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Wednesday, 14 October 2015 12:06

Jerviston 2002's the latest to book up for Oslo

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Within youth football, there are few tournaments which can boast of having more than 1,600 teams taking part. However, this is the case for the Norway Cup, the world's biggest international youth soccer tournament.
 
Teams travel from all over the world to compete at this fantastic event, renowned for its great organization, which is held in Oslo, Noway.
 
In 2016 the tournament will be 43 years old, and the latest team heading to Oslo next summer is Jerviston 2002's.
 
Jerviston coach Derek McDonald spoke to YFS to tell us about why he has chosen to take his team to Norway and what he expects from the tournament itself.
 
"We have previously visited Holland on two occasions to play local teams in both organised tournaments and friendly matches. These trips have been vital in building a strong bond between the entire group of players, coaches and parents, and we see our participation in the Norway Cup as an extension of the development."
 
McDonald also feels that being able to represent Scotland in Norway will be a real honour. "Being given the chance to compete against teams from all over the globe, from Mexico to China, and representing Scotland whilst doing so will be a real privilege".
 
The Norway Cup will also be filmed by Norwegian TV, but Derek McDonald doesn't see the "15 minutes of fame" as the main purpose of the trip. "To be honest, we've not really focussed on this with the players. We are more focussed on the development and team building. It would be nice though nonetheless."
 
Jerviston weren't ones for hanging around when the possibilty of going to Oslo in 2016 opened up. "Having followed Youth Football Scotland's coverage of Lewis United 2003's in the tournament last year it was on our radar for next year but we hadn't made any real plans to consider participation until we heard about the possibility from YFS". McDonald also added "Once we were aware of the opportunity we moved quickly to consult the players and their parents to assess the interest, and now we are raring to go".
 
The huge range of facilities on offer to clubs participating in the Norway cup is second to none, and it didn't take much to convince everybody at Jerviston 2002's that Oslo is the place to be in the summer of 2016. "The facilities look spectacular and we cannot wait to get to Oslo to enjoy them."
 
Everyone at YFS wishes Jerviston 2002's a very enjoyable trip to Oslo and every success in their participaction in the Norway Cup 2016
Monday, 12 October 2015 15:32

Mossend FC link up with Well Foundation

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Mossend FC in partnership with Well Foundation aim to raise money to build wells, install hand pumps and establish health and sanitation programs to provide accessible clean water to this stricken region of the world.
 
As advised in June regarding the construction of two wells that Mossend FC raised money for, Mossend FC are delighted to update that these wells have been built and are currently in use by villages in this badly hit region of Pakistan.
 
With interaction with the Well Foundation, Mossend FC undertook a series of fundraising events to raise money with the sole aim of providing clean, safe drinking water. This has now happened and the club will continue to work closely with the Well foundation to continue to support new and existing initiatives and projects.
 
Russell Sanderson, Club Publicity & Development Secretary at Mossend FC said:
“Mossend FC know that there are countries in the world that are living in abject poverty with no access to fresh, clean water. When we spoke to the Well Foundation we wanted to try and do what we could to help, when we set out our aim to build a well and have it named after Mossend FC the boys from all our 10 age groups were excited to get involved".
 
This is brilliant and a huge opportunity and incentive for all at our club to get involved with something that is so vividly worthwhile – the pictures back this up. Look at the faces of the people and then tell me how you could not want be involved
 
The club see this as another long term initiative with the Well Foundation and the club is proud that there will be wells in Pakistan named after Mossend FC, we at Mossend FC look forward to continuous joint working with the Well Foundation”
 
The Well Foundation - was founded in July 2008, our charity number SC040105 was registered in January 2009.
 
Well Foundation Mission Statement:
 
Why Water?
 
- The founding members of the charity researched and consulted other charity organisations as to what we could help provide to those in need. The result was the formation of the 'the Well Foundation', whose primary objective is the provision of clean safe drinking water to those people in developing countries around the globe.
 
- For those of us living in the developed world we take for granted one of lives most basic yet valuable commodities clean safe drinking water. We drink, cook, clean and bathe with it. Yet over a billion people around the world do not have access to clean drinking water. The lack of clean water has a detrimental impact on the daily life of almost 1 in 6 of us in the world. Lack of clean water immensely affects people’s health and quality of life.
 
- Polluted water is the world's largest killer of children under five. The Well Foundation will primarily aim to raise money to develop sources of clean water (wells), install hand pumps, establish health and sanitation programme's to provide accessible clean water to the less fortunate regions of the world.
 
