Youth system shut down

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Bertie Bassett

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Location : Livingston

Youth system shut down

Post by Bertie Bassett on Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:47 am

Disappointed to see that the club have decided to cut the youth squads. I can understand the reasons but it’s still disappointing.

Durnford

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Join date : 2014-10-23

Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Durnford on Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Bit of a PR nightmare to be honest. I get that Project Brave (the youth development project not the wife beaters one) is a self serving organisation only interested in funnelling money to those clubs that need it and with Malky Mackay in charge is that entirely a surprise; but was this really necessary?

Most of the teams were managed by volunteers, my son worked for a year with the youth teams for no pay whatsoever and there were plenty like him.

Kits for the teams cost about £600 (excluding boots which the boys are expected to supply themselves); on top of that there's the travelling expenses but most of the local youth teams like Murieston United seem to manage that by working with parents.

Agreed the youth team hasn't generated many Snodgrass/Dorran/Griffiths of late but the impact o the community was equally important. I new a boy from a Celtic supporting family who use to insist on attending the Livi Senior games and his dad came along as well. The family didn't convert overnight but it did give some hope for the future.

Surrendering the ground to the old firm and the Edinburgh clubs isn't going to start generating the kind of crowds we need to maintain a club at the highest level.

I remember the club used to run a variety of fund raising opportunities for the youth teams but I cant recall even a can rattle at the turnstiles of late.
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Liviforever

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Liviforever on Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:27 pm

Accies have shown that crowd size doesn't equate to Premiership status, so on that score we should be fine. We're having to provide a colts team this season too, I guess that had a lot to do with the decision to cut the youth teams, but project brave cutting the funding wouldn't have helped. Maybe that boy who's parents went to the DR and and SFA panel over his son being dropped for training with his school team on the same day as a Livi match had something to do with it too, it could have been a slow build up of an accumulation of things and was too much hassle and expense.

I see Falkirk amongst a few others have had to cut theirs too though, something just isn't right when long standing teams are disbanding their youth set ups. Partick Thistle have lottery winners pumping 600 thousand pounds into theirs but we're all not that lucky.

Tbh I saw this coming a couple of years back, we were changing the way we were recruiting young players and I got the impression the youth team wasn't seen as being important, the signings we're targeting are old enough to go into our colts team and develop there before coming into the first team or go out on loan. And more of our young players are being put out on loan to junior teams to get blooded too.
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Afro

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Afro on Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:07 pm

A pretty disappointing decision given the history of youth development the club have had over the past decade or so. The turning point IMO seems to have been when we were punted down to the Third Division in 2009, seemed to take a hit at that time and apart from McNulty and Scougall (both of whom were picked up after being released by other clubs it should be noted), we've not had anybody of note. Hamilton's introduction to the side has been welcomed from that perspective but it's very early days yet in that regard. Knox seems to have utterly stagnated and the days of the talk of him going for £200k seem a very distant memory.

As I understand it, the U20 team is open to players aged 16 and above. I would imagine the new policy in that regard would be trying to bring in boys released by other teams, given them some game time in what is essentially a reserve team now, with scope to getting a shot at first team football if they show a bit about them. AFAIK most of the big hitters we ended up selling on arrived here in that same way, so maybe it's a scouting thing more than anything else?

If the club play a more proactive role in the Youth Foundation it'll soften the blow to a degree but it's still a bit of a nightmare nonetheless. If the £40k/annum figure being banded around is true then it's especially galling that we'll take a minimum prize money haul of £1.2m from this year and still not be running this.
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Liviforever

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Liviforever on Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:48 pm

That 40K could get another player or two in though and it may be bigger prize money but everything else has risen too. Rent went up a good bit, players wages, quality of players we targeted and some needed to be bought, policing costs, we aren't awash with dosh that 40K is nothing. I think we're focussing on trying to stay up or at least giving it our best shot, but still being sensible about it, and every pound available is vital.


