Thistle Youth Club was established in 2015 by a group of football and community minded coaches and parents from North East Aberdeenshire who were looking to provide a Football Club for coaches, children and youths in the north east to develop, in line with the SYFA Player Pathway and Positive Coaching Scotland initiatives.
The goal of the club which is highlighted in their club badge is 'One Club One Goal' and refers to their vision to develop all players and coaches in a positive way so they learn, progress and enjoy football for the long term, while building strong friendships and teams.
Thistle Youth Club’s home pitches are at Gallowshill, Newburgh, on a coastal location in the North East of Scotland. The Newburgh club are also in partnership with Gallowshill Community Hub who has made an application for a full size Astro pitch to be located where one of their home pitches currently is. If successful this will allow us to continue to expand.
There are currently 8 different age groups, playing in a variety of local leagues, totalling a membership of approximately 160 young people ranging from ages 4 to 13 years. The first girl's team is also in its early stages, with plans for a team to join the local girls league by summer 2018.
Thistle have 2 Skills Centre's run on a weekly basis - one being their goal keeping academy which allows our keeper coaches to focus in solely on the goalkeepers for all the age groups. Running keeper only sessions means they can really be creative with the drills and challenge Thistle’s keepers to the maximum. Secondly, the club also has a Skills Academy which puts all of the age groups through the programmes developed at Aberdeen FC. The club have really been able to see the progression of practice through to performing during games.
Although a relatively young club, Thistle have been steadily fulfilling all the requirements of the SFA's Quality Mark Awards. To the extent that Thistle are now heading for the Legacy Award. Which for a club that is not even 3 years old is something they can be proud of.
On a lighter note, we are looking forward to taking the whole club to Peterhead at the end of April to see if they can lift the League Cup, sending age groups to Blackpool and Barcelona, running Parkrun as a whole club, hosting a 4v4 Festival, celebrating at our Annual Prize Giving and much more!!
Thistle Youth FC 2008 Coach Chris Robertson said: “This club is all about everyone enjoying their football, as far as we are concerned it’s all about developing kids & there is no pressure on them at all, if the players are playing with a smile on their face then we are delighted.
“The set-up at Thistle is really good & we are all striving at the club to achieve the same goal, the support we get from parents is good. The rise in the last few years at the club has been phenomenal, I don’t think any of us envisaged how big the club has grown in a short space of time.”
2007 Coach Mike Mahoney also spoke to Youth Football Scotland who said: “There is no pressure on the coaches or the players at the club, we are just there to coach the kids to the best of our abilities, it’s all about fun & enjoyment.
“My 2007 team are looking forward to going into 9v9 in August, I think it’ll be a good move & I can’t wait for it as we can progress the players on more as I think some of the players are ready for the step up now, some of them are itching to move on.”