Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium witnessed a fine display of attacking football as Bonnyton Thistle from Kilmarnock won the Under 19 Scottish Cup by beating Whitburn 5 – 1.
Ian Higgins’ Kilmarnock based squad were in great form as they stormed into an early lead. First half goals from Mark Armour, Calum Watt, Brian Taylor and Greig Mitchell all but killed off the game in what was a tremendous first half performance. Calum Watt made it five just after half time before Whitburn nodded in a single consolation goal.
The continued success of Bonnyton highlights the good work of the club both on and off the park. Bonnyton has grown massively over the last few years and now boast a broad range of age groups and have developed their own synthetic training facility. The Scottish FA Quality Mark was a major milestone that the club has achieved and they continue to progress towards the top level. Next target for the pro-active committee is the development of the grass park and conversion to a full size synthetic pitch in the heart of the local community. Discussions with the Local Authority and SportScotland are ongoing and the Scottish FA – South West region is right behind the plans.
One of the most successful initiatives that the club are currently organising is the training of older youth players to become coaches. Many of the successful Under 19s cup winning squad have already attended coach education courses and now take the youngest of the teams in the Bonnyton family along to the hugely successful Fun Fours events. The young coaches volunteer their time to coach the 6 and 7 year olds and the tiny players, just starting on their football journey, love the glamour of learning from the big boys!
Another successful programme that Bonnyton have adopted is the 1 v 1 creative player initiative. Ian Higgins has championed the development of more creative players at the club and has secured the services of one of the Cup Final goal-scorer, Greig Mitchell, to lead the delivery. Greig works with the other age group coaches to deliver the Scottish FA designed curriculum and it is proving to be a massive success.
The current crop of Under 19s manage to be massively successful on the park while giving up time to support the next generation of Bonnyton players.
Michael Lennox & Thomas O' Ware represented Scottish Schools in the recent Schools Centenary Shield and triumphed over the old enemy, England, to secure the title.
Seven players also represented Ayrshire Schools winning the Scottish Schools F.A. cup last Friday night. Greig Mitchell, Thomas O' Ware, Michael Lennox, Chris Murchie, Ryan
McKie, Stuart Davidson & Stuart Walker.
A massive congratulations is due to all at Bonnyton Thistle for their magnificent efforts in ensuring the best possible football experience for their top players right down to the 5 year olds in their nursery programme.
Strong leadership and hard working volunteers are reaping rewards.
Well done Bonnyton Thistle!