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The Scottish National Team hasn’t been able to qualify for a major tournament for 22 years, with their last big stage showing being the 1998 World Cup. Now, though, Scotland has a golden opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Euros.
Since 2017, Scotland have won 12, drawn two, and lost six competitive matches, with the team under Steve Clarke winning four and losing four. The only losses under Clarke have come at the hands of Belgium and Russia. During his still-young tenure, Greg Taylor, Ryan Christie, Michael Devlin, Ryan Jack, and Eamonn Brophy have all made their debuts.  
Next on the fixtures list is the must-win game against Israel, for which Clarke has requested that the Scottish Premier Football League helps as best as they can.
Taking on Israel to have a shot at Euro 2020

On 26 March, Scotland will welcome Israel to Hampden Park for the first game of the Euro 2020 Qualifying. The draw has certainly fallen in Scotland’s favour as, when the teams met in the Nations League group stage, the home team won in their respective legs.
Although not the manager at the time, Clarke hopes that his players can channel the experience of them winning 3-2 at home in November 2018. Both of those games were incredibly closely contested, and even though Scotland sit a good 36 places above Israel in the FIFA World Rankings, it’s tough to split the teams.
On paper, the Israel match couldn’t be closer, but given their recent run of wins, and the fact that it’s at home, Scotland is just ahead as the favourite in the football betting at 4/5 to progress to the decisive phase. With Israel out at 7/2, it’s clear that people are trusting in Clarke to pull through. 
However, the fixtures come thick and fast for the team. If Scotland beat Israel, they’ll then have to face either Norway or Serbia in the decisive game for Euro 2020 Qualification.
A shift in SPFL schedule could help a lot
As it stands, the SPFL is to play on 21 March, with the potential of a couple of games taking place on the 22 March. Both Celtic and Rangers are still competing in Europe, and if they win their ties, they could be playing on 12 March and 19 March in the Round of 16, pushing their SPFL games back to Sunday.
In order to get extra time for preparations, Clarke has asked the Premiership to have a “common sense” approach and move the Saturday fixtures to the Friday, if not postpone the slate of games. He’s gained plenty of support from league managers, including Derek McInnes and Steven Gerrard.
The Scottish national team featured 12 players from the Premiership, of which five were from the Old Firm clubs. Should the fixtures not be shifted back or postponed and Rangers and Celtic make it to the next stage of the Europa League, the likes of Greg Taylor, Callum McGregor, Ryan Christie, Ryan Jack, and James Forrest would only have three days to prepare for the huge match against Israel.
It’s very likely that a decision to shift the fixtures won’t be decided until the after the Rangers vs Braga and Copenhagen vs Celtic ties have concluded (27 February). If the SPFL giants are no longer competing in Europe, it would make sense for the league to move its fixtures to help the national team succeed.
There’s a lot of support from within the league to shift its games to help the Scottish national team. With it being such a close game, Scotland could do with all of the help that they can get against Israel and potentially against Serbia or Norway.
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:20

