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Another Folded U21 Team Before The Season Starts 19-20

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Last night I was left scunnered again as another U21 team has folded before the season starts.
At this moment that means there has been two excellent teams who have folded, one who previously won the Scottish Youth Cup at U19s.
Clydebank U21s (99s-00) and Kirkintilloch U21s (00-01), that's just under 40 odd players lost to football unless they find teams,

What are the reasons, not sure there is a particular reason that can be pinpointed but personally I feel there are less and less teams participating in U21 (nope I don't have any stats to back up).
I know Clydebank found it hard for Saturdays, they had the players but most were only available on a Friday and Sunday and the Clydebank Academy thought it was a great idea for another U21 league on different days and were backing them up. Kirky, I found out that they didn't have enough players as most couldn't be available due, mainly to work, again the Kirky management were interested in another league on different days. Hopefully both these teams will start up u21s in the future.

As individual coaches we look at ourselves and think are we doing the best for the players and the team.  As a coach, I'm sure we all think of it, well I hope so, I know if a session doesn't go well or there are problems with the players attitudes with the team, management and or coaching  then id make sure it gets better and I'm sure both of the teams have looked at this but in reality don't thinks its anything to do with that but in all honesty when the players are not available on game times or even training times then its not going to happen.

Of course with 25 odd east of Scotland  junior teams going senior and taking local youth clubs with them, then this has affected the U21 leagues and challenge from the east, (hopefully these new senior teams will eventually start up U21 teams in the future but not looking likely.

The current set up for U21s is the same as it has been for a long time, just one league, so the regional is just a cup that involved the full divisions of the league, no challenge from other league.  I know there was a selection of U21s teams this year including the one which folded contacting the SYFA asking permission to start another u21 league for either a Friday or Sunday game times. The group was shot down in flames by the SYFA with a NO, (I do not have the full details of the conversation but as far as I'm aware with conversation with a few from the group and others that is was a no).  Thinking to myself why, if there are plenty of teams and coaches wanting to move to a different day and arrange to set up a league at least the SYFA could have or should have worked out a report to see the viability of this construction to see if it will benefit and grow u21 football or harm them.   Personally is it not part of the SYFA remit to improve and grow youth football, SFA take note. 

Although I'm definitely not an advocate for the current SYFA, I think its more a job for the boys but they cant be held totally accountable for the reason of teams folding but right now there needs to be substantial changes to help improve and grow youth and u21 football.

This problem regarding only one U21 league was touched  back in march on the post  and asking for peoples ideas on improvements 

Everything needs to be taken into account, cost of pitches, availability of pitches, youths as they get older, the interests change with work, drink, nights out gaming etc..
For the older types like myself, we all know everyone played football even if you weren't into it at school, lads still got involved as it was a good social aspect for all but now with everything open and opportunity choices a lot don't both with football as much or its hard to keep them interested.

 

There is no definitive reason for U21 teams folding, its happened every year, even when I was younger but we are at an age where there is less U21 teams and any ideas to help should be welcomed and embraced by everyone.

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread
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3 hours ago, Bestsinceslicebread said:

Of course with 25 odd east of Scotland  junior teams going senior and taking local youth clubs with them, then this has affected the U21 leagues and challenge from the east, (hopefully these new senior teams will eventually start up U21 teams in the future but not looking likely. 

Don't think clubs going senior affected things much,  as the east was in decline anyway - season before 25 Junior clubs joined the EoS in June 2018, there was just six U21s teams: https://web.archive.org/web/20171001150448/http://seryfa-online.info/age-group/u21s/u21s-league-tables-2017-2018

Prior to that there was 13 but it reduced to 8 near the end of the season:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170110122240/http://www.seryfa-online.info/age-group/u21s/u21s-league-tables-2016-2017

https://web.archive.org/web/20170427134453/http://www.seryfa-online.info/age-group/u21s/u21s-league-tables-2016-2017

I highly doubt any of the senior clubs will start up U21s, when they have a 35-strong Lowlands U20s Development League in operation on Friday nights. The likes of Bonnyrigg, Haddington, Newtongrange and Musselburgh who had U21 teams, now have U20s. Clydebank and some other clubs would surely be better accessing that. This was brought up by someone on the LL forum:

 

Edited by Ginaro

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18 hours ago, Ginaro said:

Don't think clubs going senior affected things much,  as the east was in decline anyway - season before 25 Junior clubs joined the EoS in June 2018, there was just six U21s teams: https://web.archive.org/web/20171001150448/http://seryfa-online.info/age-group/u21s/u21s-league-tables-2017-2018

Prior to that there was 13 but it reduced to 8 near the end of the season:

https://web.archive.org/web/20170110122240/http://www.seryfa-online.info/age-group/u21s/u21s-league-tables-2016-2017

https://web.archive.org/web/20170427134453/http://www.seryfa-online.info/age-group/u21s/u21s-league-tables-2016-2017

I highly doubt any of the senior clubs will start up U21s, when they have a 35-strong Lowlands U20s Development League in operation on Friday nights. The likes of Bonnyrigg, Haddington, Newtongrange and Musselburgh who had U21 teams, now have U20s. Clydebank and some other clubs would surely be better accessing that. This was brought up by someone on the LL forum:

 

Hey Ginaro thanks for your input

To be honest 'in decline in the east', decline is a decline whether east or west, I suppose that's what I'm getting at which is for people who are genuinely interested in youth football know its not good. Even though I'm west based, I would love nothing more than to see a vibrant, expressive standard of football with teams from west and...east, south and north.  it seems as if we are  all  sitting and watching the u21 grassroots while it just continues to decline. With the east teams folding or disappearing, it is an effect, a cause and effect of note. 

As far as I'm aware Clydebank U20 clubs cannot access this as they are not senior teams so they therefor cannot access the U20 development league. 

Think those who asked for another league on different days were asking for this as it was seemingly easier for them and keeps their players involved in football.  There is only one U21 league in the west with a couple of divisions.  With an academy that are associated with junior teams, most academy's are independent but join on thus if some one, a new coach not affiliated to any academy for example starts a team at U21 then said team maybe able to join the academy and thus come under the umbrella of the senior/junior outfit, so I wouldn't expect the senior/junior teams to help the new team but in reality just show an interest once a team starts.

I'm strongly for, another league forming for U21 and playing on different days purely are it gives a chance to keep more players involved in football and any teams that have a first team more of a chance to be noticed and interest shown by everything first team.

The east decline is one reason, no challenge for the Scottish Cup either so the winners will be from the west of Scotland league every year, and the Regional cup winner from the west league, how boring.


I would love to see the SYFA look into this matter and see if anything can be done to improve or give some help to stop teams folding.

but anyone with any ideas of any kind to help I'm sure is better than just watching the football as it declines.

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread

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Why don't u21s team look into playing amateur,  various league's now have a development league that could allow a transition from 19s/21s straight to amateur.   I know on a Sunday  Airdrie/Coatbridge amateur league have one and I believe so do the Football central set-up,  Strathclyde Saturday morning have also started one this season.

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2 hours ago, airdrie utd 2002 said:

Why don't u21s team look into playing amateur,  various league's now have a development league that could allow a transition from 19s/21s straight to amateur.   I know on a Sunday  Airdrie/Coatbridge amateur league have one and I believe so do the Football central set-up,  Strathclyde Saturday morning have also started one this season.

Thanks Airdrie
I get what your saying and are totally correct but I don't think your getting the main point of the post, the lads can easily find an amateur team individually or as a unit but its not about that, the bigger question is the state we find our youth system in, especially the U21s. I know personally the Clydebank U21 management looked at helping the u21s boys find teams, either at u21s or amateur and I'm sure the Kirky management, whom I know, will have or doing the same for their players but those are individual stories of teams. 

.
Players of every team at U21s will eventually be too old for U21s and if none of the lads at U21s make a higher level then they go to an amateur team, obviously all Varian degrees of standard but the main objectives are, keep the players involved in football and have as many players developed to a standard that hopefully they go onto to a higher level and as a coach and part of management teams we should make those opportunities opened for a chance that some or all of the players to reach the higher level.