 
 

 
Fixture: Gartcairn 99 v Seafar Villa Blue U17
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL U17 Division 2 
Date: 4th October 2015
 
Seafar were up against a very much evenly matched team in Gartcairn in what was our second league match of the season. Not much separated the two teams throughout the whole game.

Before the start of the game, the Seafar management had to reshuffle as centre half Hayden was unwell in the morning and therefore was forced to take a seat on the bench.
 
The game seemed to flow end to end although Gartcairn looked to have more cohesion in midfield with their passing finding the feet of the front two. Whereas a lot of balls from Seafar to the front two seemed to turn into long balls from midfield which constantly were overhit.

This game was beginning to kick into life well into the first half as there were quite a few challenges flying in, and the referee had to speak to the Gartcairn management and then the Seafar management on different incidents.
 
Two chances in the first half, both fell to striker Michael. He lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper, and the pair collided, but Michael but came off worse of the two. The ball however was trickling towards the goal but the covering defender managed to clear the ball off the line. Michael recovered from the clash with the keeper and had another chance a few minutes later, but the keeper came out on top with a good save to keep the scores locked a 0-0.

Just before half time, Seafar scored to make it 1-0 and we would say, Seafar just edged it. Just.
 
Half Time: Gartcairn 99 0-1 Seafar Villa Blue
 
In the second half there was good flow from Seafar but Gartcairn looked more determined and hungry to win every ball. Gartcairn were given a free kick 10 yards from the penalty area, which most players clearly didn't agree with. The free kick was powerfully hit and our keeper was off his line slightly but the shot was a screamer and hit the underside of the crossbar and in. Great goal.
 
Seafar had to bite the bullet and finally we seen the hunger from them that was missing earlier on in the game. Winning tackles and creating chances from midfield, and when Gartcairn would break away on the counter attack we comfortably dealt with it. Seafar looked much more relaxed and comfortable in possession, and there was more and more chances being created.
 
The goal didn't take long to arrive for Seafar after growing pressure. A bit of a melee at the Gartcairn goal left Scott to coolly slot the ball in to the net when all the fans thought he had missed it. 2-1 Seafar with not much time to go.
 
With 5 minutes to go, Scott received the ball o the right wing, comfortably beat the defender for pace, crossed to Michael who finished off a superb move to give Seafar some breating space.

Seafar ended up deserving 3-1 winners which we are sure the Gartcairn Staff would agree. Gartcairn are a solid good football team, who will take points off of all challengers we are sure.
 
Full Time: Gartcairn 99 1-3 Seafar Villa Blue
 
 
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 12:31

Lanarkshire FDA Round Up - October 3/4th

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As usual we’ll start with the 19’s and Dalziel BC who jumped ahead of Blantyre BC into fourth place when they sneaked a 1-0 win against them at the weekend. East End Thistle were on the wrong side of a 1-9 hammering to visitors Bellshill Athletic, who maintained second place behind Wolves BC. EK Hotspur had a good 7-1 win against Aston Villa, and third placed Moorlands won 1-7 away from home against EKFC Blue. Their colourful namesake EKFC Red beat Mill United 3-2 in a closely fought encounter and Holytown Colts drew 1-1 with EKYM. Mill United Colts edged out struggling Baillieston BC by two goals to one, Villa Park were beaten 1-2 by Wishaw WW and league leaders Wolves BC comfortably took all three points against EK Thistle when they comfortably brushed them aside 5-0.
 
Moving down a year group to the 17’s and Blantyre Yellow sit in third in the table after a 5-2 home win against Mossend. DC Bishopbriggs were beaten 1-6 by Westwood Rovers. Second place side Drumsagard FA retained their position by beating Larkhall Thistle 5-2, and unfortunately the East End Thistle and Dalziel BC match was postponed. EK Thistle YC and Blantyre Thistle both took a share of the points in an entertaining 3-3 draw, and Mill United stayed top of the table after thrashing Claremont AFC 9-0. Strathaven Dynamo were beaten 2-7 by EK Burgh United who sit in fourth place, and are still the only side in the league with a 100% record, having only played four matches. The Villa Park and Wishaw BC match was postponed and Wishaw WW done their goal tally no harm at all by beating visiting Villa Park 9-0.
 
