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South East Region (451)

Broxburn Athletic Colts had a great season in the 1st Division. They finished with only two losses, nine wins and 2 draws. We got the chance to catch up with the head coach of Broxburn, Darren Pegg, to find out what went right for them.
 
Working towards a league win is something that every team aims for at the start of the season so emotions were running high for the boys at Broxburn when they finally clinched it all. Darren said this about his teams feelings after the league win. "The boys are understandably delighted with the achievement. They are new to the league this season after moving from West Lothian and showed great consistency across the season which was reflected in their final position. All the officials are proud of their achievement." Being a new team in the league and taking the 1st division by storm is a great achievement for everyone involved at Broxburn and their league win is fully deserved. 
 
Picking a favourite moment of the league can be a hard moment for a coach, especially after such a successful season such as Broxburn. Darren was given this hard task and he said this. "Being behind in the final two league games and having the character to turn both matches around by having the courage to continue playing football the way we have, being brave on the ball and prepared to attack and score goals. Nothing beats the day that you seal the league." An obvious but reasonable pick for favourite moment of the season.
 
A great season doesn't rule out any challenges for Broxburn, they still had to fight through every game to seal the league. Darren said this about the challenges they faced. "All of them are equally as difficult as the next, any complacency that creeps in can alter the end result. There are a lot of good teams and good players in the league." Treating each game as the same is a great way to remain disciplined and give the team a good attitude coming into each game. 
 
Being able to pinpoint any reason for the teams success can be a tricky task. There can be multiple reasons for success and Darren said this about his teams driving force. "The guys have the talent and ability to play good football. This is complimented by the efforts John, Stuart, Alan and Craig put in to providing them with an excellent football education through training and advice given. The boys took a real boost and were fully aware of their ability to mount a realistic challenge for the league after beating Leith away 7-1 as Leith were a terrific footballing team and top of the league at the time." Leith Athletic were Broxburn's biggest competitors during the season, finishing only three points behind Broxburn, so to beat them convincingly 7-1 must have been a real boost of confidence for Broxburn. Not only did they clinch the league against a strong Leith Athletic side, they also won the South East Regional Cup against a dominant Musselburgh Windsor FC, cementing their spot as the top U19s side in the South East.
 
Darren had some final comments to add about Broxburns season. He commented, "Thanks to all the boys who have served the team and club so well over the years and have now reached their final season in youth football, your efforts were greatly appreciated. Thanks also to John McCormick for the support he's given to youth football in the past 8/9 years. I'm sure he'll enjoy his rest." 
 
Congratulations to Broxburn Athletic Colts and good luck to everyone involved in the team for next season. 
 
 
Queensferry Community High School’s under 14’s football team, the 2003s, won their SSFA league for the second year in a row. Here we speak to both of their coaches to find out how they feel about being winners of the league once again.
 
It has been a tense season for the team. The biggest challenge for the 2003’s was their away game at Craigmount High School which was both a league and a league cup game. And if they hadn’t won the game, they would not only have lost the league; they would have been out of the cup entirely. Any football player can identify with the enormous amount of pressure the team faced but they pulled through much to their delight and to the delight of their coaches Matt Armes and Colin Boyes. The significance of the last minute goal which sealed their success in this match was felt widely by all participants and spectators as Coach
 
Matt Armes declared: “The relief felt in a game of huge importance was particularly gratifying.”. Despite the pressure felt by all, not only did the boys manage to work hard throughout the game but according to Coach Boyes they also “enjoyed the game while each of them played their part superbly”.
 
This strong work ethic and sheer enjoyment of the game has been vital to the success of the 2003’s team all season and consequently to their winning of the league. Another contributing factor to their success is the boys’ solid team spirit. Their ability to work together, work for each other and listen to each other has meant that they have “gained the result of some of their phenomenal efforts throughout the season”.
 
The determination and strong teamwork of the boys is a source of pride for both coaches. They are both sure that these star qualities of the team are the reason they have succeeded and came out on top of the league for the second year in a row.
 
