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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 12:56

Goalkeeping academy swoops for top talent

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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."

 

For more information on the goalkeeping coaching structure, email them at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Monday, 02 January 2017 20:14

Interview: Caitlin O'Hara

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So for our lovely audience, make those introductions?
 
My name is Caitlin O'Hara, I've been involved in football of the female variety for a number of years, more specifically player coach for Glasgow City Ladies.
 
A coach you say, tell us more?
 
I've coached since I was a youngster, maybe 16/17. 
 
I was down doing some extra training one night at the pitch when one of the youth teams were down. The group of kids looked like they were having such a good time, as did the coaches.  That's what probably caught my eye at first, eventually going on to work with that group, learning from the other coaches and then progressing to taking my own sessions. 
 
I guess it all snowballed from there. I went on to be an assistant coach at the West Regional Performance Squads at U16s level which I loved. I learned so much about myself as a coach and about the game. I had great mentors and it was a real step up for me working with elite players. It was really out my comfort zone at first but looking back it really shaped me into who I am now as a coach. 
 
I am currently a lead coach at U12s of Glasgow City Youth Academy, the girls have just made the transition into 11 a-side complete with the challenge of playing in a boys league. The girls have been on a real journey and it's fantastic to see them reap the rewards from their hard work. 
 
So what drew you to the prospect of player development?
 
I strongly believe that at youth level winning should not be the be all and end all. It is far more important to develop yourself as a player both technically & tactically. Everyone develops at different rates and stages in their careers. Winning is great, everyone loves to win but it's so much more important to see the process and the journey that you go on. Go outside your comfort zone, challenge yourself against stronger players, faster players because it will be of huge benefit long term.
 
Personally I don't see the point in going out and playing teams you know your stronger than and putting 10 past them. Who's that helping? What does anyone learn? You will actually learn more being on the other end of that score. It allows you to reflect and think on what you can do better, how you can improve, make quicker decisions, play in tighter areas. I think that's why I was drawn to player development, it's not all about right now in this moment, it's about doing things in your time and seeing the long term benefit. 
 
Make mistakes, who cares. Football is a game of mistakes, that's the only way you can learn. 
 
Do you have a specific philosophy when it comes to player development?
 
I wouldn't say I have a specific philosophy, no. I like the players to get on the ball and move it around. I like them to be creative and express themselves. I encourage them to play with both feet at all times I think it's massive for players even at a young age to be adaptable. Play in different positions, learn new roles and responsibilities. I'd say for me that's what I build my foundations around. I think it's so important to see past the footballer and see the person. Take time to get to know how your players are, how there day was, what interests them. Make sure their environment is fun and somewhere they enjoy coming develop and learn. Build good relationships and team morale. Build confidence and re-assure them it's ok to make mistakes. This way they will play with freedom and they will flourish.
 
With those foundations do you have anyone in your age group that you would consider a success story?
 
It's difficult to pick out just one from the age group I'm currently working with as they are still young and finding their feet. Although not a success story, there has been 4 or 5 who have moved up and played at U15 level which is 3 years above them. That gave me a great sense of pride and motives me even more to give a platform to the players so they can go and showcase what they have. In terms of a success story I'd have to go way back to when I first started out coaching with Tommy Little at u13s, he had a great pool of players who all came through the u16s West Regional Squad. The majority have now played for their respective national teams and at first team level, but if there is anyone specific it would be Brogan Hay. She has been at Glasgow City through every single age group and has now made the City senior team.
 
Even from a very young age she had great technical ability. She would do things on the ball that you just wouldn't believe, what sets Brogan apart from the rest is her attitude.  
 
She leads by example with her 100% committed performances, inspiring her team mates to offer the same levels of hard work and energy. One to watch! 
 
Going back to you mentioning your group are in a boys league, how is it different?
 
Yes we actually played 7-a-side in the boys league as well but recently made the transition to 11 aside earlier this year. It's a lot different, firstly moving into 11 aside already provides its challenges with players having to adapt to the change of size in the pitch and covering bigger distances, not to mention having more players on the pitch and learning different formations and positions. Boys are naturally much more quicker, more powerful and stronger than girls so it gives the girls a chance to play at a higher intensity than what they would if they were in the girls leagues. I wouldn't say there is a difference at all technically or tactically. It's just having to deal with the physical attributes. The girls have to play with fewer touches, in tighter areas and have to make decisions more quickly. The boys don't give you time to take 3/4 touches, get your head up and play or they'll be in on top of you. I'd be lying if I was to say it's been easy. It's been a real learning curve and the girls have had to overcome a lot of hurdles but credit to them. they have dug in and continued to stick to our principles and now they are seeing positive outcomes.
 
