in a single season, then come inches away from winning the whole lot? Not to mention the fact that Rossvale Madrid didn’t lose nor draw an entire game over the course of the league season? It sounds borderline ridiculous, doesn’t it?

Rossvale did the ridiculous this season. 16 league games and 78 goals after the first ball was kicked, the Bishopbriggs side claimed the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth league title, without a single point dropped. Coach Brian Coyle told Youth Football Scotland that this was down to his side’s constant ‘will to win’, as well as pointing out the ‘togetherness’ within the squad, which kept them on the same page all season and helped them to perform to such consistent levels.

Although Rossvale won a staggering five pieces of silverware, they could have easily completed a clean sweep of domestic trophies, falling away at the semi-final stage in both the League Cup and Scottish Cup, as well as coming runners-up in the Prestatyn Tournament, a feeling that they didn’t experience too often this season.

To add to their dominant league campaign, Rossvale picked up a host of cups; The Killwinning Tournament, Knockout Cup, Jamie Morton Memorial Cup and the Central Region cup all followed, the latter they won 4-2 thanks to an inspired performance from Matthew Laing, who bagged all four goals after starting the game from the bench.

Laing, who found the back of the net on 41 occasions this season, was instrumental along with a host of players, who without them, the trophy haul of 2015/16 may not have been possible.

Fraser Dawson was one of his coach’s picks of the season, as he helped himself to 41 in all competitions throughout the campaign, sharing the same tally as Laing. Dawson is clearly a big-game player himself, contributing seven goals in three semi-finals and one in final, as well grabbing a handful of assists.

It puts the team’s season into perspective when you consider that neither of these players even picked up the top goalscorer award. That honour was earned by Reece Hamilton, who topped the scoring charts with 53 goals in all competitions, and received the joint Player’s Player of the Year along with Kyle gold and Marcus Sampson.

Of course, a great, title-winning side is never successful without a strong defensive spine, and goalkeeper Andrew Coyle provided that solidarity throughout the season, keeping 15 clean sheets and letting the boys upfront do their job effectively.

The team’s coach revealed that he had a good feeling about his side heading into the start of the campaign. He said: “Due to the calibre of players that were brought in to the club at the beginning of the season and the two additions during the season, it was felt by coaches that we had a good chance of winning a few cups. We did just that.”

There can be only one target for the side heading into next season, win all eight competitions next time!

Congratulations to Rossvale Madrid Under 15s, who claimed the following trophies:

  • Kilwinning Tournament
  • CKDYL Knockout Cup
  • Janice Morton Memorial Cup
  • SYFA Central Region Cup
  • CKDYL Division A

 

If you fancy a game of football to warm you up for the Champions League final then look no further. This Saturday 28th May St Ambrose High School, in Coatbridge, plays host to a charity match organised by Stephen Patterson, and his friends and family. The kick off will be at 1pm, with an entry fee of £3, and a raffle and cake stand will also be available (no one can say ‘no’ to some cake).
 
“It started last year when I wanted to get a few boys I had gone to school with back together for a game of football and thought why not do it for charity,” Patterson said on the charity match organisation.
 
“Last year the match was played at Bannerman in aid of MacMillan Cancer. I chose this charity, as I lost my mum to cancer, and raising money for this cause would help those suffering today.
 
“This year the charity I chose was Glasgow Children’s Hospital. Again I chose this as my brother was killed in a car accident. Although he was not in this hospital I want to raise money to ensure no child’s life is cut short.” 
 
After a successful first year Patterson has pulled out all the stops this time around. Not only is there a lot more on offer but he has also enlisted the help of some high profile individuals.
 
“This year’s game should be bigger than last year’s as there are more prizes to be won and the organisation of the day has been far better.
 
“As well as some of the same companies, friends and family helping with prizes last year, I’ve also had the help of some local footballers. Lawrence Shankland, Dominic Thomas and Liam Burt have all organised signed jerseys from their respective clubs, Rangers, Aberdeen, Motherwell and St Mirren.”
 
The game is sure to be a special occasion, and will have its fair share of fun, considering the teams are made up of close friends and family. There are few better ways to spend a Saturday afternoon and people going along would be contributing to a commendable and worthy cause.
 
As a result I would encourage as many as possible to head down to St Ambrose High School and support the charity match. A number of children will be better off because of it and spectators will get to enjoy an entertaining game as well as some lovely cake!
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