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under 17s/2006s

Henry Mearns

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worrying trend happening with 2006 teams. just heard GADFYL U17s league has folded and teams are going to join their 2005s league so can keep playing

this comes off back of a number of 2006s teams folding, some decent ones too - blantyre, scotland bc, pollok, harmony row, even dyce who won scottish

always thought it was a really good age group - watched grandsons playing in both Central, Paisley and Glasgow leagues at both 2006 and 2004 and some right good teams, but some very, very strong players spread about. quite a few clearly knocked back pro youth approaches as saw through the con (no point until about 26 when things start to get a bit more focused) when teams really there for 2-3 boys at most, no real focussed development and no proper competitive games other than toornies instead of playing good level tough league games week in week out. Boys prefer playing games that matter and develop the edge needed for later on

latest drop offs, and the temptation of U20 dev league (a lot of teams been poached entirely by the wya from grassroots clubs wrongly excluded  from involvement) and more serious pro youth/senior club approaches for boys now they're at an age it is at least realistic those us us who've been watching have for years have known for 2-3 years sometimes longer are the better players with proper potential could really affect this age group. all this, impact of Covid plus representative teams like Region who'd select best players in league for higher level games no longer happen after u16s (Region teams regularly beating so called "pro youth" at u13-u16 when only train a few times a year as opposed to twice/3x weekly) show up current "system". used to regular chat with dads and other grandads on side-lines that we could pick 20 best boys in either Central or Paisley top divs and despite never training together they'd beat all except maybe top 2 pro youth at same age group who've supposed to been developed to potential pro level - barely 10% of pro youth squads even make it to tier 3 or 4 senior level, let alone first team so something isn't right

anyone else think it's time for a change - for me, back to something like S forms so can't sign exclusively with Rangers, Celtic etc until at least 15 or 16 , but can play with grassroots clubs and train (and play) with senior club groups and better coaches (don't care if National, Regional, just not pretendy senior clubs pro youth box tickers to get cash, only ones who employ serious devlopment coaches and are not just picking big strong boys at 9-10yo ) would be start. let them train play with pals but best also get extra training games in proper best-v-best. something like iceland system

give us your ideas

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