What do you have in mind for this season, for yourself and for your group of kids?
 
Personally just to keep learning and looking for ways to improve. I've got a great bunch of coaches around me who continue to push me to be better everyday. Eventually hoping to secure my UEFA B Licence if all goes to plan. For the kids, hoping to get as many as possible into regional performance squads, also looking to get a few to turn out for the squads above their age. I'd be more than happy with that.
Tuesday, 20 December 2016 13:23

Two young keepers win Shot Stoppers award

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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: shotstoppersuk@hotmail.co.uk.

Monday, 05 December 2016 21:02

Joga Futsal travel south for challenge match

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Increasingly popular across the country, futsal is a five-aside variant of football. With an emphasis on fast pace and technical skill, the game is generally played on an indoor pitch with hockey-sized goals. Many of world’s top football players have played futsal in their youth, including Pele, Messi and Ronaldo. It is therefore used by many today as a developmental sport for the eleven-aside game to enhance players’ ball control, passing, and even to encourage quick thinking.
 
Recently, Glasgow-based team, Joga Futsal, became the first youth futsal team to travel south of the border for a challenge match. YFS spoke exclusively to David Galt, owner and founder of Joga Futsal, who shared his team’s experience and his hopes for the future of the sport.
 
Galt, who currently plays for Queens Park FC, played futsal as a youth and credits the sport with his development in the eleven-aside game. Now through the Joga Futsal Academy, he is able to share his passion for the sport with the youth of today. 
 
The Academy has been running for almost a year and has sixty-five children between the ages of seven and twelve years old participating in weekly training sessions, and playing at least one game a month. Galt said, “In under a year, we have grown massively as a futsal academy. We not only have youth teams, we also have futsal development centres in which we work with over thirty kids each week which is more of an introduction to futsal and acts as a pathway to our youth teams. We work closely with several boys’ clubs around Glasgow and the West. The winter will see us run Youth Futsal Leagues for fifty teams with over five hundred kids taking part in futsal every week, which is really exciting for the development of the sport in the country.”
 
Joga Futsal’s recent trip down south follows a festival hosted by the club in August 2016. Galt said, “We were very fortunate and grateful to host a little festival in August for our 2007’s which Carlisle Futsal Club attended. Ever since we have kept in contact and always been really keen to work closely together, which led us to organising a challenge match on November 27th.”
 
The club took a group of ten kids from their 2006 and 2007 age groups to represent the Academy, though Galt insists that there was more to it than representing the club. He said, “To them it was more than representing Joga Futsal Academy… it was Scotland v England! I couldn’t have asked anymore from the kids. Individually and as a team, they were absolutely fantastic in two very competitive matches- it was a truly fantastic display.”
 
Galt was delighted with the feedback from the kids and their parents, and expressed his gratitude to the parents for all of their support. He said, “I am a very lucky coach in respect that I work not only with a great bunch of kids but also a fantastic bunch of parents who all volunteered their time to bring their sons down for the game. I really couldn’t appreciate their support anymore and thank them all for giving up a large part of their Sunday’s.”
 
The club’s most recent excursion is an exciting milestone for the club but Galt believes it is just the start of many opportunities for his team. He said, “With the winter leagues working with over five hundred kids, hopefully the sport will develop even more and we hope to be at the forefront of that in Glasgow and the West. We are also in regular contact with more academies south of the border, and 2017 will see us take on opposition in Manchester and London. We are even looking into the possibility of an overseas trip to Madrid or Barcelona to take part in tournaments which, again, would be an unbelievable experience for the kids.”
 
Not only is the Academy looking for more opportunities for the players already involved but they hope that they can expand in 2017 and in future seasons. Galt said, “We are looking to expand our Youth teams and Development Centres across several new areas such as Paisley, Ayrshire, East & West Dunbartonshire and North & South Lanarkshire so it is really exciting times for futsal in Scotland. We are just about to announce a partnership with a futsal academy in America, who keep in regular contact around the activities that we are doing and vice versa. Initially the partnership will just see us share ideas but who knows what the future holds.”
 
Futsal is still developing as a sport in Scotland but Galt believes that the connection between clubs around the country is crucial. He said, “The development of the sport at the moment has been fairly slow. Russell at Futsal Escocia in Fife has been doing an amazing job for a couple of years now and he’s been fantastic in helping us to set up and grow. Unfortunately there aren’t too many people like him who have a passion for developing the sport, particularly at youth level.”
 
Joga Futsal have also worked closely with Queens Park, who Galt describes as being a step ahead in terms of their development. However the two sides have regular matches and will also compete against each other in the Winter leagues.
 
