Sean Graham reports...
The importance of Grassroots football cannot be highlighted enough in the modern game. Magazines like Non League football magazine give the game in this country a platform to let others see that there is life outside of the Premiership etc and the SPL and all divisions in Scotland.
I have always been interested in football at all levels and when a friend of mine invited me to come along to a training session to speak with a few of the coaches at the club and help me understand just how much hard work goes into running a club or coaching at a club.
Going along to St.Mirren Youth FC, you began to see where it all begins for most young players at boys’ club level, where young boys aim to impress hoping to catch the eye of pro youth scouts.
This is where they learn their trade at a young age and this is where a club plays an important part in a young players development for the future but the play himself must have the correct attitude in the first place and if they do apply themselves in the correct manner, this can go along way in helping them achieve their long term goals.
I spoke to Frank Sweeney at St Mirren Youth Football Club and two coaches in particular aiming on concentrating on finding and developing young talent. Frank served his time with a couple of other clubs before ending up where he is today at St.Mirren Youth FC and it was while he was in charge of a team called Williamsburgh United that he was noticed and offered the chance to come to the then St.Mirren FCBC. Which effectively meant - Football Club Boy's Club - as when it was created by Tony Fitzpatrick, former player and manager of the professional club of the same name in 1998, as a forerunner to the Scottish professional youth set-up ).
There was something in the way that Frank handled the team and how he showed himself on the touchline that really shone through and it would be for the good of his new club. Frank had a vision but before his vision even took place his club had a change of name from St.Mirren FCBC to St.Mirren YFC.