Community clubs are incomparable to actual academy’s. Real Fife (Raith Rovers CC u17) folded back in December, which is a pretty high level to have already lost.
Sure, one or two high prospects might be hidden in one of the CC teams, see Bowie at Glenrothes Strollers. But chances are the players in the CC will end up quitting after Under 20 level or go into the amateur leagues.
Most of the Raith U20 boys left after Craig Easton packed it. Jamie Watson, Dave Mckay, Ryan Stevenson (not that one), James Berry, Euan Valentine and Jack Smith stayed.
I personally think that unless you are a club with a proven track record that many players have came up and developed from (Motherwell, Hamilton), say Under 8s into your first team then it would be worth having an a full youth academy. We haven’t had players come through like that since Vaughan/Callachan/Matthews.
You could argue Tait and Bowie, but we picked them up at Under 18 level and got lucky we were still operating a reserve side when we picked them up so they had a season of game time before their breakout seasons. Fife Elite closing is a huge loss, as I think all our youth prospects came from there, but if we get one or two from the closure of FEFA, I won’t be too disappointed over it.
Maybe in the future a new Rovers academy could be considered if the funds are there and it becomes a viable option, but at the moment I don’t think it’s necessary.