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Eight reasons why you should read Grassroots Magazine Issue 3
 
1/ Andy Murray and his World Cup dream: What would have been if Andy Murray had followed football instead of tennis? Would he run the Scotland midfield alongside Scott Brown and Darren Fletcher? Could he have led us to a World Cup? It’s all fantasy, but even Andy admits, “I would love to know what it feels like to score in a World Cup final.” Read the full interview on pages 28 and 29.
 
2/ “There are some short-sighted clubs, that want to get more money from the SFA to pay their bills instead of funding Grassroots and Youth Development and Performance Programs”. That’s the words of former Scottish FA Performance Director, Mark Wotte. Read more on his thoughts about Scottish football on pages 42 and 43.
 
3/ When asked who his toughest opponent is, Andrew Henderson replied “Myself –I don’t find any of them a problem if I’m on my top form. That’s the honest truth.” To be fair, he’s the world’s greatest ever freestyler based on the fact he’s won the World Championship four times already. Find out more about the freestyle genius on page 36.
 
4/ Imagine having over half a million followers on YouTube. That’s the life of FIFA Youtube star, Jack54HD. The creator of famous series, 7 minute squads speaks about his own footballing career and how he carved his own path despite advice. His interview is on pages 38 and 39.
 
5/ Messi, Ronaldo, Bale, Neymar, Ibrahimovic, and Lewandowski. We’ve got them all. Find out a little bit more about the stars through their own phones in our Celebrity Instagram section on page 25.
 
6/ Who’s Scotland only pro-futsal player in the world right now? No guesses. Kyle Ballingall is the name and we spoke to the man himself to find out how he’s managed it. From Scotland, Croatia, Spain, and now in France. Find out more on page 15. 
 
7/ Your content! That’s right. For the first time, we’ve taken your content and created a doppelgänger section. Do you or one of your team mates feature? Find out now on pages 26 and 27.
 
8/ Regional content galore! We’ve got all the top stories from the six regions of Scottish Youth Football. The stories that feature are:
 
Central
 
East
 
North
 
South East
 
South West
 
West
Thursday, 17 December 2015 05:04

Greatest Goals of 2015 DVD

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Still searching for the stocking filler for the youth football player, parent, coach or fan in your life? Look no further. Youth Football Scotland is pleased to launch our '100 Greatest Goals' DVD, which will be with you in time for Christmas. This DVD is of limited availability so book early to avoid disappointment:
 
YFS Greatest Goals DVD
- Top 100 youth goals of 2015, as voted by our panel.
- Top 20 free kicks.
- Top 10 saves.
- Out-takes and funnies
- Our price £10 (limited availability)
 
 
Quantity
Thursday, 21 January 2016 00:00

Job opportunity: Administration Executive

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Important Note
 
To apply for this job, which is through SCVO's Community Jobs Scotland Scheme, you must be aged 16-24 and currently unemployed.
 
If you meet the criteria, please begin your covering letter by confirming this. If you do not, your application will not be considered.
 
Job Description
 
Youth Football Scotland is seeking an administration executive to join the Edinburgh office.
 
The role provides daily support to the volunteer recruitment and media sales departments. They will be involved with marketing pushes seeking volunteers and handle initial enquiries before passing them on at the induction stage. They will also handle requests to purchase photos & videos, and provide customer service related to products sold.
 
The candidate must be competent using a computer with internet and e-mail skills essential. A competent level of written English and being comfortable answering the phone is also desirable. The role is full time with an hourly wage of £6.75
 
Application Details
 
To apply, email your CV and covering note to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Sunday, 29 November 2015 13:58

SWF season review - 13's age group

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Scottish Cup:
 
Glasgow City Blacks won the Scottish Cup with a superb final victory at Toryglen, following an equally impressive semi-final victory over Celtic. It clinched the treble in a memorable season for them. Credit has to go to the runners up, Aberdeen FCL 12s, who despite being one of the youngest teams in the competition, made it all the way to the showpiece final.
 