Vacancy: Board Member

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Youth Football Scotland (YFS) is seeking additional non-executive directors to expand its current board.
Positions are voluntary and involve attending monthly meetings, in addition to assisting with other strategic level tasks.
YFS is currently going through a very exciting phase. Having firmly established our unique organisation at the heart of the youth football community, steps are being taken to accelerate our social impact and provision of education through football. Our YFS Media sub-brand, which facilities to provision of media to commercial clients across the globe, with profits reinvested in the social aims, is also steadily growing. We seek individuals that want to join us and help shape that journey.
We are particularly keen to hear from anyone with knowledge or experience in the third sector, education, marketing or fundraising. However, all applications will be considered on their individual merits.
To apply, please send a copy of your CV and/or a covering letter to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., explaining why you would be a strong fit for the YFS board.
For more information on YFS, visit: http://www.youthfootballscotland.co.uk/aboutyfs2
The nominations for the Scottish Women's Football Youth Player of the Year 2019 Award have officially been announced.
The shortlist of six have had fantastic seasons for their respective clubs, with many making their way to the Scotland Youth International squads over the past year.
The award will be presented at the SWF Annual Awards show on the 30th November at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel.
Now let's take a closer look at our six nominees:
Aaliyah-Jay Meach - Dundee United
The Dundee United stopper is no stranger to acclaim having collected five caps for the Scotland Women's Under 17 squad.
Her club side have enjoyed a decent campaign in the SWPL 2 this season and still have an outside chance of finishing in the top three. Meach's contribution to that effort has not gone unnoticed and has earned her nomination for this award.
Addie Handley - Boroughmuir Thistle
Addie Handley has had a breakout year this season and has broken her way into the Scotland Under 17 squad this season, making four appearances this year.
At the time of writing Handley's Boroughmuir Thistle currently sit in third place in the Under 15's Performance League. To have achieved all of this at 15 years old is an incredible achievement and one worthy of a nomination for this award.
Alicia Yates - Hibernian
This year will be one to remember for Alicia Yates. Not only did she add to her Under 17's caps, she also made her first-team debut for Hibernian.
Yates took part in the recent European Qualifiers in Edinburgh and helped her side qualify for the Elite Round with a place in the European finals on the line. The Hibs Stopper has proven herself over the years to be one to watch in the future.
Bayley Hutchison - Aberdeen FC Women
This is the second time in a row that Bayley Hutchison has been nominated for this award, and for good reason. She recently accumulated her 13th cap at Under 17 level and opened her account for the national side with a late goal in a 3-1 victory over Slovenia
She has also been an instrumental part in Aberdeen's quick return to the SWPL 2 and has a great chance of winning this award come November.
Lucy Sinclair - Glasgow City
Lucy Sinclair has always been a prospect in the women's game having won the Under 17's Scottish Cup last year and has recently broken into the first team at Glasgow City.
On her first start for the Scottish Champions she managed to score her first goal against Spartans and also earned her first call-up and cap for Scotland in a 4-0 win over Montenegro. Sinclair is surely among the leading contenders for the award.
Mason Clark - Rangers
Mason Clark has also enjoyed a good season at Rangers this campaign. The midfielder earned her first cap for the Scotland U15's squad against Wales and was also part of the West Regional Performance Squad.
An outstanding achievement for the youngster on top of being nominated for this award.
Congratulations to all nominees and good luck on the 30th November!

Both under 20’s conferences in the East of Scotland League are shaping up to be exciting seasons so far. In both conferences there has been plenty of highly competitive matches with lots of goals being scored across each league. 

In conference A Edinburgh City appear to be somewhat of a runaway leader, winning all 8 of their games so far. In the process they have scored an impressive 42 goals, the best in league, and have only conceded 8, the joint best defensive record. Their most recent triumph being a 5-0 away win against Edinburgh United. Below City, Dundonald Bluebell currently lead the chasing pack in second.

However, they are themselves only separated from 7th placed Edinburgh United by 4 points in what is sure to be an exciting chase. At the other end of the table, Edinburgh University find themselves firmly at the bottom of the league, having only managed to gain a solitary point from their first 8 league matches. Above them however the league is incredibly tight and a couple of good results would surely move them up the table with 8th place Dalkeith Thistle only 7 points ahead at this stage. A new addition to the scene is gambling slot machines.

In conference B it is Stirling University and Bonnyton Thistle who jointly lead the way after 8 games apiece. The top half of the table is so close with only 6 points separating 1st and the 8th placed team Musselburgh Athletic. Stirling Uni, as well as topping the table, boast the highest number of goals scored with 38 in their 8 league matches so far. They also possess the joint best defensive record, along with Heriot Watt University, having both only conceded 9 goals up to this point in the campaign. One of the leading providers is Canadian Online Casinos 2019.

