West Region (394)
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 14:32 Written by YFS Editor 1
Fixture: Largs Colts v Valspar FC
Competition: Central Ayrshire YFA U14's league
This top of the table clash kicked off in the sunshine on the astro, down in Largs, with both teams determined to take the three points. Largs went with two up front, showing their intent to put pressure on the Valspar defence. They started the livelier, creating the early chances, all of which where well defended by the resolute hard working Valspar back line and the safe handling of McKenzie Hill.
Valspar were now growing into the game and creating chances of their own. Ron Mooney made a good run into the box firing into the side netting, Lewis Glass delivered a lovely cross, which Ron Mooney met with a bullet header only for the Largs keeper to pull off an excellent reaction save.
This lifted the Valspar team and they gradually wrestled control of the game from Largs deservedly putting them under pressure. Another chance was created by the lively Lewis Glass, which their keeper tipped round for a corner. The resulting corner kick was swung in too close to the big Largs goalie.
In what was now a very evenly contested game of football, between two very good teams who were both fighting for every ball and defending for their lives, clear cut chances were at a premium. The Largs Number nine tried one from distance that the in-form McKenzie Hill had to dive to his right to save & gather well on the line.
A late first half free kick was awarded to Largs on the left hand edge of the Valspar box. The ball was whipped into the near post but McKenzie was again on hand to push it round for a corner. The corner was well defended and the first half ended 0-0 with absolutely nothing between the teams.
Half Time: Largs Colts 0-0 Valspar FC
It was Valspar that started the better in the second half as they created a couple of decent chances. Craig Findlay, who's determination and work rate was outstanding having just tracked a player back to the edge of the Valspar box, was then back up the other end shutting down a defender, winning back the ball, and playing in Lewis Glass, who couldn't quite get his shot away. Glass was then shut down by Largs, summing up the work rate and determination on display from both teams.
During this period Valspar were edging the game and had three different shots on goal all saved well by a very good Largs ‘keeper. All were put out for corners but unfortunately we just could not find the all-important first goal. Another quick break away by Connor Purvis found Murray Thompson in the box and his first time shot was again well saved.
Both midfields were working tirelessly battling to try and control the game. Chrissy Callander, in particular, was all over the park and had won three or four free kicks for his endeavours. Neither defence allowed the forwards any time, or space, on the ball and, at this stage, it was hard to see where a goal would come from.
Largs were awarded a free kick, about 25 yards out, but their big number nine put it over the bar. Afterwards a decent cross found a Largs player in the box who smashed his shot goalwards only for McKenzie Hill to pull off a wonder save, somehow pushing it up onto the bar and out for a corner.
Largs whipped a good ball in from the corner and their number nine managed to get his head on the ball, which agonisingly bounced down and under McKenzie making it 1-0 to Largs.
It was an excellent reaction to going behind by the Valspar team pushing forward to find the equalising goal. Connor Purvis made a great run down the wing and kept his composure to pick out Craig Findlay in the box, who stuck it away to make it 1-1
It was a great game of football, with every player on both sides giving everything to win each ball. The game ebbed and flowed with one team on top and then the other – boys’ football at its very best.
Valspar pushed forward again desperately looking for that winning goal. It so very nearly materialised when Connor found Lewis, who broke down the wing and picked out the on rushing Murray Thompson in the box. We all held our breath as his fierce volley narrowly went over the bar. It was great build up football and just so unlucky.
The next chance fell to Largs when the ball dropped to their number nine in the box. With the Valspar defence quickly closing him down he fired over the bar. It was very nervous and tense, certainly watching it on the sidelines, as both teams were still going for the win. It could honestly have gone either way.
Full Time: Largs Colts 1-1 Valspar FC
Fixture: St Convals YFC 1-4 Antonine FC
Competition: PJDYFL 1999 Division 2
Date: Saturday, 23rd April 2016
Antonine travelled to Renfrew to take on St Convals. On a tight park, where space was at a premium, they took the game to the home side straight from the off.