So after two league wins in a row, what’s next for the 2003’s? Coach Colin Boyes wants to continue to develop the team and “cement the league and to progress further in the Scottish competitions”. And of course there is no doubt that the team will have to maintain their positive, strong team morale as well as continuing to have fun on the pitch and enjoy the game. In terms of skills development, coach Matt Armes plans to “keep it simple, practice on the basics” in the hope that “the rest will fall into place”. The team will revel in the glory of their winning games but will keep “learning from the not-so- good ones” to ensure they build on their capacity to succeed.
 
The coaches had some final words to add after two winning years coaching the team. Coach Matt Armes thanks the dedication of the parents for driving the boys all over Edinburgh for the whole season and praises the boys on their effort and commendable time keeping! The pride felt all round is evident and now the plan is to go on and win the league cup, which would obviously be the “icing on the cake”. Coach Boyes is sure the boys can win “if they play to their potential … but whether they win or they lose they can be proud of their achievements this season as I certainly am”.
 
Congratulations to the 2003’s and their coaches!
 
 
Bonnyrigg Rose finished comfortably at the top of the South East Region Youth Football Association (SERYFA) Division 2, with 50 points, followed by the second place Loanhead MYFC Blues with 39 points. Bonnyrigg remained undefeated, with 16 wins and 2 draws throughout the whole season. We caught up with the coach, Colin McCulloch to find out how they done it.
 
Any team is expected to be happy and excited about winning the league and Bonnyrigg are no exception. Colin said, "We are delighted with securing the league last Monday night against Penicuik Athletic, with 2 games to go, we have managed to go unbeaten in the league so far this season, and are hoping to carry that on with our 2 remaining games." Having a winning attitude gave Bonnyrigg the chance to win the league and that same attitude could see them undefeated by the end of the season. 
 
Picking a favourite moment from the season is a difficult task for any team coach and Colin picked an obvious but reasonable choice. He said, "The favourite moment was Monday night at the final whistle, when we secured the league. There was a mixture of relief, joy and satisfaction that the group of players who the majority of have been with the team for 10 or more years. The celebration on the pitch and in the changing rooms after where you could see the delight on all the players and coaches faces is a great memory." The hard work put in by the coaches and players on the pitch and in training sessions paid off with the league clinching win and, so far, undefeated season. 
 
Although they are undefeated in the league, they still faced trials and tribulations throughout the season. Colin said, "It has not just been one match, there were a few contenders at the beginning of the season, with Loanhead MYFC Blues setting an early pace in terms of points, and Cockenzie Star being our closest rivals in terms of winning games. Also other teams have been giving their all against us, but the squad remained motivated and had a "fight to the end" attitude." The teams have been battling it out for top spot since day one, with each team looking to dethrone the other from the top of the league. 
 
There has also been internal struggles with Bonnyrigg, Colin commented, "There has also been challenges with injuries during the season, one of our midfielders out since October, our goalkeeper was out before Christmas for a number of weeks and over the last two months losing both of our regular centre halves who were outstanding this season. The squad of players have been adaptable and willing to help out and cover a number of positions when needed." The internal struggles would have held a lot of teams back from achieving their full potential but Bonnyrigg pulled together and played as a team in every scenario.  
 
The reason for their success is plain and obvious to Colin, he said, "The group of players have developed a strong bond over the number of years they have been together, including the couple of new players who joined the squad this season, helping them to settle and be part of the group, and showing a real desire to play for each other and the team. This season is also the last season for the group of players and they were determined to finish with the best possible season they could achieve, and with two cup finals to play for before the end of the season, I think they have achieved just that." Having the final season of football potentially end undefeated is a great achievement.
 
Although the team won't be under the same coaching staff anymore, Colin has high hopes for the boys' future, he commented, "This will be the teams last season as the coaching staff retire for a well deserved rest and the players move onwards and upwards with half of the players moving on to play for university teams, one player off to America on a scholarship, and the rest hopefully moving up to Bonnyrigg Rose Under 21's team where I hope they will continue to enjoy their football as much as they have this season." After a very successful season the boys are looking to further their football careers and will hopefully find success. 
 
