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West Region (398)

Ardrossan Winton Rovers vs Drumchapel United U13

Both of these teams have an outside chance of catching up to league leaders Clydebank in the PJDYFL Division 2 table.

Drumchapel United have the better chance of catching up, having to make up 10 points on the leaders having played the same number of games. United have only lost three games all season and a win this weekend would give them a mental boost in trying to catch up.

Ardrossan have a more difficult challenge, having to make up twelve points having played two games more than Clydebank. The comfort being that there are still plenty of games still left to play.


Linwood Rangers vs Stamperland Juniors U17

The top two face off in the third division of the PJDYFL in what could be a potentially league deciding match.

Stamperland Juniors have the advantage for now, holding a five point lead at the top having played one game more than their opponents this weekend. A win for them this weekend could prove to be the win that effectively wins them the title.

Linwood Rangers stand in their way and will have to put in an impressive performance to defeat the league leaders on Saturday. Having lost just two games this season, they have been impressive to watch.

It’s very difficult to predict how this one will go, but it certainly looks like this is going to be an entertaining clash.


Summerston BC vs Drumchapel Amateurs U17

Just two points separate the top two in the GDYFL U17’s League in what has been a closely fought title race.

Drumchapel Amateurs hold top spot and remain unbeaten so far this season in the league. The only points that they have dropped this season have come at the hands of their opponents this weekend in a 2-2 draw back in October.

Summerston also remain unbeaten in the league, but have fallen behind Drumchapel thanks to having drawn one game more. A win would move them top and give them a key psychological adavantage for the rest of the season.

This is certainly one to keep an eye on!


St Patrick’s Sports Academy vs Ashfield Juniors U13

The top two face off in the A Division of the GDYFL League’s and it’s one where anything can happen.

St Patrick’s currently occupy top spot but have disadvantage in the title race due to the number of matches that they’ve played. They are currently five points clear at the top having played four games more than their opponents.

Ashfield are in great form and will take that confidence boost coming into this game. Juniors have a perfect record in the league, securing seven wins out of seven as they seek to mark their first foray into 11-a-side football with a league title.

Don’t write St Patrick’s off however. They will feel they have a point to prove as they try to hold on to top spot.


Knightswood FC vs EKRR Youth U15

The two undefeated teams remaining in the GDYFL A Division face off in what is sure to be an incredible game.

Knightswood are flying at the moment and have a perfect 10 wins from 10 games in the league so far. That record has seen them open up a five point lead at the top ahead of second placed Drumchapel United.

EKRR Youth however are right on their tale and boast an undefeated record too, despite having drawn one game. They have three games in hand over their opponents and a win this weekend would certainly blow the title race wide open.

Here’s hoping for an excellent game.

Tuesday, 04 February 2020 10:22

West Region Round Up - 1/2 February 2020

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U13s

EKYC used one of their games in hand over PJDYFL Division 1 leaders Port Glasgow Juniors to their full advantage as they closed the gap to just five points with a big 6-1 win over Hillwood FC Thistle.

The Scottish Cup quarter finalists now have five games in hand over the league leaders and will be expecting to close the gap further in the coming weeks. Meanwhile BSC Glasgow suffered a setback in their pursuit of the league title after they lost 4-2 at home to Hillwood.

In Division 2, Ardencaple closed the gap at the top to just three points after their impressive 3-0 away win at Baljaffray. The win moved them within three of leaders Clydebank, although the table toppers do have two games in hand.

Park Sports Project of the fourth division continued their title chase with a comfortable 8-0 victory away to bottom side St Stephens BC Green. The win moves them within 10 points of leaders Clydebank Mercury with five games in hand.

In the GDYFL A Division, St Patricks Sports Academy kept up the pressure on second place Ashfield Juniors with a hard fought victory over Finnart. Academy extended their lead at the top to five points, however Ashfield still have four games in hand. Clyde Community also kept their title hopes going with a big win away to Thistle Weir.

