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Youth blog

Youth blog


Posted Friday 15th June 2012

ArabTRUST Associate Director Colin Stewart takes a keen interest in youth and community matters at Dundee United and will be providing regular reports and updates on these topics for our website.

Some of these will be in the form of blogs from coaches and others at Tannadice, as well as from Colin himself.

Colin is also (quite handily!) a principal teacher at St John’s Academy, so the first blog comes from resident youth coach Steve Leahy, together with some of the United boys involved in the academy coaching initiative.

Steve reports -

“ Year two of the St John’s academy scheme has been another successful year.

This year saw the group number rise to thirteen with the introduction of two new first years who both settled in well and are loving life at the school. With the combination of two year groups we had to work with the school to find suitable time to train without impacting on the players’ education.

The players currently have eight pitch sessions a week and also two classroom sessions. One classroom session being a match analysis/review and the other being an opportunity to catch up with any class work they have missed.

The group have had many excellent performances throughout the year while also continuing with their “style” of passing the ball and taking the ball from the keeper. This way they gain much more experience with the ball rather than it just being kicked in the air and making it competitive.

This season also saw one of the school players, Ali Coote, being selected for the Scotland U15’s. Ali is still just 13 years old and at times could be playing against players nearly two years older than him. He was capped for the first time in a tournament in Italy and also scored in one of the games- hopefully the first of many.

Greig McNaughton has also been invited to train with the U15 development squad. He is also still an U14 player. Six players have also been involved in trails for the Scotland U14 squad which is still waiting to be selected.

Year 3 will also see a new intake from the SFA schools. Within the new intake of thirteen players eleven are currently signed for Dundee United. This will allow me to work with these players every afternoon in the new season."

Youth Coach Steve Leahy

Player Blogs

Graham Taylor

My season so far has been good. This is my second year at St John’s. As a team, I feel we have gotten much better and have a better understanding of the game.

During the week I wake up at 5.30 then leave the house at ten past six to go to the train station. My train comes at 6.25 and reaches Dundee at 7.25. After that I get a taxi up to St John’s to go to training at twenty to eight and finish at half nine. School starts for us at ten to ten. School finishes at half three. We then go to training again from school. Training finishes at five past five. My train home is ten to six and I get home an hour later. I get home at seven, get dinner and a shower then go to bed at half past eight.

Conor Samson

This season for me has been okay, but I have had better seasons than this one. My confidence hasn’t been so high. I have been playing well but feel I can do better. I feel I always pass where I should maybe go myself.

I live pretty close to the school just down the road. It only takes me a couple of minutes to get to school. During the week we train ten times a week with a game on a Sunday afternoon. I usually get picked up at 5.15. We finish training at 5.00 so we get over an hour and a half for training. We don’t train on a Monday or Tuesday morning because of what we have first period. I usually go to sleep at ten o’clock and get up at 6:15.

Logan Davie

This is my second year in the St John’s academy and I have improved a lot in my time here. I start training at 8 am and finish after first period at 9:50am. Then at night I start training at 3:30pm and finish at 5:10 pm. I have played most of my games this year but near the end of the season I broke my wrist but I was only sidelined for two weeks. Every week we have a game on Sunday.

Kieran Ross

This is my second year at St John’s and we are away into our third. I get up in the mornings about 6:45am and arrive at the school about 7:40 am. We have two sessions every day, one in the morning and one at night.

I think this season has been good so far has been up and down. I think some games we have not been good defensively enough but good on the attack and other games vice versa.

Greig McNaughton

This is my second season at St John’s and so far it has been a success. I get up at 6:40 am to come into training at 7:40 am. Training usually starts at 7:50 am. After training we then go to second period

The team’s performance this season has been okay. I think my performance has been very good and has resulted into being selected for several Scotland U15’s and U14’s squads.

Craig Adamson

This is my second season at St John’s high school. I would say it has been a good year but not one of my best. I set my alarm in the morning for six o’clock and get the train from Carnoustie to Dundee. I train every morning and we have our games on Sundays.

Scott Allardice

Unfortunately I’ve been injured for the past six weeks and am now just starting to recover and get back into training. This means I have missed 5 games and will probably not be able to play for another one or two weeks.

I have not yet scored this season, so I will be hoping to score in one of the last two game of the season

Charlie Wilson

This is my second season at St John’s. In the morning at 5:45 I wake up and get the train at 6:50 from Arbroath. This season hasn’t been the best and my confidence has been low. We train once a day on a Monday and Tuesday and twice on the rest of the week

Alistair Coote

This is my second season at St John’s and I’m just about to finish it. These two years have been great for me, My game has been improved greatly not just technically but physically as well.

My week consists of training Monday and Tuesday nights until and Wednesday to Friday before and after school. We play our matches on a Sunday and our home games are played at St Andrews.

I occasionally go on trips for the Scotland U15’s squad, which is going well and I am enjoying it.

Connor Coupe

This is my first season at St John’s. There are only two first years in the Academy. Since I joined the academy I have gotten a lot better, stronger, faster and better on the ball. At the start of the season I never had my good games because I was playing on the wings. The last four or five games I have played really well for the 14s. When I have had the chance I’ve taken players on. At Tannadice against Hearts I took a few players on and the keeper made a good save. Against Raith Rovers the 14s were getting beat 1-0 andIi got put on. Within the first two minutes I skinned their left back and laid it back to Darren Forbes and that made it 1-1 .

For school i get up at 6:30 and we train Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning at 8:40. On Mondays and Tuesday we do classroom sessions. We train at nights at 3:30 but on Tuesday we miss last period and we finish at 5:30

Gavin Ritchie

My first season at St John’s has been great. My day starts at 5:50. I get the train from Perth station at 7 o’clock to Dundee where I get a taxi to school. Mondays and Tuesdays we have a class room session where we talk about our game and write a personal report on how we played on the previous Sunday. Tuesdays we train from 6th period to 5:10pm so we get an extra long session. The other days

We train in the morning and afternoon with a variety of different session plans. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and can’t wait until next season

Darren Forbes

My season so far has been good, my performances have been a lot better. My past couple of performances have been good and I got picked for Scotland the day before the trials because of my performance at Tannadice. I have scored a few goals and lots of assists. Overall my performances have been a lot better this season.

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