Pollok United 2003’s won the Paisley Johnstone & District Youth Football League (PJ&DYFL) and we caught up with one of the coaches, Dougie McAllister, to find out how they done it.
Dougie credits the players and coaching staffs work ethic as the main factors for the team’s success. He said “Hard work and dedication by the players and coaching staff to continually improve, players not missing practice sessions and taking on board the advice given to them to develop their skills.” The players and coaches were also willing to put in an extra shift. “High fitness levels were a factor in our success, introducing a third training night at the gym and providing guidance on nutrition pre-and post-game has boosted our player’s fitness levels.” The players and coaches going above and beyond to teach the players has given them valuable life skills off the pitch as well as on the pitch.
Pollok’s biggest challenge was an away game against Langcraigs. It was a hard-fought match which saw Pollok come away with a 4-2 win. Both teams were at the top of the league which meant that every point was crucial and Pollok came away with 3 points to make the difference in the standings.
Pollok made a number of changes between this season and last to help secure them the league win. Dougie said “The introduction of new players into the squad and how the existing players developed alongside each other to produce competition for every position on the park and being able to play in the right manner.” The players being able to mature and work together was obviously successful and the new players brought a fresh atmosphere and hunger to win. “There was a new emphasis on holding possession, passing and build up play, panicking and punting the ball up the field was not allowed.” This attitude has allowed Pollok to maintain a high level of play and made sure that they never panicked on the ball.
Although it was a great season for the whole team Dougie had the hard task of picking the most dominant player. “All the squad have contributed to success throughout the season from back to front, it’s very hard to pinpoint one player but Cammy, our centre, scored a number of goals.” It’s very hard to pick out one player in particular, and the whole Pollok squad had to have played very well and very consistently in order to win the league.
Dougie had some final comments, “By the squad taking on-board, the good habits and practices asked for by the coaches has helped to improve the boy’s fitness and technique. The boys were very dedicated and committed to train 3 nights a week faithfully has led to a high level of performance and the boys look forward to the challenge next season.” Not only have they developed and improved on the pitch, that have also gained some skills off the pitch. “Seeing the boys mature into young men has been a great joy to watch, they are a great bunch of lads with a great team spirit.”
It looks like the effort put in by the coaches have really helped to improve these players in every aspect.