Forth Valley Football Academy- Latest News
April 5th 2016
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Final place for the U15s
The Under 15 squad became the first squad to represent the academy in an oversees tournament after participating in the Portelois youth tournament which took place over the Easter weekend in Le Portal, France. The annual event attracts academy teams from all other Europe and beyond with this year’s event the 40th consecutive tournament.
The squad travelled by bus on Easter Friday to Dover before making the trip over to Calais by ferry. Saturday morning allowed the coaches and Academy Ambassador Alex Smith the chance to work with the players tactically with some shaping and patterns of play before the first game that afternoon. The first fixture pitted Forth Valley against French Championship side Boulogne which proved to be a tough first game. The game finished 0-0 with the French side creating the better of the chances. Sunday was a double header with 2 group games vs French local teams Etaples and As Marck. The squad performed well winning 3-0 (MacMillan, McBride, Hodge) then 2-0 (McBride, Johnston) to win the group without conceding a goal in the process and therefore securing a semi-final place. The semi-final took place on the Monday morning; the second last game of the trip was another tricky encounter against strong French opposition in the form of Academy side Croix with difficult weather conditions adding to the challenge. A disciplined and determined display ensured progress to the final with a hard fought 1-0 victory courtesy of an early Conor McBride goal. The players earned the right to play Belgian Premier League side Royal Mouscron Peruwelz in the showpiece final in the stadium. Despite taking an early lead through Andy Johnston the Belgians replied on the stroke of half time to make it all square at the break. The game continued to be evenly contested but it was our opponents who made the most of their chances scoring with 10 minutes to go to win the tournament.
Our players also took part in several educational projects whilst away including opposition analysis and post-match interviews and delivered presentations to academy coaches and staff of their experiences on their return further developing their leadership and personal development skills. The experiences the players gained travelling and playing European opposition in a competitive environment is sure to help to shape them as young players and individuals. Congratulations to all players, coaches and staff on representing FVFA and our clubs internationally with great professional performances, both on and off the field.
15 man squad- Calum Erskine, Kyle Mitchell, Yusef Hussain, Layton Wardrop, James Maxwell, Jack Hodge, Dominic Lavelle, Marky Munro, Andy Johnston, Robbie MacMillan, Conor McBride, Jordan Armstrong, Jay Bridgeford, Ryan Fleming and Jamie Scott. Coaches- Stevie Clarkson, Tam Beattie and Gordon Wylde.
The academy would like to thank Eastern Pennsylvania and Glentoran who played against our Under 12 squad over the Easter week, an experience enjoyed by all with 3 very competitive matches.
The Academy will take part in the first academy bio-banding festival taking place on Thursday 14th April. The event will select players for groups based on peak height velocity instead of age to counter the possible negative influence of relative age affect. Partick Thistle are hosting the festival with Celtic, St Mirren, Hamilton and Kilmarnock also attending. For the Forth Valley FA this follows shortly after our first venture into this type of game vs Swansea recently at the Falkirk Stadium.
Developing a Performance Mind-set
All academy squads U11-17 recently took part in workshops aimed at enhancing their mind-set to aid them in their overall development as a young football player. The workshops were delivered over a 2 week period by Stirling University Masters student Eimear McCarthy with a focus on positive self-talk and breathing techniques designed to support performance in football. The workshops form part of our education calendar where the players receive regular input from external contributors to maximise their academy learning experiences. The academy would like to thank Eimear for her valuable input.
Financial Planning Workshop
The academy would also like to express its gratitude to Russell and Aitken after directors from the company delivered a Financial Planning workshop to the U17 squad. The workshop was very well received and incredibly valuable for our senior squad.
Thank you to all our partners for their continued support