Propping up the table are Newtongrange Star, who have struggled so far losing all 7 of their games conceding 49 goals in the process. They will be looking to end this run in their next league game away to Broxburn Athletic, who themselves sit second from bottom only 6 points ahead of Star. 

With the season only in its infancy there is still plenty to play for in both conferences, however it seems as though Edinburgh City may be hard to catch in Conference A, only time will tell. In conference B though it’s a different story where any one of the top half teams could push for the coveted top spot and the place in the inter-conference playoff. There are now many online new slot games to play.


YFS Vacancy | Media Team Recruitment & Development Manager

Youth Football Scotland (YFS) is excited to begin the recruitment process for a brand new role within the organisation. The 'Media Team Recruitment & Development Manager' will kick off in season 2019/20 and play an imperative part within our growth strategy.
YFS launched as a social enterprise in 2010. At that point we had secured grant funding, which allowed us to focus primarily on our charitable aims. The backbone of this operation was the creation of the ‘YFS Journalism & Media Team’. We created a unique programme that matched aspiring journalists, photographers and videographers with local youth football games and events.
Since then our team of 100+ members has covered matches the length and breadth of Scotland, giving profile to teams from the age of 5 upwards and in doing so building the CV of our volunteers and teaching them the professional disciplines and personal life skills of reliability and creativity. Most were young people or students, looking to make their way in the world of journalism. Others were older and just looking to give something back to the sport.
This team of people created a remarkable feel good vibe around the sport. Our channels were packed full of interesting stories about achievements on and off the pitch. We are proud that more and more of the team progressed into the world of professional sports media. Our alumni are now spread across Scotland’s top clubs, media outlets and some even ply their trade internationally.
It is a model that worked perfectly with both internal team members and external users – our social aims were being met in abundance.
However, despite being brilliant, exciting and absolutely unique, match coverage in itself didn't bring in revenue and our startup funding was fast running out. A change of approach was needed. While keeping the concept alive YFS has split focus for the last four years in pursuing several new revenue streams and now has a sustainable business, generating income through offering services to the youth football community and to sporting organisations around the world through the new ‘YFS Media’ brand. We are lucky enough to have worked in eighteen countries, across four continents. It didn’t happen overnight, but we got there. We now have a busy office with a small but dedicated team of staff.
However, the split focus has led to a decline in our presence on the ground at Scottish grassroots level. Less journalists making their way through our ranks and less young players reaping the rewards. We are now in a position to focus again on our original social enterprise concept of building the skills and confidence of young journalists through their love of football. Whilst also building the confidence, pride and self esteem of our young players by seeing their match reported with the seriousness and care that the mainstream press apply to the professional game.
We want to bring that magic back. We are seeking somebody to do it. We want them to recruit, train, develop and nurture our media team members; to create amazing opportunities for them that make them feel part of something and want to come back season after season, until they take the next step into the world of professional sports media.
Are you the person to bring it all to life? The right candidate needs to be a leader with incredible drive, strong innovation, excellent people skills and a genuine love of youth football in order to match journalists to games, brief them and take in their copy. You have to enthuse about the brilliant successes and encourage the improvers. A background in sports media is advantageous, but not the most important factor. If this sounds appealing, YFS would like to hear from you.
Working Hours
40 per week. Expectation to work weekends when required, with time taken back during the week. Can vary according to the football calendar.
Office base in Edinburgh. Opportunities to cover events throughout Scotland through YFS and throughout the world courtesy of YFS Media.
Dependent on Experience.
A current driving licence and regular access to a car is required.
To Apply
Please apply by sending a covering letter about yourself and why you think you are right for this post to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., along with your CV, by 1st November.
Thursday, 10 October 2019 09:59

Braehead FC: 'SoccerPDP has been a game changer'

