Off the back of covid and with financial restraints placed on families, 2002 was a challenge but it is a year that we can look back on with a great deal of pride.
During the summer there was a dip in our numbers but we are now back to over 200 players a week with waiting lists for a number of sessions. Our successful 'Developing the Player' session plans have remained constant throughout, with the introduction of more 3v3 games and Player Development Forms. From a development perspective the more small sided games we provide the players the better they develop. All the stats back this up. There's more contact time on the ball, a greater number of duals in attacking and defending, increased decision making and players making more mistakes. We learn from mistakes. The Player Development Forms provide a better link with the players and their parents and an opportunity to discuss their progress and areas that they can develop at sessions, in games or at home. We will look to do this every 6 months.
Future objectives -
We are delighted to have completed the male pathway from u7 all the way to our first team. Our teams include all different levels of players and the results of the youth teams are not a priority. Players are placed at an appropriate level based on their ability, age and physicality and where they are challenged.
The first team has started this season really well and remain undefeated in the SFL Edinburgh.
Our youth teams have done really well and compete in the Futsal Escocia Youth leagues in Fife.
The u15 girls were victorious in the recent Futsal Cup in Kettering, winning at the u15 and u16 age groups.
Future objectives -
The whole structure of our academy and teams is to develop better players and to create a fun and challenging environment for them to do so.
2022 has seen a lot of success for current and ex players.
International Call Ups
We are extremely proud of the following players who were selected to represent Scotland at their age groups:
Well done to everyone!! This provides players with the confidence that they can follow in their path. I'm sure they won't be the last!!
We have a really high number of current and ex players that have progressed to professional academies (103 at the last count). We do not restrict the players in terms of clubs to play for and actively encourage the players and parents to try different options should they be fortunate enough to be asked. We have players that have signed for Rangers, Celtic, Hearts, Hibs, Aberdeen, Dundee United, Dundee, St Johnstone, Dunfermline Athletic, Livingston, Alloa and East Fife. The easy bit is getting signed, the difficulty is staying there and progressing to the first teams.
Becoming a footballer is difficult and most, if not all of the players, will experience rejection and a coach or club telling them they are not good enough. We do all that we can to support players in their journey and through the ups and downs. No 2 players will have the same route. They all develop at different times.
Congratulations to everyone that has signed for a pro academy this year and to those that haven't, don't get too upset as we have clear evidence that you do not have to be signed at 9 years of age to go on and become a player. None of the players that have international call ups were in the pro academy structure at 9!!
IFA Scotland Selection
We do not want to just provide a football pathway. As a futsal academy we want our players to have ambitions in futsal as well. I have no doubts that we will see Futsal Escocia players go on to play Champions League futsal, represent their country at full national level and potentially even play pro futsal abroad.
In the summer the following players were selected to represent IFA Scotland in a youth tournament in Spain. The tournament was a fantastic experience for the players and coaches involved:
Our coaches are all a year wiser and a year more experienced. It is important that our coaches have a desire to continue to improve and to develop themselves. Head Coach Russell Taylor completed his Futsal UEFA B in Finland and Robert Peddie and Alec Raeside gained a massive amount of experience coaching in Spain. Alec and Russell also completed further education courses on Strength & Conditioning and Tactical Analysis with FC Barcelona. This experience will only benefit the players and teams. Further experience will be gained for a number of coaches from La Masia in April.
We look forward to seeing our players, coaches and teams continue to challenge themselves to get to where they want to be. Together we can push each other to achieve and surpass our objectives.
Bring on 2023 and the future!!