Colin had some final comments to add in regards to this season for his team, he said, "This has been a season to remember for myself, Paul and Danny in our coaching capactities, and i'm sure they would agree when I say we have enjoyed our time with them over the years but in particular this year, where we have achieved a great deal, and hopefully a wee bit more before we have finished." 
 
After a wonderful season from Bonnyrigg, they are moving on and hopefully each player finds the success they are hoping for wherever they go.
 
 
 
Currie Star FC won the SERYFA Division 2 League, finishing on 58 points, closely followed by Easthouses FC on 55 points.
 
Currie Star had a great record throughout the season, only suffering 2 losses in 22 games. We got the chance to catch up with the coach, John Brock, to find out how they did it. 
 
Winning the league is one of the highest achievements you can earn in football and the reactions and emotioins from everyone involved in a league win shows just how important it is. Currie Star are no exception to the joy felt from a league win. John said, "We were absolutely delighted and relieved. We missed out the league win by three points last season and we were hugely dissapointed so winning this season makes it less painful." Being able to bounce back after a loss in the previous season is great and it emphasises the strength of the team. 
 
Picking a favourite moment of the season is a hard task for any coach, and John was no exception. He commented, "Watching the players grow and develop, culminating with them winning the league title had to be a favourite." Working hard all year to reach the league winning moment is what it's all about. Putting in the long shifts and working hard in training and implementing it within games is what makes the difference and Currie Star managed to make it work all season.
 
Despite a successful season, the boys at Currie Star still had their struggles and challenges. John said this about his trials throughout the season, "Every game was a challenge for the boys because the boys had to keep motivating themselves against good opposition week in and week out. They deserve huge credit for doing so." Being able to stay motivated throughout the season is a hard task, especially after the dissapointment last season. The squad managed to pull it off, and they cemented themselves as league winners.
 
Finding one single reason for your teams success is a hard task and John think he's found out why they succeeded this season. He said, "We have always coached the players to play the ball out from the back and through the midfield. They have played some fantastic football this season, but more importantly , it had been great to watch." Making the game enjoyable for everyone involved, including spectators ensures that the game is played at it's highest, most competitive level.
 
After a successful season the boys at Currie Star are looking forward to their promotion. John said, "We will move into Division 1 and work hard to adjust to the faster of the game. It will be a challenge but we will work hard to achieve it." Improving and being able to play against harder competition is what it's all about, Currie Star are hoping to up their game and stay in the top division. 
 
John had some final comments to add about his team this season, he said. "Three of the current squad have been with us for 10 years, one for 8 years and three for six years so their loyalty should be highlighted. The coaches would like to thank all of the squad for their hard work, dedication and commitment not only for this season but all the year previously."
 
Congratulations to Currie Star FC and wish them luck in the 1st division next season.
 
 
 
Kirkfield United Reds finished top of the WLAYFC League B in a dominant fashion, with a record of 21 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss. They won the league with 61 points and 1 games left in hand, followed by the second place East Calder Colts at 49 points and 4 games in hand. A commanding lead to have, and we caught up with the manager, Darren Foster, to find out the secrets to their success.
 
Playing the whole season and only having 1 loss and 1 draw is a great achievement and the coaches and players recognise that. Darren said, "We the coaches are over the moon for the lads. They have been outstanding this season having only lost 1 game and 1 draw is an unbelieveable achievement in itself. They totally deserve to be called champions." The hard work and dedication has paid off for Kirkfield and they have achieved the highest level of success for their age group, going all the way and winning the league. 
 
Picking a favourite moment from the whole season is a tricky task for any manager, but Darren was able to pinpoint an obvious one. He commented "My favourite moment of the season has to be seeing the look on the lads faces when that final whistle blew and them realising they had done it and had won the league. It was a fantastic feeling, very proud." Seeing all the hard work throughout the season pay off must be a relief. To realise that you worked hard and achieved what you aimed for at the start of the season must be an ecstatic feeling. 
 
