The Scottish FA South East Region hosted a triangular series of games on Monday night (31st May) at Peffermill Playing Fields against strong opposition from the Scottish FA East Region and Dunfermline Athletic FC.

The beautiful sunny evening was matched by some fantastic football as both age groups (U13s and U14s) took part in some very competitive matches. Each team participated in short games against each other over 30 minute intervals.

Whilst the focus of these matches is very much about developing the individual player and using the games to implement the concepts learned in training, there was very little to choose between the teams in both age groups.

Keith Wright, the Scottish FA’s Regional Coach and Midlothian Council Football Development Officer was once again pleased with the U14 players, “We played against Hibs a few weeks ago and the players performed well there, but even in a few weeks the players once again are taking on board what they are learning in training and trying to deliver this in a match situation. The games were very close and the players will take confidence from this.

It is vital that if young players want to develop and we want to improve the standards in Scottish football, coaches must focus on technique with players, make sure we are getting the basics right and then try to incorporate their game awareness and develop patterns of play and encourage creativity. Kids in Scotland don’t want to practice as much as they used to, world-wide research tells us that it takes 10,000 hours over ten years to become an expert, that’s almost 3 hours a day of physical work and sports-specific practice and we are trying to get these messages over to the players, if they want to improve, they need to practice. I’m proud of the players in both age groups and if they keep working away with their clubs and practicing in their own time, then they will have every chance to fulfil their potential”.

The Regional Squads have two more weeks of training before a break. This will be followed by a Regional Training Camp at Peffermill on July 1st & 2nd followed by their respective age group national camps at Stirling University at the end of July and early August.

The Scottish FA South East Region would like to thank the East Region and Dunfermline Athletic FC for participating in the games and we look forward to working with them again in the future.