B Division leaders Lochgilphead Red Star maintained their comfortable lead at the top with an entertaining 6-3 win away to Cambuslang FC. Busby AFC kept pace with a 4-1 win of their own against Glasgow Boys, but still trail Red Star by 11 points with a game in hand. 

Cambuslang Colts made it 12 wins from 12 in the C League this season with their triumph against Southside Star. Second place Cambuslang Academy kept pace with a 4-1 win at home to Cambuslang Colts Yellow, but remain 12 points adrift with three games in hand.


U14s

With Thorn Athletic not playing last weekend, PJDYFL Division 1 leaders Gleniffer Thistle made the most of their opportunity to extend their lead at the top with a 4-0 win away to bottom side Dumbarton United. Westerton United White missed their chance to leapfrog Athletic, as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Giffnock SC.

Broomhill BC Greenock’s inaction this weekend afforded Parkmoor the same chance to extend their lead at the top of Division 3. A 4-0 win against OLM United widened the gap to six points, with the league leaders holding two games in hand. Port Glasgow BC also kept themselves in the hunt, beating Stamperland 3-0

In the GDYFL A League, St Patricks Sports Academy moved one step closer to the league title with an impressive 4-2 win away to second placed Knightswood. The win maintained their perfect record in the league and widened the gap to 20 points, with Knightswood holding five games in hand.

B League leaders Cambuslang Red Star also moved closer to the league title, beating one of their closest rivals Rutherglen Glencairn 3-1. The win extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points. Ashfield Juniors moved into second place with a comfortable win over Harmony Row and hold two games in hand over Red Star.


U15s

Hillwood were able to close the gap at the top of the PJDYFL Division 1 table to just three points with their 3-1 win at home to Erskine YFC in what was the only game to be played in the division this weekend. Leaders Giffnock North BC still have three games in hand over Hillwood.

Morton Community missed a golden opportunity to close the gap at the top of the Division 2 table as they were held to a draw with Neilston Juniors Youth. Morton could have moved to within seven points of leaders Stewarton Annick with a win.

Thorn Athletic continued their fine run of form at the top of the Division 3 table with a convincing 7-1 win at home to Erskine Yellow. The win sees them move eight points clear of second placed Cunninghame Youth. Baljaffray also kept their title hopes alive with a big win over Barrhead YFC.

Division 4 league leaders Harmony Row played the only game on offer in the league last weekend, and took full advantage with a 4-2 win away to Dumbarton United Black. They move 12 points clear of second placed Largs Colts, who have two games in hand.

Knightswood maintained their perfect record at the top of the GDYFL A Division with a 5-2 win at home to Giffnock SC. Their triumph makes it 10 wins from 10 in the league so far this season.

And in the match of the day in the B League, leaders Carmunnock FC secured a big win over one of their nearest title challengers Thistle Weir. The win extends Carmunnock’s lead at the top to five points, followed by new second placed side Oban Saints, who beat Rutherglen Glencairn on Sunday. Saints have one game in hand over the table toppers, and can close that to two by winning their game in hand this weekend against Rossvale Thistle.


U16s

Glenvale missed the opportunity to close the gap on PJDYLF Division 1 league leaders Giffnock North United as they were to surprise 3-3 draw by Erskine YFC. The Paisley based side are now 10 points off the top, with only one game in hand over their nearest rivals.

In Division 2, Ashfield Juniors were able to close the gap on leaders Giffnock SC Reds, securing a narrow 2-0 win over St Cadocs YC. They move to within four points of top spot now, with a game in hand over Giffnock to play. Elsewhere Baljaffray were so close to pulling off a shock result against Pollok United, but in the end fell to a narrow 3-2 defeat to the league’s third placed side.

St Patricks Sports Academy secured a big win at the weekend over GDYFL A league leaders Drumchapel Amateurs to keep themselves in the title hunt. The win moves them to within 10 points of Drumchapel with two games in hand. A win in both of those games you have to feel is vital if they want to secure title glory come the end of the season.

