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Wednesday, 22 March 2017 12:20

Albion reach national final at Drumsagard's expense

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Banks O’Dee Albion Under 14s made it to the Scottish Cup final on Sunday after a 3-1 win over Drumsagard Football Academy Club at Keith Park, Hillhead. Albion got to the semi-final stage last season however crashed out of the competition after defeat to Leith Athletic.

The Aberdeen outfit await the winners of the other semi-final between Barrhead & Leith Athletic which will determine who Albion face at the Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie on the 21st May.

Albion coach Greg Watson shared his thoughts on the game when he said: “The guys played really well and stuck to the game plan really well. Scoring three goals in a Scottish Cup semi-final is brilliant and defensively we were spot-on.

“We’ve lost a few games recently that we aren’t happy about however it was important after getting beat the week before that we reacted well and there’s not a better reaction than putting yourself into the Scottish Cup final.

“There was a lot of support from both the younger & older Albion teams & coaches within the club as well. It’s good to get a lot of young players along to see how these boys play in big games.”

Banks O’Dee Albion Under 17s host Giffnock FC Thistle and Watson added by saying: “It would be great if there was two Albion teams in the final this year and especially that they got to the final last year before being knocked out by Rossvale.

“If they can get there again it would be fantastic for the club and I’m sure the under 17s will do the business on the pitch come Sunday afternoon.”

Albion player Jordan Lynch also spoke to David Reid who said: “It was really good and I am excited for the final and a trip to Airdrie should be good fun. We put in a good shift at the weekend and hopefully we can put in more work in the final.

“Getting knocked out in the Winton Trophy by CBC Hilton is disappointing however we got the win in the Scottish Cup semi-final so the boys are buzzing for a final. It was 0-0 until the last few minutes of the 1st half and it was brilliant to get a goal going into half time which got the morale up for the boys.”

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:33

ADJFA Under 15s - Christmas Review 2016

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The ADJFA Under 15s A league is very competitive this season with only 3 points separating Banks O’Dee Albion at the top to Middlefield Wasps who lie in 7th place.

Banks O’Dee Albion are top with Culter United 2nd with Albion playing a game less than United. Colony Park sit in 3rd with last season’s league champions Lewis United Youth in 4th. Park have played a game less than United.

Behind them on 13 points is Banchory Pumas and Fraserburgh Link-Up and Middlefield Wasps are just a point behind however the Wasps have 2 games in hand on the Pumas and 4 games in hand on the Broch and a rise up the table could be on the cards.

Donside Juvenile and Deveronvale will be fighting it out to avoid relegation with Dyce currently bottom after no wins from 9.

Fraserburgh Link-Up coach David Blackhall gave his assessment on the season so far by saying “The season hasn’t been bad for us, we have taken in players from different teams and we are away to Donside on Sunday which will be a hard game.

“We try to give them all a game however keeping everyone happy is hard. All the lads in the team are from the local area and 10 players from the team are in the Fraserburgh FC Development Squad.”

There is also a key battle going on at the top of the  B league with Paul Lawrie Foundation, Formartine United and Glentanar all in contention for silverware.  There is still a lot of games to be played with a mid-table battle between Colony Colts, Kintore, Longside and Stonehaven Madrid.

The bottom three comprises of Westdyke CC, Deveronvale Colts and Ellon Meadows however the latter has only played 1 league game this season.

The C league also has a number of key battles with Byron Thistle, Kemnay, Newmachar and Cove all battling for promotion at the top. The mid table battle will also be interesting between Greyhope, Culter Thistle, Culter Cobras and North Star.

At the bottom it’s Huntly, Stonehaven United and Turriff United with Turriff playing host to Stonehaven this Sunday with big points at stake to avoid the wooden spoon. 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016 12:02

ADJFA Under 14s - Christmas Review 2016

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There is only one more weekend left on the fixture card in 2016 and a top of the league encounter at Dyce Astro where Dyce play host to Banks O’Dee Albion. Albion sealed their place in the next round of the Winton Trophy after a 2-0 win over their league rivals.
 
