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South East Region (462)

After a closely contested season in the South East Joelle Murray u17s League it was Murieston United who emerged as champions.
 
The team won four of their six league games to secure the title, edging out nearest rivals Boroughmuir Thistle by just three points.
 
Things did not get off to the best of starts for Murieston as they opened the season with a disappointing 2-0 defeat away to Boroughmuir, but quickly recovered a week later, securing an impressive 5-0 victory away to Bonnyrigg Rose.
 
United sealed the title with one game to spare after a 3-0 win at home to Bonnyrigg, securing the title.
 
Youth Football Scotland caught up with Murieston United coach Stephen Hegarty for his thoughts on his sides successful season.
 
"It feels great to be the league champions, especially as we had to use a lot of our young u15s to bolster our u17s squad, I think its not just a credit to the girls but to the whole girls and ladies section coaches up at Murieston United as we all work as a team with, to be honest, very few disagreements. We like to have all of our girls clubs interests at heart, not just the ones we individually coach. For a team from outside the capital city to win the championship as well is a great feeling as there were some very tough opponents.
 
"Our players were fantastic last season and gave me 100% every week, you can't ask for any more than that and I was thrilled to bits with not just the effort they put in, but the fact they always tried to play football in the right manner by playing it on the deck and with good passing, we're a good team to watch. 
 
"The most pleasing part of last season was the girls attitudes, never once did any of these girls let themselves, their coaches or their parents down, when we were getting beat, they dug in and always tried to pull it back, fantastic attitudes from all of them.
 
"Toughest moments of the season were overcoming injuries, we lost a couple of key players to injury early in the season along with possibly our main goal threat as she decided to move up to our newly formed ladies team, despite having a full season of 17s football left. We also lost our goalkeeper halfway through the season but were very lucky to get another one in so quickly. 
 
Aims for next season to try and beef my team up a wee bit!! We have 10 stepping up from the u15s and while a few of these girls played last season, its a massive step for some of the others, we may not be the biggest physically but these girls can hold their own if any rough stuff starts.
 
"Its a tough ask but I would also like to keep our league title!! We know the 17s league will be a lot tougher this year round and as league champions, we'll be the team everyone wants to beat but I think myself and the girls will relish that challenge as after all, if your not in it to win it then whats the point?!"
 
Congratulations to Murieston United and the best of luck for next season!
 
Thursday, 30 November 2017 14:59

INTERVIEW: Ross Millar

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Recently I sat down with relatively inexperienced coach Ross Millar, who has been at Spartans FC Reds 2002 since 2015. He has 2 sons in the side, Jack and Shawn. He has overseen a promotion in his time at the team.
 
When and why did you first get into coaching?
 
“I actually got involved because the previous team coach announced he was leaving at the end of the 14-15 season. Myself and another of the dads decided to get involved because our sons both played for the team, we wanted it to keep going and thought it could be a fun & interesting thing to do.”
 
“Neither of us had any coaching experience at that time but have since done the required coaching badges.”
 
Did you take any inspiration from the way you choose to play/manage your team?
 
“Just before I started coaching I had listened to a podcast which had Gordon Strachan as a guest. When asked about emerging talent and grass roots football, he made a point which I found to be very interesting – he reckoned kids are over coached these days. His philosophy was the best way for kids to learn is to give them the ball and let them play. I thought that made a lot of sense so have always tried to keep my sessions simple & have as much game time in them as possible.”
 
That fact is evident in his sessions (which I take part in). The usual structure follows a quick drill, normally possession or something similar, followed by 4 a side football, with no instruction, just play. Finally a match is played across a 7-a-side pitch. Ross has obviously taken the advice and employed it in his bi-weekly sessions.
 
“From a playing point of view one of the earliest inspirations was in my first season when having seen Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool in a match at Anfield vs Manchester United. I was in the Kopp End which gives a great view of the team setup & shape. They played a 3-5-2 that day & although they lost, when we had a bad start to the following season I put in the same formation to close a gap we had in the middle of our back 4. It made a real difference mostly because the player I put in as sweeper was tailor-made for that position, so there was an element of luck about it too.”
 
