Wednesday 7th January 2015

SONS youth development academy players returned to training this week with Head Coach Tony Gervaise delighted at how the youngsters kept themselves fit over the festive period.

Tony, who holds a UEFA Pro License, took time out from a coaches meeting on Monday, to keep us up to speed with progress across all four age groups.

He said : “All our youth players return to full training this week.

“We’ll be using our now established facilities at East End Park and Our Lady of St Patricks High School.

“Our lads had a two week break. Our coaches worked out a training schedule for the boys which had them active every other day of the Christmas holidays.

“I’m pleased to say that all the boys looked after themselves and each coach is happy”

Tony was keen to point out that there are a couple of new additions to the voluntary staff positions, with both people able to play an important role in the future of the YDI.

“The coaches and myself came back on Monday 5th January with a meeting at the stadium”, continued Tony.

“Mrs Anne Lightbody our new Child Protection Officer was there and Anne gave a talk and a few updates relating to issues under her remit.

“Although not at Monday’s meeting, I’m delighted that we’ve also had a volunteer from the player’s parents with respect to helping out with website input.

“Karen Watt will be coming on board very soon.”

Turning back to football, Tony enthused about how all of the squads are working hard.

He said : “Overall the first half of the Club Academy Scotland games programme was positive, with the under-13 new recruits relishing their first challenge at this level

“They have been learning to compete and develop their football understanding.

“The 14s squad continued their individual and team development with a new challenge. We are trying to get emphasis in the physical side of the game, with a couple of players gaining experience at 15s level.

“It’s fair to say that the 15s had a difficult start to their programme, but things have now progressed, with some excellent performances from the squad, so we now attempt raise the expectation of improving individual and collective performances for this group.

“The biggest change has come at the dual age group at 16s and 17s where the introduction of a league format was put in place in November 2014.

“This meant that matches between team are now playing for points. This has in itself raised the level of intensity in all games.

“Only time will tell if it helps improve the quality and mentality of the current players.

“The performances have been very positive as at this age level big decisions will be made regards to player progression towards the under 20 development squad.

“So, as we start 2015, we look forward in supporting all of our players in reaching their highest level of achievement with the Sons.”

Alan Findlay

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