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Youth Football Scotland reporters Claire Guilline, David Reid spoke about the main talking points pre-match, half time and at full time at the Lewis United v Banks O’Dee Albion under 16s Scottish cup semi-final.
It is 16 Scottish Cup finals in 16 years for Banks O’Dee Albion and coach Bruce McGregor's 5th Scottish Cup final with Albion as a coach. A great achievement and Bruce is a great lad and let’s face it, a tactical genius!
Claire and David received the team lines from Alan Cook at Lewis United and Patrick Ritchie from Banks O’Dee Albion and we invited former Lewis United player Kieran Simpson to gather his thoughts on the game who is now playing for Peterhead BC.
So David, Claire and Kieran spoke about the game in one of the stands at North Lodge Park, Formartine and David asked Kieran, “What his first impressions were on the game as he has seen both sides.” Kieran replied saying “Both the sides are really evenly matched, I think the forward turns will be really important and there will be a lot of saves made by the goalkeepers.”
David then said, “Your father, Mark Simpson used to play here, this must be a good ground for you is it?” Kieran came back saying “Yeah I used to watch him all the time and I hope it’s a great game to watch today and whoever comes out on top will win the game.”
David then asked Claire on the facilities available at Formartine United when she said “The facilities here at Formartine United have improved over the last year, and it’s a fantastic ground which is used in the Highland League and both teams will be keen to take advantage of the atmosphere here and try and push for victory in the semi-finals today.”
Claire then announced the team line-ups for Lewis United which were as follows: Euan Morrison, Logan Johnstone, James Robson, Jay Leiper, Kyle Smith, Gregor Thom, Cameron Cook, Liam Duncan, Alex Kelly and David Edwards and Mitchell Foy with bench being: Brian Mair, Adam Smith, Aaron Leslie, Calum Mitchell and Adam Joji.
David asked Kieran his thoughts on the line-up when he said “There’s a couple of surprises in there however I think it’s still strong to go out and win the game and I think they have the ability in midfield and going forward and they are strong in defence. “
For Banks O’Dee Albion we have: Vitali Sahhalevits, Jason Ritchie, Cameron Imrie, Calum Beattie, Ben Ross, Alasdair Shrive, Hamish McLeod, Mark Reid, Calum McKenzie, Lewis Duffy and Connor Wood with bench as follows: Andrew Wood, Joseph Bisset, Shaun Cameron, Greg Pirie and Cameron Ross.
Kieran shared his thoughts on the line-up again when he said “Yet again, a really strong team and they have shown that in the last couple of years especially in the league and they are a really hard team to beat and it will come down to whoever performs best.”
Half Time
It was 2-1 Albion with Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid giving Albion a two goal advantage before Mitchell Foy reduced the leeway for Lewis. David and Claire shared their thoughts starting with Claire when she said “It has been a close game and Banks O’Dee Albion have been quite dominant however Lewis getting their goal back will give them a fighting chance in the 2nd half and also give them a little bit of confidence. The goal was a turning point for Lewis and something for them to build on and they will be looking to put more pressure on Albion now”
Claire then asked David what his thoughts were on the performances of both sides when he said “Albion have just shaded the overall play in the 1st half, the Albion coaching staff would have stated pre-match to start the game well and they did with goals from Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid before Mitchell Foy pulled one back, if Albion keep it going then they will be in Airdrie come May.”
Claire then asked David what both managers will be saying just now when David replied back saying “Well for Lewis they have just got a goal back so Brian and Keith will be trying to get the boys up for it again and to build on that goal, for Albion it will be a theme of keep going.”
Who will be key? David says “You could single out any player however you look at Lewis and they signed players from Albion in the summer and I think Logan Johnston, Kyle Smith and Gregor Thom will be vital and they will be eager to push the boys on a little, as for Banks O’Dee Albion we already know what Jason Ritchie and Mark Reid are all about however it could be down to the goalkeepers Euan and Vitali.”
Full Time
It has finished Lewis United 2-3 Banks O’Dee Albion at North Lodge Park, Pitmedden with Albion probably just coming out on top over the 80 minutes.
