Central Region (511)
Falkirk Football Community Foundation Blue clinched a hotly contested Central Scotland Under 14 League 2 with a thrilling 5-4 win over second place Hamilton Accies Boys Club, who finished just 1 point behind. We got a chance to speak with head coach Alan Findlay, to find out about their excellent season.
Alan’s reaction was this: “At the end it was as much relief as it was celebration as we had a difficult run in with teams who always provide tough opposition.”
A great season by Falkirk FCF Blue had many highs, and Alan Findlay’s favourite moment was winning the league. He commented that “this was our first real competitive win and the result showed the boys they were capable of winning something. It also marked the first time a team within the Falkirk Community Football Foundation had won a trophy.” This is brilliant for the team and important to the club as a whole. Their league victory then inspired them to go on and win the Central League Cup as well.
He says that the reason for their success was because they are “a good squad who all work hard and have good technical ability. They all get on with each other and are very driven when it comes to their football.” Alan also credited coaches Stewart Hoggan and Alistair MacDonald, who work with the boys on their technical skills and fitness respectively, who have been very important to the team’s behind-the-scenes work which has lead to their fine season.
Aside from winning the League, Falkirk FCF Blue also tasted success when they won The Central League Cup. After going 3-0 up in the final against Cumberland Colts – the winners of the Central Scotland League Division 1 - Alan’s team found themselves at 3-3, with the momentum swaying towards Cumberland. However Falkirk FCF Blue managed to steady the game and win on penalties, showing mental strength from this young team.
Alan complimented the boys for digging deep when they were plagued by injuries and had a fixture congestion in May. He also thought that “the biggest challenge was probably trying to keep the boys focused especially when we found ourselves in the position where winning the league was a possibility.”
Alan also commented that “The boys should be extremely proud of themselves for their achievement.” He also thanked the parents for “their support and being there week in week out supporting the team, and helping in making this a successful season.”
Congratulations to Falkirk FCF Blue on their successful year and good luck for future seasons.
Scottish Cup Winners - :
1955, 1964, 1972, 1974, 1977, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1991, 2013, 2014.
Lady Darling Cup Winners -:
1959, 1968, 1976, 1979, 2004.
West Of Scotland Winners -:
1983, 1988, 1990, 1994.
D.V. Labor International Tournament (Holland) -:
1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1993.
League Champions -:
1952, 1953, 1954, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1994, 2006, 2012.
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.
A hard fought victory and an enthralling match to watch from the sidelines. Well done to both sets of players for giving their all.
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.