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U20s win Development League West

24th April 2015

Following last night's 2-2 draw between Queen of the South and Ayr United, Airdrieonians U20s have been crowned champions of the Development League West.

The young Diamonds, led by coaches Stevie Findlay and James Grant, actually played their final match last Sunday, beating Clyde 2-0 to finish their schedule at the top of the league.

However, with several other teams still to complete their fixtures, the Club faced an anxious wait to see if anyone could close the gap.

Last night's draw confirmed that the Diamonds' lead was unassailable, and the league title is now in their hands.

Triumphant manager Stevie Findlay said: "I am elated and delighted to have won the U20 Development League West. It is an incredible feeling to win the title and bring success to the club for the very first time at this level.

"Words can't express how proud I am of my players and what they have achieved. They are one of the most talented groups I have worked with and it's been my privilege to have been on this journey with them. 

"They bought into our shared vision at the start of the season and through sheer determination, hard work and brilliance they have delivered - an incredible squad with an unyielding spirit and togetherness. 

"Full credit has to be given to the players - ten straight wins & only 2 defeats in 2015 shows their strength and quality. I hope this is something they will cherish as their careers develop.

"I would like to personally thank all players across the squad, my assistant Jas, Scott & Kirsty and of course the one and only Ceefax.

"Finally, I'm extremely grateful to Ann Marie who has shown an incredible support to the development squad for many years and this achievement I hope to be the first of many in repaying her faith and belief in us."

U20s captain Kyle Richford backed up his gaffer's sentiments.

"All the boys are delighted to have won it, and being captain I'm proud to have won it with such a great group of guys!

"We all put so much in, and with the way we played throughout the season I think we more than deserved it.

"We have an amazing coaching staff in Stevie and Jas who deserve credit for their input. I should also mention the physios for patching me up - I wouldn't have played as many games if it wasn't for Scott and the others!

"It's an amazing feeling as a player to achieve what you set out to do at the start of the season, and it makes it even more special being the first to do it at Airdrie. We look forward to the playoff games against the East champions."

With Kyle being just one of several youth players already making inroads into the first team, and the likes of Watt, Allan and Coogans showing that their endeavours do not go unnoticed, the title win is a richly deserved achievement and the perfect indication of a bright future at the Club.

Congratulations, lads!

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