West Region (394)
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.
Q: I have ordered the £20 package but was unable to pick it up on the day.
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).
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.”
5th of August sees the season long-awaited return of the highly-anticipated Glasgow City Cup. Back for it’s 15th edition, the pre-season tournament has featured a host of teams from all over the country and abroad since its inception in 2000, including sides travelling from Canada, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Wales and England.
One of Scotland’s most prestigious youth football festival has taken place across a number of locations, varying in the past from Glasgow Green Football Complex to Toryglen Regional Football Complex. This year, the Glasgow City Cup will take place in Renfrewshire and Paisley, where it has been played since 2014.
With so many challenging teams and players coming from all across the globe, it’s the ultimate way for teams to begin their pre-season and get themselves ready for the new campaign. With three days of non-stop games, the Glasgow City Cup is filled with matches that would prepare any team for the season ahead.
Some of the more obscure teams taking part in this year’s edition include Mapola FC from Canada, Iowa SC and West Coast SC, both from the USA, Bangor Rangers from Northern Ireland, and Shetland FC. No doubt, it will give the players from over here a great chance to see how differently other nation’s sides play.
Not only does it feature eleven-a-side teams, but in the week beforehand, there is the Scottish Sun Soccer 7s, giving the new generation of Scottish footballers the chance to showcase their talent on a big stage. With a massive 132 teams already playing on each day and a total of 432 matches organised, it is sure to be a day filled with goals and action.
The Glasgow City cup kicks off on the 5th of August and finished on the 8th, while the Soccer Sevens takes place on the 30th and 31st of July.
In a season where one of the longest-standing sporting curses was erased from memory and Hibernian won the Scottish Cup, St Peter’s FC under 17s could finally also claim their spot amongst Scotland’s elite. After so many near misses and promising runs, it was their turn to finally lift the Scottish Youth FA Cup for the 2015-2016 season.
The success didn’t stop at that cup win though, as they fought their way to the Paisley Johnstone and District league, topping the table with 104 points and averaging nearly four goals a game. Remarkably though, they only secured the league title on the final day of the season, with a goalless draw against local rivals and nearest challengers, Rutherglen, who they had faced a number of times over the course of the season.
Going into that last-day title decider, St Peter’s had run out winners in their two cup meetings earlier in the season, with the first league clash between the two also ending in a stalemate. Coach John Dalziel spoke exclusively to Youth Football Scotland to describe his side’s emotions as they prepared for such a big match; “We went into the game in confident mood, we have been in this position a number of times over the years with league deciders and cup finals so having that experience certainly helped.”
He added: “We also knew how Rutherglen would approach the game, the boys knew of Rutherglen’s strengths and how we could get at them in the final third. Although we only needed a point to win the league, we set out to win the game and as the game went on we created a number of chances to do so, but in the end the draw was good enough to clinch the 4th consecutive league trophy.”
However, Dalziel describes the triumphant Scottish Cup campaign as his personal “highlight of the season”. Considering the previous disappointment his side had to endure; exiting the competition in the fifth round in the previous four years; it’s difficult to blame him.
Their success in the biggest cup of them all is perhaps even more special when you take into account the sides that they had to overcome to get there, knocking out some of the country’s best; such as Hutchison Vale and Fraserburgh Link-Up; along the way, as well as edging past a talented Airdrie side in the final on penalties.
It was then at the Excelsior Stadium where St Peter’s put their previous misfortunes behind them and finally got their hands on that elusive trophy. After 90 of normal time, and a gruelling period of extra time, penalties was the only way to determine the winner. A series of fantastic saves from goalkeeper Ryan Mclaren gave Thomas Cruden the chance from the spot, and he was never going to pass up such an opportunity, slotting the ball to the opposition keeper’s left.
As well as that, St Peter’s also had a regional cup win to celebrate and top off the perfect season with. After Thomas Cruden scored both of his side’s goals to take Hillwood to a 2-2 draw and penalties, it was the double act of Cruden and McLaren who once again turned the penalty shootout and cup final in their favour to complete a glorious treble.
Dalziel believes that it is the minor details that separates the winners and losers, and his side are well-experienced in being the former; “The boys have a winning mentality and have the experience of winning a number of trophies over the past 4 seasons, they never know when they are beat and that is a fantastic quality to have.”. he said.
“We have a fairly settled squad with the core of the side being together for a few years. As well as talent, it is equally important that the boys have the personality and the work ethic to compliment what we already have in the squad”.
Ryan McLaren’s heroic efforts in goal and great contribution to the cup wins were acknowledged at the end of the campaign, being awarded the Player of the Year award. Team captain Niall Herron and defender Darren Robertson both had exceptional seasons in their own right, picking up the Player’s Player of the Year award and Parent’s Player of the Year award respectively.
Congratulations to St Peter’s FC Under 17s on a memorable treble. Regional Cup, Scottish Cup and PJ&DYFL League winners.