English Premiership Trip
The first full Academy trip saw Forth Valley travel south of the border to Burnley for games against the English Premiership sides Academy squads. The group consisted of 90 players and 16 members of staff including coaches, medical personnel and members of the recruitment team. Leaving from the Falkirk Stadium the group travelled down on Friday 21st October to the 4 star Bolton Whites Hotel based on site at the clubs Macron Arena. Game one of the weekend pitted the Academy’s senior squad, the U17s against their Burnley counterparts at the clubs training ground. A highly competitive game finished 3-2 in favour of Forth Valley with Jarvis and Coulter x 2 on the scoresheet. The U11s and U12s watched the game and were given a task of watching a player in their position as part of a role model analysis exercise.
Meanwhile back in the Hotel the U13-15 players participated in a Sports Psychology workshop with Stirling University Masters student Christine Habeeb focussing on Mental Toughness in Sport. Christine leads the wider Academy Performance programme, a year round calendar of coach, player and parent workshops with the weekend offering a great setting for the second player’s workshop.
For the afternoon entertainment involved the group attending the Premiership tie between Burnley and Everton at Turf Moor. The home side managed a 2-1 victory much to the delight of the Academy players with former Academy and Falkirk FC player Scott Arfield grabbing the all-important winner in the 90th minute. Scott then spent time with the players after the game signing autographs and offering advice, a model professional the players can look up to.
Sunday was equally as busy with the U11-15 squads all in action, split between the clubs training ground and the indoor facility at Turf Moor. The Under 17 squad, reversing the previous day’s activities then observed the U11/12 players during the matches paying close attention to the 2 players they had spent the weekend mentoring, offering coaching and feedback on performance. The Academy players held their own against their English opponents managing to go the entire weekend unbeaten and impressing the Burnley FC Academy staff. Steve Carlin, Lead Phase Coach commented;
‘The games vs Forth Valley FA proved to be every bit as competitive and challenging as we hoped. Perhaps more importantly the players were a real credit to the Academy and partner clubs, even sweeping out the changing rooms at the end of the games’
The Clarets Academy staff members were so impressed by the quality, professionalism and high standards of everyone connected with Forth Valley FA they have already started planning a trip up to Scotland for return fixtures. The return fixtures will take place in 2017 with all supporters of Falkirk FC, Stenhousemuir FC and East Stirlingshire FC welcome along to support the players.
The players, coaches and support staff who attended the trip were an enormous credit to the Academy and partners, capable of setting and maintaining highly professional standards in an English Premiership environment. Forth Valley FA staff would also like to thank Complete Sports Solution, PE5 Sports Tours and Docherty’s Midlands Coaches for their support of the trip.