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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.
 
Location
Office base in Edinburgh. Opportunities to cover events throughout Scotland through YFS and throughout the world courtesy of YFS Media.
 
Salary
Dependent on Experience.
 
Car
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.
 
Galston Youth 2010's are counting down the days until their trip to take part in the Barcelona Easter Tournament in 2020.
 
The West Region side will be making their furthest ever trip when they fly ut to sunny Salou in April and Head Coach Lynsey Bertoncini says the boys can't wait to get started.
 
"The squad can’t wait; this is something we have been looking forward to from when we started out as a team. 
 
"They love each week to ask “who are we playing?” so to see their faces when we say a team from Europe will be brilliant. 
 
"The squad take part in many tournaments although our furthest afield to date has been the Edinburgh Cup. We have many very well run local tournaments and the boys love taking part and have built an extensive medal collection over the years!"
 
During the tournament Galston will take on teams from all across Europe, something that excites Bertoncini and her coaches as much as her players.
 
"We are all excited! We are looking forward to seeing the boys playing brilliant football against teams from all over. Also the team building element from the boys travelling together and spending time together over the course of the weekend.
 
"It is an amazing opportunity for my team to play against various calibres of teams from all over Europe and to test themselves. Experience like this will build their skills and confidence all whilst having fun with their peers.
 
"I also hope the boys take it all in and soak up the experience creating memorable moments to look back on in years to come. When they are older with their own kids I hope they look back on their grassroots years with fondness, remembering the experiences like this, the friendships they gained and that it creates a passion for them to want to continue the grassroots experience to the next generations."
 
The team has been together since 2014 and Bertoncini has always made it her goal to get her squad out to a European tournament at some stage and is grateful that the opportunity to travel to Barcelona with Trans World Soccer came up.
 
She knows that the competition will be tough, but is confident that her side will do themselves proud.
 
"Our impressive football, team spirit, positive attitude and not forgetting our enthusiastic parents will all contribute to us standing out!
 
All the coaches believe we can go and win this. We will do Galston Youth FC proud and the boys will make each one of the coaches burst with pride no matter where we finish."
 
If you fancy joining Galston in Spain next Easter, then visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/barcelona for more information.

Head coach Stephen Millar says he was “sold straight away” on next year’s Barcelona Easter Tournament and the opportunity it presents his AC Oxgangs 09 team.

The Edinburgh side travel to sunny Salou at the start of April, where they’ll be joined by over 300 teams from across Europe to compete for the Easter Tournament crown.

As Millar reveals, anticipation is already building: “Our squad is very excited for the trip, it’s all we hear about at training and in matches,” he said. “There is a real buzz about the players as we all have something extra to look forward to and work hard towards. 

“We are currently taking part in a lot of fundraising as well which gives them that added excitement and is bringing them together as a team.”

When they arrive in Spain, Oxgangs will get the chance to test themselves against some of the best and brightest young players from across Europe, and Millar is hopeful they’ll learn lots from the experience.

He said: “I am hoping that our players have the trip of a lifetime and make memories to be remembered for years to come; that they learn from the other teams in the tournament in how they play and set up; and from a team bonding point of view that they learn to work together, trust and help their teammates.

“But most of all I hope this experience boosts their love for the game and they enjoy every minute of the experience.”

Oxgangs are a side with festival experience – earlier this year they travelled down to Skegness for a tournament over a couple of days and, although they didn’t win the competition, they returned to Scotland Fair Play award winners.

Now for the first time ever they’re heading to the continent, and Millar reckons competing in one of the most famous football cities on the planet will inspire his team:

“We will visit the Camp Nou as a team during our stay and some other attractions,” he said. “Spanish football is amongst the best in the world and I am really looking forward to seeing what the youth set up is like and the differences to Scotland.”

When it comes time to take to the pitch, there’s no question the competition will be tough, but do Oxgangs have what it takes to win the tournament? As Millar reveals, the players are quietly confident.

He said: “To give a good account of ourselves at the tournament we will need to get the ball down, pass well and – most importantly – work together as a team.

“I am confident they will do themselves, the club and the country proud. Can we win it? Our boys seem to think so.

“We will work hard, try our best and see where it gets us. The most important thing is that they have fun and enjoy this once in a lifetime experience.”

If you fancy joining Oxgangs in Spain next Easter, then visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/barcelona for more information.

Friday, 30 August 2019 10:15

Murieston United Ready for UK International Cup

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Murieston United 2011s are “buzzing” to compete at the UK International Cup next May says coach Gary Callaghan.

The young West Lothian side are heading down to St George’s Park next year, where they’ll be part of the 100-team international tournament:

“Our boys are buzzing about taking part, but I would say the coaches might even be more excited,” Callaghan revealed. “We can’t wait to play in a state-of-the-art facility and challenge ourselves against a wide range of teams.

