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South West Region (177)

Tuesday, 14 January 2014 12:55

Ayr run out of gas at Murray Park

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After only two training sessions back after the Winter break the Academy 17s travelled up to Murray Park to take on Rangers in a friendly on Sunday in a 1pm kick off. A trip to Murray Park is a tough ask at the best of times but the boys were to give a good account of themselves, especially first half where they were the better side and must have impressed the watching Scott Booth of the SFA with some of their possession football.
As the game kicked off it was Rangers who were first to threaten in the 8th minute when a corner was swung in from the far right hand and the Big number 2, up from the back, rose well but his downward header went wide of the left hand post. After 15 minutes Jai Holland did well to latch on to a pass down the outside left channel before cutting inside his marker and shooting for the near post but McCrorie in the Rangers nets saved comfortably. After 20 minutes Ayr swung in a dangerous corner, the ball deflected off a defender’s head and rebounded off the goalies gloves to Regan Ross who headed for goal but his effort went agonisingly over the bar.
Callum Smith was then carried from the field by the Ayr Physio and team mates as he couldn’t put any weight on his foot and it looked a sore one. Shortly after came the controversial moment in the match. As a long ball was played forward, Jai Holland rose with the Rangers centre back in an effort to head the ball and as both boys went for the ball they accidentally clashed heads with the Rangers centre back accidentally heading the back of Jai’s head. Both boys went down with the Rangers centre back holding his forehead and Jai holding the back of his head. However the referee raced up to the scene and gave Rangers the free kick with Jai receiving a straight red card. To be fair the Rangers players and their Head of Youth intervened with the referee on Jai’s behalf.  The referee eventually allowed Ayr to introduce Jarod Keifer as their lone striker to replace Jai in a forced substitution.
In the 30th minute a good move saw the Rangers number 10 blast high and wide from the edge of the box. The five minutes later Rangers delivered a dangerous in-swinging free kick but the flicked header went wide of the left hand post. After 40 minutes the big Rangers number 10 cut inside from the left but his curling effort with the right foot went past the right hand post. Just as the half was coming to an end Ayr were to fall behind when the Rangers number 9 picked the ball up inside the Ayr box on the right hand side. His shot took a wicked deflection which took it past Louis Kerr into the Ayr net. However Ayr responded well to falling behind and a good move involving 7 or 8 quick passes through midfield saw Craig McGuffie on the ball at the edge of the box but Craig’s low effort went just past the Rangers right hand post.Reece Lapham
As the second half began Ayr came out with the words of the coaching staff ringing in their ears. They had passed the ball well in the first half and were unfortunate to be narrowly behind at the break. After 5 minutes however it was Rangers who had the first attempt of the second half when the number 11 shot over from 25 yards out. Louis Kerr then did well to come through a crowded six yard box to punch a Rangers corner clear. After 55 minutes a feint and a swivel of the hips saw David Richardson leave two Rangers midfielders trailing before he played the ball forward into the feet of Craig McGuffie. Craig strode forward and let rip with a 25 yard effort which was heading for the top corner but the Rangers Youth International keeper McCrorie showed his class by plucking the effort from the air without too much trouble. After 65 minutes Rangers played a free kick into the mixer to use their height advantage, the knock down back across goal to the left hand post was finished off from close in to double their lead. In the 70th minute a through ball was latched on to by the Rangers number 12 and he finished with aplomb low past Louis Kerr.
Rangers were on top now as Ayr dug in but they were visibly tiring against opponents of whom even at u17 level many are full time footballers. With 10 minutes to go a flowing Rangers move saw the no 6 finish well with a low driven shot from the right hand side of the box across Louis Kerr into the bottom left hand corner. With 2 minutes to go the Rangers number 16 showed good strength against Reece Lapham, (pictured) who had been outstanding for Ayr at the back all day alongside Regan Ross, he cut in and shot but a great defensive block saw the ball cleared for a corner. The same Rangers player then put a great ball across goal from the Ayr left but there were no takers in the middle. The referee then blew to bring the match to an end.
Ayr United started this match with six lads who are 1998 birthdays and will be eligible again for u17s next season. There were also a number of trialists playing who all showed up well in the match. The final score line flattered the home side and it would have been interesting to have seen how the game would have panned out if the sending off had not disrupted the young Honest Men at a time in the match when they were on top. Special mention must also go to Reece Lapham at the back as although he is not the biggest of defenders his ability to read the game allows him to anticipate and snuff out the danger on so many occasions.
Saturday, 04 January 2014 13:45