 
Regional Leagues:
 
Eilish McSorley League (South West)
Clark Drive were victorious in an exciting title race that was open to a number of teams until the final weeks. They saw off Rutherglen, Queen of the South and Scottish Cup quarter finalists KSC, to seal the title in November.
 
 
Jane Ross League (West)
Glasgow Girls won this league amassing an impressive 40 points from 42 available. Their closest challengers were St. Mirren YFC. The two team drew 4-4 when they first met in March but Glasgow Girls ran out 8-2 winners when the sides met again in August.
 
 
Lisa Evans League (East - Dundee/Angus)
Monifieth Reds won this league collecting an amazing maximum points tally of 54 over the season. Forfar Farmington Falcons did their best to stop this and ran the champions very close in their final encounter of the season. 
 
 
Lisa Evans League (East - Fife/Perth)
Double winners Bayside won this league totalling 66 points from 22 games, a maximum points tally. The race for second in this league was very close with 6 points separating Raith Rovers in second and Dunfermline in 6th. 
 
 
Rachael Small League (North)
Aberdeen FC Ladies Youth 13's won this league winning all of their 22 games and collecting 66 points. Deveronvale Girls 13's put in a valiant effort but in their final meeting of the season couldn't stop Aberdeen running out 4-0 winners.
 
 
Kim Little League (South East)
Hibernian won this league with a total of 33 points from 12 games. Their only defeat of the season came from closest challengers Penicuik Athletic Blues. The Blues won 4-1 on the day but this had no effect on their league standings as Hibernian still won the league by a four point margin.
 
 
Hayley Lauder League (South East) 
Musselburgh Windsor won this league with 35 points from 14 games, beating closest challengers Hutchison Vale by 7 points. 
 
 
Kirsty Smith League (South East)
Murieston United Reds were the eventual winners of this league, pipping second place Boroughmuir Thistle Jags by four points. These two teams had a close battle all season, when they first met Murieston ran out 3-1 winners but in the latter part of the season Boroughmuir were 4-3 winners to take the title race to the wire. 
 
 
Lizzie Arnot League (South East)
Hearts Ladies 12's won this league by the narrow margin of two points over Edinburgh rivals Hibernian Development. The games against each other are what decided the destination of the title with Hearts winning the games on both occasions, inflicting Hibernian’s only defeats of the season.
 
 
Kim Little League (Central/West/South West)
Glasgow City Blacks were victorious, adding the league title to their Scottish Cup and League Cup triumphs, in a memorable campaign.
 
 
Leanne Ross League (Central)
In one of the closest calls, Cumbernauld Colts pipped Motherwell to the title. The two sides were inseparable for most of the season, but Colts pipped the Well at the last.
 
Photo to follow
 
League Cup winners:
 
Aberdeen FCL Youth
 
 
Hibernian FC
 
 
Central FA Legends
 
 
Broxburn Colts
 
 
Hamilton Accies
 
 
Bayside FC
 
 
Glasgow City Blacks
 
Earlier this month the United States Soccer Federation outlined plans to stop children aged ten and under from heading footballs. The plans also intended to restrict heading for children between the ages of 11 and 13 to matches only.
 
The introduction of the ban was brought about by a lawsuit in America with a group of young footballers, and their parents, suing FIFA over the risks from concussion. The lawsuit did not seek monetary damages but called for a medical monitoring programme instead.
 
Football has long been criticized for its attitude towards concussion. The case of Hugo Lloris being allowed to continue playing for Tottenham, after he was knocked unconscious in a game against Everton in 2013, highlighted a degree of negligence and new concussion protocols were introduced the following season.
 
But are we doing enough on this side of the pond? Should a ban along similar lines as those implemented by US Soccer be introduced here? Or is it an overreaction?
 
Dr Michael Grey, a leading expert in Motor Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham’s School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, has been one of the leading advocates over a ban on heading a football for children.
 