Heading into the game, Banks O’Dee have played 7 games and won them all whilst Dyce have played a game less and still has a 100% record. Something has to give at Dyce Astro on Sunday.
 
David Reid spoke to Banks O’Dee Albion coach Greg Watson who said “We are doing really well this season. This is mine and Roger Ross’s first season managing these group of boys and we have a 100% record and into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup so hopefully our good form continues on Sunday against Dyce.
 
“There has been a lot of clean sheets and a lot of good football getting played this season, the boys stuck to the task against Dyce in the Winton Trophy on Sunday and it was good to win with it being the Winton Trophy for our president Brian Winton.”
 
Lewis United currently sit in 2nd with 6 wins, a draw and 2 defeats with Peterhead Jags in 4th with 6 wins and 3 defeats.
 
The relegation battle will be between Formartine United, West End FC Reds, Deveronvale and Banchory with the latter yet to pick up a point after 5 attempts. There is a lot of football to be played during 2017 however it will be really interesting during the business end of the season to determine who will get silverware and who will be in the B league next season.
 
In the B league, Colony Park will take some beating after winning 9 games out of 9 in the league already this season. Newtonhill are also unbeaten in the league with 3 wins and 2 draws after 5 games played.  The relegation battle will be between West End FC, Donside Juvenile, FDS and Glentanar.
 
The C league sees Mintlaw BC currently top of the league however a number of sides below them have games in hand on the Aberdeenshire outfit with Newmachar United having 3 games in hand who have won 7 and lost 1. Colony Colts are also hot on the heels with 6 wins and 2 defeats. 
Friday, 09 December 2016 14:34

ADJFA Under 13s - Christmas Review 2016

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With just a couple of weeks until Christmas, YFS reviews the ADJFA leagues at this point of the season with the under 13s representing a lot of great games in what is the first year of competitive football for this age group.
 
Westdyke are currently top of the A league with a 100% record. Good things are happening with this team and the club. The Lawsondale outfit have had to endure with a lot of tests with games against Lewis, Albion and Dyce and they have past all the assessments put in front of them so far.
 
There is competition for the title race though with Banks O’Dee Albion only 3 points behind Westdyke. Dyce are still representing the ADJFA in the Scottish Cup and are currently 4th in the table. Middlefield Wasps have yet to pick up a point this season and it looks like there will be a battle between Fraserburgh, Formartine and Colony to avoid playing B league football next season.
 
A lot of football has still to be played in the B league with North Star top with a 100% record. Portlethen are still undefeated who have only played 2 league games. Stonehaven Madrid and Thistle BC will also be in contention.
 
At the bottom end of the table, it’s Deveronvale and Ellon Meadows however Vale can gain confidence from beating A league side Middlefield Wasps in the cup earlier in the season. This will be an interesting league to follow during 2017.
 
Thistle BC have a home game against league leaders North Star on Sunday and manager Jeremy Claire looked ahead to the game by saying “The transition to 11 a side football has been a bumpy ride and a lot to take in with different rules and different pitches.
 
“In the Batt Cables Trophy, we lost out narrowly to Colony Park meaning we had to play in the B league this season however in hindsight it was beneficial, the goal for the end of the season is to get promoted into the A league.”
 
West End has taken the C League Section One by storm with a 100% record scoring 95 goals in 9 games in the process. Mintlaw and Kemnay have yet to pick up a point. Luck will surely change soon enough.
 
West End FC Reds are top of the C League Section Two. Consistency will be key for the Aberdeen outfit if they are to taste league success at the end of the season. 
Saturday, 05 November 2016 11:50

Speyside and Kyran are on a mission

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Speyside Youth Development was only formed in January 2016 however it’s a club going places and will only continue to grow in the months and years ahead. Speysides man at the helm Kyran Dyer is a very enthusiastic football man and is also involved behind the scenes with Dufftown JFC and is also coaching the youngsters every Tuesday at Elgin City. Kyran is only 16 and has a bright future ahead of him.
 
