Sunday 18th January was a momentous occasion for the Elgin City youth development. Having recently been commended by the SFA in a youth audit and receiving a substantial grant to reward this, Sunday saw the beginning of another chapter for the Elgin City youth development.
The Club are delighted to announce that they have entered into an alliance with SPL giants Aberdeen to help develop talented young players in the North East of Scotland. Elgin City and Aberdeen FC will initiate and explore pathways of development for the youth players, which will see all avenues of progress identified and made available to the participants.
The partnership will allow a concentrated programme of development for the youngsters of this area. The intention is to facilitate the development of young players through the context of football, allowing each and every child to achieve a level of performance and development appropriate to their needs and desires. It will involve Elgin City coaches coaching the Aberdeen FC youth development players from the Moray area on a twice-weekly basis, alongside our own youth development players.
Elgin City coaches will benefit greatly from the experience of Aberdeen coaches and will be invited to Aberdeen FC in service days at their Youth Academy. Here they will be able to develop their coaching skills and watch how the SPL club trains its players. In addition to this Aberdeen FC will mentor a further two Elgin City coaches to the SFA level 4 qualification.
Aberdeen FC head of youth Lenny Taylor and Elgin City FC head of youth David McConnachie signed the alliance agreement between the two clubs at RAF Lossiemouth, which is the training base for both the Elgin City under 13 and under 14 teams. The squads benefit greatly from the superb facilities, both indoor and outdoor, offered by the station and the club are indebted to the station for allowing us to use such fantastic facilities.
The signing of the alliance was followed by a combination of Elgin City under 13 and under 14 players playing a match against the Aberdeen under 13 team. The Elgin side, who under the guidance of John Cruickshank, Neil Wilson and Pete Edmond, play in the Moray Youth Development league put up a magnificent display against and Aberdeen side that play matches in the performance tier of the SFA Youth Initiative programme against their fellow SPL clubs. In blustery and extremely cold conditions the Elgin lads lost out by the odd goal in a very even match contested in a fair but competitive spirit.
Youth coordinator Joe Mackay said "this is a tremendous chance for the young Elgin City players to develop their footballing abilities alongside SPL players and coaches. Our youth players are being given a wonderful opportunity to progress to the highest level and Elgin City are very proud to be involved with Aberdeen FC, we look forward to working with Aberdeen for many years to come."