Despite the incredible season, they still had to treat every match the same and come in with the same attitude. Their biggest challenge in the season came at home against East Calder Colts. Darren said, "I think our home tie against East Calder Colts was our biggest challenge. Both teams were pushing for the league and previous games were always a close affair so to win 7-4 and gain the 3 points to give us a cushion at the top was great." Being able to prove yourself against one of the top competitors is sure to give you a confidence boost. 
 
Every team has to have a plan at the start of the season, they have to know their strengths and weaknesses and be able to utilise them effectively. Even more important is to turn your weaknesses into strengths, this is what Darren had to say. "Keeping the lads positive and getting them to believe in their own ability was key for us. Some of our lads didn't believe in themselves when they came to us so having them enjoy the game again was great." Being able to enjoy the game is key to a lot of players, if you don't enjoy the game, you won't bring passion and dedication to every match. Darren commented, "I believe they are having fun while training and playing you will always get the best from them." Having a team that all enjoy playing the game and playing with each other is bound to bring success.
 
The boys at Kirkfield Reds are excited for the challenge ahead for next season. Darren commented, "Our plans for the future are to build on our success and be as competitive in the top league as possible. I'm sure we will relish the challenge." It is good news to hear that the boys aren't shying away from the challenge of the top division. They seem keen and confident to prove themselves.
 
Darren had some final comments to add, "We would like to thank all our parents that have put the time and effort into bringing the lads to training and games. Without them we wouldn't have a team. Also a huge thank you to our sponsors, Research Resource, KC Coaches, Valerios and Paterson Electrical for their generosity." Parents and sponsors play a huge role in allowing the teams to continue playing at a high level, so well deserved praise from Darren Foster and Kirkfield United Reds.
 
We wish them luck in the A League next season and hope they can remain successful.
 
 
 
Edinburgh South CFC finished top of the league in the SERYFA Division 3. Their league clinching match came against Dalkeith Thistle which finished 4-2 and included a cracking goal to top it off. We spoke with John Watt, one of the coaches to find out what made them successful. 
 
Edinburgh South finished the season with a great record of 19 wins, 2 draws and 3 losses, ending the season 9 points ahead of second place Gala Fairydean Rovers Colts. The coaches and the boys are pleased with the result, but thought they could have done better, John said "The coaching staff are all very happy with the boys for the hard work they have put in this season, it shows the teams ability to keep fighting and believing in themselves after losing a few silly points throughout the season." Being able to stay motivated and put in the work needed to finish at the top of table after almost losing it all is what makes all the difference in football.
 
A lot of the boys have never gone this far in the league before, and being league winners for the first time is a huge joy for the squad, John commented, "I don't think it's sunk into the boys yet, they all still look a bit shocked, since this is a lot of the boys' first time in the situation I hope they gain confidence and experience from this and keep winning more." Having the experience of winning a league clinching match and being able to stay calm and collected under pressure should give the boys something to chase. All of the players and coaches will be looking to continue on a winning football career and this first taste of victory could be all it takes to push them further. 
 
The favourite moment of the season is often a hard thing to choose for coaches, but not for John, he declared "My favourite moment was winning the league, last season I was coaching a different team that just missed out on winning the league. Being able to win it with this group of boys is a pleasure and they deserved it all." An easy but obvious choice for John, nothing comes close to winning the league. Spending all season playing a number of games to finally win it all, couldn't be better.
 
Edinburgh South faced a lot of challenges throughout the season, but John gave credit to Dalkieth Thistle, the team they beat to win the league. John said "Our biggest challenge could have been in January when we lost 6-4 to Cramond. We thought it was all over and Dalkeith would run away with the league. But Dalkeith started losing points, and we went on a crazy run. That's when we knew our final game would be against Dalkeith and fortunately we came out on top." Both teams had polarizing times in the league, with Dalkeith starting off strong and Edinburgh South starting out slow then the positions changed and Edinburgh South took advantage of it to win the league.
 
