On Monday 19th October 22 members of Do Soccer Academy, the only independent professional football training Academy in the Highlands, travelled down to Edinburgh as guests of Spartans Community Football Academy for 4 days of first class football. The trip was made possible by a combination of contributions by parents and fund raising by the Academy.
The boys all aged between 9 and 13 were given a warm welcome by Spartans who had arranged friendly games against Leith Athletic on the Monday night (Photo Gallery) and a training session and match against Spartans under 13’s on their final night.
Other highlights of the trip included special VIP tours of Hearts, Hibs and Dunfermline stadiums, conquering Arthurs Seat, playing against Dunfermline Athletic under 13’s and taking part in Youth Football Scotland’s Show Racism the Red Card Video. Watch the video here
Mark McAuley, Do Soccer Academy founder and Director of Football said: “This was a fantastic trip for the boys and they all thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s another aspect of the learning process and was a great experience for them. We were lucky enough to win our matches against both Leith Athletic and Dunfermline which is great testament to the squad who held their own against 2 talented central belt teams. They did the Highlands proud. The facilities at Spartans are first class and the wide range of work they do in the community is truly commendable. It would be great to be able to create something similar up here one day. That’s the dream”.
Dougie Samuel, Chief Executive of Spartans Community Football Academy said, “I met Mark McAuley earlier this year after he expressed an interest in coming down to Spartans to see the work we do at the Academy. He spoke about his vision for a similar facility up in the Highlands and I was impressed by his passion and commitment. When he asked whether he could visit again and this time bring his Academy squad down to play against our under 13’s, I couldn’t say no and we were delighted to be able to host the trip. I look forward to keeping in touch with him in the future and we have already planned to come up to the Highlands next year and play the 2nd leg at the Academy’s home ground in Balintore.
About Do Soccer Academy
Do Soccer Academy, the only independent football training Academy in the Highlands, was founded in 2013 by Mark McAuley. It is a not for profit organisation, run by Mark and a volunteer committee made up of parents, volunteer coaches and people from the local business and football community.
Places at the Academy are on a selection basis and the training is designed to take young players on to the next level with the Academy actively encouraging trials for those who show the most promise at local and national pro youth level.
Many youngsters are spotted early playing for their local teams, but a lot more are simply overlooked or develop at a later stage. Do Soccer Academy exists to discover these players, to nurture and mentor them, and to help deliver them to appropriate clubs. Already several Academy youngsters have gone on to join pro youth teams at under 13’s and also represent County teams at under 15’s, something which the Academy is very proud of.
A team of SYFA volunteer coaches, headed up by Mark McAuley offer innovative coaching practices delivered across the areas of technical development, game awareness development, tactical development and physical development. It is also committed to educating young people in life skills, promoting self-esteem, developing the youngsters, and promoting healthy lifestyles.