Dyer spoke about his plans for the future and how the idea came about by saying, “We started up Speyside Youth Development FC in January this year and then we had trials in April and 24 kids turned up and we have trained once a week since April.
 
“We have had 3 games winning one and losing two and the whole idea is just to get kids playing football as there is a big gap from Primary 7 into S1 so we are just trying to bridge that gap.
 
“When I was in S1 it was quite hard to get into the school team and I thought because I am old enough now I set this up to see if we can bridge the gap so that is how the idea came about.
 
“We played our first game against Elgin City and a player got scouted for Elgin so I was happy with that, a few more players have also had offers however they have decided to stay which are good.
 
“Things have been since good we have formed it,  we had been partnered with a youth café in Dufftown called Speyside Youth however I have separated from that and I aim to start a parent committee so I am currently in the process of doing that.
 
“I see the game as it should be played in the proper manner and it should be right and not all long ball rubbish like what old management styles have been like, people are trying to play football now which is a lot better than just punting the ball.
 
“We are looking to enter the Highland Youth League however it’s a lot of hard work with SFA permits required however we are getting there and hope to apply soon.
 
“We have a Facebook page called Speyside Youth Development FC (click here) and if anyone is interested in joining the club either on or off the park then just send us a message. We take in players from P7-S2.
 
“Just now we currently only have one age group, we are trying to open up more age groups so we have a good youth system running however we are just trying to focus just now on getting into a league with one age group just now.”
Thistle FC 2004s produced a dominant display against Stonehaven Madrid to continue their faultless start to the new season and 11-aside football.
 
Both teams entered the match with two wins from their opening two league fixtures. Ordinarily that would indicate the prospect of a tightly contested, even game. However, the Newburgh side had other ideas.
 
And if the pre-match warm-up of a team really is a true reflection of the performance they are about to produce, then the large crowd in attendance shouldn’t have been surprised by what they were about to witness.
 
The whip and intensity of Thistle’s passing drills prior to kick off was simply the pre-show to the main event.
 
Thistle started the game understandably like a side familiar in their surroundings. The huge, flat surface of the pitch at Gallows Hill - located next to Newburgh-on-Ythan Golf Club - accommodated the passing style of the home side to a tee.
 
Thistle goalkeeper Gregor Manning would seldom kick the ball any further than 10 yards outside of his box, and even when he did the reluctance on his face was evident. He was clearly instructed to pass the ball out to his defenders and he duly obliged. Every goal kick was the beginning of the next attack.
 
However, despite the verve and brightness of the hosts, Stonehaven were no sitting ducks. They arguably started the football match the better, showing off all the bravado of a team with a 100% record.
 
Both teams were athletic and energetic, matching each other for the majority of the first half. Stonehaven went toe-to-toe with their ball-playing opponents. All the pre-match assumptions of a close-knit affair were being proved right.
 
But, as the cliché goes, the first goal in a football match is often the most important. Newburgh scored it and they got the points. The impressive Beeses Rai duly delivered it. The all-action forward ended the match with three of his team’s five goals. As well as producing excellence on the ball, Rai offered excellence off it. This was epitomised by his two second-half goals. One was an audacious, scooped half volley that left the Madrid goalkeeper with literally no chance. The other a goal from chasing down what looked like a lost cause, only to get to the ball before the onrushing ‘keeper. Goals from his teammates Ciaran Carver and Matthew Colbert ensured that Thistle join North Star at the top of the 13s League B with nine points.
 