Every team has a reason for their success, and John thinks that the attitude and belief you have in yourself as a player makes a huge difference in the way you perform. John commented "For me, if you believe in yourself, you can be a success. So I told the boys a few times, to believe in themselves and they will do their best to win trophies and have a successful career in football." Having belief in yourself and being able to self-motivate is a huge factor in what makes a player confident and passionate about the game. 
 
John had some final comments to add, thanking his opponents and colleagues. "I'd just like to thank the boys for the hard work they have put in this season and I hope they enjoy many more. I would also like to thank Dalkeith Thistle for the cracking battle throughout the season, and I would just like to thank all of the other coaches and all the parents for the continuation of support throughout the season. If it wasn't for them, this would never have happened. I would also like to say a massive well done to Paul McKinnon. At the start of the season he was on the verge of folding the team due to losing almost all of his squad, to keep going and showing what he can do was an amazing feat and deserves the praise." John has had a great attitude towards his competitors and for Paul to keep the team running after what happened is a real show of determination, and it all paid off for Edinburgh South CFC. 
Monday, 24 April 2017 14:34

Murieston lead the way in WLAYFC title race

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There are eight teams in WLAYFC’s Under 14’s A-League. Yet despite the heavy competition, Murieston United Blues remain on top. This season, the team have played 16 games, with 14 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. The team’s head coach, Raymond Charles, tells us why he believes his team has enjoyed so much success this season.
 
Accumulating 43 points this season, Murieston hold an impressive lead in the League so far, with the team directly behind them, Broxburn Diamonds 2003, garnering 21 33 points. However, Diamonds do have four games in hand.
 
Raymond believes that his players’ determination has led them to be so triumphant: “The boys work extremely hard at training and this shows as they're playing really well together as a team. They have an excellent attitude and the commitment, effort and passion can't be faulted. The boys are keeping their feet firmly on the ground and take one game at a time but they thoroughly deserve the plaudits they are receiving at present.” 
 
Raymond also believes that allowing a balance for his players has allowed them to enjoy the matches more: “We have great coaches and ensure the boys are having fun and alongside our regular social outings, this builds a great rapport throughout the team.”
 
Throughout the season, there have been many highlights, with one being a standout for Raymond: “All games have been exciting so far and the buzz from the boys before each game is fantastic. Picking the most exciting game so far, I would probably go for our 3-1 win over the previously undefeated Broxburn Diamonds.”
 
Raymond found difficulty in choosing a key player this season, and instead praised the team as a whole: “To be honest, all the team in my eyes are key players and each player offers something different which is great for our coaching team to work with. The recent additions that have joined the club have settled in fantastically well and have added a bit more beef in our setup which gives the coaches a good headache for team selections.”
 
In advising other teams who wish to be as successful as Murieston, Raymond believes: “Work hard, focus, give maximum effort, always have good discipline and put into the game what you practice at training and most importantly, enjoy your football.”
 
Murieston United Blues have been incredible competitors so far, and if any team wishes to be victorious this season, they are the ones to beat.
 
 
Video highlights of the Under 20 Challenge Cup - 2nd Round 2nd Leg tie between Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale & Tynecastle FC, courtesy of Gary Fox.
 

Youth football in the Lothians has been changed by a social enterprise called Progressive Football Development. The organisation has increased accessibibility to local children and is growing at an incredible rate. The director and head of coaching at Progressive Football Development, Scott Gibson, spoke exclusively to YFS to talk about the growth of the organisation, and to share their aims and ethos.

Progressive Football Development was started in late 2013 when Gibson found that his own children had no access to sport in the local area. He approached a local school to offer a free football programme to give youngsters access to sport, which he was able to offer based on his coaching experience. Gibson was overwhelmed by the popularity of the programme when the first session which was held during an after-school club, was attended by sixty-eight children. Although this was a great start for the programme, it proved hard to manage as this intake of youngsters was beyond what had been anticipated so more local coaches with relevant experience were recruited to assist with managing the sessions.