And a closely contested title race in the B League got a lot more interesting after leaders Cumbernauld Colts Blue were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Cambuslang FC. That draw allowed Dumbarton United to move to close the gap to just one point after their convincing win away to Thistle Weir. With Finnart BC and Cambuslang also closing in on the top, the final stages of this league campaign could be very interesting indeed.


U17s

With leaders Glenvale in Tom McPhillips Cup action this weekend, Johnstone Burgh were able to use their game in hand this weekend to beat Glenburn MW 8-0 and move level on points at the top of the PJDYFL table. Burgh remain unbeaten in the league this season, but have picked up more draws than their title rivals this campaign.

Port Glasgow Juniors also took advantage of their title rivals being in cup action last weekend to close the gap at the top of Division 2 with an emphatic 7-1 win at home to Largs Thistle. The two have now played an equal number of games, with league leaders St Cadocs YC holding a four point lead.

In the third division, leaders Stamperland Juniors were able to maintain their perfect home record with a 7-1 win over FC Argyle. Second place Linwood Rangers kept the pace on the leaders with an 8-0 win away to Erskine YFC United. They remain five points behind Stamperland with a game in hand.

There were wins for the top two sides in the GDYFL U17s league, as Drumchapel Amateurs and Summerston BC both earned victories against Ardrossan Winton Rovers and Oban Saints respectively. Just two points separates the two at the top of a thoroughly entertaining league title race.


U19s

Neilston Juniors extended their lead at the top of the PJDYFL Division 1 table with an emphatic victory over Largs Thistle. Juniors are looking pretty good for the title this season, holding a five point lead and two games in hand over second placed Linwood Rangers.

Friday, 29 November 2019 10:01

Q&A: Blantyre SA Coach Earns Big Move to Celtic

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A Blantyre Soccer Academy coach has earned a move to take up coaching at Celtic.
 
Laura Daly, who has been at Blantyre for the past two years, was approached by the Glasgow side off the back of her success at the Academy. Daly had previously spent five years at Motherwell Community Trust before making the short journey to wear the Black and Yellow of Blantyre.
 
Youth Football Scotland were fortunate to catch up with Laura to talk about her move.
 
 
Calum McCaffery: Can you tell us about your background in football?
 
Laura Daly: Yeah of course. So I’ve played football from as young as I can remember, and my first ever memory of football is when the boys in my primary wouldn’t let me play with them because I was a girl. Something that girls these days are fortunate not to experience which I think is excellent!
 
I’ve played for numerous clubs such as Celtic, Rangers, Glasgow Girls, Motherwell Development, and I also had a cameo appearance as I’d call it for Airdrie Ladies when they were short of players. But my football playing career started at East Kilbride Girls/Ladies and I will never forget those days.
 
Unfortunately after a few bad injuries, I gave up playing full time to coach and try give back an unforgettable experience to the girls I encounter along the way! I’ve been coaching for over 12 years now.
 
 
CM: How many years did you spend at Blantyre?
 
LD: I joined Blantyre in December 2017 after a five year spell at Motherwell Football Club Community Trust before my contract expired and they had no funding to renew it. So I went looking for a fresh challenge. So it’s been a relatively short spell at Blantyre but a great spell at the same time.
 
 
CM: What are your fondest memories at the club?
 
LD: I’ve a lot. From building a successful pathway for girls in the local area to play football, to being short listed for a recognition award at the SWF ALBA Awards on Saturday 30th November 2019! I still can’t quite believe it.
 
 
CM: What do you think you'll miss most about Blantyre?
 
LD: Without doubt - the girls I coached and the parents. We had such a bond on and off the pitch and I think things like that are special. Without them I couldn’t have done the great work I managed to at the club. So to all the girls and parents - thank you!
 
 
CM: When did the opportunity arise to join Celtic?
 
LD: Celtic approached me, with what I believe to be, on the back of my success within Blantyre. I had also shown interest in joining the club if it ever became possible as it’s a club close to my heart. But you’d need to ask Celtic that!
 