To their credit, Stonehaven rallied early in the second half and grabbed a goal to threaten a different result. But the feeling was that this very good Stonehaven side was just a tad off their normal level, while facing an equally as good team who were right at it. With that in mind, the return fixture in Stonehaven could be one to look out for. Madrid can still be happy with their start to the season, though. Two wins from three keeps them handily placed in fifth place. 
Friday, 23 September 2016 10:51

Aberdeen gearing up for Scottish Cup semi-finals

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A big weekend awaits Aberdeen FC Ladies with the 13s and 15s participating in Scottish Cup semi-finals in Forfar. YFS North Region reporter and Aberdeen FCL Press Officer David Reid caught up with both camps ahead of the game. We start off with the 13s who reached the Scottish Cup final last season. Here is what Scott McDougall had to say. This game is an 11am kick off at Market Muir.
 
Aberdeen under 13s girls reached the Scottish Cup final last season however were defeated in the final. Scott McDougall's side are back again in the latter stages of the competition and Bayside Girls stand in their way at Market Muir, Forfar on Sunday morning.
 
DR: First of all, how is the team looking forward to the game?
 
SM: Our girls have not had much chance to think about the Semi Final until Thursday night when we got them together for a terrific team bonding session on the pitch at Pittodrie for the Betfred Cup quarter-final between Aberdeen and St Johnstone.  Following that the girls are buzzing. We will have a light session with them on Saturday morning then it’s the game on Sunday.
 
DR: You reached the Scottish Cup final last season however you won’t be taking anything for granted I take it?
 
SM: Last year was a terrific experience for our girls and we have been fortunate that the majority have still been young enough to participate in this year’s competition, indeed 4 of the girls can still compete in next year’s U13 competition too which really says a lot about the pathway we have at our club.
 
DR: Every game in the Scottish Cup this season excluding the first round victory over Central has all been away with trips to Clark Drive, Celtic and Hearts so the team has done a fair bit of travelling this season?
 
SM: Yes and I've been the driver for a number of those trips!! It’s definitely challenging to play in the Scottish Cup knowing because of where we stay there is a high probability we will have to make long trips in the Scottish Cup. The girls have clocked up almost 1000 miles playing in this years tournament but these trips have been a lot of fun and we have made lots of new friends at the clubs we have visited. Our parents deserve huge credit for the support they provide no matter where our girls play. We really are so grateful for their help.
 
DR:  Bayside are currently top of the East 13s Fife League with a 100% record so a difficult task lies in wait for you?
 
SM: Bayside have had a terrific season. Like ourselves they have nurtured a very young squad over the past few years and they have already shown how good they are by progressing against other teams from our region, including our other Aberdeen team. I think it’s wonderful for the development of football throughout Scotland that Bayside have made it through to their first Scottish Cup Semi Final and hopefully this will encourage even more girls in their region to consider developing their talents at the club.
 
DR: What would it mean as a team if you were to reach the Scottish Cup final?
 
SM: Team is very much the appropriate word. From our Lets Co-ordinator to our Chairperson, from our Head Coach to our primary coaches it’s a massive team effort across many years. It’s been an amazing achievement to get 2 teams through to the semi-finals of our national competition at 13s and 15s and no matter the result in both I really do hope that it shows other clubs throughout the country that clubs from our region are producing individual players and teams that can compete with the best that Scotland has to offer. As a club we need to use these type of higher profile tournaments to showcase our player pathway, encourage more girls to play football which can only help to drive up standards so that in years to come more teams can share in these types of achievements.
 
DR: Thanks Scott and good luck on Sunday
 
SM: No problem David, here’s hoping it’s a successful weekend for Aberdeen Ladies.
 
Aberdeen Ladies are hosting Forfar Farmington at Sunnybank on Sunday afternoon however 52 miles down the road at Forfar the under 15s will be looking to get themselves into the SWF Under 15s Youth Scottish Cup final when they take on Farmington. David Reid caught up with John Dickie to preview this encounter. This is a 1:30pm kick off at Station Park.
 