“Children should not be heading the ball. We don't know at what age children's necks become strong enough to withstand the movement of the head when the head is struck by the ball,” told the Daily Telegraph in 2014.
 
“Some of my colleagues have suggested [a ban until the age of] 14, but I really think it is individual.
 
“In addition, the brain starts to shake and rotates when the head is struck by the ball.
 
“The brain bounces back and forth and it is the impact of the brain against the inside of the skull that causes additional damage.”
 
However, not everyone agrees with an outright ban. Following the news out of America, I contacted Headway, the brain injury association, which has a proactive concussion in sport campaign ongoing. Luke Griggs, Director of Communications, issued the following statement on behalf of the organisation:
 
“Headway,the brain injury association, believes there is currently insufficient evidence on the risk of brain injury from heading modern, lightweight footballs to justify a similar ban in the UK at this stage.
 
“There is no doubt that we know a great deal more about concussion today than we did five or ten years ago, and we're slowly beginning to see a cultural change in the way that head injuries are dealt with in sport.
 
“A great deal more work is needed, however, to ensure that all sports, at all levels, take concussion seriously and adopt an 'if in doubt, sit it out' approach.
 
“A number of small-scale studies have been published or are ongoing at present addressing the issue of sub-concussive blows, but we are yet to see scientific consensus on whether there is a link between heading a football and neurological damage.
 
“While neurological experts are getting better at identifying smaller changes in the brain following impact, the question remains do these minor changes have a long-term impact?
 
“It is vital that this research continues and more studies are conducted in order to answer that question.
 
“Until robust evidence is presented to categorically show that heading a football can damage one's brain, it is important that the focus remains on ensuring all those involved in sport are aware of and strictly follow concussion protocols.”
 
Rather than an outright ban, it would seem that an ‘if in doubt, sit it out’ plan of action would be more practical, something that is already on display at various clubs around the country.
 
Graham Mearns, Chairperson of Monifieth Ladies FC, outlines the approach at his club.
 
“The club policy is now agreed that the player will be removed for at least 10 minutes after any injury which requires the game to be stopped (particularly head injuries),” he remarked.
 
“As to the banning of headers all together, I’m still undecided. In reality most players under ten will not head the ball and at Monifieth we try to play the ball on the ground as much as possible and so it only comes to goal line clearances when the ball may be headed.”
 
Of course you can always further limit concussion risk with regards to the equipment used in practice, something highlighted by Ferry Athletic coach, Charlie Stott.
 
“The balls being used are very important. There is no need for the use of heavier leather match balls for a continuous repetitive drill.
 
“Sponge balls or lighter indoor footballs would suffice as long as the basics being coached are still being learnt. Then in a match situation the kids can head the ball properly on much fewer occasions than is required.”
 
Youth Football Scotland decided to run a Twitter poll on the matter, posing the question: ‘Do you agree or disagree with the US Soccer plans to stop children aged ten and under heading footballs?’ 335 votes were cast. To say the result was conclusive would be something of an understatement, with 14% agreeing and an overwhelming 86% disagreeing.
 
 
So do we need a ban? You would have to say no. Concussion in football has been somewhat ostracized in the past, but we have reached a point where it has become one of the key medical issues being discussed and researched, exactly as it should be.
 
Evidence at present is insufficient to bring about a ban but implementing common sense is the most vital and practical solution to minimize the risk of a child suffering a concussion. If there is any doubt, sit out the game, or training, and use foam, or lighter balls where you can. With the implementation of common sense everybody wins.    
 
If you have any queries about concussion, or other brain injuries, click here for the Headway website: https://www.headway.org.uk
Thursday, 12 November 2015 18:58

50% off SWF Scottish Cup souvenir bundle

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The early bird period for discounted souvenir bundles has passed. You can purchase match DVDs and photos from the SWF Youth Cup finals using the button and links below:
 
Match DVDs
 
Get your full match DVDs below. Featuring the game from start to finish, interactive lineups and post match interviews.
 