 
CM: What was your reaction when you were offered the role at Celtic?
 
LD: It was something I couldn’t believe! As a Celtic fan personally - it’s something you dream of. And it was an opportunity I couldn’t say no to as I believe I am ready for this next big test of my coaching ability.
 
 
CM: What are your main goals for 2020 at Celtic?
 
LD: For me, it’s always just about making a difference to the girls within the club I’m coaching at. So I’ll be aiming to help them develop their talent, and push another step closer to the top tier teams within the set up. I also want to contribute to continuing the clubs recent success in 2019 - which I personally think was nothing short of incredible!
 
 
CM: Are you excited to be working at a club that has done so well at youth level in recent years?
 
LD: 100%! I’m just keen to get in the door now and get on the pitch for the first time. The staff I’ve met so far are all lovely and it’s great to be surrounded by so many positive role models for the girls.
 
 
CM: Do you have any long term goals?
 
LD: My two biggest goals in life have always been to get involved with Celtic, which I can now thankfully say I’ve done - and to also follow in the footsteps of Pauline Hamill within the Scottish Women’s National Team as she’s always been my role model and who I look to for inspiration (Pauline if you see this - let’s chat about possible opportunities ;) )
 
 
Well done Laura and from all of us at YFS, good luck at Celtic!
Friday, 20 September 2019 14:17

Glasgow City Duo Make First Team Debuts

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The 18th of September 2019 will not matter much to the average person, but for Lucy Ronald and Lucy Sinclair it will be a day that they will never forget.
 
The two have been almost inseperable for the past few years, having come up through the development squads of Glasgow City, and on Wednesday night the two made their well earned first team debuts for the SWPL Champions.
 
The two came on as substitutes in City's 2-0 win away to Rangers, with Ronald coming agonisingly close to getting on the scoresheet, only to see her chipped effort cleared off the line.
 
City Head Coach Scott Booth was suitably impressed with how his young players performed on the night. "I thought Lucy [Ronald] went into that midfield area, looked composed on the ball, made passes, worked hard and defended at times for us as well.
 
"Sincy [Sinclair] came on at the end as a striker and I think as well as giving a lot, she gave maximum effort, she learnt a lot as well in that shrt space of time.
 
"I'm just a little bit disappointed that Lucy Ronald didn't actually score that goal! I think we were all on our feet in the dugout wishing that ball into the net but it wasn't quite there."
 
Congratulations to both on their debuts and we look forward to seeing how they will impact the women's game in the future.
 
The West Region Cup continues this week with a few scintillating ties and there are plenty of games with league title ramifications. Here are five games to keep an eye out for this weekend.
 
Thorn Athletic vs Drumsagard FA U13 - West Region Cup Last 16
 
Both of these sides are in fine form heading into this tie. Thorn Athletic are comfortably on top in the PJDYFL first division, sitting a whopping 17 points clear at the top of the table.
 
Drumsagard on the other hand are 10 points clear at the top of the GDYFL and have yet to lose a game in the league this season. Hopefully fine form translates into a great game of football.
 
 
Glenbrae Colts vs St Patrick's Sports Academy U14 - West Region Cup Last 16
 
Another two sides in fine form in their respective leagues. Glenbrae are 12 points clear at the top of the PJDYFL first division and are unbeaten.
 
St Patrick's are in second place in the GDYFL A League, five points behind leaders Drumchapel United with a game in hand. Another one that's too clsoe to call and could go all the way to penalties.
 
 
Cambuslang Blues vs DYFL U16 - GDYFL League
 
Two of the bottom sides in the GDYFL face off, with both looking to put their tough starts to the season behind them. 
 
With just one point separating the two sides, there is a feeling that this one is a real six-pointer in the making.
 
 
Harmony Row vs EKFC Blues U17 - PJDYFL Division One
 
Two good sides will be looking to climb the first division table this Saturday. 
 
Harmony Row and EKFC Blues played out a 1-1 draw the last time the two met and there will surely be another close game in store for spectators this weekend.
 
