The DAGYL (Dumfries and Galloway Youth League) has been taken by storm by Lochar Thistle 2002’s. They remain at the top of the table with an astonishing fifteen wins and 0 loss record. We caught up with the coach, Jordan Hammond, to find out the secrets to their success.
He feels like the reason for his team’s success is the motivation and determination to come back stronger than last season. “We finished runners up in the league and a cup tournament in the previous season and managed to win a different cup tournament. I think the boys are determined to deliver on all three fronts this year after narrowly missing out last season.” The team are hoping to make their mark on the league by dominating in cup tournaments and the league.
Although they haven’t lost yet it doesn’t mean they haven’t had their fair share of close calls. Jordan said “Our most intense game to date would have to be cup quarter finals against Annan. This was a close game which we won 4-3 but it was very back and forth and a hard-fought victory.” Annan Athletic are closely following Lochar in the league so this game was bound to be competitive.
An unbeaten record throughout the whole season would be an astonishing feat. However, Lochar remain confident and this is a goal they believe they can reach. “It has been a goal in which the coaches and the players set upon themselves at the start of the season to try and remain undefeated. I know if the boys are highly determined to do this and with hard work I feel we can get there” The coaches have obviously had a large impact on these players to keep them motivated. “I know all the other teams will be looking to knock us off so we’ll need to be at our best week in, week out.” Jordan realises that Lochar is the biggest competition in the DAGYL and other teams will be looking to hand them their first loss.
Teamwork is a huge factor in Lochar and Jordan has emphasised this by saying “No player has been better than another, I see football as a team sport and the boys have really bought into the system that we have put in place for them to play in” This system translates well from paper and training into the real game. “My favourite moment to date would be our away game to Galloway Thistle in which the boys played their best football to date. It was great to witness all the things we have been practicing being put to use in the game” This game against Galloway Thistle ended 9-2 to Lochar. The training and coaching for Lochar Thistle is being used to their full extent and this is show in their results.
Lochar are looking to reach the finals of both cup tournaments this season as well as the remaining league run. Jordan said “I am looking forward to our two semi-finals and hoping we can reach both finals for consecutive years but they will be very tough games. I am also looking forward to the league run as we are looking to clinch the title that eluded us the previous season”
The confidence shown here by coaches and players is a big reason why Lochar Thistle 2002 are at the top of their league and haven't been beaten yet.