North Star U19's finished top of the ADJFA League B with a great record of 14 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw. A great season for any team to have, finishing comfortably at the top with 43 points, followed second by Ellon Meadows at 31 points with 2 games in hand. We caught up with the co-manager, Paul Paton to find out the secrets to their success.
Of course any team would be happy to have won the league and North Star are no exception, Paul said, "The guys are happy to have won, they deserved to win it as they were the best team in the league. The coaches would have dissappointed if we didn't come out on top, but credit goes to the players for winning it comfortably." At this age group, playing a high level of football can be very rewarding and can bring the best players success they've been looking for.
It is always tough to pick a favourite moment from the season and Paul picked moments that took place throughout each game, he said, "I had quite a few favourite moments but what I enjoyed the most was the way we played the ball around the park all season. It was great to watch. The team goals were the ones I enjoyed the most." When a squad plays a high level of football and they are all on the same page, the game can just be amazing to watch.
North Star had a close challenge when they faced off against Kemney. This was their biggest challenge as they were both fighting for league contention and their previous match had ended even at 2-2. Paul commented, "They were our nearest challengers and we had to beat them to make sure we wouldn't be caught by them, we drew our first game against them but in the return game we ran out comfortable winners." After a 2-2 draw, North Star showed Kemnay what they were made of with a strong 7-1 finish. This win against a top competitor for the league gave North Star the confidence, motivation and spirit to go all the way and win the league.
The teams reason for success comes from a unique standpoint due to the age group. Paul commented, "At this age, the biggest and most important factor for success is discipline. If we let the boys go out and play we knew they could be good based on their skill level, but we needed to bring them together to play as a unit. Also, a big help was that the boys are mostly from the same area so they already knew each other and had chemistry with each other and were excited to play together." Having an established chemistry and friendship helps a lot when a team is trying to win. Knowing each others personalities puts everyone on the same page and helps to create a good team atmosphere.
Sadly, after a great season together, North Star will not be together for next season. Paul said, "Sadly we will not be together next year, all of the players are going to go seperate ways, some are going to play at junior level, some at amateur and 4 or 5 of them will remain playing at under 19s and in the highland development league. The boys just wanted to play 1 season together." It's a shame to see a well performing team with a great atmosphere disband but they proved what they are capable of and left the league on a high note.
Paul's final comments were, "I'd like to thank the guys for their effort and commitment throughout the season and I hope that most of them go on and keep playing football for as long as they can." I think we'd all like to see North Star U19's re-unite in the future for another season or two.