Mid Season Interview: Callum Taylor of Glenafton BC

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1. Name: 
Callum Taylor
2. Team and age group:
Glenafton Athletic Under 14's
3. Sum up your season so far in one sentence:
Really disappointing at this stage, with us sitting in the bottom two and facing a battle to avoid relegation.
4. What has been the low point?:
We were 5-2 up against Girvin and ended up losing 6-5, which really hurt our confidence.
5. What has been the high point?:
Scoring the final seconds against Tass Thistle, to come back from 1-0 behind and win 2-1. it was our first win and a weight off our shoulders.
6. Which player from your squad has improved the most from the previous season?:
The player that has improved the most is our right back Greg Leitch who didn't have a great season last season but this season he's on fire!
7. What are your team's goals for the second half of 2013/14?:
To rescue ourselves from relegation and pick up good results against better opposition!
8. What are your personal goals for football in the calendar year 2014?:
To improve my confidence and to keep more clean sheets.
1. Name: 
Murray Grayston
2. Team and age group:
Tass Thistle Under 14's
3. Sum up your season so far in one sentence:
Season so far would be a lack of consistency and a bit of a disappointment.
4. What has been the low point?:
Low point was definitely the defeat to Valspar, from 4-2 up a controversial penalty kick started a comeback for them. In all honesty though it was the beginning of a run of poor results which ultimately could and probably will have cost us the league.
5. What has been the high point?:
The high point personally for me was being selected along with the other five boys put forward for the South West region team. Made me feel I bit more noticed as most goalkeepers often feel they slip under the radar. I'm looking forward to playing games for them in the future!
5. Which player from your squad has improved the most from the previous season?:
Our most improved player for me has been Charlie Clarke. He's always had the ability but lacked the consistency. This year he's moved to left back and proved what a class player he is, his skill a never say die attitude has won us games this season most notably the derby when he was moved forward again to left wing. A really exciting player!
6. What are your team's goals for the second half of 2013/14?:
Our goals for the rest of the season have to be to improve our league form. We've got a lot to prove that we still are capable of winning the league and make as much of a fight of it as we can. We also remain in two cups hopefully we can win at least one! The last in of which is the CYP cup which we are reigning champions of (pictured, above right with the trophy), beating some good teams and league winners along the way. This proves what we can and should be doing.
7. What are your personal goals for football in the calendar year 2014?:
For the calendar year I want to become more of a consistent player and to push to become a major part of the regional team and to go as far as I can in the set up. Of course I'd like to play pro youth as well but for now my main focus is Tass Thistle FC and getting them back where they belong!
1. Name: 
Lauren Bullock
2. Team and age group:
Hamilton Accies WGFC 17's
3. Sum up last season in one sentence:
It was a rollercoaster!
4. What was the low point?:
Leaving Glasgow City.
5. What has been the high point?:
Winning the split with Hamilton Accies.
6. Which player from your squad has improved the most from the previous season?:
Maxine Welsh - she'll be big in the future without a doubt although there are a number of players who could be said as well.
7. What are your team's goals for season 2014?:
To be as successful as we can and aim for the top.
8. What are your personal goals for football in the calendar year 2014?:
Me personally to compete for a spot in the Scotland squad - thats my ultimate dream but just to prove to myself I can do anything i set my mind to.
Following a highly successful meeting on Monday 25th of November, Kilmarnock FC and FC Kilmarnock Ladies are delighted to announce a partnership between the two clubs.
There have been various meetings over the past few months with Kilmarnock FC being represented by Paul di Giacomo and George Craig and FC Kilmarnock Ladies by Brian Emmerson, David Howie, Elizabeth Munro, Hugh Emslie, Hugh Flynn, David Johnston, Stewart Bell and Kirsty Munro. Additionally, SFA representative Shirley Martin has also been present during what has turned out to be a significant and rewarding occasion for ladies football in Ayrshire.
So what will this partnership mean to the players of FC Kilmarnock Ladies? 
The Club will become a Football Academy with a variety of qualified coaches available to all players at all levels, including fitness with sports science and fitness training available to all players. The players will enjoy the very best training facilities the town has to offer, which will be reserved solely for use of the squads on their training nights. The U17 and senior squads will have free membership for the use of the gym facilities at Kilmarnock FC’s fitness centre. 
The senior squad will play their home matches at one of the local junior grounds and negotiations are already underway with various local clubs in Ayrshire. Kilmarnock FC did not rule out the possibility of making Rugby Park available to host certain 1st XI fixtures in the future, which would be a huge bonus for the players of the club. 
To assist with player identification and recruitment, player development pathways will be introduced throughout the Region. Players who participate in the Scottish FA and Kilmarnock FC grass roots programme will be encouraged to join local clubs at U9 and U11 ages with a view to joining the Girls Academy at U13. 
New coaching roles will be created to be responsible for the coaching syllabus and curriculum for all the squads. 
A fully qualified physiotherapist will be assigned to the club and will be responsible for medical matters on designated club training nights. The physiotherapist will also be available for the seniors on match days.
The players and coaches will be provided with Kilmarnock FC strips, track suits and training kits. This is to ensure the Club be identified to Kilmarnock FC and will be of no expense to the players or coaches. Suitable sponsors are being sought for the various ventures such as training kit.  
These are just some of the many benefits players will enjoy by signing up for FC Kilmarnock Ladies. With Kilmarnock FC leading the way there will be a more professional approach to all business, playing and coaching affairs ensuring the future of the club is bright. 
Head Coach Hugh Flynn is delighted with the new set up, which will permit him and his coaching team to have a long term plan for youth development and to attract new players of all ages for the coming season. 
However, part of the negotiations for the above benefits is that ALL players will be unconditionally required to pay their regular fees by Direct Debit to Kilmarnock FC. This new payment system will begin in January 2014 and players/parents should be aware that payments will be paid monthly over 12 months.
No cash will exchange hands with FC Kilmarnock Ladies Coaches from there on in. For the Seniors, fees will be £25 per month and Juniors £20 per month. More details will follow on this shortly. 
There will be an informational meeting on Monday 16th December at 6.15pm in the Park Suite and the Club invites all parents/players and anyone with an interest in joining the club to attend. In attendance, amongst others, will be Paul di Giacomo (KFC Community Engagement Manger), Shirley Martin (SFA), George Craig (Coordinator), Paul Green (Sports Science) who will discuss the partnership in detail and will be happy to answer any questions.
Anyone interested in playing for FC Kilmarnock Ladies please get in touch in the first instance by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit our web site and use the contact form at www.fckilmarnocklfc.co.uk or our Facebook Page by clicking here.
Please make sure you arrive early for the Q&A session with representives from all parties. 
Help us promote this exciting event in the club's history by sharing with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 20:41