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Football and academics - they don't always go hand in hand. However, a research study at Stirling University has resulted in an exciting new opportunity for grassroots clubs, players and coaches. Jacob Gordon, co-founder of SoccerPDP, told us: "the idea came to me to merge football and academic research – they don’t always go together. However, a research study at Stirling University has resulted in an exciting new opportunity for grassroots clubs, players and coaches. 
Jacob Gordon, co-founder of SoccerPDP, told us: “It came about from a discussion between an ex-player and an IT consultant who both saw a documentary about young players who had been dropped from club academies.  These players were heart-broken, with their dreams of making it as a pro left in tatters. Often with no real feedback as to where they had gone wrong and no support network around them to get them through this setback.  Consequently, many of them turned their backs on football altogether.  We wanted to address this issue, for the sake of players involved and also for the benefit of the game as a whole.  We’ve partnered with the University of Stirling and funded a major research project in this area over the last 3 years, which forms the back-bone of our product and service.”
It started with a vision, but it wasn’t long before the project started taking shape. Gordon continued: “Originally we wanted to help find kids, released from pro academies, appropriate new clubs so they could continue their footballing journey.  But it became clear early on that we could do much more than this.  So our service has now evolved to partner with players, clubs, coaches and parents to provide the type of developmental support previously only available to those playing within the top pro academies.”
Gordon added: “We feel strongly that by offering all players and their clubs (particularly grassroots teams) access to the same support networks of associated professionals that those operating at the elite levels of the game currently have, then the playing field is levelled, and all players have an equal opportunity to maximise whatever potential they have.  It’s not necessarily about becoming the best player, it’s about becoming the best player they can be. It’s clear to see that the current youth football model is not serving us well in terms of national team quality and progress compared to other countries across the world. We believe that it’s going to take more than the governing bodies of Scottish Football to solve the problem and that’s where we think we fit into the market nicely.”
Whilst the organisation is still in its infancy, the benefits have already started to show within grassroots clubs. Kenny Brown, head coach of Braehead FC, said: “SoccerPDP has been a game changer for us as a club and really helped to improve a wide variety of aspects of our team’s game. The guys work with all age groups at Braehead FC and the boys love the testing sessions as well as the competitive nature that brews during these sessions as the boys compete against one and other to get better results. It is also great that we can compare our boys scores to players of a higher ability. As a manager it makes me feel like I can actually show the boys what it takes to progress to the top as well as give them training programs with video tutorials on hand which only increases their motivation making my job that little bit easier.”
Dr James Dugdale is Soccer PDP’s senior researcher and played a major part in shaping the organisation’s offerings to grassroots clubs. He commented: “Football ability is reliant on mastering multiple attributes, from various development activities. Technical skills, physical conditioning, psychology and nutritional guidance is monitored at elite academies. These components are commonly implemented within professional training and development programmes. However, amateur and grassroots level players, are traditionally unable to access this level of support. The aim of Soccer PDP is to make these services and opportunities available to all, through our research-driven programme. It is our goal to provide aspiring young players with every opportunity to be the best player they can be, and level the playing field.
“Recent developments in professional level football sees players compete in more games per season that ever before. Similarly, the demands of training and competition has also increased, meaning that players not only have to be physically fitter, nutritionally prepared, and mentally strong enough to cope with these demands on a frequent basis. As a result, the emphasis on additional training and support (eg. physical fitness, psychology, nutrition) has increased in parallel. The services provided by Soccer PDP are based upon a combination of in-house independent research, and information gathered from scientific literation – meaning that selected measures and development tools are specifically selected to improve and develop football performance.”
SoccerPDP is looking for progressive clubs and coaches to partner with. Check out our website, contact us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or message our social media pages.
The Scottish national side are having a tough time in Euro 2020 qualifying at the moment. They don’t look like they’re going to do enough to qualify. Not from their current group anyway, it’s impossible now after the defeat to Belgium.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. For a start, the Nations League provides another way into Euro 2020, which the Scots could well take advantage of. If you’ve backed the Scots, we hope you cashed out a long time ago. A fun fact for you - Betfair was the pioneer of cash out. If you’ve backed Scotland to qualify with them or another other firm, cash out should still be an option as they still have a chance of qualifying for next summer’s showpiece.
Not only can they still qualify, but there’s a lot of young talent coming through to enthuse the Tartan Army regardless of whether they make it to Euro 2020 or not. The future’s bright. Let’s look at a couple of youngsters tipped to go all the way to the very top.


