Tuesday 12th January 2016

THE second half of the Club Academy Scotland season resumes officially on 31st January, but Sons head of youth Richie Salveta already has a busy programme lined up for all four age group squads.

We caught up with Richie following the Rangers game at the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium earlier this month and he was in a typically cheery mood, despite the first team’s loss to the Ibrox club.

He said : “I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the club, to wish all our Academy staff, players and their amilies a very Happy New Year.

“As our Academy moves forward into the second half of our season,we have lined up some friendlies over the next three weeks against Rangers, Ayr United and Alloa Athletic.

“All our Academy players were working on their own personal three week fitness plan over the winter break and have all returned looking sharp and ready to go.

“From the top of our club down, it has been made clear the standards required to get players from our academy ready for SPFL Championship football and we are ready to continue to meet that challenge head on, by working harder than ever to push on the players and give them the tools required to reach our goals.”

Training has re-started and Richie feels that all four age groups are progressing well.

He continued : “Our new academy annual training plan has now been bedded in this season and together with our new annual sports science plan we feel we are well placed to deliver the highest quality training sessions to challenge the players.

The goal is to work their way through the academy and reach our development squad and beyond.”

“All credit to our coaching staff in delivering this and with the support of our goalkeeping specialist Jim Gallacher and physio Matthew Gallagher we hope that all our current academy players and any potential new players brought in by our scout alan mcdevitt will continue to enjoy being part of our club, build on their existing skills and develop with us.”

On the subject of fundraising, Richie highlighted the collaborative process that is working well.

“With our walk to the rock in September and quids for kids on Halloween, we are already well on the way to achieving our fundraising targets set for season 2015-16.

“With the continued help of the Sonstrust we are hoping to have another event by the end of the season and one or two more quids for kids collections.

“Although some individual player website sponsors have helped with funding this season it would help our academy greatly if anyone could come forward and help with strip sponsorships for either the whole academy or even individual teams.

“We also have new rain jackets for all academy players and they are up for sponsorship.

Alan Findlay

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