David asks Claire what her view on the game was when she said “In the 2nd half, Lewis pressed on more and they managed to get that equaliser that they desperately needed and really brought themselves back into the game.
“Banks O’Dee Albion was the stronger team and got their goal to take the lead again and really didn’t give Lewis any more chances from there on, credit to Banks O’Dee Albion who managed to hold on.”
David then asked Claire if she felt Lewis United were denied a stonewall penalty at 2-2 when she said “I didn’t have the best view so I am going to stay neutral and say it could have gone either way.”
Claire then asked David for his view on the game when he said “Lewis must have gotten a bit of a talking to at half time because they came out in the 2nd half a lot stronger than they did in the first half and they were denied a stonewall penalty which if it was given and they scored it they could have went onto win the game.
“Fair play to Banks O’Dee Albion though who took advantage of the referees’ decision and take the lead once again thanks to Calum McKenzie.
“Albion used their experience to full advantage and I think it’s a little bit too early for Lewis United however don’t be surprised to see Lewis bounce back next season.”
What do you think Banks O’Dee will do to prepare for the final? David replied saying “Well the final isn’t until May however Albion now have a bit of time to wait for the winner and also to get themselves ready for the showcase event however Albion will be eager to get more success before then.”
“I spoke to Patrick on Monday and he said that you can’t buy experience and Albion put that to full dividends today and Bruce will put his experience across to the players before the game, Fauldhouse and Rossvale lie in wait.
“Albion know all about Rossvale and I have heard a lot of good things about Fauldhouse so that will be an interesting semi-final however it’ll be whoever wants it most on the day.  
Star players from either team? For Lewis either Mitchell Foy or Liam Duncan and for Albion, I was expecting a lot more from the Lewis United midfield and Alasdair Shrive and Ben Ross were outstanding for Albion.
David then spoke to Claire there is a guaranteed Aberdeen representative in the final when she replied saying “The under 13s got beat from Leith Athletic however there is the possibility of two teams going through from the North region to Airdrie in May and I’m pretty sure Albion 16s will do the ADJFA proud.”
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 17:55

Watch: Scotland v Northern Ireland U18 Schoolboys

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Video highlights from the Centenary Shield opener at Lesser Hampden.
The squad has been announced for Scotland's schoolboy international against Northern Ireland. The match takes place this evening (Friday 26th February) at 7pm, with the venue being Lesser Hampden. The eighteen players are as follows:
Kyle BANNER (Graeme HS)
Jack COOK (Dunbar Grammar)
John CUNNINGHAM (Hamilton Grammar) 
Dominic KANE (St. Kentigerns HS)
Derryn KESSON (Craigie HS)
Adam KIRKWOOD (Stranraer Academy)
Seyon KOSHOEDO (Harlaw Academy)
Callum LAING (St. Josephs College)
Josh MACDONALD (Calderglen HS)
Lachie MACLEOD (Aberdeen Grammar)
Bradley MANSON (Old Machar Academy)
Adam MARTIN (Bearsden Academy)
Ryan McRITCHIE (Millburn Academy)
Fraser MORTON (Wallacehall Academy)
Morgan REID (Bannockburn HS)
Mark SMITH (Grove Academy)
Liam STRACHAN (North East College)
Andrew WILSON (St. Kentigerns HS)
Wednesday, 20 January 2016 10:24

McLeod happy to be selected for Scotland

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Five players from the North region have been called up to the Scotland Schools U18's squad for games against Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic Of Ireland.
Liam Strachan and Bradley Manson are reunited back in the squad after both being present in the camp last year. Lachie MacLeod and Seyon Koshoedo (pictured below) who both hail from Aberdeen are in the squads for the first time and are joined by Ryan McRitchie from Inverness.
Liam Strachan attends college where as the rest are still at school. Bradley Manson is at Oldmachar Academy, Lachie McLeod goes to Aberdeen Grammar, Seyon Koshoedo goes to Harlaw Academy, and Ryan McRitchie goes to Millburn Academy up in Inverness.
