Scone Thistle 2009s had an incredible and action-packed 2021/22 season, with plenty of ups and downs. They managed to clinch the PKYFA 2009 title on the final day of the season, ensuring it was a year to remember as they lifted the trophy.
The team showed great character throughout the campaign and did not relent all season. Their winning attitude and mentality was at the base of their success, with Assistant Coach Kerr Smith saying:
“Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard enough. We have tried to instill a work ethic in the squad as we’ve no superstars. They all work hard for each other and we couldn’t have asked for any more from them. They have all improved individually and collectively which is the proudest thing for us coaches to see the progression they’ve made.”
This team spirit helped the side throughout the sticky spells of the campaign, and there were a few challenges along the way. Smith added:
“We started the season brilliantly going 7 games unbeaten. We had only lost once after 16 games but as the finish line was in sight, the pressure began to build and we lost two of our last four games, and the chance seemed to have passed us by. But as results elsewhere went in our favour, our last game came down to a title-decider against Fair City who had just beaten us 4-0 in the semi-final of the league cup. It was a David v Goliath moment. Fair City had been unbeaten in the previous 3 seasons.”
Despite being the underdogs, Scone Thistle prevailed, with the turning point of the season coming late on, in the final game of the campaign when Thistle won the title in dramatic fashion against their nearest challengers. Smith said:
“We didn’t expect to win it. We got off to such a good start, we led from day one only relinquishing top spot once on goal difference. Our striker Leo scored 7 hat tricks in our first 7 games. Due to a fixture pile-up, we had played 4 more games than our nearest rivals. We knew they would finish strong and we genuinely only started to believe it was on when it came down to our last game of the season which was against them. The boys turned up that day with a focus and determination we hadn’t seen before. They played their best game of the season when they needed it most.”
Scone Thistle put on a show all season, scoring bucket loads of goals, whilst managing to keep it tight at the back. Striker Leo Reid in particular was on red hot form, starting the season with 7 consecutive hattricks, whilst at the other end, they were watertight on their way to winning the title in style. Scone Thistle had a goal difference of 66 which was the best in the league by 12, an outstanding return. Smith praised the squad and their incredible goal record, both scored and conceded:
“It’s hard to single anyone out as it was a collective team performance. Our top goal scorer and Players’ Player of the year was Leo with 38 goals from 20 games. His goals always grabbed the headlines but it was Oscar who scored the winning goal to clinch the league title on the last day. It was his 20th goal of the season in the league. He had to travel back from a wedding in Glasgow that morning to make the game. As good as we were going forward by scoring 88 goals, we also had the best defence in the league by only conceding 19 goals. Chay is our captain who plays centre back and he was immense for us this season. Andrei our goalkeeper was voted ‘Most Improved’ and it was nice that he got his moment when he saved the penalty to keep our league hopes alive. He has improved tenfold this season and has been a great character to have in the squad. Our ‘Clubman Award’ went to Callum whose attitude to training has been fantastic and he’s played a key role in the team bond that’s developed over the season.”
The pinnacle of the season was of course that last-day title win, with Scone Thistle doing it in the most dramatic of fashion – a 1-0 win against 2nd place FC Fair City – finishing on 49 points, to Fair City’s 48. Goalkeeper Andrei Ciobanu saved a penalty whilst the score was goalless and they went on to win the game 1-0. Smith details this final day drama, which was one of the best moments of the season:
“We won the league on the final day of the season which turned out to be a title-decider. We had to win, as a draw wouldn’t have been enough. We won the game 1-0 with our goalie saving a penalty when it was 0-0. We won the league by a single point.”
This rounded off an excellent campaign for Scone Thistle 2009s, who have a bright future ahead of them. The group showed great character after starting the season on fire to picking themselves back up to win the title on the final day. This was a historic season for the club and winning some silverware will mean a lot to the players, management and parents.
At the 2009 age group, there is plenty still to be won, and this group of players will be hungry for even more trophies next season. Smith outlined his expectations for the future:
“Do it all again next season. We’ll be trying to go beyond the 4th Round of the Scottish Cup, latter stages of the East Region Cup and League Cup.”
Everyone at YFS would like to congratulate the Scone Thistle 2009 players and coaches on a truly remarkable season. Well done to everyone involved.
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