Select quantity:
Select match
 
Photos
 
Saturday, 03 October 2015 13:40

UK's most comprehensive Deals website launches

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Youth Football Scotland is delighted to be launching the UK's most comprehensive sports deals website, Grassroots Deals. 
 
For as little as £10 a week, your business can benefit from an 30,000 person strong sports audience actively seeking to purchase your goods and services.
 
Categories include coaching, equipment, health & fitness, kit, local services, nutrition, technology, travel & leisure and is supported by sports associations to ensure the widest audience of sports enthusiasts are viewing the website on a daily basis from across the UK.
 
To be the one of the first to benefit from the new sports platform, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0131 629 7903.
 
 
YFS are looking for teams to represent Scotland at the World's biggest youth football tournament this summer.
Fill out the form below to register your team's interest. 
 
{rsform 34}
 
Teams who represent Scotland at this global spectacle will receive the following:
 
-Free YFS representative strips
-Full YFS media team follow your team's 
-Live coverage of your matches on Norwegian TV
-All inclusive accommodation and food
-Comprehensive fundraising kit with full social media support to help promote your cause.
-UK and National press recognition
 
Check out the highs of previous tournaments in the video below:
 
 
Thursday, 24 September 2015 15:30

East Fife Youth Academy one step closer to dream

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The East Fife Youth Academy has been up and running for two years now after having previously been known as the East Fife Junior Supporters Club, the Academy aims to produce and widen children’s participation in sport and at the same time develop life and social skills, healthy living and wellbeing, through their community football programmes. The football club has the dream of being one of Scotland’s best community club’s by 2020, and have taken another step closer towards that goal with the introduction of their new ‘Wee Fifer’s’ community programme.
 
The programme aims to give an early introduction for nursery and primary one kids into a healthy lifestyle as they participate in sport, and also compliments Education Scotland’s Curriculum for Excellence, the club have been able to fund this project thanks partly to a community initiative award from the Scottish Football Partnership. Youth Football Scotland spoke to Lorna McAuley, Head of the Academy and Community Development worker about the youth academy and the recent developments at the club.
 
Lorna said of the academy: “The academy’s aim is to provide quality training in a fun, friendly safe environment allowing participants from all over the community to take part.” And of her own participation she went on “I got involved with the academy as a parent of two boys who were playing with the club. “Over my time there the role developed until I was asked to become the head of the academy.”
 
On the success and popularity of the Youth Academy in the Methil area “We are a popular choice by the local community, with over 300 members in our small area. “Parents are keen to volunteer and take up opportunities within the club to coach and offer admin support. “The academy is going from strength to strength all the time, in the past 18 months we have developed a full community programme and doubled the amount of children we work with a regular basis.”
 
The community Initiative award allows the academy to provide cost free sessions and introduce local families to the environment of the football club, Lorna went on “The SFP grant allows us to start the Wee Fifers programme and engage with approximately 1000 children aged between 3-6 in partnership with active schools nurseries and P1, children will be given free training as costs are covered from the funding. “It also allows us to introduce East Fife to the children and their families as the funding covers mini tournaments at the stadium.”
 
“The Wee fifers programme has been designed to try and capture children’s interest in physical activity from a very early age. “We will be engaging with children aged between 3-6 for blocks of five weeks, then they will be encouraged to take up a free opportunity to take part in regular classes for another four weeks. “We hope that by gaining their interest early we will keep them interested in sport throughout their lives.”
 
On the future of the academy, Lorna has some interesting ideas on the direction she would like to see the youth academy take “I would like to see the academy expand even further with more community activity than we have managed so far. “There are many avenues we still have to explore. “Football is a very powerful tool to capture people’s attention and can be used in many great ways. “We have plans to run a High School programme engaging with children aged 14-16 with attendance issues.”
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