The formation change saw a very big shift in results instantly, beating Seton 5-2 away from home. This was Marc Lynn’s debut for Spartans and Ross described him as “tailor-made” for the position, he would later win the Player’s Player of the season award. The Reds would later lose Marc to Spartans Colts at the end of the season.
 
Last season your team was promoted from the Third Division achieving third place, how do you feel the season went as a whole?
 
“Honestly I am extremely disappointed with how the season went. We were good enough to win that league & should have done. It really came down to a handful of games where we just didn’t perform that cost us not just 1st place but also 2nd which we lost on the head to head with Leith Athletic.”
 
Spartans started the 2016/17 season very brightly, beating Oxgangs 5-4 away from home amongst other results, which saw them on top for most of the opening months. Although after a dismal league cup performance, seeing them knocked out in the group stages with 2 points, Spartans never seemed to recover, losing 5-0 against Leith and 3-2 against Oxgangs saw them finish third.
 
Ross in the end claimed “third wasn’t an achievement and we should have done better”
 
How has your season been so far?
 
“A real mixed bag. We had a couple of excellent results in the first few weeks but since then have not really performed. Quite why that is the case I am still trying to figure out & it’s probably the toughest challenge of my coaching career thus far.”
 
Although Spartans opened their season with a disappointing away loss to Leith Athletic, ending their away unbeaten run stretching back to April 2016, the bounced back with two 1-0 defeats of Hutchie vale and a Dramatic 1-1 draw with Spartans Colts. After that results seemed to go downhill, with a 4-1 home defeat to Longniddry Villa starting the downward spiral.
 
Ross finished with “However we do have a great bunch of boys in the squad & I am sure we will bounce back.”
 
So far this season who has been the stand out player?
 
“A few of the boys have really made the step up but the probable stand out is our vice-captain Lee Russell. He’s progressed particularly well this season, moving from centre half to centre midfield. It’s especially pleasing to see as Lee has been playing in the same team as my son Jack since 2012.”
 
Lee and I both started our careers at Redpath Albion in 2012, alongside current players Matthew McDonald and Shawn Millar. Lee was snapped up by Spartans in the summer of 2014 alongside Shawn Millar, he was later joined by me, three months later.
 
Lee has contributed 4 league goals and 5 assists this season including a fantastic performance against Gala Fairydean which saw him score 2 goals, including the winner, in a 3-1 win.
 
Having 2 of your sons in the squad must be a challenge, do you feel pressure to select them every week?
 
“This might sound like the politically correct answer but I feel absolutely no pressure to select them at all. They are treated the same as any other member of the squad although my fellow coach Iain does often say I am too harsh on Jack our goalkeeper so maybe I’m too tough!”
 
I agree with him being harsh, as I am the keeper, but it’s warranted most of the time. Shawn has joined from a second division team and he has done anything but walk into the team. Ross has been harsh on us at times, but I believe it’s in our best interest. I’d rather he was harsh than never give us criticism, it’d be ridiculous.
 
Ross also stated “I told them both once I started coaching that on the pitch I’m their coach, not their dad.”
 
What has been your favourite game/moment while in charge?
 
“This is actually very tough to answer but I probably have 3 that I can’t choose. In my first season while in the 3rd division we played a 2nd division team (Edinburgh City) away in a cup tie. We drew the game 0-0 and took it to penalties, I was actually a little disappointed that it went that far as felt we had enough chances to win it before then. Despite missing the first penalty we went on to win it 4-3. The reaction from the boys & parents when the winning penalty went in was a really special moment…”
 
Despite not having a keeper fit, Matthew McDonald signed the week before and played the match in goals and kept a clean sheet and played a massive role in the penalty shootout.
 
“Earlier this season in the 2nd league game, after having lost the opener 4-2 to fellow promoted team Leith Athletic we were away to relegated from the 1st division Hutchison Vale. We didn’t really expect to get anything from the game but on a windswept Jack Kane pitch we gave a real cup tie type performance, scored a late winner & came away with a 1-0 win. Again, the reaction of everyone when Bayley Drew scored was another special moment.”
 
Spartans would play Hutchison Vale again that same weekend, again, a 1-0 Victory with Bayley Drew scoring the winner.
 
