West Region (361)
Whitecraigs Rugby Club held the annual St Cadocs Gala Day on Sunday, June 4th, in another extremely successful event for the youth club.
The event came just one day after the under-19s won the West of Scotland Cup for the club, coming back from 2-0 down to defeat Rutherglen Glencairn 4-2.
Thousands of people flocked in to the rugby club to take part in a variety of activities that were on show – including bubble football, crash courses, police and fire engine demonstrations, and beat the goalie.
An array of stalls selling a variety of goods were also on show, as well as a BBQ to keep the energy levels up on what was a beautiful day at Newton Mearns.
It was a fantastic day for all age levels, and it gave youngsters at every age group the chance to mingle with each other and keep in contact.
We spoke to organiser Liam O’Donnell, who was overwhelmed by the response of yet another successful gala day.
“The response has just been fabulous. It’s a real community event and I’m delighted to see so many people turning out.
“The weather’s been fabulous which has helped us a lot.
“The day was about bringing the whole club together and it was great yesterday that our under-19s won the West of Scotland Cup. That was great for the club, and we’re going to keep coming on leaps and bounds.
“The kids all love it, and it’s important to make them feel as though they belong here. That’s the main thing.”
Co-organiser Jane O’Neill praised the community spirit around the event, highlighting one particular award that showed the unity in the squads.
“A lot of work has been put into this, but the youth club is a real community and many, many people have helped us. So it’s great to welcome new faces to the club and for them to help out.
“One of our awards is Players’ Player of the Year and it’s lovely to see the players vote for their team-mates. It’s a real team effort here.”
The club invited YFS along to sample the gala, but also there to help with the presentations were Celtic’s Stuart Armstrong and Clyde 1’s Gavin Pearson.
We tried to get a comment from the Celtic midfielder about his thoughts on St Cadoc’s and youth football in general, but time constraints dictated otherwise.
2010s coach Matt Rumins welcomed the addition of Armstrong, and stressed how excited the boys were to meet the Scotland star.
“All of our boys came last year and had a fantastic time, and they kept asking us when it was coming back this year.
“Seeing a professional player come – the boys love to see that and to get a picture with him. They’ve seen him score some great goals for Celtic and play for Scotland so they’re all very keen and excited.
“It’s great for the coaches as well to see each other and speak to the boys at other age levels.”
The players at all age levels enjoyed themselves immensely and used it as an opportunity to build team morale.
Different age groups played in bounce games against each other throughout the day, with a lot of talent on show from this exciting youth club.
One of the players we spoke to, Matt McNichol of the 2001s, said that all the players look forward to the day and he would encourage other youth clubs to do the same.
“It’s a good opportunity to hang around with your friends. Obviously with the awards and the different stalls being up – it’s just a nice day for everyone.
“It’s important to have that recognition, but mainly it’s just a nice thing to have. It’s great for the team.
“It’s a great thing to build up to at the end of our season, and I would definitely encourage other youth clubs to do the same.”
The 2001s coach who led his side to a league and cup double this season, Dom Callan, believes the event makes the players understand the size of what they’re part of.
“I think they all look forward to it. It’s a great opportunity not just for them to get together as a team, but for the whole club to get together – then they can realise what they’re part of.
“It’s not just 18 boys, it’s around 800 kids we have at St Cadocs.
“We very much encourage the team and it’s great that the players get to vote for who they think has influenced their team the most.”
The event also included a prize-filled raffle, including an overnight stay at the Grand Central Hotel, 5 full hospitality tickets for Celtic Park for a league match next season, and two away tickets in the Celtic end for any away game next season including Ibrox or European games.
It was a very enjoyable event for everyone and is a real sign of just how big St Cadocs are.
The visitors all enjoyed their day, but the main thing was the enjoyment shown by the players and the staff of St Cadocs.
For now the stalls will come down and each group will start to prepare for the new season, but many can’t wait for the gala day to come round again next year.
St Cadoc’s Youth Club celebrated raising £16,000 for charity last week with a cheque handover at Grand Central Hotel with Rangers' striker Kenny Miller and PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart.
The East Renfrewshire club raised £24,000 in total at a Gala Dinner, and donated £8000 each to the Beatson Cancer Centre and St Andrew’s Hospice. The eye-watering sums are a mark of the fantastic progress the club has made in recent years.
The club was founded in 1987 by Mr David Jones to give youngsters a chance to play both football and netball. However, it now welcomes kids from across East Renfrewshire and beyond, with some travelling from as far as Greenock to be part of the club.
This is reflected in the participation numbers, with the club almost doubling in size in the past five years, going from 400 to nearly 800 registered players from the ages of five to twenty.
So what is the secret to their success?
Firstly, there has been a drive to increase the quality of coaching. Former Aberdeen and St Mirren midfielder Ricky Gillies was appointed as Director of Football and coach of the under 19s side.
Soon after David Elliot, formerly of Celtic, Partick Thistle, and St Mirren, was brought on board to coach a 2001s team, who top the Paisley and Johnstone District League. While ex-Queen's Park player Dom Callan also coaches a table-topping 2001 team in Division 3.The coaching at the club, as well as an abundance of talented players, has seen some youngsters progress to the professional game, including Partick Thistle defender Liam Lindsay who has scored seven goals in all competitions this season.
