Category Archives: Posts

Curneen on America

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Here at YFS we speak to a variety of people, all walks of life and who perform all sorts of roles for the sake of the beautiful game, we were lucky enough to have someone different along to have a conversation. Gary Curneen is the current head women’s soccer coach at Cal State University, Bakersfield, and the founder of Modern Soccer Coach Education. His role is full-time in nature at a college in the US who compete at the Division I level. When asked about the role itself “like most people in the game I am passionate about developing players, teams, to succeed on and off the field”

I was keen to understand a little bit more about how the girls game operates in America and how it compares to the rapidly growing equivalent in Scotland

“I’m not familiar with Scottish landscape so can’t compare. Girls game is huge in the States and the players are fortunate enough to have huge amount of opportunities with both games and training. The college game is the destination for most top players and it becomes a full-time environment with training every day and access to top facilities and full-time coaches”

He originally played in the US, once his playing career was completed he continued life at a coaching capacity for an additional two years “I originally was going to go into the business world and corporate America but got cold feet. My college coach gave me an opportunity to stay on and help him out, along with getting my masters in business and administration and I took it”

After settling into the role he mentioned that “I realized I had a completely wrong perception of what coaching entailed. I got introduced to tactics, systems, training models, science, psychology and was hooked” he is now owner of a UEFA A licence thanks to the services of the FA in Ireland.

Gary has added to this by writing a book Modern Soccer Coach 2014 adding his own take on “What sets the greatest coaches apart in today’s game and how to create a culture of excellence within a program”

So overall the girls game appears to be rich in opportunities, in Scotland the girls game is catching up with more and more clubs linking up with their mens equivalent, more and more work is being done creating the pathway from the younger age groups all the way through to the senior team “I think cultures in the US and UK could learn a lot from each other. Players in the US excel in the physical side of the game and I think with more resources and funding in the women’s game in the UK, it will allow Scotland to continue to excel”

Adding to that he also mentioned that he had recently came along to have a look at the women’s game in Scotland “I was there in February and visited Hibs and Celtic ladies teams. Really enjoyed it and was very impressed by the level and the coaching. Hopefully I can come back more often”

Big thanks to Gary for taking time to answer some questions that I had, hopefully it will prove to be an intriguing read.

Morton’s Youth Development

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We are seeing more and more prospects emerge from the fully reconstructed academies of Scotland, former full timer Derek Anderson leads the way as Head of Youth Academy, tasked with identifying suitable individuals to be added to the ever expanding ranks. In terms of qualified persons Anderson secured himself a UEFA “A” Licence and has playing experience with Hibs and Kilmarnock.

As part of the academies redevelopment Director Warren Hawke, who has a degree in business management, will handle all things finance related to allow all energy to be spent on the important subject of football.

The 26 staff members are there now to support this development, so the key in terms of pointing these players in the right direction is dedication. Work behind the scenes has resulted in the full development of a player pathway, which meets the SFA demanded criteria.

The fruits of their labour consist of Ben Armour, who the next best thing to come out of Cappielow, following his signing for the club September 2016 from Queens Park he made his first appearance for the current development team the subsequent April time against Dumfermline, the 19 year old striker recently signed a 6 months extension to his existing deal with Greenock Morton to turn professional and keep him an active member until January 2018. Armour he known for his instinctive finishing and being in the right place at the right time, such attributes present a nightmare for the most talented of defenders.

Another prospect Jamie Mcgowan signed on full time along with striker Armour, the 20 year old paisley born shot stopper impressed during his handful of appearances for the first team earning himself a full time spot. McGowan was rewarded with an additional year on top of his existing deal, breaking into the first team 2016 against Spartans after the first team goalkeeper suffering a nasty case of concussion.

First team manager was questioned on the keeping the players onboard

“In pre-season they’ll come with me and be with my group, as will Jai Quitongo, and then it’s really up to them after that in terms of how far they push themselves and how much they want it.”

So the clubs recent reshaping have offered up some talented individuals, so the prospects of a new  generation of players coming through the newly established pathway created is an exciting one.

Something to write about

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As you may have noticed I do like to write, mainly using that voice in my head without the filter to express my thoughts on coaching ideas. I would be keen to branch out into writing in other places but it appears to be something difficult to do without a degree or something else on your CV, in this case its purely a hobby of mine. Please get in touch through my personal twitter and we can work together.

 

 

Podcast Action

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Something I had wanted to do for a while now, I had put it off for long enough for various different reasons mainly I wasn’t comfortable with my own voice being online.

Eventually I plucked up the courage to set something out and the following recording is the result. If you would like to share your passion in coaching please get in touch and I can sort out a potential recording.

An image tells some stories

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Hello Folks.

