A YOUTH FOOTBALL club for young people in and around Forres has enjoyed their most successful year ever.
Players, coaches, managers and volunteers at the Forres Area Soccer 7s met up off the pitch when they held their annual prize giving ceremony and party at The Loft near Kinloss.
There they heard club chairman Shaun Moat outline a year that was their biggest since the club its formation in 2003 – and one that had seen big changes.
He said: “This is my first year as chair and it has been fabulous, but it has been hard work. The club has been running for over 20 years, and for the first time ever we took the decision to restructure and thankfully we believe the move has paid off.”
Until this year the Soccer 7s had met every Sunday during the school term for seven-a-side teams – but there was a feeling that format was not working. Shaun explained: “What we found was that younger ones were getting put off joining as they were often in teams which had a big age difference.
“Now though, with the restructure, we have children playing others who are in the same age category. For example, we now have Development 4s which caters for children from four to six years old. They then go up to Super 5s and from there they progress onto Soccer 7s. It’s less overwhelming for new, younger kids coming in.”
Another change was the removal of the club’s 12-years-old age restriction – and that meant there was a clear pathway in Forres. Shaun said: “The children start with us and then move to Forres Mechanics Youth Development and then from there on to either Forres Thistle, Forres Mechanics or even Caley or Aberdeen.
“We have been delighted that to have received a lot of positive feedback from local football scouts this year too. Aberdeen FC scouts have been seen more regularly at the club on Sundays and are actively scouting children from our club which can only mean good things.”
Talking about the end of season party, the chairman added: “The kids seems to have a great time and The Loft was a great venue for us.
“Everyone has worked really hard this year and I thank everyone from the board, managers, sponsors and especially to the children and the parents who come along week in week out to help make the club a success.”
Forres Area Soccer 7s Award Winners
Ian Skivington Fair Play Award Winners
Hayden Windsor – Development 4s (Junior Section)
Matthew Hepburn – Super 5s (Intermediate Section)
Toby Clark – Soccer 7s (Senior Section)
Development 4s Skill Challenge Winner
Super 5 Tournament
Winners – Beaver Travel
Runner Up – Gardener Financial Services
Soccer 7s Tournament
Winners – GF Job Ltd
Runners Up – Moray Claims/Grigor & Young
Chairman vs Presidents Match
Winners – Presidents Team
Forres Area Soccer 7s Endeavour Award
Claire Thompson – Kitchen
Manager of the Year Award
Paul Lynch (2nd year running)