In addition, the club’s progressive outlook and sense of community has been an integral part of its exponential growth. Local businesses have queued up to support the cause, which allows the club to pay for equipment and other essentials, while maintaining low playing fees in order to maximise participation and ensure nobody is excluded.
Another heart-warming example of the club’s ethos is when Leigh Griffiths came to give out awards to players and presented a Special Merit Award to 11 year old Kerri Halpin for her bravery in fighting cancer.
And it is to these causes that the fundraising arm of St Cadoc’s has turned to, most recently in raising the £16,000 for charity at the Gala Dinner in January at Grand Central Hotel, with 360 tickets selling in just 48 hours. The club managed to put together a brilliantly successful evening which included appearances from football stars of the past and present.
Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld, plus other ex-Celts Andy Walker and Murdo MacLeod were in attendance as were current players Massimo Donati, Stephen Pearson , John Rankin , Ryan Stevenson, St Johnstone duo Liam Craig and Zander Clark and Hamilton captain Mikey Devlin.
Such an impressive line-up speaks volumes for a club with an ambition to achieve big things both on and off the pitch. And rest assured, they are not minded to rest on their laurels, with training sessions planned with other stars of the Scottish game.
Yes, St Cadoc’s Youth Club are certainly on the march.
Under-14 pair, Colin Thomas and Glen Cameron, emerged successfully through their 3-week assessment programme, working under four different group coaches at the Shot Stoppers Goalkeeping Academy.
Erskine-based Colin is a sporting all-rounder - also being involved with martial arts and cross country running – and was recommended to Shot Stoppers by recently elected Renfrew Victoria Boys' Club Chairman Stuart Wild.
Stuart, who is a former Sunday Mail Grassroots Coach of the Year winner, said: "Colin came to my team in the First Division from Parkmoor, who played in Division Four. "He had been with them through from soccer sevens, and every time we played against him the boy was outstanding. Colin was a bit nervous about joining us, but soon settled and never let us down from around November until the following summer. "I suggested to his father, Ian, that the best place to go for specialist goalkeeping coaching was Shot Stoppers. I have known their Head Coach and the set-up for over 22 years, and right from the first session with them he quickly realised I was right to point him in their direction.”
"The guys at Shot Stoppers don't coach for the money. They develop young grassroots talent brilliantly, and the fact the Academy is heading towards 23 seasons speaks for itself"
"As a club, Renfrew Vics have seen the improvement in goalkeeepers who have come through our ranks, and I would encourage grassroots boys/girls to contact them. "In very similar circumstances to his first coaching session with my team, Colin was taken well out of his comfort zone. Working alongside young goalkeepers who have already been part of their set-up for a few years has shown him what can be achievement with hard work - and I am delighted he has impressed the group coaches enough to be offered a full-time slot."
Glen Cameron grasped the opportunity to travel from his home in Alexandria and excel at twice-weekly sessions. Having spent two years at Murray Park and enjoyed match action over an entire season with Rangers, Glen is a product of Dumbarton United, with whom he spent seven years. He admitted: " Right from the first day when I worked with Group One coaches Stephen Bryceland and Stevie Cameron, I told my parents I wanted to earn a place at Shot Stoppers. "The set-up is first class, everything is done very professionally, and I always look forward to each session, which is different and full of new ideas. His father, Bobby Cameron, said: "Glen is loving the challenge, and thriving in the Shot Stoppers environment."
Two young goalkeepers have been announced as winners of one of Scotland’s top goalkeeping awards. Cameron Gordon & Alasdair Holmes, who play for Peterhead Youth and East Kilbride Y.C. respectively, were nominated for the award presentation staged by The Shot Stoppers Goalkeeping Coaching Academy.
Holmes, who is a former East Kilbride Player of The Year winner, has been in sensational form this season. The same can be said for Gordon, who recently helped his side to a 4-1 win over Linwood Rangers recently in the Regional cup.
Founded back in 1994, the academy has coached no fewer than 90 promising goalkeepers who have gone on to make the leap into junior and senior football.
The success of the academy can also be shown by the sheer amount of honours to be won by former graduates, with over 270 of them coming in the last 22 years, including Scottish Youth Cups, National Lady Darling Cups, Glasgow Easter Cups, Glasgow City Cups, Land of Burns, plus league titles at every level, Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year awards. If there’s one thing the academy can claim to generate, it has to be success.
Head Group One coach Stephen Bryceland, said: “"I have worked with both Cameron and Alasdair from day one, they are not only excellent prospects, but come from good family backgrounds, which is all-important in any recruitment structure."
He added: “You have to remember when Shot Stoppers began back in 1994, there was no other form of specialist goalkeeper coaching, so we have lead the way. We are immensely proud of our structure, and the achievements that have followed.”
From January, Shot Stopper will launch another detailed coaching programme. There will be two challenging Boys' Club categories - 10 to 16 years, and 18-21 years, plus a new and innovative over 21s group (in great demand ) working with junior and amateur goalkeepers.
For more information call the Coaching Hotline on 07403452860 or email them: email@example.com.