Scott Hutton and Owen Gallacher both fired over early on in the match. In the eighth minute Antonine thought they had the lead when a Dom Cairney shot hit the bar and looked to come down well over the line, but the ref played on.
30 seconds later a cross into the box fell to Gallacher and his shot creeped over the line to make it 1-0.
Ryan Gillies was called into action, soon after, making a smart save at his near post.
Later on Chris Donaghy was pulled down just outside the box but, as the ball fell to Cairney in a one-on-one with the ‘keeper, the referee blew up for a free kick, mistakenly not allowing the advantage. The free kick ultimately came to nothing.
Adam Boyle had a shot saved as Antonine pressed for the second goal. Cairney then came close again before the goal eventually arrived in the 22nd minute. Owen Gallacher headed home, from a Danny Hamilton free kick, to net his seventh of the season.
St Convals pulled a goal back with the winger cutting in and mis-hitting his shot, which wrong footed Gillies.
Soon afterwards Gallacher fired over from a Cairney cutback.
Half Time: St Convals YFC 1-3 Antonine FC
At the start of the second half St Sonvals launched an aerial bombardment but Dean Miller and Brendan Kelly dealt superbly with everything that was thrown at them.
Cairney and Boyle both came close before, in the 70th minute, a Hamilton free kick was missed by the ‘keeper, under pressure from Lewis Smith, and Dom Cairney tapped it home to make it 4-1. That finish was his 6th of the campaign.
Donaghy headed just wide and Hamilton cleared a header off the line as Antonine comfortably saw out the game.
Antonine’s eighth victory in a row, in the league, keeps them in second place. It was a great performance, on a tight pitch, where they still managed to play some good football.
There are no league games for a couple of weeks now but the team will have some friendlies to keep themselves ticking over.
Full Time: St Convals 1-4 Antonine FC
Squad: Gillies, Maciver, Manley, Kelly, Miller, Hutton, Cairney, Donaghy, Boyle, Hamilton, Gallacher, Smith, Shaw, Maxwell
Thursday, 21 April 2016 13:48 Written by YFS Editor 1
Fixture: Giffnock SC Lazio v Antonine FC
Competition: PJDYFL Division 2
Date: Saturday, 9th April 2016
Antonine travelled to Giffnock, on the 9th April, for a crucial top of the table clash.
Antonine started the better after getting their passing and movement going right from the start.
Danny Hamilton was the first to try his luck at goal, forcing the Giffnock 'keeper into a save.
Giffnock's first opportunity came when an inswinging corner was headed off the line by Calum Maxwell.In the eighth minute an eight pass move saw Chris Donaghy play in Adam Boyle out wide on the right. He fired in a pinpoint cross that was duly headed home by Lewis Smith to open the scoring - a great team goal.
Antonine smelled blood as they soon dominated proceedings. Hamilton, Boyle and Donaghy all came close before Ryan Gillies was called into action with a save at his near post.
Scott Hutton had a shot saved, Donaghy hit the crossbar and Boyle saw the keeper save his later effort.
In the 22nd minute another great passing move saw Donaghy play in Smith, but his shot hit the post. From 12 yards out, however, Dom Cairney fired the rebound high into the net to notch his fifth goal of the season.
Hamilton and Donaghy came close again for Antonine before Lewis Smith, in the 32nd minute, fired a cross towards the back post, which sailed over the keeper and into the net. This took Smith's goal tally to 34 in the season and made it 3-0 to Antonine.
Giffnock pulled a goal back five minutes before the half time break when their striker fired home a cutback from the left wing.
Half Time: Giffnock SC Lazio 1-3 Antonine FC
Giffnock came out on the front foot in the second half and bombarded the Antonine defence with a number of aerial balls. However, the Antonine defence dealt with it comfortably with goalkeeper, Gillies, only really dealing with high crosses.
Antonine came back into it with Hutton, Donaghy and Mckendrick all coming close as they saw the game out to take a vital victory. That win moved the team back to the top of the table, on goal difference, but having played two games more.