“Back again to our first season in the 3rd division, in the April we were away to Edina who had won all of their games in the league (& most cups too). Again, at the Jack Kane and after a battling display we came away with a 3-2 victory, the only league game they lost that season. It was a real turning point for our squad as they really started to believe in themselves after that, a real watershed moment I think.”
 
After what was a fantastic overall performance soaking up a second half of pressure Spartans won the game, all thanks to Ross’s 3-5-2 formation which was recently adopted.
 
Finally, if you were to do it all again what would you change?
 
“There’s always a few specific games that with the benefit of hindsight you’d do something different whether it was tactically, team selection or whatever. There are 3 games in particular from last season that I think cost us the league. In the 2nd game of the season we lost 2-1 at home to Blackhall, we were 1-0 up they were down to 10 men but I tinkered too much with the line-up and that cost us 3 points.”
 
Spartans would again meet Blackhall at the end of the season, only to win 4-1. Seeing Bayley Drew hit his 50th goal of the season was a highlight.
 
“In an away game we drew 2-2 with Earslton Rhymers (who we later beat 8-1) and I got the starting XI wrong, we got off to a bad start, lost an early goal and it was uphill from there. We lost 3-2 at home to Oxgangs (the eventual winners of our league) in a pivotal match. Again I got the starting line-up wrong and we paid for it, quickly going 3-0 down. Once I made changes we got back to 3-2 but couldn’t convert any of the many chances we made to equalise and snatch a point.”
 
Ross marred team selection as the causes for these results, although they were all uncharacteristically poor performances for his side, you could also blame a very poor pitch at Earlston costing us the 3 points but when it’s all said and done they should have performed and they didn’t.
 
In conclusion, Ross had said he and his fellow coaches found it to be a very rewarding decision to become a coach, and he has loved every minute of it (just about).
 
“It’s been an enjoyable and rewarding experience which I would encourage any football lover to take on, given the opportunity.”
Thursday, 30 November 2017 14:04

INTERVIEW: Calum Leslie

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Daniel Kirk recently sat down with Calum Leslie of North Merchiston Vale AFC to talk about his journey through the Scottish Youth Football system.
 
Calum Leslie - “My name is Calum Leslie and I am currently playing for North Merchiston Vale AFC in The LEAFA Championship. I started playing in Primary School and have played for many youth clubs both in Northern Ireland where I was born and in the Scottish Borders. I have since progressed through youth football and into the amateur system in Edinburgh.”
 
Daniel Kirk – “Tell us more about your club?”
 
Calum – “North Merchiston Vale AFC were formed in 2006 and play out of the North Merchiston Club at Harrison Park in Polwarth Edinburgh. I am currently in my 3rd season at the club. We currently play in the LEAFA Championship having last year won promotion from the Edinburgh West division.”
 
Daniel – “What position do you play? Have you always played in that position?”
 
Calum –“I play in goal. I’ve always played in goal since I think primary 6, I’ve had the odd game outfield mainly on the wings as I used to have a bit of pace in my younger days, but in goal is my favourite position and where I play best.”
 
Daniel – “Any success stories you can tell us? About you or anyone you played with?”
 
Calum – “At U17 level I played for Peebles Thistle and in my final season at that age group we managed to reach the league cup final. We played our biggest rivals Innerleithen Rovers, who used to beat us almost every game we played against them. However, on this occasion we managed to pull off a 1-0 win to lift the trophy. To finally beat them and in a cup final made the win even sweeter and to have  bragging rights at school on the Monday morning felt pretty good.”
 
Daniel – “What age were you when you signed for your first club?”
 
Calum – “In Northern Ireland I only ever played school football, so it wasn’t until I moved to Peebles at the age of 13 that I signed for my first youth club, Peebles Thistle FC.”
 
Daniel – “How many clubs have you played for?”
 
Calum – “Including each age group from u14’s up to amateur level at Peebles, Salters AFC and NMV AFC in LEAFA that’s a nice round total of 3 clubs.”
 
Daniel – “How has playing for a youth team improved your game?”
 