The youth set up was destroyed by Massone and I don't think it ever recovered. Livi5 had to start again from scratch but by the end of their tenure things were falling apart again. As long as we look to bring in young players around 16 or 17 and try them out in the colts team then I doubt we'll even notice a difference. For a while now it has been a lot of time and expense with no reward.

Durnford

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Durnford on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:46 pm

Liviforever wrote:That 40K could get another player or two in though and it may be bigger prize money but everything else has risen too. Rent went up a good bit, players wages, quality of players we targeted and some needed to be bought, policing costs, we aren't awash with dosh that 40K is nothing. I think we're focussing on trying to stay up or at least giving it our best shot, but still being sensible about it, and every pound available is vital.

The youth set up was destroyed by Massone and I don't think it ever recovered. Livi5 had to start again from scratch but by the end of their tenure things were falling apart again. As long as we look to bring in young players around 16 or 17 and try them out in the colts team then I doubt we'll even notice a difference. For a while now it has been a lot of time and expense with no reward.

The youth system was disbanded by Massone as a last snipe at us but was pretty quickly rebuilt so as to provide about 50% of the team to get out out of the 3rd and 2nd divisions. Most of the boys never managed a long term career but the likes of Jacobs X 3; Ross, Easton, Darren Jamieson etc. are still around. Others move off on loan but pretty much never returned.

To be fair we've done pretty well from Motherwell and the Ranger's youth systems of late. It is galling however that player's like Penrice, who is based in Livingston and reputedly a Livingston supporter, should end up being picked up by the likes of Partick.

I suspect the £40k was what was forecast for this season as there's no way this could have come close to previous years. There were two part time coaches; individual shirt sponsorship and I also understand parents were also asked to make a contribution. This year however we have a development side and the Colts (for one game at least) all of which will cost.

I must admit to still being gobsmacked that Project Brave insists that the top flight has six FULL TIME coaches employed by the club SOLELY for the purpose of youth development. Most of these kids are going to be school children so their availability will be severely limited to maybe no more than a couple of evenings and some weekend work (and that's for those not studying for exams).

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Liviforever

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Liviforever on Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:55 pm

I take it there is a reserves league for the Colts/reserves, and it isn't just the Irnbru cup they play in, reserves used to be a mixture of our U19's and fringe players, and first team players returning from injury. Iirc our U19's used to win everything and we scrapped them from playing in an U19's league and moved them into the reserve/development league so they'd get more of a challenge playing against other teams fringe players and first team players returning from injury.

Durnford

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by Durnford on Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:25 pm

Liviforever wrote:I take it there is a reserves league for the Colts/reserves, and it isn't just the Irnbru cup they play in, reserves used to be a mixture of our U19's and fringe players, and first team players returning from injury. Iirc our U19's used to win everything and we scrapped them from playing in an U19's league and moved them into the reserve/development league so they'd get more of a challenge playing against other teams fringe players and first team players returning from injury.

Yes I remember the under 19's were allowed to do a lap of honour for winning the league the same time as the first team won the second division (I think).

Unfortunately about three quarters of that team were then let go as they were, or would be over 19 before the start of the next season.

Used to also remember when it was standard practice to have one or two youngsters on the bench for many games. Likes of Currie virtually never got on but least ways he was there and he brought a small following of pals with him on the off-chance.
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orco

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Re: Youth system shut down

Post by orco on Mon Aug 13, 2018 5:13 pm

Scott Arfield went to St Margaret's but went to play in Falkirk's youth system. I seem to remember Dundee United getting West Lothian boys.
Scougall was rejected by Dunfermline and Hibs before he came to us. Halkett has been a real find from Rangers and Jack McMillan is holding his own after Motherwell. With our fan base we are at a great disadvantage financially compared to most other teams in the SPL and the likes of Dunfermline, Falkirk, Dundee United and Partick in the Championship. We've punched above our weight for years.

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