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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.

 

 
Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos 16/17 &emdash;
 
Syngenta Juveniles U16s finished their season playing 44 matches, with 2 defeats, 2 draws and 40 wins, which paved the way to an unbeaten league campaign and the lifting of the trophy. They secured back to back trebles with a tournament win in Blackpool also at Easter, and their mantra has been to play football the right way throughout, which has been at the heart of their success.
 
However the season will also be remembered for a horror double leg break to influential defensive midfielder Craig Paton who endured 30 days in hospital, having seven operations and plastic surgery.
 
“Up until that moment Craig had been a real anchor for us and was leading our MoM awards competion. It was an innocuous challenge but the bravery and courage that young man has shown has been incredible. As a coach you don’t expect to have to deal with that situation and along with a couple of other family bereavements in our squad for our players, it was a difficult January and February. The support for Craig however from within youth football and indeed the professional game has been unreal and we sincerely hope we can get him back on a pitch in 2018 at some stage” added Buglass. Starting off the 2016/17 season and setting new targets was always going to be difficult for Syngenta Juveniles U16s after winning the treble in 2015/16, however with new faces added the team were determined to give it their best.
 
A decent run the Scottish Cup and Regional Cup were very much the focus however a fourth round meeting with eventual winners Tynecastle put paid to that with a 4-1 home defeat in December.
 
“We were determined to show up as well as we could against Tynecastle, a side we respected. We planned accordingly for it however on reflection we probably over prepared and sacrificed our own style of play and game at home and whilst we were in the game at 1-0 down at HT, we didn’t go on second half and push them harder. That was our one real disappointment over the season, something that I’ve discussed with their coach John Daly” reflected coach Dave Buglass.
 
However from that point on a solid run of performances and victories saw the Grangemouth side advance to the final of the Central Region Cup final with victories over Rangers SABC, Drumsagaard and Bellshill Athletic along the way culminating in a deserved 5-1 win in the final at Ochilview over Oban Saints. On top of that the Dyes progressed to their two domestic cup finals in the Forth Valley and made it a treble header with Armadale for the league championship also.
 
“We played Armadale twice early in the season after they moved to Forth Valley and they were a very well drilled, organised and fit side. They ran us close but we came out on top in both games with narrow victories, so we knew at the business end of the season we’d likely be battling with them again for the silverware. A draw at Armadale gave us the advantage we needed in the league and we completed the league championship in style at Stenhousemuir. We then went head to head in two cup finals at the Falkirk Stadium and all credit to them where they took the Donnie McColl Cup 2-1, but we got our revenge the week after with a comprehensive and much improved 4-1 victory in the League Cup” said Buglass.
 
Plans for 2017/18 are already underway and the team will take on a new challenge by joining the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth U17s league with a few new additions already lined up.
 
Youth Football Scotland: Website Photos 16/17 &emdash;
(Craig Paton, photo courtesy of Dave Buglass)
Wednesday, 28 June 2017 12:07

Campsie Black Watch fold after 74 years at the top

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It’s always a sad day when a football team decides it can no longer continue. Many youth players will have felt that very pain, usually confirmed to them after a period of uncertainty by a dejected and wistful coach. It’s even more depressing when a whole club folds, whether in the youth ranks or at any level of the senior game. Amateur or professional, all those connected with the club feel it, from the players on the park to the parents and supporters on the sideline, all the way up to the boardroom where it perhaps hits the hardest, and it hurts.
 
You can only imagine then the agony and regret felt by the people behind Campsie Black Watch, one of the most revered names in youth football for over 70 years. The East Dunbartonshire side held – or rather, still hold – the record for the most youth Scottish Cup wins with 11, their most recent victory coming in 2014.
 
The club confirmed the news in an email to Central Scottish Amateur Football League, saying they will not be competing in the upcoming league season due to "circumstances outwith the club's control".
 
President Gerry Marley, who has been involved with Campsie Black Watch for over 60 years, said the club folding was down to a lack of dedication from the players.
The 85-year-old, in an interview with STV, said: “Over the years we have had some great successes unequalled anywhere else in the country but recently the whole thing has just collapsed round about us.
 
“It was becoming a struggle to get 11 players on the park for games.
 
“I've had 64 great years at the club since joining as a coach in 1953 and taking control three years later but now it feels like the end of era.”
 
The Lennoxtown club, named after the famous Scottish regiment, contested their first youth Scottish Cup final in front of 10,000 spectators in 1947 at Edinburgh’s Easter Road, and their last win came at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium. Campsie were a dominant force at the Under 21s age group and won their most recent league title in 2012 but last season, due to a player shortage, they merged with amateur outfit Waterside FC and were forced to pull out of the 21s setup altogether.
 
Campsie Black Watch (Under 21s): Honours

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.
 
Milton Rovers finished at the top of the table after a brilliant, competitive season in the LFDA Section A League. They finished on 43 points after only suffering 3 losses during the season. Closely following was Blantrye SAC on 41 points, an intense season throughout which was brought down to the wire. We caught up with the coach of Milton Rovers, Joe McCallum, to find out how they did it.
 