Gibson said, “From there, we were approached by a local football club to support them at the grassroots level as they didn’t have any children under the age of seven years old. We set up their soccer school for them by recruiting children from the various schools where we offered our free programme, and we fed them into the local club. They then managed to have two or three new age groups that they had never been able to cater for previously so it was a great success!”

Within a six month period, the group were already working with approximately 120 children and that success has continued in the Musselburgh area, where it all began. The growth of the football academies is currently the organisation’s main priority, with approximately 250 children attending the academies across the age groups, from the age of three years old to nine years old. They currently have three academies:  Musselburgh Football Academy; Dalkeith Football Academy; and Livingston Football Academy.

Gibson said, “[The Academies] are very important to us because we do strive to have the best coaching and environment for kids while also keeping it affordable for them. It has been key to keep the academies community-focused and, with the support of our volunteers and fantastic parents, it is a fantastic environment to be a part of. The football side of it is key, and we have had so much joy out of it over the last two years, and in the last year in particular. We have been able to push on our organisation and support other communities other than just in Musselburgh. We are now able to do it in four different areas, including Edinburgh, and we are looking into setting another academy later this year.”

However there are other services available as well, and Gibson feels that it is important to try to prioritise each one in order to provide the best possible service to everyone. This applies to every aspect of the organisation including football development centres, football parties and one-to-one training sessions, and Gibson believes it is extremely important to ensure that the right coaches are provided in all of these areas, though he acknowledges that this will become more difficult as the organisation continues to grow. He said, “We are pushing to be one of the best in our field but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Gibson also expressed the importance of football programmes aimed at girls, as he believes this is an area that has not been supported as well as it could have been in the past. He said, “We are offering a lot of free activities for girls at the moment. We have approximately thirty-five girls between five and nine years old at our West Lothian Academy, who attend every Sunday. The idea is that if they wish to continue then they can join the Academy team, which allows them to play games, or they can go to another club who may be more local. It’s all about engaging with children and getting them involved in sport at an earlier stage, where they wouldn’t normally have that sort of access.”

However the main focus of Progressive Football Development has been to give as many children as possible access to professional football coaching while keeping it affordable. Gibson said, “Our model and our ethos has really been taken in by the local community and the local clubs, and we strive to be the best in regards to our level of coaching. All children should have access to football, regardless of their ability.”

The Academies have not only allowed for the development of the players but also in the development of the coaches through a mentoring service, and in the provision of various other coaching tools as well. Gibson said, “We want the right people on board, ex-professional footballers, other individuals who have experience. We’re good at allowing individuals to come in and get experience as well as recruiting experienced, professional coaches who have worked at the highest level because they want to give back to children and that is happening.”

Gibson has not been surprised at the growth of the organisation but has been at the speed with which it has grown. He said, “For the short time that we’ve been running, we’re very proud of our programmes and we’ve put 100% of focus into individual sessions and programmes. People have been hearing about our programmes and wanted to be a part of it. The appeal seems to be that we are not for profit and not for commercial gain but still offer a professional service. That seems to resonate with people because we are there for the local community.”

He added, “We expected to take five to ten years to get where we are now, which we have achieved in three and a half years. We currently have three academies and there are other locations throughout Scotland where there are people who want to be a part of our programme. There are individuals who have the same mind set as us with regards to how they want to develop kids, and support clubs and players. We are adapting and getting the right people involved in order to help us grow.”

There have also been demands from the North, and more recently from the South, of England for opportunities down there but Gibson feels that it is important to expand the programme in Scotland first by establishing academies in every region in Scotland. However he insists that it is important for the people involved to have the correct ethos and be interested for the right reasons, as opposed to any desire for monetary gain.