Calum – “I think the main thing that helped to improve my game after signing for a team was having structured training sessions to work on specific areas of my game, especially having the opportunity to work on goalkeeping specific training which is or at least was at Youth level. That’s the main difference between playing for a club and having a kick about with your mates in the park.”
 
Daniel – “How easy or difficult is it for kids to get into youth football these days compared to when you were playing youth football?”
 
Calum – “I think it’s probably easier nowadays, when I was younger social media didn’t really exist so you had to either know someone who was already at a club either as a player or a coach or you would find out about it at school. But now especially living in Edinburgh, or any large city, it’s so easy to search for clubs on Facebook or Twitter and get yourself along to play.”
 
Daniel – “In the future would you like your son to get involved in grassroots football?”
 
Calum – “Definitely, he’s only 2 in December so he’s still a few years away from it yet, but I would love it if he got involved in the grassroots game. Obviously I won’t put pressure on him to play, if he would rather play or do something else I’d be more than happy, but I think every dad who loves football secretly wants their son to grow up to be a professional player.”
 
Daniel – “Lastly, do you have any plans to get into coaching in the future?”
 
Calum – “It’s definitely something I have thought about, having studied Sports Science at University I have gained some good background knowledge and I would love to get my coaching badges and get involved in coaching probably at a Youth level as I also have a background in working in childcare.”
 
Daniel – “Thank you for speaking to me today, I’m sure people will find this quite an interesting read and I’m sure it will give people an insight to the Youth game in Scotland.”
 
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 14:34

Spartans secure top spot in Kirsty Smith League

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After an entertaining season in the U15s Kirsty Smith League, it was Spartans Girls who emerged with the silverware after an impressive season which saw them pick up 12 wins from 16 matches, losing just three to secure the title.
 
Things began extremely well for Spartans as they managed to pick up an impressive 9-0 win against Boroughmuir Thistle Jags before following it up with a good 1-1 draw at home Boroughmuir Thistle Whites.
 
After this they went on to win their next three games, the first against Linlithgow Rose, a 7-0 win at home. Then came another high-scoring victory this time it was an 8-2 scoreline at Broxburn Athletic Colts Development. The third was more of an even contest, but Spartans came away with three points after a 3-2 win away to Bonnyrigg Rose.
 
It was one week after that win when Spartans suffered their first loss of the season when they fell to a 5-2 defeat at Boroughmuir Thistle Whites, but the champions showed what they were made of a week after that with a fantastic 9-0 win against Boroughmuir Thistle Jags. They made it two wins from two against Linlithgow Rose and it was yet another 9-0 victory and that was that result that secured the league title.
 
They saw out the season with a 3-0 home win to Bonnyrigg Rose and were awarded the silverware that their play all season deserved.
 
Youth Football Scotland briefly caught up to Spartans Coach Louis Douglas for his thoughts on his side’s impressive season.
 
“I was very happy with the hard work and the great attitude the girls put in this season. It was good to see so much improvement as the season went on. The Kirsty Smith League was good for us to bring through some of the younger players this season to play the 11-a-side game much earlier than would have been possible.”
 
Congratulations Spartans Girls and good luck for next season.
 
 
Sunday, 22 October 2017 20:58

Tynecastle announce new charity partnership

Written by
Ron
 
Tynecastle have announced a new partnership, which will see charity Children 1st featured on the club's shirts. In addition to this, the club will aim to raise several thousand pounds for the charity.
 
Speaking to the Edinburgh Evening News, Tynecastle's Douglas Dalgleish said: “We wanted to be associated with a charity that fits with what we have, which is children. Predominantly we are a youth football club. It’s not just a one off 'here’s a strip and on you go'. It’s a partnership to try and raise some funds for a fantastic charity.”
 
Children 1st's Rajan Johnson, said: “We don’t have money or a budget to go and put up a billboard or do a TV or radio advert. So for a club like this to come along and wear our logo is amazing. It’s good to get our name out there to those people who wouldn’t normally know who we are and they may just Google us to find out what we do. There might be people we can support just by seeing our name on their shirts.”
 
The new shirt was paraded outside other club partner Ronaq Indian Restaurant, with Rangers captain and club coach Lee Wallace and Hearts captain Christophe Berra alongside three Tynecastle U15s players.