The sport is developing more quickly at adult level yet the benefits for youths in the sport are impressive. Galt said, “More people need to get involved with futsal and if they don’t know too much, come along to a kids’ game and see the benefits in attacking, defending, more touches and the fast pace. There are so many so many benefits for kids’ development.” 
 
The future looks bright for Joga Futsal and everyone at YFS wishes them all the best with their development, and upcoming matches.
Friday, 02 December 2016 17:08

Sons of Struth and Mols launch new kit initiative

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Sons of Struth Football Academy have enlisted the help of ex Ibrox ace Michael Mols to launch their innovative new incentive that they hope will provide the funds for their new Coerver partnership venture.
 
Their recently launched Adidas kit is being marketed by Lionbrand and the academy will receive a donation for every top sold which they will use to prevent increasing monthly subscriptions at their academy.
 
SoS academy chairman Craig Houston commented "The Coerver partnership will provide a great opportunity for our academy to improve the technical ability of our kids, add value to our coaches and help us attract even more kids and coaches going forward. This venture should allow us to provide better coaching without asking parents to foot the bill."
 
SoS Academy won't be the only beneficiaries from the venture as Houston looks to continue supporting Rangers Youth Development Department. He added "we will split the donations we receive with Rangers Lotto who provide funds for Rangers Youth teams. Our relationship with Rangers Youths is great and some of our kids and coaches have already benefitted from trips to the Rangers Youth Academy. Rangers also kindly provided community coaches for our launch open night one year ago. I hope to further develop the relationship through time."
 
Mols was coached as a kid using Coerver methods and was happy to lend his weight to the project that can let local kids In Glasgow and Fife experience the same methods. Houston explained "Michael has been great and has visited our kids regularly during our first year. A few weeks ago he joined our other ambassadors Marco Negri and John MacDonald at our training and it was a great honour watching three ex pros coaching our kids"
 
SoS academy have adopted the ethos of "a volunteer club with professional standards" and by joining some global clubs as a Coerver Partnership club they certainly appear to be holding up to that mantra.
 
By opening a second centre on the east coast Houston expects the academy to rise to 100 kids in the coming months "Marvin Andrews has agreed to assist the east coast venture as ambassador and has already been involved with the first coaching sessions through there."
 
Houston aims to continue using out the box thinking to deliver a quality training option without overly expensive club fees. He explained: "we want to provide a top quality academy and this unfortunately costs money but by doing things a bit differenly we hope to deliver a quality product at a reasonable cost to parents. We have ordered our own mascot from the firm that's made Chelsea and Manchester United's mascots and once Struthi arrives we will use him to promote our academy throughout the communities and even this provides a sponsorship opportunity which saves us going to parents all the time with an endless number of football cards, etc."
 
The kit is available now at http://thelionbrand.co.uk/sons-of-struth
Football is a sport loved by children and grown-ups alike all across the country, and it is so unfortunate that due to the expense of kit, equipment and coaching fees, not all youngsters have the opportunity to be part of a club. However Possilpark-based club, Westercommon Star, aim to provide all children with the chance to play football. Club chairman, Brian Land, spoke exclusively to YFS to share the history of the club, and their aims for the future.
 
Reflecting on how the club was started, Land said, “Westercommon Star has been running on and off in the Possilpark area for over twenty years now. The club was started by local people who cared about the community and the development of young people in the sport of football. Their aim was to give the young people the chance to develop their football skills and abilities, which also enables the young people to work in a team and become confident individuals growing up in an area which has multi-deprivation.”
 
Several managers have been involved with the club over the years, and Land says each of them have made their mark at the club and enhanced the lives of many individuals within the community. He said, “Our present management team from 2009 are Paul King and Tony Cross, and these guys run the very successful Westercommon Star Amateurs. Tony Cross and Conor Mitchell manage the 2003 team while Paul King and Mark Murray run the 2007’s. It is more of an academy now than just a team as the committee and coaches have worked together since forming the present Star structure to create a team which has impacted the development of Scottish football at various age groups and won leagues and cups to be proud of. Our committee meet monthly and decide on all club issues working with the managers and the parents to ensure all feel included while taking the club forward.”
 
Land explained how it is important to the club that all children have the opportunity to develop their football skills without money becoming a barrier. He said, “Living in an area of multi-deprivation and seeing some clubs charge up to £50 for monthly fees for kids had led us to mould our club’s structure and provide free coaching for kids. We have vigorously fundraised and rallied various businesses to support our goals in keeping all kids’ coaching free.”
 