I have worked at every level of grassroots youth systems, seen teams win Scottish cups and knew they wouldn't last. Seen coaches at U21s and U19s of different teams thinking they are doing well, challenging for trophies etc.. but hardly any of their lads will go onto to a higher level. That's obviously got to do with the individual coaching and or the workings of each team but we need the whole system to flourish, not be stagnant and right now with one U21 league I think is a big problem.  (lets be clear, I'm totally for the current U21 league to exists and I ain't knocking the league)  but if there was two different leagues would it be perfect, no but I believe it would be better than we have now. Would two leagues be the perfect solution to improving the youth system, No but it would help improve  a little.  lets put it this way.  Which players would have a better chance of getting more exposure to  the first team, the first team fans and supporters, the teams that play on either a Friday or a Sunday than a Saturday. So a choice would be good.  We had a lot of boys join our Pollok U19s team who played on a Saturday and most of the lads weren't used to it as Saturday was what their previous team played, now most of those lads are playing either at a higher level, with the first team, other junior team, senior teams part and full time. it works, seen it work and most of those boys will say the same and they are all glad they moved to a Sunday.  Obviously the coaching was of top notch, not meaning me by the way. The exposure online and within the first team was fantastic so they had all the help that playing on a Saturday restricts.  The Saturday league at u21s I believe will always exist and hope so but id love to see another u21 league and hopefully playing on different days.

 

but that's only part of the problem, any trickle of help can eventually flow into a river and make our football, youth system top notch and thus have a knock on effect to the junior seen, and the senior and amateur scene.

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread

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A lot of boys who could play U/21 are going straight to junior these days

There are local clubs who are full of these players in their squads and don't play them

But the players then don't come back as they think it's now beneath them

The same problem that pro youth has created down at younger level

Social media is full of teams going about their success

Boys aren't going to teams unless it's a winning team

I know boys who will hang around a successful team but get little game time

These players would be better playing in average or poor teams who could get better but it's a waste of time

That's the attitude these days if you don't win,don't bother

Fitba is great in this country until the weans become teenagers i have found

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On ‎12‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 19:23, Uncle Scan said:

A lot of boys who could play U/21 are going straight to junior these days

There are local clubs who are full of these players in their squads and don't play them

But the players then don't come back as they think it's now beneath them

The same problem that pro youth has created down at younger level

Social media is full of teams going about their success

Boys aren't going to teams unless it's a winning team

I know boys who will hang around a successful team but get little game time

These players would be better playing in average or poor teams who could get better but it's a waste of time

That's the attitude these days if you don't win,don't bother

Fitba is great in this country until the weans become teenagers i have found

Hey Uncle Sam
thanks for that

"A lot of boys who could play U/21 are going straight to junior these days
There are local clubs who are full of these players in their squads and don't play them
".

True but definitely not a lot of boys but only to teams who are struggling and or no money, I can name junior teams but wont.

Also young boys being with junior teams and not getting games, well there are many factors. Lads being ill advised to sign for such a team, boys who think they are good enough but just aint.  Parents pushing the lads to go to a bigger team when the lad just aint ready. Its one of the reasons why we have the '|Duel Contracts' so if a lad isn't getting game time then he can go with the U21s, (again playing on the same day, there are restrictions).   I was even part of a U19s where the first team manager signed two of our boys on duel contracts without our permission or knowledge.  It came to light the next day and there was a big kick up.  Talking about youths being ill advised .
However, I will say that's the reason how I came to start my junior career. Benburb sacked most of their professional players, the following year, no money so they brought in youth players, which I was one.

 

You said  "But the players then don't come back as they think it's now beneath them 
The same problem that pro youth has created down at younger level
".

Yip totally agree with the beneath them comment, seen it and heard of it. Pro youth is a whole different can of worms. For me the basic pro youth teams have a team of players, just for talking sake, 30 odd but in reality they are only interested in 2 or 3. One of the teams I was at where I was a youth coach, we received players from full time teams and part time teams because they, allegedly didn't cut the mustard. I even remember another team in our academy at same age receiving about 5 players who were let go and they admitted there didn't have a clue what was happening while at the pro youth set up..