The growth of the organisation itself has been a huge achievement, with the number of children taking part and already having fourteen staff members throughout the organisation. However they have also been recognised with a prestigious award. Gibson said, “In late 2014, we won Social Enterprise of the Year Award. It was amazing because we were recognised by our peers for how far we have come in such a short time as one of the newer guys on the block. It acknowledged our programmes and the social impact in regards to the communities and how many people we were engaging with in that time.” 

Yet Gibson believes that the greatest achievement is that the programme has grown from the support of his own two young sons, who gave him the inspiration to start the programme through their own lack of access to football. From there the programme has gone on to support local clubs and establish their academies in different locations with different programmes.

However there are aims for further expansion long-term, with a strategy in place which could see a development programme or academy in every Scottish district within the next few years, and Gibson reflected on the aims of Progressive Football Development in the future. He said, “We want to set ourselves as one of the main football development programmes for children and clubs, particularly in the South-East region where we started and where we’re continuing to grow. In the long-term we want the same for Scotland. It is stepping stones and we have the structure in place- it’s about getting it out to the masses. We have our own unique football curriculum that the children in our academies work by, and that is allowing them to develop.”

Gibson emphasised that the success of the organisation stems from their ethos as a social enterprise, and their lack of commercial drive has been key as 100% of the profit is redistributed back into the local community. He said, “We’ve had a lot of success within schools, with local councils and local clubs because we are there for them and to support them, but also because we are there for the kids. We are good at developing kids and that goes beyond the football. It involves community engagement programmes to work with other individuals. We mentor individuals who have had difficulties in their lives and offer them support to develop as coaches as well.”

The expansion of the organisation has already allowed the enterprise to incorporate multi-sports as well as offering training in areas such as first aid. They are also able to help local clubs with their club governances, allowing them to look at health and safety and child protection.

With their strong emphasis on access to football for all children, it is no surprise that Progressive Football Development have had the success and growth that they have achieved thus far. It seems inevitable that, with the enthusiastic individuals involved, the enterprise will continue to expand throughout Scotland and promote their positive development in youth football over the next few years. 

Click here to view PFD's brand new website.

 
There are eight teams in WLAYFC’s Under 14’s A-League. Yet despite the heavy competition, Murieston United Blues remain on top. This season, the team have played 13 games, with 11 wins, 1 draw, and 1 loss. The team’s head coach, Raymond Charles, tells us why he believes his team has enjoyed so much success this season.
 
Accumulating 34 points this season, Murieston hold an impressive lead in the League so far, with the teams directly behind them, Broxburn Diamonds 2003 and Broxburn United, garnering 21 points. Raymond believes that his players’ determination has led them to be so triumphant: “The boys work extremely hard at training and this shows as they're playing really well together as a team. They have an excellent attitude and the commitment, effort and passion can't be faulted. The boys are keeping their feet firmly on the ground and take one game at a time but they thoroughly deserve the plaudits they are receiving at present.”
 
Raymond also believes that allowing a balance for his players has allowed them to enjoy the matches more: “We have great coaches and ensure the boys are having fun and alongside our regular social outings, this builds a great rapport throughout the team.”
 
Throughout the season, there have been many highlights, with one being a standout for Raymond: “All games have been exciting so far and the buzz from the boys before each game is fantastic. Picking the most exciting game so far, I would probably go for our 3-1 win over the undefeated Broxburn Diamonds.”
 
Raymond found difficulty in choosing a key player this season, and instead praised the team as a whole: “To be honest, all the team in my eyes are key players and each player offers something different which is great for our coaching team to work with. The recent additions that have joined the club have settled in fantastically well and have added a bit more beef in our setup which gives the coaches a good headache for team selections.”
 
In advising other teams who wish to be as successful as Murieston, Raymond believes: “Work hard, focus, give maximum effort, always have good discipline and put into the game what you practice at training and most importantly, enjoy your football.”
 
Murieston United Blues have been incredible competitors so far, and if any team wishes to be victorious this season, they are the ones to beat.
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