Section A of the 16’s and Cambuslang sit comfortably in second position behind EKFC Gold on ten points after beating local rivals Blantyre 3-1, whilst the Dalziel versus Muirton match was called off. League leaders EKFC Gold made it five wins out of five when they won 3-1 against Larkhall Thistle to maintain their 100% start, and Mill United lost to Jerviston 1-2. In section B, Airdrie Villa remain at the foot of the table after their 1-9 loss to EKYC and Aston Villa won 1-4 away to EKFC Red and record their first win of the league season. EKRR Red just edged out 3-2 winners against Strathaven Dynamo and still have their 100% record intact. Kelvindale Thistle won 9-1 against Whitecraigs and the result led to Thistle leap frogging East end into first place. Newton beat EKFC Blue by 3-0 and East End Thistle lost their top spot and 100% record after being beaten 4-1 by New Stevenson.
 
Finally to the 15’s and section A as Dalziel BC managed to get their first points of the season when they beat Clyde Valley by nine goals to one and moved off of the bottom of the table. Eddlewood against Mill United was cancelled, EK Burgh United lost out to league leaders Jerviston by a 2-4 score line, and Jerviston go top thanks to the Mill United and Mossend games being called off. Section B, and third placed Blantyre overcame Westwood Rovers by 6-3 and Coatshill were beaten 2-9 by visiting Aston Villa. EKYC had a great 8-0 win over Newmains whilst Stonehouse beat Milan 4-1. Strathaven Dynamo were convincingly beaten 0-4 by league leaders Claremont AFC and EKRR Youth sit in third after a resounding 3-8 away win against Whitecraigs.

 
Fixture: Redstar v Cleland Boys Club
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL
Venue: Lochend Football Centre
Date: 3rd October 2015
 
Cleland BC 2001's travelled through to Lochend Football Centre in Easterhouse to play Redstar, in matchday 2 of our league season.

Cleland were looking to continue with the good performances so far into this game with Redstar. Cleland lost 1-0 the week before, against Gartcairn even though they were far the better side but just couldn't convert chances into goals.

Cleland won the toss and decided to play away from the early morning sun. As soon as Redstar kicked off, Cleland made sure they wouldn't let the home side get time on the ball with very quick pressing. So it was only a matter of time before Cleland could put their foot on the game. The 1 & 2 touch passing really seemed to work for the away side. 

A few minutes into the game, the ball broke to centre midfielder Aidan Melvin, and from 20 yards out he cracked a fierce shot which was well saved by the Redstar keeper only for Greg Taylor to follow up to pounce on the 2nd ball & cooly sloted away the opening goal. 

1-0 quickly became 2-0, Greg Taylor got on the scoresheet again, when a high ball could only be parried by the Redstar keeper into the air, Taylor again was looking for the 2nd ball & was the first to react and tap the ball in from 5 yards out to double Cleland's lead.

Within a few minutes it became 3-0, striker Dominic Small dropped deep to pick up the ball, turned & began to make a cross field run, only to play a great through ball to Reece Watson who calmly slotted the ball past the Redstar keeper from the edge of the box.
 
It was Dominic Small's turn to go from being provider to scorer. Dominic had tormented the Redstar back 4 since the kick off & totally deserved his goal. He dropped deep again, looking for the ball, who then went on a solo run past at least 3 Redstar players before curving the ball into the far corner.
 
Half Time: Redstar 0-4 Cleland Boys Club
 
The second half started off as the first, substitute & new signing Connor Phairs superbly slotted goal number 5 away after a great through ball. The goal was only his first and second touches of the game.

Redstar then came into the game, they seemed to find there fight, for a large part of the 2nd half was pretty much a level game with both teams having there chances, both teams also missed a penalty each.

Redstar grabbed 2 goals in the space of a few minutes to reduce the defecit slightly.

Cleland's Greg Taylor grabbed his hat-trick with a powerful shot from the edge of the box to score Cleland's 6th goal of the game.
 
Redstar then added their 3rd of the game, before the scoring was rounded off with a header from Cleland's captain Antony Taylor from a corner kick.
It was a great result & performance from Cleland with some really good individual performances from Greg Taylor & Dominic Small.
 
Full Time: Redstar 3-7 Cleland Boys Club
 
 
 
 

 
Fixture: Jim Baxter Memorial v Lanarkshire SC U16
Competition: Cumbernauld & Kilsyth DYL
Date: 4th October 2015
 
Jim Baxtor Memorial took on Lanarkshire SC in our first league game of the season. This was a chance for the home side to stamp their intentions for the league campaign and to let other teams see that we mean business this season.
 
The team took their time to get started in the match and after a very slow start and lack lustre first half performance eventually ran out convincing winners in a superb second half.
 
