A list of new players have joined the Stirling Albion U16 squad and will be competing in the Club Academy Scotland programme this season.
The smiley youngsters were welcomed to Forthbank on Thursday for their official signing day photo shoot. Some of them were seeing Forthbank for the first time.
Among the group was goalkeeper Aaron Wilson.
“It’s more real now that we are in the stadium getting our photos taken and everything. You can tell the big step up in the training with all of the coaches. It’s good to step up and hopefully we can all make a breakthrough to the first team soon.” he said.
“If everything goes to plan, hopefully I am playing professional football for a living in five years time. Stirling Albion wouldn’t be a bad place to be playing in five years time. It’s a good set up they’ve got here.”
Harvey Peatrie, whose older brother came through the academy, was also present.
“My brother has come up from this club so I am excited to do the same.”
“Realistically I want to be able to play for the first team at Stirling Albion and then we will see what happens from there.” he said.
The academy coaching staff will certainly be hoping that they can build upon the club’s decent track record of producing first team quality players.
The dream for most of these youngsters is to follow in the footsteps of first team captain Ross McGeachie who came through the academy.
“My job as a coach is to develop them as football players tactically, technically, mentally, and also physically to get them up through the ranks. So U18s, U20s, and then into the first team. Hopefully the same as Ross McGeachie.” said coach Grant Craig.
Craig highlighted how the academy is also about more than just football.
“Its not just all about the football its also about making them into a good person. So we are looking to develop every part of life; respect everybody, take care of everybody. They’re a team so they have to work as a team, not individuals. Hopefully we can do that on the pitch and off it.”
It was certainly a big day for the group as well as the club. The club will hope to nurture the talents of these youngsters and turn them into first team quality players and respectful young men.
It is a big season ahead for the group with five matches in the next couple of months. But first, they take on Montrose FC on August 22nd.