After working hard through the whole season, facing trials and tribulations, nothing comes close to the feeling of winning it all. Joe said this about his teams feelings towards the league win. "We are absolutely over the moon, what an amazing end to a brilliant season. All the boys and coaches couldn't be happier." They had a tough season, and didn't dominate the league, which made it all the better for everyone involved. Each game required hard work and dedication to the game and each victory was fought hard. 
 
After a spectacular season, the favourite moment for Joe came naturally when asked. He commented, "It really has to be the final game of the season, the league decider against Blantyre, we only needed a draw to clinch the title and Blantyre needed a win against us. We went two goals down and it was not looking good. The boys showed real character and dig to fight back and make the game all square at 2-2. The emotional rollercoaster of this game was off the scale and to win the league on the last game of the season was just the best feeling in the world." The feeling of hard work paying off cannot be understated and it must have been a relief for everyone involved in the team when Milton pulled off the equaliser and league winning goal.
 
Despite a great season, the boys still had challenges they had to fight through in order to finish on top. Joe said this about their biggest challenges. "Picking the boys up from a heavy defeat in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup to the eventual cup winners, Barrhead. At halftime we were 2-1 down and felt we could win the game in the 2nd half, however, we lost a couple of players at the start of the 2nd half and Barrhead took full advantage. Giving us our heaviest defeat to date. We then lost the following week to Rossvale in the quarter final of the regional cup. We experienced playing against 12 men for the first time that day. We lost the game 3-1 but that scoreline completely flattered Rossvale. After getting so far in both cups and losing both games the way we did, it was hard to take. Easily the biggest challenge was picking the boys back up for the rest of the season. I think winning our next league game was the key to winning the league. If we had lost that after two defeats, I don't think we would have finished with two trophies." Being able to give your team confidence and motivate them to play at their highest level, even after suffering defeats is a hard task to accomplish. Heads will be hanging and the atmosphere will be poor, but to fill them with confidence makes all the difference. 
 
Finding a reason for your teams success can be difficult, there can be a lot of reasons why a team succeeds. Joe, was tasked with the difficult job of picking the biggest cause for his teams victories. He commented, "The core of this team have been together since they were five years old and there is a very strong bond between the boys. We also have a strong coaching team and this along with a great bunch of boys have been the keys to our success. We also have very supportive parents behind each child too." Having a good supporting cast behind the players can make a huge difference in how they perform on the pitch. Having people that believe in them and encourage them to be the best can propel them to different levels of football.
 
After a successful season, the sky's the limit for Joe and Milton Rovers. He said this about his plans for the future, "We are hoping to build on this year's success and hopefully go further in the Scottish and Regional cups." Improving on the squad and pushing themselves to go further in competitions is a huge task to undertake but Milton Rovers feel like they can handle it.
 
Congratulations to Milton Rovers and we wish them luck for their future seasons. 
 
 
Blantyre SAC Black finished comfortably at the top of the U15s Section A table finishing on 60 points after an astonishing undefeated season. They finished on 20 wins, with 0 draws or losses. What an achievement. We were lucky enough to speak to the coach, Stephen Owens, to find out what went right for them this season. 
 
Winning the league is an achievement that can't be understated, and to win it undefeated is a very rare accomplishment. Stephen said, "We are absolutely delighted to be crowned league champions, at the start of the season that's the one we all aim to win. Especially to win it in the manner we have is tremendous, we won every league game whilst playing very good football." They definitely showed the league what they were made of, and they were the team to beat this season but it just couldn't happen. 
 
Stephen struggled to pick a favourite moment from this excellent season from Blantyre, he said this. "There have been too many good moments to single one out. Our 2-0 win in the SC quarter-final against East Kilbride, beating the previous years champions was a brilliant experience for the lads. But to go to Mill Utd and win 6-0 to secure the league is probably tops for me, they were our barometer at the start of the season." Mill Utd finished second in the league with 47 points, so they were the closest competition for the dominant Blantyre. 
 
Despite an undefeated season, Blantyre still had some struggles and challenges throughout. Stephen said, "Our biggest challenge was getting the boys to believe that they were a match for anyone and to make them believe they could overcome Mill Utd and win the league. They then went on to win both league games against them 6-0 and 6-2. We think they have the belief and confidence now." Making sure that your team is confident and are able to overcome the anxious and nervous feelings before a big game can make all the difference. 
 
The reason for the teams success is an important one in any team and Blantyre have made it work. Stephen commented, "The biggest reason for our success is our togetherness within the squad. We are very careful on the type of boys we bring in, these boys all train hard and want to learn, and most importantly be good team-mates. A good recipe in my opinion." The team chemistry is a strong factor in the success of any team and making it work can involve finding the right personalities in the team that work together and can change the way a team works entirely. 
 
After an undefeated league win, you can't get much better than that but Stephen has plans for the future. He said, "We are now looking to kick on and have a team play the way we want them to. The boys have had a lot of congratulations this year and deservedly so for the way they played fabulous football this season."  If the boys can remain at this level or continue to improve, they surely have a good future in football.
 