DR: First of all, how is the team looking forward to the game?
 
JD: The 15s girls are excited to be playing in the Semi Final however we are taking it as just another game.
 
DR: You have had three away trips in the Scottish Cup already away this season to Glasgow City 14s and Celtic 14s and also a much shorter trip to play Westdyke. It’s these type of trips that help with team bonding and will this be vital ahead of this game in Forfar?
 
JD: The players are used to travelling as we have taken them away to a number of tournaments to allow them to play against a number of Central teams. The game was originally going to played in Kilwinning however the fact that we have managed to get the venue changed to Forfar is a great help and saves an overnight stay but the girls are disappointed as they always enjoy their time together on the road.
 
DR: In the quarter-final away to Celtic, Emily Mutch stole the headlines with some of the saves she made in the game however overall
and it was a good team performance coming down from 2-0 to force extra time then winning the game during that period?
 
JD: Emily Mutch had an excellent game with some outstanding saves which kept us in the game, especially in overtime when the legs were heavy. The squad was short due to injuries and other commitments so I was especially pleased to see the girls dig deep and show character to win the tie in extra time. After regular performances like the Celtic game I can’t understand why Emily was not picked for the Scotland under 15s national squad, the 3 goal keepers that made the squad must be something special.
 
DR: Forfar Farmington are currently 4th in the East Region 15s league, does playing in an Under 16s league give yourselves any advantages?
 
JD: I don’t pay any attention to league positions as in cup competitions it is how you play on the day. A lot of the teams we face get confused between ourselves and our youth team who also play in the under 16s league. The 16s league has its pros and cons but I feel that our squad has coped well against the older teams in the league and grown more confident because of it.
 
DR: What would it mean for everyone at AFCL if you were to reach the Scottish Cup final?
 
JD: It would mean the world to myself and fellow coaches Doug Knowles and Kim McRobbie, especially for the years of battling against the norm with us putting player development before winning.
 
DR: Thanks John and good luck on Sunday.
 
JD: No problem David, here’s hoping we can reach Toryglen!
 
David also caught up with 15s players Eilidh Shore and Emma Rogers ahead of their fixture against Forfar. Here's what they had to say starting with Eilidh.
 
DR: How are you and the team looking forward to the game?
 
ES: I think it will be another tough game for us, but we’re looking forward to it. We have proved that we are capable of winning games, so we hope to get into the final.
 
DR: Talk us through the season so far, it’s been a good season to date with the team undefeated in the league?
 
ES: It’s been a very good season so far, and we hope to remain undefeated for the whole season. We still have a few tough games left, so we’ll need to work hard and keep up the same standard.
 
DR: It’s been a good road in the Scottish Cup going down to Celtic and Glasgow City 14sand picking up wins?
 
ES: We’re used to being on the road as we normally get drawn away from home in the Scottish Cup, so all the travelling is no problem for our team. Both our ties against Celtic and Glasgow City 14s were exciting games, where we managed to find a way through.
 
DR: Forfar are 4th in the East Region 15s league, does playing in an Under 16s league give yourselves any advantages?
 
ES: I don’t feel we have any advantage as Forfar play in a different league, so it is hard to compare. A lot of the teams in our league have younger players anyway.
 
DR: What would it mean as a team if you were to reach the Scottish Cup final?
 
ES: It would be a great achievement, as it’s our first time in the 15’s Scottish Cup as a team. We have had some difficult opponents, but we’ve worked hard together to get this far.
 
DR: Thanks Eilidh and good luck on Sunday.
 
ES: No problem David.
 
Emma Rogers looked ahead to the fixture by saying:
 
DR: How are you and the team looking forward to the game?
 
ER: We are really excited to be playing the game and to be in the cup semi-final.  There will be a few nerves on the day but we will be treating it as a normal weekly game.
 
DR: Talk us through the season so far, it’s been a good season to date with the team undefeated in the league?
 
