West Region (410)
Southside stars U13s remarkably collected the ERSDA trophy in only their first season in existence. The stars didn’t even concede defeat during their league campaign and we got the chance to chat to boss Tommy Steele to find out about their season in more detail.
The Stars won everything in front of them in their first year as a team and Tommy said this about how proud he was of his team “This was our first season as a club. We only founded a year and a half ago so I couldn’t have even imagined winning the league. I was just going to be happy with the top 4 as that was our aim before the season so to win the league and the domestic cup is unbelievable”
When asked about his favourite moment of his sides 16/17 campaign he said “It wasn’t even winning the league or the cup, it was that we were in a tournament there, with all the top teams in Paisley and we won the tournament. So for me, I got more satisfaction out of that as we were playing the top teams. The league was exciting as we had to play Palace Park in the final game so it was a bit nerve wracking but it was good when the boys actually won it to see them enjoy themselves”
Southside Stars had many highs throughout the seasons but still endured challenges. When asked about his biggest challenge, Steele said this about his biggest obstacle. “It was trying to get the new boys embedded into the team. Because it was the first season and trying to find out what position suited each person. But apart from that it went smoothly with no major problems”
To nail down what the reason for success was for a season can be tricky but Tommy said this, “I just feel like the boys worked well together. I done all of the secretary stuff all the organising. The 3 coaches also Phillip, Kev, Robert Mulan and David Fraser. David is the young coach he is learning from the others so they all worked well together. Between us all, we all played our roles well. which made it easier."
After debuting with perfect season Tommy still has high aspirations for the next season. “We have moved up to a harder league to the Paisley District League which is more teams round our level with one of the teams, St Peters winning the Scottish cup and finishing high in their league. The plan is to test ourselves in that league with a few new boys. We are also starting a new team, taking one team to the district league and leaving the other in the ERSDA league”
Tommy made some final comments about his team “It is good now we have a development set up as the boys can have a season to develop to try and work their way up to the district league which is going to be a higher standard. There was no better feeling however than seeing the boys lifting the trophy and just enjoying themselves”
Congratulations to Southside Stars and all the best to the two teams in their upcoming seasons.
Milngavie FC invited a former professional footballer, SFA representatives and Miss Scotland to join in the fun in their first ever football festival.
The event, which took place at the West of Scotland Rugby Club, had inflatables and an outdoor disco providing the off-field entertainment to go with a special SFA Showcase for the football side. A VIP tent welcomed former Motherwell star and St Johnstone, Burnley and Blackburn Rovers manager, Owen Coyle, along with local councillors and event sponsors.
The festival ran for the first time last year as a schools-only event, and this year the club decided to increase the size and scale to mark the return of Milngavie Week, with the newly-formed Community Trust asking the football club to put on an event for nearby teams. Secretary Caroline Diaz and the rest of the committee at the club took up the mantle and for this year faced an ever bigger challenge with providing something bigger and better.
Ms Diaz called the event a ‘phenomenal success’, and points to the evidence of 65 teams participating and 800 medals being dished out on the day – by none other than Miss Scotland – and the weather being kind to boot.
The teams taking part included boys and girls, and an over-50s group playing walking football. There was also a disability group, and Ms Diaz paid particular tribute to Mr Coyle’s affable engagement with them.
Describing the event as a whole, she said: ‘To be honest, the amount of hard work the team put in, some of us working for over ten hours, just makes it even more of a massive satisfaction.
‘It was phenomenal and a huge thank you has to go to all the coaches, parents, committee and volunteers. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to run the activities, or have baking on sale – and enough staff to keep working the bar which got drank dry!’
Next season marks the club’s thirtieth anniversary and Ms Diaz joked that they will need to up their ante once again come Milngavie Week to top this year’s festival’s success.
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.