A nice addition to the blog is some imagery, my dear and lovely friend Kelly, who is a freelance photographer, has kindly agreed to offer up some of her magnificent work for you to enjoy. At the moment she will supply us with stadium visits, perhaps expanding on this at some point.

Please head over to her twitter to get a further visual on her well documented work. Or have a look below.

We also did a Q&A with her a while back.

 

Historic Writing

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More source stuff, written all the way back when Lennon left.

Neil Lennon has moved, looking for something new and fresh following a hugely successful four years at the helm of celtic, a club very close to his heart.

The impression given by his behaviour was that the board were not willing to match his ambition to progress and add to the current celtic setup, and with his stock rising to the levels where he was linked with some premiership post’s it was time for him to move on.

It’s true within scottish football times have changed, no longer does any part of the old firm profile emanate the same excitement and pull. However, the debate continues to rage on who would take the currently vacant post.

Roy Keane was the first to establish contact, rumours suggest that celtic were unable to lure the Irishman to parkhead (with the pointless sidenote of him deciding to move to edinburgh if he did take it on)

Others linked to the opportunity is former Manchester United gaffer David Moyes, his reputation ruined after a destructive time at old trafford, it would prove to be an ideal opportunity for him to rebuild his shattered profile. Others suggested would be the celtic legend Henrik Larsson, which the fans would approve of, although his management style is currently unproven. Former West Brom manager Steve Clarke is the next man to be added to the hat, out of employment ever since his frankly ridiculous release, the saltcoats man possesses a vase source of experience and his well known no nonsense approach would keep the celtic squad in line. As tradition dictates the rumour mill produces its usual items, dan petrescu, willie mcstay, paul clement (of Real Madrid) even jackie mcnamara has been suggested.

Ultimately Parkhead will be full of interest to find out who will take over, but the days of the headline news are over.

Quality Control

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This is an important moment for football.

First of all I want to make a point, I don’t have an ego in terms of what I do. I do what I do because I love it, if the footballers that listen learn something from what I do then that’s even better, just means I’m doing what I love and people are benefiting from that. A few evenings ago I came across a training session, I like to observe as an important part of coaching is a continuation of learning, to perhaps steal some ideas and adapt them for myself. I was excited to see a coach kitted out in SFA level all weather jacket, tracksuit and the likes, my expectations were high so the notepad was out.

What followed was a shock.

18 players present he prepared two very short channels of cones for a warm up, this caused a back log of players including very little room for any player to perform the relevant stretches. subsequently the coach setup 3 massive rondo boxes, having far too much room allowed the players to relax and have time to move the ball without the pressure of a pressing player. He quietly approached each one the the boxes quietly presumably to explain the routine. During this time over 70% of the players were doing that routine without observation or a coordinated process, afterwards he merged the 3 into two rondos. Then afterwards he merges the 2 into one giant rondo box with two players pressing in the middle. This leaves numerous players non active in a typical Scottish weather environment and at risk of injury. Eventually the miserable session came to an end and he put the players together to start a game, he specifically set out each team having the players that “made an effort” in one team and the other team consisted of a group deemed lazy during the previous routines, and that was it. The session was done.

There was no point where the coach stopped the game to make a coaching point, there was no voice controlling and coordinating what was going on. Simply the players were left to their own devices.

Now going back to what I said originally, I don’t actively claim that I am better than anyone else, I make a point of remaining grounded in terms of my attitude, but in this case I was shocked as to the lack of enthusiasm and care put into the session. Of course I can’t name or shame, this would lack professionalism and put a bad light on a perfectly good club.

Morton Prospects

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We are seeing more and more prospects emerge from the fully reconstructed academies of Scotland, former full timer Derek Anderson leads the way as Head of Youth Academy, tasked with identifying suitable individuals to be added to the ever expanding ranks. In terms of qualified persons Anderson secured himself a UEFA “A” Licence and has playing experience with Hibs and Kilmarnock.

As part of the academies redevelopment Director Warren Hawke, who has a degree in business management, will handle all things finance related to allow all energy to be spent on the important subject of football.

The 26 staff members are there now to support this development, so the key in terms of pointing these players in the right direction is dedication. Work behind the scenes has resulted in the full development of a player pathway, which meets the SFA demanded criteria.

The fruits of their labour consist of Ben Armour, who the next best thing to come out of Cappielow, following his signing for the club September 2016 from Queens Park he made his first appearance for the current development team the subsequent April time against Dumfermline, the 19 year old striker recently signed a 6 months extension to his existing deal with Greenock Morton to turn professional and keep him an active member until January 2018. Armour he known for his instinctive finishing and being in the right place at the right time, such attributes present a nightmare for the most talented of defenders.

Another prospect Jamie Mcgowan signed on full time along with striker Armour, the 20 year old paisley born shot stopper impressed during his handful of appearances for the first team earning himself a full time spot. McGowan was rewarded with an additional year on top of his existing deal, breaking into the first team 2016 against Spartans after the first team goalkeeper suffering a nasty case of concussion.