It was an excellent first half performance and a very professional one in the second.
Full Time: Giffnock SC Lazio 1-3 Antonine FC
Squad: Gillies, Maciver, Maxwell, Kelly, Miller, Hutton, Cairney, Donaghy, Boyle, Smith, Hamilton, Gallacher, Wallace, Shaw, Mckendrick, James
Thursday, 31 March 2016 10:50 Written by YFS Editor 1
An in depth interview with the coaching staff at Finnart Boys Club, about the exciting developments at the club on and off the field.
Sunday, 27 March 2016 16:52 Written by Antonine FC
Fixture: Pirie Park v Antonine FC
Competition: Paisley, Johnstone & District U17s YFL
Antonine travelled to Govan for a vital league game. They were decimated by illness and injuries for this game. Missing through illness were Goalkeeper Andy Carroll and strikers Lewis Smith and Fraser James. Out through injury were defenders Darren Wallace and Dean Miller, who took a spot on the bench, but such is the strength of the squad it was still a strong team sent out by the visitors.
Antonine started on the front foot with Scott Hutton's 25 yard effort just going over. Danny Hamilton and Joe Mckendrick also had shots saved by the home keeper.
Adam Boyle and Chris Donaghy both had shots blocked as Antonine searched for the opening goal. Trialist keeper Ryan Gillies only had a few crosses to deal with, which he managed comfortably.
On 35 minutes, a six-pass Antonine move finished with Boyle playing in Hamilton, who turned the defender and slotted the ball home to make opening the scoring. Boyle and Hamilton then came close as the half finished with no further scoring.
Half Time: Pirie Park 0-1 Antonine
Pirie Park then came out in the second half taking the game to Antonine, but the travelling defence stood tall. Antonine gradually came back into the game with Boyle firing just over.
There was a magic moment on the hour mark, with no doubt the goal of this season or any other. Danny Hamilton picked up the ball ten yards inside his own half, beat a player and, from five yards inside his own, looked up, saw the keeper off his line and fired a thunderbolt into the net with the keeper helpless. Hamilton's wonderstrike, his 19th goal of the season, put doubled his side's advantage.
Five minutes later, Hamilton again saw the keeper off his line and from the halfway line tried again, but this time the keeper got fingertips to it to put it over the bar.
Antonine pushed on to try and kill the game off with Donaghy and Boyle coming close. But they comfortably saw the game out.
This result puts Antonine top of the league on goal difference. The team has no games now for a couple of weeks, but will keep ticking over with some friendlies in meantime, before the title race comes down to the wire.
Antonine Squad: Gillies, MacIver, Maxwell, Quinn, Kelly, Hutton, Cairney, McKendrick, Boyle, Donaghy, Hamilton, Miller, Shaw, Manley, Gallacher.
Man of Match: Danny Hamilton
Fixture: Antonine FC v Whiteacres
Competition: Paisley, Johnstone & District YFL U17s
Antonine U17s welcomed Whiteacres to Mountblow on a gloomy day for a game in the Paisley, Johnstone & Distict YFL.
The home side started off very sloppily, constantly giving the ball away and not playing their usual sharp passing game.
Lewis Smith was first to come close, but hit just wide. On eight minutes, however, Scott Hutton and Joe McKendrick combined to release top scorer Smith and he slotted home to open the scoring.
Danny Hamilton and Smith both came close, before on 23 minutes an Owen Gallacher corner was turned into his own goal by an unfortunate visiting defender to make it 2-0.
It was a bit better from Antonine now and on the half hour mark Fraser James played a short corner to Hamilton and his excellent cross evaded everyone including the keeper to give him his 17th of the season and his side a commanding 3-0 lead.
Andy Carroll then pulled off a save from a rare Whiteacres attack, before two minutes before half-time a Brendan Kelly cross was bravely headed home by Lewis Smith to make it 4-0. The goal was his 32nd goal of season.