One of the games that Scotland are participating in is local to the majority of the guys with Highland League side Inverurie Loco Works FC hosting the Scotland v Wales game on the 24th March with a 19:30pm kick off.
The last time Wales came to the North East, they visited Princess Royal Park which is the home of Highland League side Deveronvale FC and Scotland came away 3-0 winners.
One of the players who played for Scotland that night was former Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher in a year in which Scotland lifted the Victory Shield.
Liam Strachan and Bradley Manson were both last season pushing hard to get a professional contract at Aberdeen. However, towards the tail end of the last season were released by the club. Liam now plays for Highland League outfit Turriff United and Bradley also plays in the Highland League, for Turriffs rivals Deveronvale.
Lachie McLeod who is in the squad for the first time as a striker gave his thoughts about being selected. He said, "It's quite surreal. I was very happy to be selected for the Scotland squad this year. It felt good that my hard work hasn't gone unnoticed and I haven't had a better feeling in football. 
"In the national trophy games, scouts came and had a look at me and I got recommended to the guys at Scotland schools. I have managed five goals in three games for Aberdeen during the national trophy so far. 
"What I aim to get out of this is to get spotted by a professional team. I was at Montrose for a while last season, however I would like to step up again. We are playing Sporting Futures USA on the 8th March so that is a good chance to impress scouts and coaches with the chance to go to America."
Lachie is also excited about playing one of the games in his region. He said, "Most of our games and training sessions have been down in the central belt. I played with Liam Strachan at Albion and I am good mates with him. I am starting to bond with Bradley and Seyon now and we all travelling up together and also in the same hotel rooms."
The Scotland Women's training camp squads have been announced for the U16, U17, and U19's age groups.
U16 (28th-30th January @ Toryglen)
Jade Baillie - Celtic FC
Shannon Burgon - Rangers LFC
Rebecca Cameron - Dundee United LFC
Kiera Gibson - Celtic FC
Georgia Adderley - Spartans LFC
Leah Eddie - Celtic FC
Michaela McAlonie - Hearts LFC
Kimberley McAlpine - Central Girls Academy
Shaney McCabe - Central Girls Academy
Bethany McPherson - Aberdeen LFC
Shannon Nagle - Celtic FC
Courtney Otto - Rangers LFC
Julia Dunn - Celtic FC
Kelsey Gibson - Chelsea LFC
Ellie Kane - Central Girls Academy
Kirsten Laing - Celtic FC
Kirstie McIntosh - Central Girls Academy
Sara McWhirter - Celtic FC
Brogan Molloy - Celtic FC
Amy Muir - Rangers LFC
Chloe Muir - Glasgow City FC
Elena Santoyo-Brown - Boroughmuir LFC
Monica Anderson - Glasgow City FC
Abby Callaghan - Celtic FC
Morgan Cross - Central Girls Academy
Fern Newbigging - Celtic FC
Megan Robb - Dundee United FC
Alise Stewart - Motherwell LFC
U17 (19th-21st January @ Toryglen)
U19 (22nd-24th January @ Toryglen)
Monday, 04 January 2016 12:13

SSFA U18 squad announcement

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The SSFA U18 squad for the 2015/16 season has been announced:
Kyle BANNER  (Graeme HS, Falkirk)
Jack COOK  (Dunbar Grammar)
John CUNNINGHAM  (Hamilton Grammar)
Dominic KANE  (St.Kentigern's Academy, Blackburn)
Derryn KESSON  (Craigie HS, Dundee)
Adam KIRKWOOD  (Stranraer Academy)
Seyon KOSHOEDO  (Harlaw Academy, Aberdeen)
Callum LAING  (St.Joseph's College, Dumfries)
Josh MacDONALD  (Calderglen HS, East Kilbride)
Lachie MacLEOD  (Aberdeen Grammar)
Bradley MANSON  (Oldmachar Academy, Bridge of Don)
Adam MARTIN  (Bearsden Academy) 
Ryan McRITCHIE  (Millburn Academy, Inverness)
Fraser MORTON  (Wallace Hall Academy, Thornhill)
Morgan REID  (Bannockburn HS)
Mark SMITH  (Grove Academy, Dundee)
Liam STRACHAN  (North East Scotland College, Aberdeen)
Andrew WILSON  (St.Kentigern's Academy, Blackburn)
The home leg of the annual international friendly football match between Scottish Colleges and Welsh Colleges took place at Broadwood Stadium on a wet and windy Thursday afternoon. Both teams travelled to the match with strong squads, looking to gain bragging rights in what is always a competitive fixture. 