 

You said    ""Social media is full of teams going about their success

Boys aren't going to teams unless it's a winning team

I know boys who will hang around a successful team but get little game time

These players would be better playing in average or poor teams who could get better but it's a waste of time

That's the attitude these days if you don't win, don't bother"

Yip totally agree but these lads sound as if they haven't been given the best advice during their youth period, especially for experienced players. Ffs we had 5 players sign duel contracts with Pollok and most of them thought they had made it, we told them all they had was the door opened for them to really start work and a few left due to no game time or miss management.  years ago, my own boy joined a youth team because they had won the Scottish cup and league etc.. and I said to him 'NO, don't join' as I felt the management was only interested in winning. Unfortunately I was right, the team folded at U19s and most of the boys were left to go elsewhere and nearly all never made a higher level.   Regarding social media about teams going on about their success, yes I've seen it many times and certain teams I've thought "so full of shite". I know they are only interested in themselves and the players will be lost in the wind to go and do their own thing when older.

I know one coach, who is at an academy, only puts up winning scores or puts up when a game is happening but nothing else if they get beat.
We had a different approach, Putting the details up, then later on the scores, good or bad and match report and then details of training sessions and how they went and what methods/drills etc.. we used to work on if there was any problems or recurrences of mistakes etc...

 

You said        "Fitba is great in this country until the weans become teenagers i have found "

lolololol, I get it, i so get that from first hand experience but first of all that's just normal, youths becoming adults but that's in us as coaches to deal with and have a good understanding. You cannot act a way with the team at U13s and act the same way with them when they are U19s, you have to change with them.  Regarding fitba is great in this country, yeah but great to everyone is different.

As stated my view is that youth football is dwindling, there's only 'thirty three U21 teams in the west of Scotland this year' that I am aware of, that is shocking compared to what it used to be. I'm glad the west of Scotland league has made a west section and an east section which will help a few teams from travelling to far.

I remember I put a proposal into an academy and they all had a chat about it at length and one of the proposals was at the academy to have an overall coach to help bring the teams along or coaches at each age especially for U21, U19s U17, (the overseeing coach would not be in control but help with their experience to develop the youths and help the main coaches) and one of the coaches of a younger team, stood up and shouted "I aint letting any fe*&£ing" coach take control of 'MY team'.  I just thought to myself this is another typical coach where the team is all about Him and not the youths.  All coaches should bounce of each other, help each other learn from each others experience, watch coaching sessions and pick up the good points and don't use the bad points.

 

But as I said this post is about the state of the u21s level and other youth football ages and it is dwindling and needs help and ideas to flourish

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread

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Can I just say, I feel as if this post is like doom and gloom but far from it, all levels will reach their eventual level at each era, the same that happens to junior and seniors, the national team etc... and youth football is fine and doing well but certain areas are dwindling, some of it outwit out control.

Youths as they get older start to not being bothered with the hassle and with opportunity of the internet, play stations, Xboxs etc.., work, drink, girls, drugs, its an every increasing battle to keep them interested in football thus any ideas to help improve it should be welcomed by the SYFA and the SFA etc...

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread

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You obviously have not explored this subject.
You have not contacted the current u21s league and asked how to expand the existing league to include a Sunday league as that would be the obvious solution.

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On ‎13‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 20:36, john.a said:

You obviously have not explored this subject.
You have not contacted the current u21s league and asked how to expand the existing league to include a Sunday league as that would be the obvious solution.

John do me a favour you don't know what I have or have not done, obviously, so don't make statements that you do not know.
I am interested in youth development, that's a fact, I'm not a coach of any U21 team so I'm not going to ask leagues or committees etc...

 Oh and John, you were asked personally about your views on your team or teams playing on a Sunday and or Friday and you said 'NO', that's a fact, the same day as another head coach was asked and he also said No. There are and was a number of U21 teams who are interested in playing on another day outside of a Saturday and they contacted the SYFA and leagues etc..  I don't have the full details are I was not or party to such discussions as I do not know what age I will go back to coaching if I decide to do so thus I did not want or asked to be involved in such discussions.

The posters who have posted comments on here have been trying to be positive of which I have put my view of those posts and hopefully others will do so.
If you feel you want to contribute to a post with positivity without being negative, then offer ideas to the viewers, not just negativity.  Use your experience and bring the game forward, don't keep it stagnant.

 

The U21 league on a different day is only one idea, if there are more ideas then hopefully people will put it on the table and help to improve youth football.

