3rd September 2012
Following on from the clubs first year within Club Academy Scotland where we entered two teams at the U14s & U15s age group, the growth of Youth Academy has seen us double the teams entered with teams also at U13s & U17s.
It has long been the aim of the club to develop our own talent and with the Academy know seeing over 75 boys registered to the club we continue to grow from strength to strength. The commitment to enter 4 teams with the Academy Scotland set-up has seen us increase the level of qualified coaches at the club to 14 which includes Specialist Coaches for Goalkeeping and Sports Science.
Jimmy Boyle is delighted at the expansion and has already offered three players within the Academy 2 year Youth Contracts. He has always believed the club will prosper with a healthy progression of boys coming through the youth system and his support along with Alan Lawrence has been key to the expansion.
Assistant Head of Youth Liam Brindle who has been instrumental in the set-up of the Academy at the club has said without the ambition of Jimmy and Ann Marie Ballantyne then the Youth Academy would not have got off the ground let alone expanded.
‘The work that goes into to ensuring the club meet the guidelines placed upon us by the regulatory body at Hampden is not done overnight. The initial process to pull together all of the elements required took months to put in place and the expansion has seen further hard work to get the club to a standard whereby we meet the required criteria.
'Jimmy has a great hands on approach to the football side whilst Ann Marie deals with the admin side of things. More encouraging though is the personal interest taken by them both to get to know the players. Their support has been terrific.’
He went on to say ‘The Academy received a tremendous boost last season when two boys were invited into the Scotland Squads training camp and this has helped raised the profile of the club which in turn has benefited in attracting talent.’
With the youth teams also training at Excelsior Stadium before the 1st team and the Under 19s it has seen 1st team players like Cammy MacDonald, Jamie Bain, Nathan Blockley, Fraser Keast and Andy Duncan become involved in training and small sided games which is a tremendous boost to the boys.
The club also has a steady stream of talent within the boys club ages of U5-U12 who through time will hopefully progress into the Academy structure.
With the expansion also comes an increased cost. Opportunities currently exist to sponsor the teams and if you would interested in offering any form of sponsorship please contact the club's Commercial Manager John Drysdale on 07962 023683.
Look out for a profile of each age group being added to the website in the coming weeks.