Hutchison Vale FC Under 15’s took this year’s SERFYA Division 1 by storm, winning all but 2 of their matches in one of the highest quality and most competitive leagues in Scotland. We got the chance to speak to coach Norrie Kerr about what makes this tremendous team tick.

Norrie believes one of the main driving forces behind his team is their “great team spirit, belief within the team and a will to win.” These are all very important factors to winning, and nurturing and building this young team’s confidence has lead to them becoming a worthy title-winning side in their challenging division.
 
Norrie’s favourite moment in his team’s excellent season was winning the final game at Tynecastle playing away from home. He also enjoyed “playing away to Spartans and securing a draw which kept our 4 point advantage at the top of the league” This was a huge psychological boost for Norrie’s squad as this gave them the confidence and belief to go on and win the SERFYA Division 1 title. In Norrie’s opinion, this match was Hutchison Vale’s biggest challenge this season as Spartans FC are Hutchison Vale FC’s main rivals in their division. Norrie thought that this was great for team morale and made the result seem sweeter.
 
Hutchison Vale FC almost ended this year’s season undefeated, save for a close 3-2 loss to runners up Spartans FC, who finished 7 points behind Hutchison Vale. Norrie thought that winning the league by 7 points in just 14 games was a “great achievement in what is a very competitive league.” However, Spartans FC got their revenge by winning the SE Region Cup and the Scottish Cup. No doubt Hutchison Vale FC will be aiming to prevent Spartans FC from lifting those cups and the league trophy next season.
 
Despite such a first-rate season, Hutchison Vale FC are striving to get even better. Norrie wants his team “to build on this season's progress and to improve and develop the team.” If Hutchison Vale FC manage to stick to their goals and enhance their squad then they should experience even more success next season.
Norrie also wanted to thank the volunteers who had given up their time for his team, as well as the team and coaching staff on a successful season. 
 
Congratulations to Hutchison Vale FC on their outstanding season and good luck for next year.
 
 
Gartcairn Football Academy finished top of the WLAYFC A League after a great season full of ups and downs. We got the chance to catch up with the head coach of Gartcairn, Robert McCallum to find out the secrets to their success. 
 
After a great league win, where everyone involved in the team works hard throughout the whole season, emotions run high after the final match. Robert said this about his team becoming league winners. "The players, coaching staff and parents were delighted with winning the league for the first time. We changed the style of football that we were playing dramatically and the players bought into it from day one." Being able to find a style that works for your team and for them to  fall into line and agree with the style is a great thing. Making sure that each player knows their role within their team can make all the difference.
 
Picking a favourite moment from the whole season can be a difficult task but Robert said this. "I can't really pinpoint a favourite moment to be honest, but seeing the boys play the style that took months to shape and develop, and then scoring goals directly from that shape is brilliant." Seeing that the squad are following what they've been shown in training is great and making sure that the hard work in training isn't going to waste can always make the coach pleased. 
 
Despite a great season and a first time league win for Gartcairn they still had their struggles throughout. Robert said this about his teams biggest challenges. "In the league, we played Bathgate away from home. All we needed was one point to secure the league, we were down 3-1 and down to ten men but pulled it back to draw 3-3." It was a game of two halves and Gartcairn came away with a hard fought draw and the league was theirs. 
 
The main reason for a teams success can be hard to pinpoint and it was no different for Robert. He said this about why he thought Gartcairn succeeded. "The style of play change, moving three midfielders into defence, and the training that reinforces that style. The boys were a bit apprehensive at first but when it was apparently obvious the style was working on the pitch they quickly bought into it." The change on the pitch only works when the ethic changes in training. Once the boys buy into the system they can see success and the wins start pouring in.
 
After a successful season, Gartcairn and Robert have high hopes for the future. He said this about his plans for the future. "For me, keep out of trouble by coaching. For the players, it would be great to see more of the team break through into the juniors. We had two players this year so would like to see more." That's the end goal for coaches and players, to see the players progress into a successful footballing career. 
 