Half Time: Antonine FC 4-0 Whiteacres
The second half started the same as the first with most of the game played in the away team's half. James was thwarted twice by the keeper and Harry Shaw hit a post.
55 minutes in a Calum Maxwell corner was again headed home by a defender for a brace of own goals by the visitors.
James and Hamilton came close, before on 65 minutes Hamilton beat two defenders and his cross was tapped home by James to make it 6-0, James registering his 15th of the season.
James then had a goal disallowed for offside and Adam Boyle came close.
In the last minute Whiteacres got a consolation goal when their striker fired home from a right wing cross.
The result keeps Antonine in second place, just three points behind the leaders with five games to go. Up next for the title-chasers: Pirrie Park away.
Full Time: Antonine 6-1 Whiteacres
Antonine Squad: Carroll, James, Boyle, Quinn, Miller, Kelly, Hutton, McKendrick, Smith, Hamilton, Gallacher, Maxwell, Manley, Maciver, Donaghy, Shaw.
Man of Match: Dean Miller.
Sunday, 20 March 2016 17:36 Written by Lenzie YC
Fixture: Seafar Villa Blue v Lenzie YC
Competition: CKDYL U15s
Both teams were level on points at the top of the B league before this game, with the home side having played a game more.
Lenzie dominated most of the first half and efforts from Thomson, Kinnell, Murray and Inglis went close. A great move on the left between Douglas,and Dudman saw Tedeschi beat his marker and curl a great shot into the net for the opener.
The second half saw the home side push forward and the Lenzie defence of keeper McQuillan and defenders McMahon, Gordon and Craig cleared their lines time after time.
With 15 mins left to play, Kinnell's persistence in the box saw Murray slam the ball home for the vistor's second goal of the afternoon.
Five minutes later Elliot met a Kinnell cross to complete the scoring and put the result beyond all doubt.
A great all round squad effort from Lenzie, who would like to wish several former players good luck in both sides of the Harestanes versus Possil YM Scottish Cup quarter-final this coming Saturday.
Full Time: Seafar Villa 0-3 Lenzie YC
Danny Barrett: My name is Danny Barrett and I am currently a coach with Arsenal Boys Club 2007-2010. I began coaching when I was 15 years old. I was given the opportunity to help primary School in my local area and this is where I would say I got the coaching bug.
Gillen Reid: Arsenal Boys Club? Tell us more.
DB: Back in 2012 I entered into the world of grassroots football in the name of Arsenal Juniors. It began with an introduction to someone who I now regard as football's nicest man, Davie Currie. He had the idea of running a singular fun fours 2007 team, which I nervously agreed to be part of. I had never coached five year old footballers before and in all honesty didn’t know what I was letting myself in for.
The concept began with six players, most from the Ruchill area of Glasgow. We both entered into this project without a relative involved in the team, which later I found out was a rare occurrence at this level of football. Over time we developed a particular club philosophy, whilst focusing on trying to keep costs as low as possible for parents. Always attempt to keep parents involved and informed, working towards providing player feedback as often as possible.
Overall the objective was to create a safe, enjoyable and encouraging environment for all our players.
Four years later we’ve had a name change, Arsenal Boys Club, and expanded our age group to include 2008s, 2009s and now 2010s. We now compete in the Glasgow League every Sunday morning. The rapid expansion of the club has taken us by surprise. We pride ourselves in being a club that’s always evolving, trying to improve which aims to provide the best footballing experience for our young people.
GR: Any success stories you can tell us about?
DB: We now boast over 40 children across those age groups. We are also proud to say we’ve managed to retain the core group of players from our 2007s age group.
Watching all the players’ progress is one of the best feelings that you can get as a coach. Scores do not matter at any point. It’s all about the overall engagement and enjoyment. What I would regard as our biggest success story is that the children seem to enjoy their football. We have a group of children who understand they must first enjoy themselves and secondly work hard. This is a real club ethos that we have implemented across all our age groups that the players have really excelled at.
