Forth Valley Academy latest news
The Academy U14 and U15 age groups enjoyed a trip to premiership club Swansea City over the Easter weekend Friday 3rd-Sunday 5th April. The squads travelled down on the Friday along with all staff members, Jamie, Kenny and Graeme as well as new Education and Welfare Officer Colin Burke. Squad coaches Willie Irvine, Robbie Liddell and U12 head coach and father of Swansea player Stephen Kingsley, Tony made up the rest of the coaching staff. Steph Wells also joined the group to lead as the physiotherapist and Alex Smith accompanied the group as Academy Ambassador and to provide further support to the young players.
The squads played 2 fixtures in total with the fist taking place at the Swansea Academy training facility on the Saturday morning. The facility is a £6m state of the art training venue which hosts all the Welsh clubs youth teams. Both squads competed well and played some very good football on the perfect grass surface. The games were close with Forth Valley taking the lead in both games through Robbie Macmillan U14s and Cieran Dunne U15s. The Forth Valley Academy players matched their Welsh counterparts throughout with the U14s drawing and the U15s losing narrowly. However due to the different age group categories the U15s were playing a mixed U15/16 squad. After the game the players, coaches and staff were treated to lunch at the Academy and the players were given a replica Swansea top.
The afternoon was spent watching Swansea vs Hull at the Liberty Stadium again courtesy of the club with the game finishing 3-1 to the Swans. Bafetimbi Gomis scored a double including a spectacular overhead kick before celebrating with the FVFA players- See attached picture below. Post-match offered a chance of some rehabilitation and recovery in the pool and sauna facilities at the hotel and the evening was then a quiet and early one in preparation for the games on Sunday.
Sunday’s games seen the FVFA players pitted against the Swansea School Boys squads at their respective age groups. The matches took place at the first team and U21 training ground. The facility located just outside the city centre is a new £16m development offering a second state of the art venue for the FVFA players. Former Falkirk FC player and Academy graduate Jay Fulton attended the games to watch and the FVFA players who responded positively with 2 strong performances in which they dominated the games before travelling back up the road.
Kenny Shiels remarked on the venture;
The trip was very beneficial to each of the young players and offered a fantastic insight into the workings of a premier league academy. It was extremely worthwhile and rewarding and demonstrated the players are more than capable of competing against some of the best youth players in the UK. The U14/15s conducted themselves in a professional manner throughout and were a credit to themselves and the Academy. The experience is one which is invaluable to their learning and football education. We would like to express our sincere thanks to Swansea City Football Club for their generous hospitality throughout the weekend. We hope to be able to visit the club again in the future.
This week’s fixtures
Saturday- U11/12s vs Fife Elite, 11am ko Stirling University
Sunday- U13s/14s vs Rangers, Murray Park
Sunday- U15s/17s vs Aberdeen, 12pm ko Stirling University