Robert had some final comments to add about the season. "The West Lothian League are a credit and the teams playing within the U16s this season have proven to be serious competition with 7 teams all capable of beating each other. The East Region Cup, with teams like Tynecastle, Portobello, Hutchison Vale and Spartans is an absolute joy to play in and I would like to welcome both Hutchison Vale and Tynecastle to our pitch in our arranged friendlies in June."
 
Congratulations to Gartcairn Football Academy and good luck for their future seasons.
 
Murieston United Blues U15s finished top of the WLAYFC A League after a great season. We caught up with the head coach, Glen Harley, to find out all about it.
 
Winning the league is a great achievement, and something that everyone involved in the team aims for. So emotions are running high when the league is finally clinched. This is what Glen had to say about his team after the league victory. "It's hard to put into words. Having not won the league the week before it meant that a 'winner takes all' final game of the season. We'd won the league cup the previous Sunday and the boys were in a confident mood going into the game against Bathgate. The manner in which they played on the league clinching game on Tuesday - only two days after the league cup final - was remarkable. It is fair to say that the players, coaches and parents are all absolutely ecstatic to have won the league this year and the awards night is going to be something special." A great season all around for Murieston, winning the league cup final then two days later clinching the league. 
 
Glen's favourite moment of the season was an obvious and understandable choice. He said this, "We've had some great moments to relish this season but without a doubt, Tuesday's league clinching performance was worthy of winning any league and a great experience."  A great choice from Glen and an obvious one as nothing comes close to a league clinching victory. 
 
Despite the great season, Murieston still had some challenges that they had to overcome. Glen said this about their biggest challenge. "Our biggest challenge this year was early in January. We'd been on a great run up to then and I think we had only been beaten by Spartans in the regional cup. We went into the Scottish Cup last 16 tie against Blantyre with a weakened side due to injuries and illness. We lost the 3-1 tie and we all felt pretty down. A couple of other defeats, one in the County Cup added to the woes. But we knew we were a good side. We sat down with the boys to talk about it, worked hard at training, got focused again and went on a great run shortly after, right up to the end of the season." Being able to keep the heads high and have the work ethic to go through gruelling training sessions in order to do what needs to be done is a hard task. But the boys managed to push through and work together as a team in order to win the league. 
 
Being able to pinpoint the main reason for a teams success is a hard task for any coach, Glen said this about why his team done so well. "We made a concious decision at the end of last season to develop the core of 16 players who I and the coaching staff believed had the right attitude and ability to take the team up a level or two. From the very first pre-season training session we could tell that we made the right decision. Their work ethic, attitude and willingness to listen, learn and develop themselves individually and as a team, is what made them so successful." It sounds like the team came together as the season progressed and the chemistry began to form. Team chemistry is one of the most important factors in a teams success and Murieston seem to have worked it out. 
 
After a great season, Glen still has high hopes for the future of Murieston United. He said this about the future of the team. "All the boys have signed again which is great. We'll look to continue to develop them as much as we can and with the continuing support from Coerver Coaching Scotland, hope to build on the success from the season." Great ideas from Glen, and we hope that the boys continue to find the success they are looking for.
 
Glen had some final comments to add about the season, he said this. "It's been a team effort, and without the support of other coaches, Wayne O' Connor and Stephen Bowes, and our team secretary Jim Murphhy, and treasurer, Zoe Nicolaou, we wouldn't have been able to help the boys achieve what they have. It's been a great season and one that the players, coaches, parents, family, friends and the club can rightly be very proud of." 
 
Congratulations to Murieston United Blues and good luck for their future seasons. 
 
 
Musselburgh Windsor Blues finished strongly at the top of the SERYFA League B, ending comfortably on 73 points, followed by runners-up Haddington Athletic on 60 points. We got the chance to catch up with Neil Laidlaw, the coach, to learn about what Musselburgh done right.
 
Winning the league is a great feeling for any team, and Musselburgh Windsor Blues are no exception. Neil said, "We are all delighted that the league has been won. It makes it easier to keep the boys enthusiastic for next year when we step up a league and expect it to be tough." The boys will be going into League A after being promoted this season, they are expecting a bigger challenge and after winning the league so comfortably they will be taking the challenge head on to prove themselves.
 