I would also state we have successfully managed to bring together children and their relatives to create a really positive club enviorment. Everyone involved brings something beneficial to our project and it has helped us grow stronger.
GR: What are your thoughts on coaching in terms of my own approach?
DB: I believe grassroots football is extremely difficult. There are many key traits needed to be an effective grassroots football coach, but I believe patience to be the key. Young people need simple, clear and direct instructions re-explained many times. When you fail, and it does happen, chaos breaks out.
You are asked ten times a minute if they can go to the toilet, which I believe is a nice marker to measure their engagement with your session. The less they ask, the more engaging and enjoyable the session. You will eventually have to deal with negative behaviour during games or training sessions. From angry outbursts because they did not score a goal to just waking up on the wrong side of the bed.
From all of these situations you require an abundance of patience.
One of the major factors that is sometimes missed at grassroots football is these children are beginning their footballing journey. Therefore, if you ask any player in one of our teams “what are you going to do today?” one of the two responses you will hear is ‘enjoy ourselves’. I honestly feel no matter what level you coach at if you cannot make training sessions enjoyable you are failing your players.
This does not mean you have to do fun games all the time, but I have found if you can create a challenging lesson and deliver it enthusiastically you will get a positive response, hopefully leading to players enjoying football.
Preparation is vital no matter what team you train. If you fail to plan effectively then you will never provide the opportunity for your players to achieve. I have also found that good preparation creates smoothly run training sessions, which leads to players getting more out of the session.
Setting good ground rules allows players to know what is expected of them. We have rules for behaviour during training but also expectations. Again, if you asked our players “what are you going to do today?” the second response will be ‘work hard’. Having strong expectations allows gives our players good guidelines that they can strive for. In our experiences so far this has been really positive as we see the players really buying into our ideas and it leads to them enjoying their football.
Finally, but by no means least, I believe at grassroots level touch is one of the most important things to be worked on. We dedicate at least half our training time to allow every player to be on a ball completing some form of touch exercise. From my experience if a player has a good touch, everything else falls into place.
We can easily inform players on positional play and match tactics. But if they do not have a good touch everything breaks down. Strong passing and dribbling skills all come from having a good touch and being comfortable on the ball. We didn’t start out with this way of thinking but since we have adjusted we have found huge success in our players development.
GR: Thanks again to Danny for joining us today, and we hope you have found this interesting reading for you today, perhaps you could use some of the ideas?
Fixture: Antonine 6 Port Glasgow 0
Competition: U17 Paisley, Johnstone and District Youth Football League
Antonine welcomed Port Glasgow to Mountblow for a vital league game. It was all Antonine at the start with Lewis Smith, Fraser James and Harry Shaw all coming close.
On 15 minutes, Danny Hamilton, Adam Boyle and Smith combined to play in Fraser James, who clipped the ball home from a tight angle to open the scoring.
A flowing move involving most of the team ended with Shaw's header coming back off the bar.
Dean Miller then had three shots in a minute cleared of the line and blocked.
On 30 minutes Scott Hutton and Smith played in Adam Boyle, who fired home from the edge of the box with his first goal since rejoining the club.
James then nodded home, but was ruled offside.
With 38 minutes gone, Hamilton shot from 25 yards and the keeper saved. But Shaw slotted home to make it 3-0 with his fourth of the season
Half Time: Antonine 3 Port Glasgow 0
Within the first minute of the second half, Shaw played in Smith who fired home to make it 4-0.
Darren Wallace played in Smith two minutes later and with his 30th of the season made it 5-0.
James then had a header cleared off the line.
Calum Maxwell then had a 30 yard drive tipped over the bar.
Andy Carroll then had a save with Port Glasgow's first shot at goal.
Owen Gallacher then put James through to make it 6-0 with his 14th of the season.
Liam Manley, Smith and Hutton all came close as the game finished with no further scoring. It was a great performance from Antonine which moved them into second in league.
Full Time: Antonine 6 Port Glasgow 0
Antonine squad: Carroll, Boyle, Kelly, Maciver, Miller, Wallace, Hutton, Hamilton, Smith, Shaw, James, Gallacher, Maxwell, Manley.
