Sunday 29th December 2013

SONS youth development initiative, under the watchful eye of head coach Tony Gervaise, has completed the first half of their season and we caught up with him for a progress report on the programme.

Tony, who joined DFC when Jim Chapman took up the reigns as manager at Annan Athletic has been very busy indeed is enthusiastic about what has been acheived so far.

He said: “Season 13/14 kicked off on August 18th, with a good pre-season behind the players.

“The new intake of under 13’s started with trials in the month of May at the Vale of Leven Academy over two Friday evenings.

“With all squads in place, including the introduction of the under 19s we kicked off pre-season on Tuesday 9th July with an intense programme of Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday of which Sunday was a double session, over a period of 6 weeks.

“This provided an excellent foundation of improving the fitness but also let all the players experience the needs and commitment required to be involved at this footballing level.

“All teams have done well and the internal changes regards our training programme have been well received by all staff.”

Tony had to cope with departures on the coaching front but managed to plug the gaps quickly.

He continued: “Unfortunately we lost three coaches. Stewart Maule from the under-15s left the Club, as did Scott Douglas who was part of the under-13’s staff.

“Ritchie Salveta moved onto the under-19 programme working with Colin Nish and these moves left us with a fair bit of recruiting to do
“We managed to get the recruitment done with John Haughie and Ally McCrae taking over the under 13 squad, Alan Campbell moving to join John Campbell at under 14, Tony McNally joining at under 15 with another new recruit Tommy Millar joining David Lyden at under 17 supported by Stephen McBurnie, also a new member of staff.

“With Mark Peachey being supported by John Wight and overseen by Jim Gallacher our goalkeepers are in safe hands.

“We have now increased our coaches both in number and quality which is a positive commitment by the club.”

Our YDI staff list can be viewed by clicking on the following link – Coach Structure

Tony continues the story – “The addition of Douglas Fyffe as YDI physio is an excellent one as this provides more consistency of treatment of injuries for our Youth Squads with the physio clinic being run every Tuesday evening at East End Park.

“The introduction of an under 19s squad this season in place of a reserve side, confirms the commitment to Youth Development by the club.

“This move closes the gap on the player pathway at clubs and therefore increasing the opportunity for our youth players to fulfil their potential to attain professional status.”

“On behalf of the club I would like to finish by giving credit to all the squad coaches, who have commitment and dedication to the programme on a second to none basis.

“I would also like to thank scout Alan McDevitt for his constant supply of new talent and all the regular staff: Stevie Hunter, Jimmy McLoughlin and Antonia Kerr – who’s had to do more admin than normal.

“All ensure that all things are in place to allow us to provide all the youth development players the opportunities to fulfil not only their talent as a player but also as a person.

“Finally though, we have to thank the parents and families of all our players for the fantastic support you all provided for your sons this year, from the commitment to the pre-season programme, throughout this first half of the season.

“Hopefully we can all work together to allow the players to grow and improve to their highest level of performance, all at Dumbarton FC greatly appreciate all your efforts.”

Link to DFC YDI Official Website pages – Click Here

Alan Findlay and Craig P Stewart

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