 
Ardencaple FC vs Campbelltown Pupils YFC U14 - GDYFL A League
 
Ardencaple FC have yet to win a league game this season, but will be looking to put that unwanted record to rest when they host Campbelltown.
 
Campbelltown have one win to their name, against Ardencaple earlier in the season. We will have to see whether home advantage makes the difference this time around.
 
Joga Futsal Club in Glasgow began their 2019 in some style, winning the The U13 Fenice Venezia F5 Futsal Cup in Venice.
 
The triumph marks Joga's second trophy in six months, with their U11 side claiming the Montesilvano Futsal Cup last June.
 
The Venice tournament covered four different age groups, U9's, U11's, U13's and U15's in which had 44 teams were involved from various countries. The U13 section involved 10 teams.
 
YFS spoke to David Galt from the Joga Futsal Academy to reflect on this impressive feat. "We were made aware of (the tournament) due too our growing reputation as an established Futsal Academy across Europe.
 
"In the last year we have made four trips to overseas futsal tournaments. At each one we have performed extremely well both on and off the court which has helped to build our reputation around Europe. 
 
"In the summer of 2018 we took part in the Montesilvano Futsal Cup in which our U13 Squad played Venice Futsal in a really good game. After the tournament the team had kept in contact with us and invited us over and we gladly accepted the invite."
 
Speaking about his side's preparations for the tournament, Galt said, "Preparations for the tournament were good, we had a number of specific training sessions with our team which focused on various aspects of the game, attacking and defending set pieces, new ideas. We had a number of friendly matches and finished off with some tough opposition against Hamilton Accies 2006 Academy Squad.

"We had tried to obtain some sponsorship to cover the costs of tracksuits/polo shirts/game kits for the trip but unfortunately this was unsuccessful, and we had to cover all the costs.

"It’s an area in which we have struggled so far, It has been a successful year in taking four teams on trips abroad but all have been done with very limited financial support and no fundraising.

"We did receive some sponsorship for our Montesilvano Futsal Cup in June but other than that all costs are covered by their parents, which is something we are hopeful to change for 2019 (anybody out there willing to help please do so)."

David also spoke of his pride with his side's achievement. "I am extremely proud of the success in Venice, particularly as several the boys have been away with us now at U13 age group and have been left to feel disappointed with final placings despite positive performances so it was particularly rewarding to see their hard work and commitment towards to futsal being rewarded.
 
"For others it was their first time coming abroad with us and experience international futsal (which is different to Scottish futsal) so overall couldn’t be any prouder of all the boys involved. Our U13 captain Cooper Knox was also voted player of the tournament which for us was a very proud moment as he’s a kid with a great attitude towards futsal and one we use as a role model for others (despite only being 12) so it was great to see his hard work being rewarded."
 
There was also an opportunity to reflect on what had been a very successful 2018 for the club. "We started off 2018 with an international futsal trip to France, finishing fourth in the U13 section of the Squadra Cup, a fantastic achievement for our first ever international experience of futsal and competing against some of the biggest clubs across Europe.
 
"We continued to grow throughout the year, introducing new age groups into our Academy pathway and now in a position to offer futsal to kids aged five through to youths aged 16. June 2018 saw us take both our U13's and U11's boys over to Montesilvano Futsal Cup in Italy, a prestigious tournament attended by teams from all over the world including the likes of Brazil, Japan, USA, and Australia.

"Our U13's finished overall 10th out of 28, despite some overall positive performances including 5-1 against Japanese opposition and a 4-1 victory of hosts Sporting Marconi, another top experience where they all continued to grow as futsal players.

"Our U11's went all the way in the competition coming back home to Scotland as champions, beating Italian, French and Spanish opposition along the way. One of our players was named player of the tournament at U11's age group (Jacob Donnelly) a proud moment for us as coaches and for Jacob, a kid with great commitment towards futsal.