Jack Harper

A youngster born in Spain who spent most of his youth career at Real Madrid. And he plays for Scotland? You read that right. Jack Harper has chosen to play for Scotland through his parents, and he’s enjoyed experiences at under 15, 17, and under 19 level with the national side. OK, so he’s 23 now, which isn’t exactly young, but he’s got bags of potential. He’s enjoyed a spell at Malaga, and he looked good there last season, but he’s now plying his trade on loan at Spanish second division side Alcorcon on loan from Getafe, whom he signed for this summer.
If Jack can get some games under his belt for Alcorcon and hit a nice run of form, Steve Clarke needs to keep a close eye on him. He wants to play at the World Cup with Scotland one day, that’s his dream. He has the passion and desire that fans love to see in young players. He feels he’s good enough but it’s just a case of continuing to play your football until you’re picked. There are no guarantees in football, you have to earn it.
Image result for jack harper


Billy Gilmour

At just 18, Billy Gilmour has already had a taste of Premier League football. After leaving Rangers back in 2017, he switched to the Chelsea youth set up and has trained hard and caught the eye in a lot of youth games in the last 18 months. He got his reward by coming on as a substitute for Tammy Abraham against Sheffield United only a few weeks ago, and there’s much more to come from him.
He’s played for Scotland at all levels since the under 15s, and was most notably picked to receive the ‘Revelation of the Tournament’ award at the Toulon tournament last year for the Under 21s. Unfortunately for the Scots, they were knocked out by England in the semi-final.
With Chelsea’s strength in depth, you could argue that Billy would benefit from going out on loan somewhere to get more first team action and regular football under his belt. As soon as he starts playing more frequently, he’ll earn his first cap for Scotland, there’s no doubt about it.
Image result for billy gilmour

