Craigpark Colts under 13s are celebrating winning the Central Scotland FA League B title after dropping just six points all season.
Having taken their first season of 11-a-side football in their stride, they now play at a higher level and the team’s secretary, Stuart Caulfield was delighted with the progress made this season.
“As a team we ended the league with the best defensive record, best goal difference and finished the league unbeaten, this is a great achievement which was achieved by the boys playing as a team throughout the whole season and when things got tough the boys and coaches stuck together and ultimately won through” he told Youth Football Scotland.
Not only did they triumph in the league but the Craigpark also impressed in the cup competitions as well beating the likes of Airdrie and Giffnock Milan in the Scottish and Regional Cups and Caulfield singled out that match against Milan as one of the highlights of the season, saying “The Milan game in the Regional Cup was one of the highlights of the season. In that game we defended well and attacked in numbers and ultimately won a closely competed game”.
But of course, it is the league that is the bread and butter for all youth football clubs, and a victory against title rivals Rosebank proved crucial in Craigpark’s league triumph.
“The decisive games where the ones against Camelon away, Rosebank at home and Lenzie” Caulfield said.
“In all these games the boys performed great and got the results required. Against Camelon and Rosebank the boys dug deep and pulled out the performances that saw us take all 3 points. Against Lenzie at home the boys went down 1-0 early on with a debatable penalty but this spurred the boys on and they then produced a magnificent foot balling display which resulted in us winning 8-1. At the end of the game the Lenzie coach commented “you gave us a footballing lesson there”.
Caulfield believes that the teamwork has been the key for Craigpark this season, especially when the team has found things difficult on the park.
“The boys have learned that they win and lose as a team. When times get hard you need to rely on your teams mates and keep fighting. I think they have grown in stature and confidence throughout the season and now believe they are capable of competing and winning against any opposition, which is what the coaches have known all season” he said.
It was that teamwork and togetherness throughout the Craigpark team that has been most impressive for Caulfield. While some teams rely on a single player or two to pull the team up a level, a strong defence, a coupled with a natural attacking instinct have laid the foundations for the Craigpark’s success.
He said “I think the whole team have performed fantastic. All starts show that we finished the top goal scorers and with the best defence in the league but this are due to the team as a whole and not individuals. So I would like to give every single player a special mention and encourage them to continue their form into next season”.
It hopefully will not be the last of Craigpark’s success and they have already turned their heads towards next season, even dreaming of Scottish Cup glory.
“Our ambition for next season is to continue to play some great attacking football. We will be in a higher league which will result in us player better stronger teams. I am sure the boys will manage with the stronger challenge. Ideally we would love to compete in the league and have a long run in the Scottish Cup and Regional Cup. It would be fantastic to see the boys lift the Scottish Cup next season” Caulfield said.
So the bar has been set even higher and judging by this season’s success, the 2015/16 season could bring yet more joy to the players at Craigpark.