The club have a number of fundraisers each year and a lotto which brings income in, with all of the funds going straight to the kids’ development. The committee also apply for grants, which Land says help to support the club. He said, “The support from Queens Cross Housing via free hall space for our 5’s plus assists us to provide vital coaching for the 2008/09/10’s age groups, who are at a prime stage for learning and becoming our future stars for the club.”
 
However Land says the best support comes from the coaches, who volunteer their time every week. He said, “We could not survive without the support from our Scottish FA qualified coaches. Some are parents of our players, and some are just gold dust. They continually and selflessly provide coaching to our kids and through this, they put their time and effort into providing over 100 young people and adults with quality football coaching, free of any charges week in and week out. Without this amazing and immense support, we would not be able to operate the quality program we have on offer at Westercommon Star.”
 
Westercommon Star’s short-term aims are simply to continue what they are already doing. Land said, “We want to continue with the free coaching for the kids, enhance the skills ability, health and well-being of all our players in the club. We also want to continue with coaching development via SFA qualification structure and encourage all our players to continue in their personal development through positive coaching at the club.”
 
However in the long-term, the club would like to improve the coaching that they now offer by furthering the coaching qualifications that they have now, acquiring more funds and improving the facilities that are currently available. Land said, “We would like to set up partnerships with local organisations and businesses to secure quality facilities local to our club which will be used to develop our academy and to provide quality facilities for the community which will enable access and encourage development at all levels of the sport.” He added, “We also want to increase our coaching qualifications and the number of coaches at the club. We would like to run a ‘Fun 4’s’ league but at present, we do not have enough coaches to do this. Furthermore, we want to ensure funding is in place via sponsors and fundraising to continue the free football that we currently offer.”
 
It is fantastic to hear about the efforts that so many parents and coaches are going to in Possilpark to provide the facilities and opportunities for children to develop their skills in football, and YFS wish everyone at Westercommon Star all the best for this season and the future. 
 
On Wednesday 5th October YFS visited St Peters to hold a Club Photo Night. A huge thank you to everyone at the club for their participation and patience in what was an extremely busy evening.
 
Most photos are now online (remaining age groups will be up on Friday morning) and available through YFS Photos. Click here to view them. As not everybody got a chance to buy theirs on the day, we have created a discount code, to give anyone from the club 25% off any online purchases. Simply enter 'stpeters2016' when prompted at the checkout. Please note this code expires on Monday 10th October at 10pm.
 
Q: I have ordered the £20 package but was unable to pick it up on the day.
A: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the screenshots or URLs of your selected photos, confirming your postal address, and we'll have the package sent out (no charge for postage).
 
Wednesday, 14 September 2016 17:04

Glasgow coach pioneers disability futsal club

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Jason Methven, a regional winner of the 2016 Scottish FA Grassroots Awards for his work in disability football, spoke to Youth Football Scotland this week about his latest project. 
 
Inspired by the growth in popularity of the sport of futsal, the social care worker of Drumchapel based charity Fortune Works has recently kickstarted a disability futsal club. The aim is clear - to get more people out reaping the physical, psychological, social and emotional benefits of sport. 
 
Jason has a wealth of experience in disability sport having formed the successful Fortune Flyers in 2013 before being approached by Scotland West Special Olympics to help the football team prepare for the Sheffield 2017 games. He is also a UEFA C-Licensed coach, involved in the youth development set-up at Patrick Thistle Football Club.
 
The award-winning coach’s vision came as a result of a visit to his friend’s futsal academy in Glasgow. He said, “I realised I already had access to a lot of guys who love football. I went along to a few of the futsal sessions to the point where I was inspired and thought, ‘I could definitely do this.”
 
Two sessions in and the club is proving to be a success. Realising the club provided an opportunity to spend more time with a blend of the groups he already works with, Jason has highlighted the enjoyment that can be found in futsal. 
 
“Futsal’s a great thing. You're working on balance, control and then there’s all of the social aspects of clubs that my guys would love. I coach these guys in Special Olympics and I don’t often get the opportunity to speak to them in a group setting, whether it be about futsal or general life. The opportunity is there for a chat or a blether and to have a laugh, in case they don’t have that outlet.”
 
Jason went on to emphasise the health benefits that the sport provides, “It covers the psychological, social and emotional aspects for everybody. Whether it be guys wanting to score the last minute winner in a cup final or people that just want to put a strip on and kick a ball, the health benefits are enormous.”
 
“Physically it really is amazing because you’re getting that exercise and exerting yourself. You’re getting the endorphins flowing and getting stuck in.”
 