ER: The team has put in some great performances in the games on a weekly basis so far.  The effort in training has paid off in the games and the will power to win is beginning to show itself.  We have had some away games and stepped up to the challenges.  Therefore I believe the unbeaten run is well deserved.
 
DR: It’s been a good road in the Scottish Cup going down to Celtic and Glasgow City 14s and picking up wins?
 
ER: In these particular games, we have put in good shifts from each individual with some outstanding performances.  Also our team spirit helped us through in extra time against Celtic despite initially being 2-0 down before taking Celtic to extra time before winning the game.
 
DR: Forfar are 4th in the East Region 15s league, does playing in an under 16s league give yourselves any advantages?
 
ER: It does not necessarily give us any advantage.  However, having the extra experience will help us out, although league and cup games are very different and depend on the way we play on the day.  As a result neither team is at an advantage or disadvantage.
 
DR: What would it mean as a team if you were to reach the Scottish Cup final?
 
ER: It would be brilliant to reach the cup final. It would mean the world to each and every one of us including the coaches.  The coaches have worked so hard and supported us in this cup campaign.
 
DR: Thanks Emma and good luck on Sunday.
 
ER: Thanks David
Youth Football Scotland: #LiveYourGoals Festival @ Northfield Academy &emdash;
 
In celebration of UEFA Grassroots week between Saturday the 10th of September and Saturday the 17th of September 2016, the Scottish Football Association have organised a number of events throughout Scotland. Aberdeen’s Northfield Academy hosted a girls’ football festival on Wednesday the 13th of September, with over 300 girls participating from around Aberdeen. YFS caught up with Jo Murphy, one of the event organisers, to find out more.
 
Murphy organised the event, as part of the FIFA ‘Live Your Goals Festival’, on behalf of the Scottish FA. She said, “This is a worldwide programme. We’re trying to get more girls involved in the sport and we’re hoping to get over 1000 girls playing football through the festivals. This is the first one that we’ve had in Aberdeen this year and we have around 330 girls coming throughout the day. Hopefully this will give them a taste of what football is about and they will want to continue playing.”
 
The day was split into two sessions, with around 150 girls attending the morning session from five different primary schools, and around 190 girls attending the afternoon session from five more primary schools. All of the girls were welcomed with high fives by enthusiastic coaches who created a positive environment and fun activities for their day. Northfield Academy’s all-weather pitch was split into two halves: one providing numerous mini pitches for four-aside matches, while the other half had five different coaching stations set up to work on various skills, including dribbling, passing, and spatial awareness.
 
Murphy said, “For most of the girls, it will be their first time playing four-aside matches. The coaching stations mainly focused on dribbling, a bit of passing and some relay races as well. It was an all-round mix of the basics.”
 
Four players from Aberdeen FC Ladies were in attendance at the event. They got involved in some of the four-aside games as well as doing question and answer sessions with the children. Murphy said, “The four girls that came along are good role models for the young kids. They can share their experiences. Just seeing other girls playing football and older women, I think that inspires them to get involved, especially with the ladies wearing their Aberdeen tracksuits as well. Some of the girls might go along and watch some of their games, and get involved themselves.”
 
The festival in Aberdeen is only one of a number that have been arranged up and down the country. Murphy said, “We’ve had six events in each of the six regions that the SYFA operate in. In this region, we’ve targeted the Primary three and four age-group because that was what the local club wanted but last year we did one for Academy girls to try and get them into the sport as well. Across Scotland, we’ve probably had around 1200 girls participate in the programme so far.”
 
Local club, North Star Community Football Club, started a girls’ section last season and Murphy is hopeful that events like the festival will encourage girls to participate in football. She said, “We want to build the pathway for clubs like North Star so that girls can come in at five years old and stay until they are fifteen or sixteen. Hopefully the girls will want to come and play for clubs like North Star, or come to some of the other community trust activities that we have. Ultimately, we just want more girls playing football and hopefully events like this will encourage them to do just that.”
 