South West clubs show their quality

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South West Region clubs show their Quality
Football clubs in the South West Region celebrated their achievements at an SFA awards ceremony on the 22nd of November at Hampden.
The SFA Quality Mark Awards are recognition of the work put in by clubs at grassroots level and 21 teams in the South West received accreditation.
There are four levels of Quality Mark - Standard, Development, Community and Legacy – and all of these were picked up by various clubs.
Regional Manager John Brown introduced the night and the panel, which included Club Development Manager Graeme Mathie, ex Kilmarnock FC footballer Garry Hay and sports journalist Bill Leckie. The SFA’s community partners, McDonald’s, were also in attendance.
Mathie ascribed a theme for the awards: “Delegation”; recognising the need for compromise and the ability of clubs and authorities to work together for the greater good and had a story for every club.
The main aim of the Quality Mark Awards, as Director of Football Development Jim Fleeting said, is to recognise “proactive clubs and schools working to increase football participation in their local community”.
Mathie echoed this sentiment, preaching a mantra of “More people, more players, more football”.
The Standard Level Awards were given out first. 14 clubs from Cambuslang (Football Academy) to Grange Academy in Kilmarnock to Stranraer (Girls) all received this award.
Four clubs received accreditation at Community and Development Level – Bonnyton Thistle FC, AUFA Girls, Gow Valley and Tass Thistle. The Development Award is given to teams with four or more teams at different age groups who are developing other sections of the club eg Girls sections and the Community Award is similar, only for clubs with at least eight teams at children, youth, female, adult levels. Disability sections are also recognised.
Three clubs received the Legacy Award – a first for the South West Region. The Legacy Level requires clubs to show how the benefit their community in addition to providing football for all and videos were shown to demonstrate the work of the clubs who achieved this status.
Next year the SFA pledged that they hoped to see even more clubs at the ceremony, either returning or for the first time.
A full list of the award winners can be found below and video highlights are available via the YouTube link.
Standard Level: Cambuslang Football Academy, Coylton YFC, Crosshouse BC, Dalrymple, Dean Thistle BC, Galston YFC, Glenburn Miners Welfare, Grange Academy, Moorlands, Rowallan Sports Club, Stranraer Girls, U.C.A., Whitletts Victoria, Winlinton Wolves
Development Level: AUFA Girls, Gow Valley, TASS Thistle
Community Level: Bonnyton Thistle 
Legacy Level: Claremont AFC, Kilbirnie Community FC, Strathaven Dynamo FC
Monday, 04 November 2013 13:35