As the game kicked off we seemed to sit back and invite pressure from Lanarkshire on to us and the opposition took full advantage of this and seemed to go through us like a hot knife through butter. There really isn't much to say about our first half performance but to say we were poor very poor, and were lucky not to be a few goals down. However, I must admit the free kick we scored from was superb and struck home well from Robbie Dalziel.
 
Despite going behind, Lanarkshire didn't change the way they approached this game and to their credit managed to equalise in spectacular fashion. A free kick fully 25 yards out at least was rattled into the top corner, and to say the goal was outstanding from the lad reall is an understatement. Lewis in goal had absolutely no chance. What a hit!
 
Just a minute or so before half time we thought we had managed to sneak a goal, but the referee deemed Reece Malone to be offside as he put the ball into the back of the net. So we went in at half time level at 1-1.
 
Half Time: Jim Baxter Memorial 1-1 Lanarkshire SC
 
I am a firm believer that when a performance isn't up to par that you need to speak your mind. At this club It is expected that players will give everything and not what they can be bothered giving. At half time these players were told in no uncertain terms that what both Rab and I had watched was totally unacceptable and that the performances like that would see players dropped from the team without question.

We felt that the players that had started the game deserved at least another 10 minutes to prove to us that they deserved their place. After the stern words, It didn't take long for the message to sink home and within minutes we had Lanarkshire on the back foot we took the lead with Dylan McSharry whipping in a superb cross for Reece to head home at the far post. 2-1 to JBM.
 
We extended the lead again from the right hand side when Dylan McSharry scored an outstanding goal, a similar position to where he crossed for Reece just minutes earlier, but this time he went for goal and the net is still rippling.
 
We made a few changes to freshen up the performance even more and Paul replaced Robbie up front and Ryan replaced Matthew at right back. This had an immediate affect and our performance just got better and better and better. Dylan McSharry and Ryan Cunningham totally dominated the right hand side of the park and time and time again our delivery from these 2 boys especially Dylan was superb.
 
Despite rapidly going further and further behind in the game, Lanarkshire kept going and played their football which I give them great credit for. 
 
We added to the scoreline with 2 further goals from Reece, to complete his hat-trick. Ryan Cunningham managed to bag himself a hattrick with 3 well taken goals. Then Andrew Mitchell and Dillon Murphy got their first goals for the club, rounding the score off at 10-1 to JBM.
 
As much as we had outstanding individual performances today and a joint man of the match for Dylan and Reece this was a squad victory. We used our subs intelligently today and not just for the sake of change. The subs were made to enhance the performance and every time we made changes we replaced players with players of equal ability.

Every player knows that the performance in the first half was one of our poorest showings so far but every players reaction and they way everyone of you took on board at half time showed in our performance in the second.
 
Full Time: Jim Baxter Memorial 10-1 Lanarkshire SC
 
 
The start of a new season is not always an easy time for the league champions of yesteryear – just ask any Chelsea or Juventus fan. Their dismal starts to the 2015/16 campaign have resulted in last season’s dominant champions languishing in the lower reaches of the Premier League and Serie A tables respectively.
 
However, reigning FVFDA U16 champions Milton FC have had no problems hitting the ground running once again as they look to win their third straight league title. The Bannockburn side find themselves in familiar territory having won each of their seven games so far this season, scoring 42 goals in the process and conceding a mere seven.
 
Milton’s dominance has been evident for all to see as they have romped to two successive league titles winning all but one game in each of their last two campaigns. However, several sides have made promising starts to the season this time around with the top three separated by only five points, suggesting that Milton may not have it all their own way this time around.
 
East Stirlingshire FC find themselves three points clear of Milton and are currently top of the table, although they have now played three games more than last season’s champions after victory over Riverside FC this weekend.
 
Despite narrow losses to Milton and Cumbernauld, they have looked impressive so far winning their previous four matches by an aggregate of 28 goals to two. They also made a major statement of intent with an away win against last season’s runners up, Syngenta Juveniles, showing that they can beat the very best that the league has to offer.
 
However, East Stirlingshire will need to replicate that kind of form consistently over the course of the season if they are to mount a serious title challenge.
 
Having finished in second place last season, Syngenta Juveniles are no strangers to a title challenge. Finishing only five points off the pace last season, their only two losses came in closely fought matches against the eventual champions showing that they have the potential to push Milton all the way.
 
This season, however, they already find themselves two points behind Milton having played a game more. Thish could prove costly come the end of the campaign – even at this early stage. Despite this, all is not lost as they have shown in previous campaigns that they have the consistency to stay in a title race until the very end.
 