First team manager was questioned on the keeping the players onboard

“In pre-season they’ll come with me and be with my group, as will Jai Quitongo, and then it’s really up to them after that in terms of how far they push themselves and how much they want it.”

So the clubs recent reshaping have offered up some talented individuals, so the prospects of a new generation of players coming through the newly established pathway created is an exciting one.

Breathing Space

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Small note,

Delighted to announce that the blog has linked up with the recently advertised Breathing Space which is a charity actively supporting those that perhaps are not feeling so great in their own mind. Breathing space offers an opportunity to speak to someone, have a conversation about how you are feeling at that time and maybe finding a way to deal with that at the time, or to simply get something off your chest. Such an opportunity is invaluable.

A small image has been added showing a contact number 🙂

Remember guys and girls, you are never alone.

SSMAFL

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Took some existing text from the web site and made it better (i think)

Naturally the idea was rejected of course.

Welcome to the only official website for the Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur Football League sponsored by STAX TRADE CENTERS

Stax Trade Centres SSMAFL announce major project

The league structure and cup competitions have had major changes approved by its member clubs for 2016-17 onwards.

League Division Structure.

The Premier Division will be increased from 12 to 14 clubs. Instead of a first and second division there will now be a division 1A and 1B. This means that clubs could only play one full season before getting into the Premier Division. The bottom two clubs in the Premier Division and the end of the season will be relegated, replaced by the champions of 1A and 1B.

The clubs that finished second and third in 1A and 1B would then enter a play-off competition, the winners of which would face third from bottom in the premier league to determine who would complete the league for the following season.

The league feel that this will add additional excitement at the end of a season and some major fixtures being played with a lot at stake, increasing the challenge for clubs involved.

Cup Competitions.

No changes will be made to The Strathclyde Cup and Tommy Marshall Trophy.

Radical changes will be made to all other competitions, All clubs will be randomly drawn in 8 different sections. The section teams will then play against each other once in a league format, once these fixtures are complete the teams will be split accordingly. The winner of each section will then progress to the Champions Cup. These eight teams will compete in one legged cup ties up to and including the cup final.

The second and third placed teams from each section will enter into the Presidents Cup. These 16 clubs will again play in one legged ties up to and including the final.

The remaining teams in the sections will then proceed into the Challenge Cup, which will again be a one legged cup competition.

The league feel that this major restructuring and extra cup competitions will give clubs of equal standing more of an opportunity to achieve success. We also feel that this will made the  league a more attractive prospect to new and existing clubs.

OTHER MAJOR NEWS

After a lot of consideration, the league are also now open to starting an afternoon section or divisions. The benefits would be that clubs can join a progressive and strong league set-up, well run league with good management, and therefore forming an all round amateur league regardless of playing time. This could result in a type of super league, with costs being reduced for clubs by having larger leagues.

Anyone interested in applying to join us should contact League Secretary

Andy Bryant on 07403 019219 or at abrymac@btinternet.com

Please take some time to visit our Business Partners section.

We are actively seeking Cup Finals Match Ball sponsors, and Program advertisers

Our local rules pages have been amended and I strongly urge you to read them, along with the standard constitution of the SAFA to ensure you stay within the rules of competition.

THE LEAGUE IS ACTIVELY SEEKING NEW MEMBER CLUBS FOR 2016-17 SEASON. PLEASE CONTACT US FOR AN APPLICATION FORM.

Clubs applying to join us who are currently playing in another league, are reminded that their application must be approved by the SAFA no later than 28 February, as per rule 5

Please contact our membership secretary for an application form. His details are on the League Executive page of this website.

Make sure you are kept up to date with Fixtures, Results & News via Facebook by clicking the Like button at the left hand side of the page.

League Fixtures, Results & Tables can be found at the top of the page, with Cup Fixtures and Referee Contacts having their own page. League History and past Trophy winners can be found on the Roll Of HonourHall of Fame and Awards pages.

Downloadable Team lines, referee reports and Registration Forms are available on the Forms page.

There are several newer pages also, so have a good look through our site.

The League is happy to hear from Companies and Businesses who can assist us promote amateur football amongst our circa 1,000 players across Strathclyde.

The Standard Constitution is available in full to download from the SAFA website, but will have been distributed to all clubs via e-mail. Our own local rules will also appear on the constitution page of our websites. I have also added a copy of the SAFA Suspensions for Standard Offences under Disciplinary. Suspensions due to Standard Offences are also now on the website.

There is a full section on all clubs and their information including kit colours and contacts.

There is also a links section for Clubs and Association/Leagues external site. If you want your club to be on it please email myself an image (ideally square or round) and the website address.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you need any assistance please contact the executive relevant to your club.