 

On another topic of ideas, (which has been mentioned before), I know players who play u21s and play with amateurs on a different day which SYFA say is not allowed. personally this should be allowed as they are different bodies and don't affect each other, (but sending offs should be an effect)

This would allow the youth lads to play with a Saturday U21s team and then play on a Sunday with an amateur team and learn from different experiences and different types of football.  Development should come as one of the first priority as standard, but a minority do not share the same view

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread

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John do me a favour you don't know what I have or have not done, obviously, so don't make statements that you do not know.
I am interested in youth development, that's a fact, I'm not a coach of any U21 team so I'm not going to ask leagues or committees etc...

 Oh and John, you were asked personally about your views on your team or teams playing on a Sunday and or Friday and you said 'NO', that's a fact, the same day as another head coach was asked and he also said No. There are and was a number of U21 teams who are interested in playing on another day outside of a Saturday and they contacted the SYFA and leagues etc..  I don't have the full details are I was not or party to such discussions as I do not know what age I will go back to coaching if I decide to do so thus I did not want tor asked to be involved in such discussions.

The posters who have posted comments on here have been trying to be positive of which I have put my view of those posts and hopefully others will do so.
If you feel you want to contribute to a post with positivity without being negative, then offer ideas to the viewers, not just negativity.  Use your experience and bring the game forward, don't keep it stagnant.
 
The U21 league on a different day is only one idea, if there are more ideas then hopefully people will put it on the table and help to improve youth football.
 
On another topic of ideas, (which has bene mentioned before), I know players who play u21s and play with amateurs on a different day which SYFA say is not allowed. personally this should be allowed as they are different bodies and don't affect each other, (but sending offs should be an effect)
this would allow the youth lads to play like with w Saturday U21s team and then play on a Sunday with an amateur team and learn form different experiences and different types of football.
Again you have not explored this in detail.
There is a form that allows u19s and u21s who play in a Saturday league to play for an amateur Sunday team. There is also the option of Saturday amateur player to play with a u21 Sunday team if such a league was to be formed

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On ‎13‎/‎07‎/‎2019 at 21:48, john.a said:

Again you have not explored this in detail.
There is a form that allows u19s and u21s who play in a Saturday league to play for an amateur Sunday team. There is also the option of Saturday amateur player to play with a u21 Sunday team if such a league was to be formed

If it improves u21 football of which you have been involved in a long time then you do it.
I have worked with different ages and used my experience to help[ develop lads and girls at different ages so in the past I've been busy enough, sometimes coaching 5 nights a week.  There are coaches out there who coach at youth level but don't give a shit about the youth level, they only care about themselves, and their team and even the ones who care about their team are only really interested in winning, not to cared what happens to the lads once they are too old for U21s or other ages if they are leaving the coaches team.

Last year the SYFA stated  to me that no U19 / U21 player could play with a U19 /  U21 team and then play with an amateur team.  if this has changed then great, hopefully people will look into it and make it more easily assessible so u21 players can play with an amateur team while playing with a Saturday U21 team. Even better if there was an U21 league on a Sunday or Friday and they could play with an amateur team on a Saturday .  As stated I whole admit to being a youth coach but not at a particular age. I have proposed plenty and done plenty to help academy's improve and expand and well as develop youths at different ages.

You can ask yourself, honestly

is u21 football improving ? is it stagnant ? or is it in decline ?
What do you think from your experience, what would improve youth football especially at the age you volunteer at ?

Personally at U21s is critical in the way to keep lads involved in football as at this age quite a few just pack it in either because they are fed up, not getting a game or work comes first or nights out etc...

 

The Saturday amateur player being able to play with an Sunday amateur team and a Saturday team has 'always' existed as I have played with two on different days for years when I was younger so its no big deal but it defiantly did not exist for a long time unless it has changed for an U21 player recently which I will look so see clarification as I'm genuinely interested in this.

I am not a complete fan of the Syfa, yes you have to have a body in control but they need to be more receptible and open  to others with experience but I will say as stated above, its a hard job for them trying to improve youth football, not just for them but for anyone in the job. However I will say, open your eyes and ears and just listen to the experienced people who are working in these situations and conditions and if they come up with ideas or find problems that are hindering then they should look into it and hopefully if good ideas then help together to improve, not slam the door shut. We are a nation of 5 million or so and there are less people playing football in our country than they were 20, 30 odd year ago mainly due to the options open to everyone outside of football and its accessibility.  We need to make football more enticing and not put obstacles in the way for the youths and the coaches.

 

 

Edited by Bestsinceslicebread

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