Furthermore, with the gap between the top teams in the league seemingly having narrowed considerably and with more teams in title contention than ever before, perhaps more than one side will be able to defeat Milton over the course of the season and prevent them from running away with a third successive league title.
 
Two teams who have proven that they have what it takes to beat Milton in recent years are Cumbernauld Colts and Wasp Community Club – the last two sides to beat Milton in the league.
 
Currently Wasps Community Club are in fifth place on 16 points, with Cumbernauld two places back on 13 points. With both sides also yet to play Milton, a victory for either against the champions would make the title race even more intriguing and tarnish the aura of invincibility surrounding Milton.
 
Ahead of both teams above, Stenhousemuir FC Community will prove a tough test for all. This especially after recording an impressive 5-2 victory over Cumbernald Colts this weekend. Only one point off Syngenta and three off Milton, they are certainly a team to watch.
 
Finally, in sixth place is Carmuirs Colts on 15 points. Having played the same number of games as Milton, but six points behind, it will be a tricky task for them to challenge for the title. However, as results have shown in this league already, nothing is guaranteed.
 
There are a lot of questions yet to be answered in this season’s FVFDA U16 league: will Milton be able to go one better than the past two seasons and go a full season unbeaten on their way to a third successive league title?; will Syngenta be able to recover from their shaky start by their incredibly high standards and go on to dethrone the champions?; what role will sides such as East Stirlingshire, Cumbernauld Colts, Wasp Community Club, Stenhousemuir Community and Carmuir Colts play in the title race, if any?
 
However, one thing is for sure: this season is looking like it could be the most intriguing and closely fought in recent years, and Milton will face more challenges than ever before in the defence of their title. 
As league tables begin to take shape across the country, few few can claim to be as competitive as the Forth Valley Football Development Association Under 17s. With almost a third of the season completed five teams are seperated by only four points, with three teams all on 22 points.
 
Alva Swifts and Riverside FC lead the way at the top of the table with an idetical record of seven wins and one draw each. That draw coming with the sides faced off against one another in late August, playing out a 2-2 draw, and are due to meet in the return fixture on November 7th at Alva.
 
Sauchie Juniors are the third side on 22 points having played, and lost, one more game than Riverside and Alva Swifts. All three sides have been prolific infront of goal so far this season, so this league may come down to which of the three can draw blood from one another. Riverside are the only team to have done so in the league so far with a 2-0 victory over.
 
This weekend saw the top three maintain their great starts. Both Riverside and Sauchie Juniors were rampant in their matches, while Alva had a tougher time seeing of Central Boys FA Colts 6-1.
 
Below the top three, there are also two teams who are keeping pace in the form of Stenhousemuir FC Community and East Strilingshire FC. Both teams have only played seven games, one less than the top two and two less than Sauchie, and have emassed six wins and one loss. With these futher teams added into the mix, it means that the Forth Valley FDA U17's league is easily one of the most competitive in Scotland. 
 
Ultimately, with two-thirds of the season still to play, there's still much more to come from all five sides but all can be very pleased with their achievements so far this season and will look to get their hands on some silverware at the end of the campaign.
 
Fixtures to watch in 2015:
 
Sauchie Juniors FC v Stenhousemuir FC Community - 10/10/2015
East Stirlingshire FC v Alva Swifts - 31/10/2015
Alva Swifts v Riverside FC - 07/11/2015
East Stirlingshire FC v Stenhousemuir FC Community - 14/11/2015
Stenhousemuir FC Community v Alva Swifts - 21/11/2015
Riverside FC v Sauchie Juniors FC - 28/11/2015
Stenhousemuir FC Community v  Riverside FC - 05/12/2015
 
 
Steins Thistle enjoyed a comfortable 5-2 win over Cumbernauld Colts last Sunday to cement their position at the top of the u19's Cumbernauld and Kilsyth District Youth League. Boasting a 100% record, Steins top the table, on 18 points, five clear of their closest rivals Campsie.
 
I recently spoke with club manager, Kevin Valentine, who believes that striking the right age balance has been the key to his side’s recent impressive league form. “We’ve achieved a fine balance in terms of the age of the players" he said. "75% of our players are 1998’s who have been together for years and know each other well. The other 25% are1997’s, and are also big players for us. Each one has brought a winning mentality, and their character is really strong. They have been a positive influence on the younger players who take a lead from them.”
 