Killie win eight goal thriller to end their season

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Ayrshire Girls
FC Kilmarnock
U13's South West/West Performance League
03 November 2013
Final game of the season today and what a day it was, freezing temperatures, driving wind rain topped off with a mud bath of a pitch set the tone for a tough final game.  This was also the final game before the older girls set up to 15’s so the pre match team talk before game was work hard have fun and enjoy the game.
The game started with Kilmarnock playing into the rain and wind but coped well with conditions, It was an even first 10-15 minutes with each team getting used to the weather, During this period there was some neat build up play from both teams but none could find the breakthrough, Ayrshire managed to win a corner and from the resulting dead ball a scramble in the box saw Ayrshire take a 1-0 lead. 
The girls didn’t let their heads drop and after some fantastic passing and build up play including Katie, Amy & Sammy-Jo directly from kick off saw a final ball slid through to Briony who was her usual deadly self in front of goals giving the keeper no chance. The full Killie team had something about them today and special praise has to be put on the defence who didn’t let Ayrshire get a sniff, Laura was her usual hard working and fully committed self while was playing alongside a calm and composed Erin who was having the game of her life, winning tackles reading the game and breaking out with the back linking up with midfield and attack. Some more slick passing moves involving the full team and clinical finishing from Briony saw Kilmarnock take a 4-1 lead into half time. 
Half Time: Ayrshire Girls 1-4 FC Kilmarnock
Half time even though the girls were like ice cubes they were all smiling and were looking forward to the 2nd half getting underway, Holly K on for Laura, Kia on for Amy.

The second half started much the same as the first with Holly K & Erin defending well and being helped out by Kia who was looking after a fast and skilful number 8. The girls in midfield were giving their all and working hard against Ayrshire girls ‘long ball’ tactic. After a few changes in positions the girls lost a little concentration and allowed Ayrshire back into the game a little until Katie ran onto the end of a Briony pass to score a nice left footed shot past the outrushing keeper for the fifth.
The home team responded and scored 2 quick fire goals to make it 3-5. Our girls looked a little shaky and with 10 minutes to go they lost their way a little, after some encouraging words form the side the girls got the bit between their teeth and went for it.
The last 10 minutes had everything in it, goal mouth scrambles which our girls did fantastic to deal with and some amazing counter attacking involving the full team resulting in shots rolling narrowly passed the post and over the bar. Ayrshire had plenty of corners and throw ins within the final 3rd but Killie’s defence along with an inform Zara in goals pulled off some fantastic saves, goal line clearance’s and goal mouth scrambles. Due to it being the last game of the season and everyone freezing the subs were getting rotated often to keep the girls moving, although the girls were dealing with the horrible weather and constant changes in personnel they dug deep and worked harder than ever to secure a well-deserved 3-5 win on the last day of an challenging but rewarding and exciting season.

Overall (for 90% of the match) it was great to see the girls give everything they can for the club to end the season on a high and even more important was to see the girls playing with massive smiles on their faces. Well done girls!
Full Time: Ayrshire Girls 3-5 FC Kilmarnock
Monday, 04 November 2013 00:00

Johnston enjoying life at Accies

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Hamilton Academical have always been well known for their fantastic youth set up with great young players always coming through the ranks even of recent times such as James McCarthy, James McArthur and Brian Easdon three players who all left the Accies to move down South and play.

With high such a good academy comes high expectations and so far this season their Under 20's are certainly living up to those expectations with a very talented squad which includes Midfielder Craig Johnston who I recently caught up with and had a chance to ask a good few questions.

Craig has played football all his life and played for a few clubs throughout his time only moving to Hamilton a few years ago from Queens Park, since joining he has made a huge impact and made some really great performances for the Accies, Craig runs defenders raged with his pace and skill and is really enjoying playing in the Under 20's league where he regularly gets a start with Hamilton who sit second in the league just 3 points behind leaders Inverness.


1. What teams have you played for in your youth career?

Aberdeen, Celtic, Queens Park been on trial at Everton & Fulham for experience when I was 15


2. What footballer do you idolize and why?

Ronaldo. I think he's just the complete footballer has everything anyone would want & for that reason a look up to him.


3. Who has been your favorite coach to play under?

My Queens Park coach Gerry & Andy Gilmartin. Frankie McCavoy is up there with the best though as well.


4. How do you thing you have developed since joining Hamilton?

I think I've learned a lot since joining about the game, have a better positional sense and am fitter.


5. What is your favorite goal that you have scored?

Cup final for the school team to win it never forget it scored 3 in 5 minutes to make us go 1 ahead.


6. What has been your favorite moment in football? Personally or otherwise?

Playing for Scotland on Sky in the Victory Shield when the national anthem comes on the feeling you get is something else you cant describe.


7. If you could give any advice to young players reading this who want to make it in football as a career what would you tell them?

Never give up footballs full of ups & downs when times get tough dont feel sorry for yourself go try harder and be better. Dont let anyone tell you you're not good enough.

Sunday, 29 September 2013 21:39

YFS TV: Mids and Bankies enjoy Palmerston stage

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Mid Annandale and Rosebank United's Under 12 (2002) teams took part in an exciting 10 second challenge during the half time break at Queen of the South's tie against Dumbarton at Palmerston Park, Dumfries. Watch how they got on below:
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