It is fantastic to see such positive events taking place in the North region. With so many creative activities and the enthusiasm of the coaches involved, many girls are sure to be inspired to get more involved in playing football.
Monday, 12 September 2016 11:22

Turriff United kick off season with 100% record

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Turriff United Under 19s have enjoyed a good start to the season with 3 wins out of 3 under new manager Kevin Coyle who was previously a coach at Maud JFC.
 
Kevin Coyle said this "It's been a different start to the season, played three different teams in Echt which we won comfortably 2-0 and it could have been 6/7, Banks O'Dee Albion it was a battle and it was two good teams, 2-0 up and we were cruising and then Mikey Ironside missed a penalty and we switched off for a bit of time and then we got the winner, one team wanted to play football and one team won the game and today, it was a battle and aggresive on the ball. There was 6 changes from last week.
 
"I think we need a couple more players, hopefully get 2 in this week, with the team we've got we can challenge in the A league I think.
 
"Connor Stephen was excellent in pre-season for us and it hit us with a bombshell after he said a couple of days before the start of the season he was off to college in Newcastle, we got in touch with Michael Low who took a bit of time out of the game but we managed to persuade him with the structure we have from now to the first team at Turriff United, he had a world class save from a free kick.
 
"We have a few young guys and a few experienced guys in the first team, Kelvin Brown has been important as has Michael Ironside, Michael is the kind of player who can win you games, there's nothing that fears him, Michael is going to important along with the rest of the squad.
 
Ironside is looking forward to his latest challenge and said "We have a good bunch of lads here and it's a good squad to be a part of, we have started the season well with three victories in a row and we are looking to challenge for the cups and also the league."

The transition from playing at U14’s level to U15’s level involves many changes for the 2002’s ADJFA C-league. Last season, the C-league was split into two sections with eight teams in section 1 and seven teams in section 2. This season, the two sections have been joined and, with several teams having been promoted at the end of last season, eleven teams feature in the league. Derek Masson, coach of Portlethen SC amongst several other roles with the club, spoke exclusively to YFS to reflect on last season and share his hopes for his team this season.

Portlethen played in section one of the C-league last season and Masson looks back on their performances with a great deal of positivity. He said, “Portlethen had a very good U14’s season and perhaps over-achieved based on our pre-season expectations. We had lots of good performances throughout the season and finished the season very strongly, winning seven out of our last eight matches.” He added, “Looking back, we dropped points in a few matches where we possibly did not perform to our usual levels and that, together with disappointing results against the team that deservedly went on to win our section, cost us the chance of winning the section.”

Given their strong performances last season, Portlethen certainly have a chance to challenge for the title this season but Masson is aware that anything can happen and that early results could be influential. He said, “You cannot really tell who will be strong until you have played each team, with player movements between clubs. There are two new teams in the C-league this season, meaning there are a few unknowns at the moment. There is also a three-way B/C-league play-off [before] we know who will be in Category C but whoever misses out, there will obviously be a strong side and contenders again this season.”

Although the squad is relatively unchanged this season, Masson is hopeful of adding some players. He said, “We are looking to strengthen [the squad] with the addition of one or two more players.” In doing this, Portlethen will hope to pose an even greater challenge in the league.

However Masson’s main aim for the season is player development. He said, “[We want] to keep improving and developing the team but most of all {as with most teams) it really should all be about the boys enjoying their game of football.” 

Portlethen have started the season well with three wins and a draw from their first four games. They began with two away fixtures, a 3-0 win against Kemnay FC and a 4-4 draw to Culter Thistle, before following up with home wins against Culter Cobras and North Star. They will look to build on these early performances to challenge for the league title although at this early stage, everyone is still in with a chance, and YFS wish all the teams in the 2002’s ADJFA C-league all the best for the 2016/17 season.