“We’ve played in a few festivals in Scotland but this will be a completely different challenge for the boys, and one they’re really looking forward to. Having the chance to play against teams from different countries was a huge incentive for us to sign up.”    

The tournament is taking place right at the heart of English football; as the home to all 28 of their national teams, the Murieston players will be following in their idols footsteps when they take to one of the 12 training pitches next year.

And Callaghan believes it was an opportunity too good to pass up. He said: “The boys can’t wait to play at St George’s Park where some of their footballing heroes like Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling train with England – it’s a once in a lifetime experience for them.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the excitement on their faces when they finally get the chance to play in an amazing tournament at an incredible venue.”

It’s not just the action on the pitch that they’ve got to look forward to – Callaghan knows that the time spent travelling and bonding as a team is priceless, and that the players will take a lot from the experience:

“Our objective is for the team to enjoy themselves and create childhood memories that they can tell their grandkids about when they are older,” he said. “I want the boys to embrace it all; from the bus journey down to staying in a hotel with their teammates, hopefully we will grow closer as a team and they’ll create happy memories that they will cherish forever. 

“We also want the boys to learn as much as possible from the trip as a player and as a person - how to deal with certain things like staying away from home and challenging themselves at the highest level on the football field.” 

For Murieston, this is the main objective of the trip – what happens on the pitch come second. However, Callaghan reckons if they work together and play to their ability then results will speak for themselves. He said:

“Our main objective is to enjoy ourselves and grow closer as a team, and if we do well then that’s a bonus.

“To do well, we will need to work hard and play as a team with lots of encouragement and enthusiasm from each player. Hopefully we build a foundation at the tournament that we can take forward moving up the age groups.”

If your side fancies joining Murieston at the UK International Cup next year, visit https://www.eurotournaments.co.uk/uk for more information and details on how to get involved.

 
While it may not be recorded as a significant moment in the annals of Liverpool FC’s rich history, there was a moment of genius from Virgil Van Dijk in the fixture against Tottenham in March that should be studied again and again.
 
First of all, for those who don’t follow Premier League football, let’s set the scene. Liverpool are chasing a first title since 1990, locked in a tit-for-tat battle against Manchester City in one of the most thrilling titles races in recent times. 
 
On 31st March, Liverpool had one of their toughest tests in the run-in, a clash with fellow Big 6 side Tottenham Hotspur. A loss or a draw from Liverpool would have given the advantage back to Pep Guardiola’s relentless Manchester City side. This is a race that will be won on the finest of margins.
 
With five minutes to go in the Tottenham game, Spurs midfielder Moussa Sissoko broke for a counterattack, creating a two on one situation with Spurs forward Heung-Min Son. Standing in the way of the Spurs mean was Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool’s colossus central defender. 
 
Quick-thinking could hand Liverpool title
 
As Sissoko strode forward, Van Dijk simultaneously shut out the passing angle for Son and narrowed the angle for Sissoko to shoot at Liverpool’s goal. It was the type of quick thinking that only the truly great players are able to do, seeing patterns and angles that the rest of us mere mortals do not. 
 
The result was that Sissoko fluffed his shot, straight over the bar and the head of Liverpool’s keeper Allison. Some will point to Sissoko’s lack of composure, but this was a defensive masterclass all created by the Dutch maestro, who never needed to put a tackle in. A few minutes later, Liverpool scored the winner, putting them firmly back in the hot-seat in the Premier League title race. 
 
Van Dijk should be studied by young players and coaches who wish to study the art of the game. He has shown Liverpool fans that he understands the art of defending better than any player at Anfield in a generation. Indeed, some are now saying that Van Dijk is the best defender on the planet.
 
Van Dijk considered Ballon D’Or contender
 
If you want to go a little further than that, there is a growing consensus that Van Dijk might just be a serious contender for the Ballon D’Or this year. Online betting site 888sporthave priced him as 13/1 to be the first defender since Fabio Cannavaro to win the highest accolade in soccer. Lionel Messi at 3/5, Cristiano Ronaldo at 7/2, Kylian Mbappé at 7/1 and Neymar at 10/1 are still the favourites, but it just shows how well regarded Van Dijk is to be mentioned in that company.
 
 
Indeed, if you study Van Dijk’s performances, you will see that he has that hallmark of a truly great leader – getting the most out of those around him. Liverpool’s young defenders, like Trent-Alexander Arnold, will constantly look to Van Dijk during the game, knowing the Dutchman will show them where to be and when to move. 
 
 
As with other legendary defenders built in a similar mould, like Franz Beckenbauer and Franco Baresi, Van Dijk is capable of a putting in a thunderous tackle, but he also knows that is the last resort. Positioning is the key difference between a good central defender and a great one. Van Dijk is certainly the latter, and he should be an example to anyone wanting to learn the game. 
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