Man of Match: Lewis Smith
Fixture: Valspar U14s v AC Irvine U14s
Competition: League Cup Quarter-Final
Venue: Old Racecourse
The usual cold wind was blowing across the Old Racecourse as the boys lined up for this eagerly anticipated clash of the Titans. The Valspar boys had a point to prove after the disappointment of the previous league encounter, so the very competitive start was to be expected.
No quarter was given by either team as both teams fought to gain control of the game. Strong challenges where going in all over the park, including a cracker in front of me by Layton Weaver, both defences were well on top limiting the forwards to a few half chances.
The lively Lewis Glass was then injured in a clash of heads and both players had to be replaced, with Kier O'Neill being called into action for Valspar.
Mackenzie Hill produced the best save of the first half diving down to his left to keep out a fierce AC Irvine strike.
Lewis Glass came back on up front & it was good to see him get straight back into the action winning a strong 50/50 challenge.
Neither team could find a way through & a very well contested first half drew to a close with nothing between them.
Half Time: Valspar 0 AC Irvine 0
An early 2nd half corner allowed Richie Simpson to whip in an excellent ball, for the very impressive Murray Thomson to head home for 1-0 to Valspar.
Richie Simpson then had a great chance for a second Valspar goal himself running into the box, but his shot just went wide. Then the powerfull running and skill of Lewis Glass created a one on one chance which came back off the post.
AC Irvine were now starting to pile on the pressure looking for the equaliser, with their strong and quick number nine having a really good personal duel with the battling Harry Evans.
Tony Nelson who was having a good game sweeping up at the back, was very unfortunate when a headed clearance looped back over Mckenzie Hill hitting the bar, AC Irvine took advantage nipping in to head in the rebound, to make it 1-1.
The Valspar boys reacted really well to this going on the front foot again looking to try and re-take the lead, winning another corner that allowed Richie Simpson to whip in another great ball and Chrissy Callander made no mistake to make it 2-1 Valspar.
Valspar then won a free kick outside the box that was whipped in by Chrissy Callander and Murray Thompson blasted the ball into the back of the net, only for the referee to disallow for offside.
Craig Findlay was next to go close for Valspar, after causing mayhem in the AC Irvine box, but somehow the ball failed to find the back of the net after crashing off the bar.
The Valspar boys held firm to deservedly win the game, going through to the League Cup semi final with another excellent all round strong team performance against a fantastic AC Irvine side
Full Time: Valspar 2 AC Irvine 1
Wednesday, 09 March 2016 12:40 Written by Antonine FC
Fixture: Antonine FC v Stamperland FC U17
Competition: Paisley & Johnstone DYL
Date: Saturday 27th February 2016
Antonine welcomed Stamperland to Mountblow for a league match in the Paisley & Johnstone DYL. Antonine got into their stride right from the off, dominating possession and forcing the visitors to be camped in their own half.
Lewis Smith and Fraser James both came close on nine minutes with efforts on goal. Smith was fouled 30 yards from goal, and Darren Wallace's free kick was touched onto the post by the keeper. However, Smith followed up to open the scoring. 1-0 Antonine.
Brendan Kelly nearly doubled the score soon after but the keeper saved his volley from a Scott Hutton cross. On thirty-three minutes, Hutton and Joe McKendrick combined to play in Smith who slotted home to make it 2-0.
Less than a minute later, Dom Cairney beat two players and his cross was met by James, but his shot deflected off top scorer Lewis Smith to give him his hat-trick and 28th goal of the season.
Half Time: Antonine 3-0 Stamperland
Smith and James both had shots cleared of the line early in the second half and Antonine kept up the pressure without extending their lead.
Stamperland then had a couple of chances to reduce the deficit, but Andy Carroll saved both efforts to preserve his clean sheet. Danny Hamilton then came close twice as Antonine turned on the style with twenty minutes to play.