Stephen had some final comments to add, he said, "I would like to thank certain people at our Academy, Ross, Scott, John and the boys in the squad for their commitment and effort to make it a great season. I would also like to thank Jimmy Whelan our chairman, Kevin O' Neil the academy head and Linda Raddoch the academy secretary. Without these people, this season wouldn't have been possible as the backing they give us is huge in trying to do things properly as an academy." 
 
We wish Blantyre SAC Black good luck in their future season's and hope they continue to shock and surprise. 
 
EDFC had a stunning season, ending top of the table with 52 points after only losing two games all season. It was a closer league than many, with Stonehouse Boys Club finishing only one point behind EDFC. We got the chance to catch up with the coach of EDFC, John McVey, to find out what went right for the squad. 
 
Winning the league is one of the biggest achievements in a footballing career. The reactions from the boys at EDFC after the final whistle blew proves just how much it means to them. John said, "The boys were absolutely delighted. It was a tense run with us knowing that we had to win our last four games to clinch the league. Stonehouse had an excellent season and pushed us all the way. It made for a dramatic finale and the delight from the boys was matched by the relief for the coaches and parents." Working hard towards a league win can be hard work for everyone involved in the team and for it all to pay off, it can take a huge weight off the shoulders. The midfielder from EDFC, Chris Callaghan also had some comments about the final game of the season, he said this. "Winning the league was a great reward for all the hard work put in by the whole squad throughout the season. It was a brilliant feeling when we clinched the title. We were all ecstatic. 
 
It can often be hard to choose the biggest reason for a team's success. There can often be a lot of reasons that a team does well in the league. John said this about the driving force behind his teams victories. "I think the biggest reason was our team spirit. We suffered a couple of setbacks during the season, but we have a fantastic group of boys who stick together and encourage each other." Having a great team chemistry is a huge bonus for a team, as a team that work well together are a strong unit and can be hard to beat. 
 
Picking a favourite moment of the season can be a hard job for any coach, and John is no different. He was tasked with the difficult job of doing just that. He commented this, "A real key moment for us was a very early league game away to JBM. We were 4-3 down with three minutes left to play and scored two goals to clinch a very dramatic, late victory. At the time we had no idea just how significant that result would turn out to be. Even a draw in this game would have resulted in us losing the league and with those few minutes left to play, a draw looked about the best we could achieve. Again, the boys' team spirit carried them home." Staying calm and collected under pressure can be a real strength for a team and like EDFC, can help you win an important match. 
 
EDFC had a really great season all around, John said this about the season as a whole. "We had a really memorable season. We reached the quarter finals of the Regional Cup, beating two A league teams on our run. We were runners up in the Divisional Cup and also in the East Dunbartonshire Festival." Being in the C league and knocking two A league teams out of the Regional Cup is a great achievement, coming in as underdogs and proving everyone wrong is a great feeling.
 
Despite the memorable season, they still had challenges to face and John said this about their biggest challenges. "A really big challenge came for us with two league games remaining. Our goalkeeper broke his foot during hurdles at school and the next day our captain tore his ankle ligaments. We therefore lined up for our final two games with two players sitting at the side of the pitch with their crutches propped up beside them. It meant a bit of a reshuffle with our midfielder, Adam Mitchell taking over in goals and being handed the captaincy. Adam is an excellent rugby player and his hadling skills were there for all to see." Taking the leadership role and playing a position unfamiliar to you is a huge task and all props go to Adam Mitchell in being confident and strong in goals. 
 
John had some final comments to add, he said this. "I think I can speak for all of our coaches and players when I say that we were lucky to be part of a really well run league with great referees, excellent teams and some exceptionally sporting and talented opponents. Our penultimate game against Seafar was a real end to end affair. We were 2-0 down after 15 minutes, but recovered to win 6-3. As we shook hands at the end, one of the Seafar boys, who had an excellent game, took the time to say well done and offer us best wishes for our final game. This, for me epitomised the sporting nature of many of the boys who participated in the league this season. Good luck to everyone for next season."
 
Some great words from John, and we wish EDFC and everyone involved good luck next season and hope they continue to succeed.
 
 
 
Thursday, 13 April 2017 11:03

Mossend Easter Festival 2017 - Photo requests

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YFS will be in attendance at Saturday's Mossend Easter Festival, to provide photo and video coverage for the seventh successive season. When it comes to photography, generally our mission is to get a team photo of each team, individual shot of each player and a selection of action shots. However, with this due to be the largest Mossend Easter Festival yet, we'll be changing things slightly to prioritise any individual who definitely wants their photo taken, to make sure that happens.
 
If your team would like its photo taken or an individual photo would like to have their photo taken, please fill out the short form below. Everyone who fills out the form will be offered a special discounted rate on photo purchases, which includes two boarded frame 8x6 prints - the team photo and their individual photo - for just £10. However, there's no obligation to buy. Just take a look at the photos when they are published and take advantage of the offer if you like. 

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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
 
 
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