And it would seem that finding this mix of youth and experience isn’t the only balancing act steins have been performing this season. The boys have been prolific in front of goal, scoring 24 en-route to their six league victories. A healthy average of four goals per game, and by far the most pleasing aspect for Kevin; they have come from every area of the team.
 
“This was an Achilles heel last year when we were too reliant on certain players" he said. "We now have goal scorers throughout the team, taking a huge weight off the lads from last year. More importantly, we have players who can score goals out of nothing and players who really make it happen in the final third. We look more of a threat and are much more difficult to defend against.”
 
It is not solely attacking prowess that sees them sit top of the table however, an excellent defensive record has played its part in their success. The boys proved difficult for teams to break down last season and this campaign has been no different as they have conceded just seven goals.
 
With one of Kevin’s coaching mantras being “defend from the front”, he is particularly proud of this aspect of the team’s play, saying “This is an area where we pride ourselves. We pay particular attention to defending set-pieces. So far this season we have yet to concede a goal when defending a corner kick.”
 
Immediate attention will remain focussed on league business, with Steins travelling to Fallin Violets on Sunday. Confidence is high amongst the boys, but nothing is being taken fore granted. “We were dominant against good sides in Campsie and Cumbernauld Utd, but this is a very competitive league" he said. "I have way too much respect for these teams to believe that we can continue our 100% record for too long. It will be how we react to a setback that determines our success. We have to keep working hard and continue improving because teams are now going to be highly motivated against us.”
 
In spite of erring on the side of caution with regard to setting long-term team goals, Kevin does feel that Steins are on course to do very well this season, saying "I prefer to study individual and player performance levels week to week and look to gradually improve them. We have a young squad, so the key for me is progress in their maturity levels and understanding of the dynamics of the game. This, coupled with a healthy desire to win games will insure that we do well. I also want the squad to enjoy the season and remember their time at Steins fondly when they do decide to leave.”
With only five weeks of the new football season behind us, it’s still a little soon for reading too much into early season results, but three sides have so far maintained their 100 per cent records. The trio of Lanarkshire sides, Burnbank BC, Dalziel BC and Cleland BC are all playing their first season of eleven a side football, but it hasn't phased them in the CLYFA 2003 league after moving up from sevens.
 
Burnbank sit proudly on top with Dalziel closely behind in second place, both sides having twelve points from their four starts and only two goals separating the teams for the time being. Cleland are following the top two in fourth place with two wins from two. Youth Football Scotland managed to grab a quick word with two of the coaches, James McAuley from Dalziel Boys Club and Willie Kelly of Cleland Boys Club.
 
Dalziel coach James McAuley believes in fostering a togetherness amongst his players, saying “The ethos from a coaching point of view is to encourage the players to make the right decision. From a player and team point of view we challenge the boys to work together, play together and through this they will win together.”
 
James has been delighted with the progress his side have shown since he started working with the players. “We were playing seven a side last season so never kept track of the results but we had a mixed bag of results over the year" he said. “The boy’s started playing eleven-a-sides in August but played a few games in the league’s summer cup in June.
 
“I’ve worked with some of these players for five years now, most of the others for two to three years. There has definitely been a development in the boys technically and they are getting a better understanding of the game. Their ability and application has always been there though.”
 
The boys have taken the move to elevens really well. They have always been encouraged to maintain possession of the ball and the extra space seems to suit this. The good start is down to them taking what they worked on at sevens and combining this with what they learnt during the summer cup.”
 
James is hoping that his team can improve as the season plays out “The aim for the rest of the season is to build on what we have started. “A good run in the cups and a strong league campaign would be fantastic but it’s important we finish the season a better team than we started.”
 
Cleland coach Willie Kelly said “The boys have been playing eleven a side football since June. We took part in the Blantyre football festival in which we were unbeaten, but lost out narrowly after drawing 0-0 with Hamilton Accies, the eventual winners. We then reached the summer cup final after going on a run of eight unbeaten games before narrowly losing to Yett Farm 2-1 after extra time.”
 
On his sides great start to the season Willie told us that it has been built on the back of last season graft. “The guys have taken to eleven a side football brilliantly with our 100 per cent start to the league last year" he said. "We were unbeaten at seven-a-side in which we had two teams competing in the Monklands soccer sevens. This is all down to attitude, discipline and commitment, with great support from the parents.”
 
Cleland have been able to add to their squad and Willie hopes that the boys will appreciate their football this season. “Yes, we have retained the majority of the boys from sevens and added a couple of players who have had experience playing football with other clubs" he said. "Our squad is now complete. Our aim for the season is to continue to work hard and enjoy the experience.”