"We have finished off the year with some thrilling matches with our friends from Carlisle Futsal Club, three weeks of fixtures vs Hamilton Accies and the introduction of our Winter Futsal Leagues which has a number of grassroots clubs from Glasgow and surrounding areas and also Academy sides from St Mirren and Hamilton Accies involved."

After a successful 2018, David is looking forward to what can be achieved in 2019. "This year we hope to continue and grow as a Futsal Academy, we will be adding more age groups on to our academy pathway. Despite just being back from Italy a couple of days our preparations for the rest of 2019 are already well under way and we have signed up to tournaments in Spain and Italy already whilst looking into others across Europe for the later parts of the year. Our efforts in 2018 have seen us been invited to America and Australia whilst even have futsal teams from south America get in touch too.

"Success for us is not accounted by the trophies which are won, it is rewarding but ultimately to continue to see kids and youths grow and develop as players and people are the most important aspect. Continuing to provide an environment in which every participant can learn, enjoy and develop.

"For us we just want to continue to grow both the game of futsal but more so continue grow the awareness of the game across the nation. People have become more aware of the game of futsal but now it’s about understanding it as its own sport and not purely just as sideshow to football.

"We understand football will always be the number one sport in this country and not something we wish to change but Futsal only becomes a benefit when done properly. We believe we offer a unique futsal experience here in Scotland one in which offers the best opportunities for both futsal players and football players."

Tuesday, 27 November 2018 12:11

Villa Park ready for UK International Cup challenge

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Coach Jamie Lafferty said it was an “easy choice” to sign his Villa Park side up for next Easter’s UK International Cup.
 
They’re heading to St George’s Park – the state-of-the-art home of England’s national teams – in April to compete with 99 teams from around the world at the two-day tournament:
 
“We saw an advert for the tournament on social media and knew straight away it was something we wanted to get involved with,” said Lafferty. “From the facilities, to the hotel and all the positive comments – signing up was an easy choice, really.”
 
17 players, three coaches and – in Lafferty’s own words – “an army of parents and families” will be making the trip, and although there’s still more than four months until the competition kicks-off, excitement in the squad is already reaching fever pitch:
 
“The boys are totally over the moon and can’t wait to play on the world-class facilities,” said Lafferty. “We’re looking forward to coming up against teams from other countries.”
 
As a team, Villa Park have been raising money for the trip by packing bags at local supermarkets and going for sponsored walks, and Lafferty is confident that all their efforts will be worth it when they get down there.
 
He said: “I’m hopeful the experience will give the team a lifetime of memories; lots of fun and laughter and will be an enjoyable event that will help in their development as players.”
 
Limited spaces remain for Scottish teams looking to sign up for tournaments next year. For more information on how you can get involved click here.
 
The 2006's SYFA West Region Development squad has now been announced.
 
The announcement comes after nominated players took part in a series of trials at Harmony Row.
 
The full squad is as follows:
 
 
Sam Rooney - Giffnock SC
 
Cameron Dickson - Whitecraigs
 
Jack Ferguson - Drumsagard BC
 
Calum Sharp - Ardencaple
 
Owen Foster - Pollok United
 
Jon Dunbar - Thistle Weir
 
Ross McKinnon - Clyde Thistle
 
Hector Edmund Fullone - Houston BC
 
Adam Hemmingsley - Busby BC
 
Lewis Sharp - Ardencaple
 
Gravine Kalala - Glasgow BC
 
Connor Boyle - Giffnock SC
 
Thomas Docherty - Glasgow BC
 
Kaiden Boyce - Drumsagard BC
 
Charlie Cooke - Clyde Thistle
 
Hayden McCormack - Thistle Weir
 
Nicholas Gallagher - St Peters BC
 
Toby Mathers - Whitecraigs
 
Calum Cameron - Thistle Weir
 
Shaun Kennedy - Pollok United
 
Fraser Murray - Ardencaple
 
Calum Young - Drumsagard BC
 
Kasra Abedi - BSC Lightning
 
David Aitken - Park Sports
 
 
 
The quality of the trials was so extensive that a reserves list was drawn up in case of injuries, which can be seen below:
 
 
Rebecca Taylor - Rangers Girls
 
Liam Connor - St Andrews BC
 
Jay Mortimer - Kilbowie Union
 
John Cairns - Kilbowie Union
 
Marcus Cameron - Thistle Weir
 
Ethan O'Hare - Tass Thistle
 
 
Congratulations to all selected for the squad!!
Monday, 22 October 2018 16:47

SYFA West Region 2005's squad announced

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The SYFA West Region Development squad has now been announced.
 