Neil has worked with the same team for a long time and his favourite memory of the season shows that he has been working for this moment. He said, "Our first 11-a-side match back in August 2016, we had been working five years to reach that point." A lot of dedication and hard-work went into building this team and to come out and win the league is a great achievement.
 
Despite ending the season with an astonishing record of 11 wins, one draw and suffering only one loss. Neil and his team still had challenges throughout the season. Neil said this about his biggest challenge, "Our away fixture against Leith Athletic Colts turned out to be a pivotal game, leading 1-0 at half time we had a player sent off for a harsh last man tackle about eight seconds into the second half. The team stuck in under a lot of pressure, eventually grabbing another goal for an important 2-0 victory." Winning an important game after being a man down shows how well the team worked together. They didn't buckle under the pressure, but they dug deep and earned themselves a victory. 
 
The reasons for their success involved the hard work in training and the chemistry the boys had off the pitch. Neil commented, I think the boys being able to stick to their jobs on the park was a huge factor. Three out of four games we were outplayed but came away with the points due to the lads sticking to their lessons learnt in training over the years. Most of the squad have been together since the team formed in 2011 and the fact that they played together at 4s, 7s and onto 11s is a major factor. Many of the boys have forged strong friendships at the team when otherwise they may not have known each other." Building a strong team chemistry and atmosphere is a crucial factor in the success of any squad. 
 
After a successful run, the boys are looking to continue their success in the A League next season after their promotion. Neil commented, "We are looking to continue our development in the higher league. We would love to get into a cup final next season and that will be one of our targets. Next year we would like to go to a tournament somewhere outside the UK." Neil has high hopes for the boys, and has no doubt that they can reach these goals after a spectacular season.
 
Neil had some final comments to add, he said, "The organisation that goes into the SERYFA is what makes this really good, without this, the guys would be having a much more inferior experience, so we would just like to thank them. I'd also like to thank my fellow coaches, Grant Hughes & Ronnie McKenzie."
 
We wish Musselburgh Windsor Blues good luck for their next season and hope they find the success that they are looking for. 
 
St Bernards BC Midlothian narrowly clinched the SERYFA Division 2 after a close matchup against Musselburgh Windsor Blues who finished just one point shy of St Bernards in the table. We caught up with the coach of St Bernards, Nicola Inglis, to find out about their success. 
 
Hard work is key to winning the league. Every team aims for the league title from the beginning of the season and St Bernards were no different. Nicola said this about the teams feelings towards the league win. "It feels great, and we feel very proud of the team as winning the league isn't just about three or four games like in a cup competition. It's about working hard week in, week out and getting results over the full season." The hard work has shown from St Bernards and it all paid off in the end.
 
After a great season which had many eventful ties, it can be hard to go back and choose a favourite moment. Nicola had this hard task and said this. "My favourite moment of the season was when our captain and central defender Corey Smith scored his first and only goal for the team. The whole squad ran up to him to congratulate him and showed him a great team spirit and camaraderie with the boys." Sticking together as a team is a huge part of the game. Team chemistry is one of the most important factors in a team and can make all the difference. 
 
St Bernards had a great season but they still had to go through some trials and tribulations to get to the point they are at now, league winners. Nicola said this about the teams biggest challenge. "The toughest match this season was our home match against Musselburgh Windsor in the league. It was end to end stuff and we eventually came out on top winning 6-5." It was a game of two halves and St Bernards just narrowly took the win and added three points to their league campaign. 
 
The main reason for success can be hard to find or choose, but Nicola thinks this reason is why the squad performed so well. "Our biggest driving force this season was building on and progressing from last season and by winning the league and the league cup, we feel as though we've achieved that." A great showing all year for St Bernards and the hard work and gruelling training sessions have been worth it in the end. 
 
Although they had a great season, St Bernards still have a lot to look forward to and Nicola said this about the squads future. "Our plans for the future are simple, keep working hard and giving 100% every game and training session and hopefully continue to grow as a team and as a club." A great attitude for St Bernards to have and an attitude like this will surely help them to maintain their success.
 
Congratulations to St Bernards BC Midlothian and we wish them good luck for the future.
 
 
 
 
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