The match started at a frantic pace with Wales’ number 10 hitting the post within the first few minutes after an excellent Welsh break. Scotland quickly returned the favour with a break of their own, only for Josh McGonigal to be denied by the onrushing keeper once through on goal. It was clear both sides were nervous in defence during the early stages of the match, however the Scottish defence quickly settled and both teams became more solid all over the park.
The game continued at a good pace with Wales spurning various chances, which they were made to regret as Scotland got their noses in front after 26 minutes. Tight interplay down the right was a common theme for Scotland in the opening phases and an excellent one-two between right back Scott Norman and striker Josh McGonigal led to a bouncing ball within the box which Scott Norman didn’t hesitate to volley into the back of the net. 
The match remained an even affair with both teams creating good chances. Ben Wagner, Ryan Porteus and Josh McGonigal all worked tirelessly in attack and were unlucky not to add to the score line. Nonetheless it was Scotland keeper Byron Gibb that ensured Scotland went in at half time ahead, pulling off two point blank saves that both seemed destined to draw Wales level. 
Half-time: Scottish Colleges 1-0 Welsh Colleges
The second half started in a similar fashion to the first with a frantic pace and visible nerves at the back, however this time it was Wales who capitalised and got themselves back into the game within a few minutes of the restart. Wales worked the ball wide and after some good play, the ball fell to the feet of Wales number 10 who side footed the ball across Robbie Kelly and into the back of the net from a difficult angle.
Wales’ enthusiastic celebration showed exactly how fired up they had become and their increased intensity soon led to them taking the lead. Perhaps in an effort to regain control of the match, Scotland committed men forward and after some loose Scottish play Wales number 7 was gifted too much time and space and his low cross was poked home by the anticipating Welsh forward in the 55th minute.
The momentum was now fully with Wales and a driven shot from outside the box in the 56th minute picked up pace on the greasy surface and fell into the path of an onrushing Wales forward after a save from Kelly. The striker made no mistake and buried the ball into the roof of the net first time queuing jubilant scenes among all Welsh staff and players.
Scotland quickly moved from 4-1-4-1 to 4-4-2 in order to chase the game with Captain Maxime Neossi dropping back into defence from his important holding role. The fluency they showed in the first half seemed to have been lost as the Welsh continued to grow in strength. Special praise must go to Wales’ number 7 who was a constant threat on the wing and was at the heart of various excellent Welsh attacks.
A second half chance did come Scotland’s way as an exchange of passes between Euan Russell and Greg Fernie led to a snap shot rattling the post. This was to be the last chance of the match as the referee drew the game to a close underneath the floodlights.
Half-time: Scottish Colleges 1-3 Welsh Colleges
An excellent afternoon and experience for everyone involved and a strong advert for college football in both Scotland and Wales. Huge thanks to the Welsh for travelling up the road and we all look forward to the away fixture in the New Year.
Thursday, 19 November 2015 11:10

Scotland Women's U15 training camp squad announced

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Below are the players selected for the Women's U15 training camp, which will run from the 27th-29th of November at Toryglen. Well done to all selected: 
UEFA European Under-21 Championship Qualifier
SCOTLAND v Ukraine
Friday, 13 November 2015, kick-off 5.45pm
St Mirren Park, Paisley
Scotland U21 boss Ricky Sbragia says he is relishing the challenge of tonight’s European Championship qualifier against Ukraine at St Mirren Park. The manager has been joined by national coach Gordon Strachan and Performance Director Brian McClair this week, and insists it’s been beneficial for everyone.
