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CLUB PROFILE: Sky is the limit for Elite FC

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(Photo Credit Elite FC: Team with Dana Cup Runners-Up trophy)
 
Many established grassroots teams from all around the country will go from strength to strength and not have anyone make their way into the professional game. It is even less likely for brand new teams to develop players to that level but that is exactly what is happening at Elite FC.
 
Elite FC are a two-year old football club operating on the outskirts of Aberdeen and have already achieved great things in the youth game. They are a small club and operate only one team at under-13 level, yet when they participated in the Dana Cup in Denmark last summer they managed to reach the final, the first Scottish team in the competition's 32-year history to have ever done so.
 
The club came from the vision of Craig Sutherland, Ronnie Mackenzie and Andy Butler who have all been at the club since it's creation in January 2016. We were fortunate to catch up with Andy Butler, the team's treasurer and goalkeeping coach, to tell us more about Elite FC.
 
"We started the club as we wanted to challenge the established clubs with the best playing style and to become the best footballing team in the North East.
 
"We want to emphasise on player development with playing from the back and taking the ball under pressure. We also wanted to prove that if you "coach and don't poach" you can develop the boys and get them to the next level.  Leon and Connor are examples of this."
 
The two players he mentions are Leon Etko and Connor Osprey, two players that have featured recently on this very website. Connor and Leon are perhaps the biggest success stories at Elite FC as they have now advanced into the professional game, signing pro contracts at Dundee F.C towards the end of 2017.
 
That is a testament to the hard work of the coaches to develop their young players and it has been a source of great inspiration for all at the club.
 
"I think it shows we are doing things the right way as both players were playing B league football before they signed for Elite. We have also had two boys invited into a trail game with Aberdeen FC.
 
"Things are very positive at the moment. We try to play the game in the right manner and we get positive feedback from coaches, referees and parents on the way we play. 
 
"It just emphasises that we are doing the right right thing and our programme of development works."
 
This success has not come without it's own share of problems however. As is often the case with clubs that produce very promising players, it can be hard for clubs to keep these players, but Andy Butler is positive that players can be convinced to stay at Elite FC to continue their development.
 
"We hope our parents can see their boys are developing with us and that we look at the long term in getting them up to the next level, not short term by winning at all costs."
 
And Elite FC are certainly aiming high. When asked about his club's ambitions for the future, Andy Butler said, "To add to our squad and continue to develop the players by coaching to play in the right manner and hopefully get more boys up to pro youth level like Leon & Connor. 
 
"Our club name is Elite FC because we want our players to be Elite players.  We give every boy the opportunity to develop, regardless of their current level of ability.  If we see something we can work with, he will get that chance."
 
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