Fully Capped Youngsters

There’s a lot of potential in the two lads mentioned above, but there are a few young players that have already made the grade at international level – Kieran Tierney, Scott McTominay, and Oliver Burke. All three are 22, which shows just how much young ability there is in the squad now. Greg Taylor at 21 years old is another one who’s earned a full international cap but still has years to improve and grow.
Steve Clarke has a really tough job. Any international manager has a really tough job. There are so many players to choose from that you have to rely on your staff to keep an eye on how the youngsters are doing at their respective clubs. The Euros might come too soon for Jack and Billy, but why not give them both a chance at international level during the next World Cup qualifying campaign if they’re both playing well? Watch this space.
(Photo Credit: Scottish FA)
17-year-old Ayla Esen was recently nominated for the Scottish FA's Grassroots People's Choice Award and although she was ultimately unsuccesful, to be nominated for the award at such a young age is a testament to her commitment to coaching.
Esen has been coaching for the past three years and recently reached the milestone of over 500 hours of coaching as a volunteer. She was one of four nominees for the award.
On receiving the nomination, she said, “It’s just an honour to be even nominated for the award, I didn’t really think I’d be nominated for it so to even be thought of in that regard is kind of amazing I guess.
Esen has a lengthy background in the game, having started playing football at the age of nine. She began coaching just three years ago and has maintained a strong interest in football ever since, coaching the Hibernian Under 9's squad as well as playing for the Blackburn United Ladies Team.
"Football as a sport it just means kind of everything to me, it’s something that I do mostly seven times a week, whether that’s playing myself or coaching.
“I think I dedicate so much of my time to football cause it’s something I enjoyed as a kid, so I kind of want to give that back to the younger generation and kind of show them my love for the game as well."
Ayla's dedication to the game has not gone unnoticed, and her fellow coach Allan Telfer is not surprised that she hsas been nominated for this prestigious award. “I think Ayla deserves this award because, for such a young person, she’s worked very hard and it’s all volunteering for her so it’s hard work to do that many hours.
“Ayla has changed a lot in the last couple of years, when I first met her she was a very shy girl. When I see her now coaching she’s very assured of herself, she’s confident, she likes everything to be perfect."
Neil Gallagher from the West Lothian Youth Foundation echoes these sentiments. "“Ayla is enthusiastic but at the same time she is really calm around the kids, which kind of creates that relaxed environment in our sessions which is the best way for the kids, come in and play, come in and learn, and also for the young girls it’s a good female role model for them to look up to."
Ayla's dedication has allowed her to have a positive impact on those she coaches and will likely be an integral part to her community for years to come. Win or lose on the night she can be proud of the impact she has made at such a young age.
This season marks the last for Drumchapel Amateurs before moving to 11-a-side football and they say they are now ready to take the next step in their development as a team by taking part in the Barcelona Easter Tournament.
The Glasgow based side have been toying with the idea of going to an international tournament for some time now and have chosen now to start their preparations for their journey to sunny Spain.
The Barcelona Easter tournament is just one of many tournaments that Trans World Soccer organises for clubs all around Scotland. Other such tournaments take place all over Europe from England, to further afield in Barcelona and Holland.
Whilst over there they will have to contend with the Easter heat as well as serious competition from some of the best youth sides in Europe, but that is a challenge that Drumchapel coach Paul Richards and the rest of his players are looking forward to.
"The boys and parents are really looking forward to it. The boys are getting stuck in with the fundraising and this has helped bring the boys together and we expect the excitement of the boys to grow as the trip gets closer.
"We entered a tournament earlier this year at home but This will be our first tournament overseas. This tournament is one we’ve kept an eye on for a few years and we now feel it being our last year at small sided football it’s time to take the next step."
Richards has been watching his team grow for the past seven years and hopes that his players will benefit greatly from the experience.
"The boys will take a lot from this experience on and off the pitch. I’ve seen the 2008’s develop over the past 6/7 years and I think this experience will make them stronger and build a bond between the boys, build their confidence as we transition to 11-a-side next year.
Building a stronger bond is what Richards and the rest of the coaches at Drumchapel will be hoping that their players take away, but that doesn't mean that he won't be expecting a certain standard from his players.
"We expect the standard of football to be high and I imagine most teams competing will be wanting to win the overall tournament. The boys will have to adjust quickly and get used to playing in the heat and against different teams. 
"But if we play to our ability then we’re confident that we will give a good account of ourselves and get some decent results."
If you fancy joining Drumchapel Amateurs in Spain next Easter, then visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/barcelona for more information.
Fair City will be heading out to the Madrid Youth Cup, in what will be their first venture into international football competition.
The Perthshire side will be one of many teams from around Europe taking part in the tournament in the Spanish capital and coach Danielle Millar is hoping that it will prove to be a positive experience for all involved.
She said, "The boys are all very excited. We have a large parent involvement too and they are equally excited.
"We’re hoping the boys experience the rewards of playing, travelling, eating and training together as a team, giving them a feeling of playing as a pro team would.
"We’re also hoping the boys relish the experience of playing international teams."
Until this point, Fair City have only been involved in local tournaments and will be hoping that taking part in something a little further from home will be a rewarding experience for them.
The East Region side will also have a vocal backing following them, with a large number of parents getting involved as well.
Millar hopes that the boys get the most out of the experience.
"We will be happy if the boys play well and to the best of their abilities. That will make us most proud & we can’t ask for more than that.
"Being our first international tournament , it will be difficult to judge winning against others, let alone the whole tournament...would be a great feeling though!"
If you fancy joining Fair City in Spain next Easter, then visit eurotournaments.co.uk/alltournaments2020 for more information.
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