“It’s been fantastic. From day one, he’s (Strachan) came in and helped everyone with his knowledge of international football and the sessions we’re talking about. He’s just been watching training, spent some time with the players and got to know them.”
Despite Ukraine having failed to pick up any point thus far, Sbragia commented:
“They’ve lost their three game against France, Macedonia and Iceland, but they’re a good team. They play a long ball game, they’re very physical and tall but very decent and should’ve probably beat Macedonia and Iceland. It’ll be a tough game, we know that, so we know what to expect. We’ve done some video analysis over the past few days and have a game plan."
For Scotland, who currently sit fourth in Group 3 with four points, Sbragia says this isn’t a fair reflection of his sides progress in recent months. 
“I actually think we should’ve beaten Iceland, and their goalkeeper made a fantastic save late on in the game. A lot of it has to do with luck and luck has to do with us sometimes not being clinical enough. As ever, we just take each game as it comes and see how it goes and hopefully get something from it.”
Sbragia also admits there has been an extra edge to training, as the national boss casts his eye over the future generation.
“There’s certainly a bit more tackling going around! There’s been a real competitive edge and they’re obviously trying to show Gordon that, at some point in their careers, they deserve to make the step up to the A squad.”
Sbragia, who previously assisted with the U19 squad, was full of praise for Hull City defender Andy Robertson who has joined up with the squad having received three full international caps already. 
“The great thing about Andy is that he’s had no problems coming down. In the past, when you ask more experienced players to come down they don’t want to, but with Andy it’s been different class. He’s really mixed well with the group and he’s been a gem to work with.”
Sbragia was emotional as he paid tribute to former Sunderland goalkeeper Marton Fulop, who passed away at just 32. The former Black Cats boss fought back tears and said:
”Marton was everything, he was great for me as a manager and he kept us in the Premiership. Craig Gordon was injured at the time, so Marton was a big focal point in the team. He made a save in the 94th minute from Gary Cahill, and kept us in the division. I was really sad to hear that he passed away, he was a lovely man and I had a lot of time for him.”
The upcoming Scotland Women's Under-17 Training Camp squad has been announced by Pauline Hamill. 
The squad will train together between the 19th and 22nd November and will discover who their UEFA European Championship Elite Round opponents will be on Friday morning.
Shannon Burgon (Rangers LFC)
Rebecca Cameron (Jeanfield Swifts LFC)
Erin Clachers (Glasgow City FC)
Eartha Cumings (Spartans FC)
Hannah Dryden (Forfar Farmington FC)
Jordyn Elliot (Rangers LFC)
Lindsey Blues (Celtic FC)
Nicole Cameron (Celtic FC)
Murron Cunningham (Glasgow City FC)
Lauren Doran-Barr (Rangers LFC)
Kirsty Fraser (Glasgow City FC)
Kimberley McAlpine (Central Girls Academy)
Bethany McPherson (Westdyke FC)
Shannon Nagle (Celtic FC)
Courtney Otto (Rangers LFC)
Olivia Crawford (Glasgow City FC)
Ellis Dalgliesh  (Celtic FC)
Claire Farquhar (Rangers LFC)
Ellie Kane (Central Girls Academy)
Hannah Fulton (Celtic FC)
Freya Glen (Millwall Centre of Excellence)
Samantha Kerr (Central Girls Academy)
Shannon McGregor (Aberdeen LFC)
Amy Muir (Rangers LFC)
Jamie-Leigh Napier (Celtic FC)
Ellis Notley (Hibernian LFC)
Ellie Simpson (Spartans LFC)
Monica Anderson (Glasgow City FC)
Derrian Gollan (Forfar Farmington FC)
Lauren Gordon (Aberdeen LFC)
Brogan Hay (Glasgow City FC)
Kaela McDonald (Celtic FC)
Megan Robb (Monifieth LFC)
Lucy Smith (Hearts LFC)
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