Newtongrange youth football side rises from the ashes
The coaches behind a new youth football team in Newtongrange say it’s crucial the area’s young players have a local club to play for.
Newtongrange Star Youth Under 15s were formed during the height of lockdown after the Newtongrange Star Youth Development Academy folded and all teams and coaches moved to play at Dalkeith Thistle.
Two of the 06 age group coaches, Steven Duffy and Cameron Welsh, had worked with some of those players since their mini-kickers days and had helped develop them to the point that last season they were already in one cup final, potentially another and with promotion for the undefeated side looking likely.
Following the academy’s folding, Steven and Cameron couldn’t stand the thought of there being no youth team in the area so started from scratch again.
Sponsors were brought on board, the Born in Scotland retail group for home and away strips and ASG electrical for training kits, players were added and a place in Division Three of the local league structure was secured, with the team kicking off this Sunday against Kelso FC.
The team also has two girls in the squad.
Steven Duffy said: “When the previous football club sadly came to an end we had the option of moving our entire set up to another club but in another local town.
“Most of the 2006 team had been with us in Newtongrange since mini kickers age, but to be honest it was the reaction of my own son, Fraser, that got me thinking about what other options may be available.
“We spoke to a few of the team and it became apparent that the overwhelming wish of the kids was to play for Newtongrange. So on one of the many long walks during lockdown I chatted this through with my wife, Nicola, and she suggested I have a go at setting up a new team so we could remain in Newtongrange.”
Together with Cameron the new u15s team was created with Steven saying the positivity in the town since it was put together has been “nothing short of amazing.”
Cameron Welsh added: “When Steven and I first agreed that continuing with our 2006 team and keeping youth football going in Newtongrange was the right and proper thing to do, we knew we had the opportunity to make a real difference.”