The away side did managed to get themselves on the score sheet. Antonine never dealt with a cross and the striker nodded home at the back post to make it 3-1 after a well worked move through midfield.
Just before the end, Carroll had to be on his toes to prevent Stamperland from getting themselves on the score sheet again. A very good stop from the keeper.
A good three points for Antonine despite a dip in performance in the second half.
Full Time: Antonine 3-1 Stamperland
Antonine: Carroll, Cairney, Kelly, Maciver, miller, Wallace, Hutton, Mckendrick, Smith, Shaw, James, Hamilton, Boyle, Quinn, Gallacher, Doak
With the beautiful game constantly developing over in the United States, St Mirren have announced that Head of Youth Development, David Longwell, is the latest to take up a position across the pond, as the new Academy Director at Orlando City. Longwell will make the move to The States at the end of March.
Longwell has played an integral part of the set-up at the Paisley club ever since 2001 as a Community Coach, and has overseen and contributed to the development of established players such as Kenny McLean, John McGinn and Stephen Mallan since taking the head youth position in 2005.
Longwell’s efforts have been recognised on numerous occasions, noticeably last week, when St Mirren were awarded with the Club Academy Scotland’s Gold Level Award for the third year running.
Speaking to saintmirren.net, Longwell said that “It is with a heavy heart that I announce that I will be leaving St Mirren Football Club. I would like to thank all our staff, players and fans and everyone associated with St Mirren FC for the support and help I have been given during my time at the club.”
Longwell told the club’s website that the offer in Florida was one that he “couldn’t refuse”.
He added: “I would like to thank the St Mirren FC board for their support in allowing me to take up this position, and also for giving me the opportunity to oversee and evolve a wonderful Youth Development programme at St Mirren over the years.”
The new CEO at the Paisley 2021 Stadium, Tony Fitzpatrick, was also keen to sing Longwell’s praises, as he said: ““I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve known David a long time as we had coached together before he joined St Mirren.”
“You just have to look at the players he has produced in his time at St Mirren. He has done an incredible job as he has kids playing proper football while also instilling great values and morals in them. He has also taken the Academy to great levels having earned Club Academy Scotland’s Gold Level which many other clubs haven’t achieved.”
Longwell joins the likes of Owen Coyle, Martin Rennie and Mo Johnson as a Scot who is keen to ply his trade in the United States. He joins the Florida side which formed in 2013, and who finished 7th in the Eastern Conference last season.
Longwell’s presence if sure felt to be missed at St Mirren, who will look to find a new Head of Youth Development to lead the next crop of youngsters into the future.
Fixture: Lenzie Academy 2 Boclair Academy 0
Competition: EDC School League U18s
Venue: Lenzie Academy
Lenzie rounded off their league campaign with a solid victory.
The defending East Dunbartonshire champions took a grip of the game early on. Boclair goalkeeper Grant Mackie had to be alert to stop efforts from Greg Burns and Lewis Beveridge.
The visitors also had to defend several set pieces, but they did so resolutely.
Lenzie’s Andy Henderson did have the ball in the net midway through the half but he was ruled offside.
Half-Time: Lenzie Academy 0 Boclair Academy 0
Seven minutes after the break, a Lenzie reshuffle paid off when John McCrae struck a sublime left-foot shot to open the scoring.
McCrae then turned provider, finding Greg Burns who added number two with a perfectly-placed finish.
To their credit, Boclair kept plugging away. But they were unable to make a dent in the stuffy Lenzie rearguard and the home side saw out the game to take the points.
Skipper Jonnie Walker was the Lenzie Player of the Day.
Full-Time: Lenzie Academy 2 Boclair Academy 0
1. Carlos Christie
2. John McCrae
3. Jack Kennedy
4. Ben Fowler
5. Andrew Henderson
6. Jonnie Walker (capt)
7. Ben Graham
8. Ally Russell
9. Lewis Beveridge
10. Greg Burns
11. Ewan Wilson
12. Jamie Wallace
13. Jack Coutts