A typical training session in futsal is all about ball mastery, according to Methven. The aim is for everyone to have a ball, touching it with different parts of the foot. There is also plenty of opportunity to try your hand at tricks and flicks before putting them into action in small sided games. 
 
Jason’s passion for disability sport was evident as he spoke candidly about why he got involved, “My brother has disabilities so I’ve always had the familiarity of being around people with disabilities. I’ve been working in this industry for the last 13 years. It’s only the last few years that the football side of it has taken off but you can see the delight and joy in people’s faces when they are participating.”
 
The club meets at Ashgill Recreation Centre in Milton, Glasgow, on Thursdays from 5.30-6.30pm. Jason hopes to grow the club in time and also stressed how it has helped him personally, “It’s a lot of fun. It gets me out of the house, instead of watching the telly!”
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 08:51

Drumchapel United club photo night: get your photos now

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On Wednesday 14th September YFS visited Drumchapel United to hold a Club Photo Night. A huge thank you to everyone at the club for their participation and patience in what was an extremely busy evening.
 
All photos are now online and available through YFS Photos. Click here to view them. As not everybody got a chance to buy theirs on the day, we have created a discount code, to give anyone from the club 25% off any online purchases. Simply enter 'drum2016' when prompted at the checkout. Please note this code expires on Monday 19th September at 10pm.
 
A few frequently asked questions are answered below:

Q: I have ordered the £20 package but was unable to pick it up on the day.
A: Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the screenshots or URLs of your selected photos, confirming your postal address, and we'll have the package sent out (no charge for postage).
 
Q. I was part of the 2003 squad, which didn't have their photo taken.
A. We will be organising an individual photo day with the team at their earliest convenience. 

Q: I would like to purchase the £20 package (two keyrings, two prints and copes of both photos digitally).
A: We have decided to keep this deal open, so everyone can benefit. Just use the purchase button below and then reply to your confirmation receipt with the screenshots or URLs of your selected photos. Please note this offer expires on Monday 19th September at 10pm.
 
Quantity
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 15:24

Gers legend Laudrup launches Ashfield's academy

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Brian Laudrup is somebody that can certainly say that they have contributed a great deal to the city of Glasgow. A one-of-a-kind player for Rangers, the Dane scored 44 goals in a blue jersey amongst numerous league and cup doubles.

Laudrup was back in Glasgow recently to bring together the community, as he helped to  launch a new football academy based in Possilpark. Ashfield FC, who compete in Scottish Junior Football League, now play at the re-developed Peugeot Ashfield Stadium, and benefited greatly from a lucrative multi-million-pound makeover to restructure their ground and create new facilities for the locals, mainly funded by Michael and Gerry Facenna.

Ashfield’s Football Academy is constructing a unique coaching and development programme for all levels of football, offering a pathway for 12-17 year old boys and providing the highest standard of coaching. With this idea helping to keep young people active and involved in football, as well as engaging them with other sports, it will go a long way to helping out major social-issues.

Laudrup was keen to get involved with helping the local community with this event, taking charge of a coaching session for a fortunate group of selected 12-15 year olds, and spoke highly of the occasion: “I played a lot of football in Scotland but this is my first time running a coaching session so it is a bit special. Giving kids a high quality of facility and coaching to help them develop not only their sporting skills but life skills as well is so important.”

He also sang his praises for the new stadium owner: “With the enthusiasm Gerry Facenna, and everyone involved, has for the project I am sure it will be a great success and will help Ashfield FC, Scottish football and, most importantly, the young people of the local area.”

One of the men who helped all of this come into fruition, Facenna himself, spoke of his desire for this project to make a difference: “We’re working with the local community to help enhance opportunities for people of all ages in North Glasgow. The Ashfield Academy of Football, with programmes for all ages and abilities, is a great example of this and one we’re delighted to support. Getting Brian (Laudrup) involved is just the icing on the cake – an added incentive to inspire local youngsters to think that one day they could be the next Laudrup or Larsson.”

The Ashfield Academy will have some of the finest facilities in Scotland at their disposal for all sports, including AstroTurf training pitches and a speedway training track.

Club secretary Tom Robertson said: “We are delighted that someone of Brian Laudrup’s status could give up his time to visit the club. It’s been an absolute privilege for these kids to be coached by him and a great way to raise the profile of the new academy. The whole aim is to benefit local kids, along with the wider community and this has been a fantastic way to kick it off.”

He added: “We also can’t praise Gerry and Michael Facenna enough for what they’ve done to turn the club’s fortunes around. If they hadn’t come on board, there would no longer be an Ashfield Football Club.”

Click here for a full photo gallery from the event by Collarge Images.

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