The announcement comes after nominated players took part in a series of trials at Toryglen over the past few weeks
 
The full squad is as follows:
 
 
Jay Bett - Glenbrae Colts
 
Adam Daly - Dumbarton United
 
Niven Howes - Broomhill SC
 
Calum Wong - Hillwood BC
 
Aeron Fitzpatrick - Johnstone Burgh
 
Max Giordano - EK Rolls Royce
 
Lewis Gilmour - Hillwood BC
 
Luke Deveny - Port Glasgow BC
 
Aidan Clark - Dunoon YFC
 
Sam Hunter - Glenbrae Colts
 
Lewis Taylor - Giffnock SC
 
Jordan Robb - Hillwood BC
 
Cole Gibson - Weir Thistle
 
Stevie Graham - Palace Park A
 
Lewis Barclay - Giffnock North
 
Finlay Wright - Giffnock North
 
Mark Bolger - Palace Park B
 
Ben Francis - Cambuslang Thistle
 
Liam Probert - West End Thistle
 
Nathan Durkin - Kilpatrick
 
Wallace Whittle - Linwood Rangers
 
Daryl Airdre - Palace Park A
 
Ruan Macrae - Cambuslang FA
 
Craig Darroch - Port Glasgow BC
 
Stephen Cardle - Glenbrae Colts
 
 
Congratulations to all those selected for the squad!
Friday, 19 October 2018 16:29

Accies young stars prepare for big Euro test

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After a 2-2 draw in Switzerland, Accies aim to finish the job against Basel at the Hope Stadium on Wednesday night to advance to the next round of the UEFA Youth League.

Dougie Imrie's side swept to the under 17 league title undefeated last season to earn their place within the elite bracket of European youth football. It is the first time any Scottish club other than Celtic has competed in the competition.

It’s further testimony to a youth set up which regularly brings young players all the way through the system to senior first team football. A CIES (Centre International d’Etude du Sport) survey last year listed Accies as the only British club in the European top 100 clubs to feature home grown players in their starting line-up.

The likes of James McCarthy, James McArthur and Michael Devlin have moved on to big clubs over the years. With a chance to shine in midweek coach Brian Potter says the occasion can only raise the bar even further and inspire the next crop of players to follow suit.

“It’s been a great experience for us all,” he told Youth Football Scotland. “The drive to bring on young players here is well documented. We’ve proven over the years that if you’re good enough you stay in the team. We give young players that opportunity.”

“We start early here and try and keep them in the system. The core of our team on Wednesday will be the boys who went undefeated last season. There’s boys here who have been here for up to seven years and have the Hamilton ethic of working hard and being difficult to beat.”

“Reaching European competition gives everyone at all levels something to aim for, and can only help us attract more young players to become involved. It can only be good for the whole set up here, and improves us also as coaches.”

“We also made a good play of getting into Project Brave. It gives us access to more coaches and facilities, sports scientists, more access to video analysis. It has helped raise the bar even further. Ultimately it’s about giving the kids the best grounding that they can into full time football.”

Tickets on the night will be free to all as Accies hope for a big crowd to see Potter’s side over the line. Adam Douglas’s double in the first leg gives Accies more than a chance against top opposition.

“We drew a recognised team, and it was a great experience to go over there and prepare in a big stadium. It was a difficult game and we did well to get a result. Our aim was to keep the tie alive and it’s all to play for.” Potter says.

Kick off at the Hope CBD Stadium is at 7pm on Wednesday.

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