It’s undoubtedly an exciting time for The Buffs as we move to the West of Scotland Football League whenever we can get back to playing football. However, we shift the focus from the first team as we formally announce that we will be participating in the Lowland Development League. You will be able to follow the progress of the U20’s team as they embark on their first season in the Lowland Development League, looking out for content on social media and the website, as the squad builds in anticipation of the new football season.
Below is a joint statement from First Team Manager, Chris Strain, and Chairman, Colin Boyd, on the changes to our youth development setup:
“Kilwinning Rangers FC and KSC have worked closely over the past few years to create a clear pathway for our youth teams to progress to adult football. Due to the exciting changes announced by the West of Scotland Football League we can now offer a clear pathway to professional football for the kids in our youth system. KRFC will look to have an U20 Development Team placed in the Lowland Development League.
The current season has shown the strength of the 11-a-side youth programme. The season has been very successful albeit curtailed by the current pandemic.
The U15s have been successful in their league and reached the last 16 of the Scottish Cup.
The U16s have only been beaten twice in the league and reached the QF of the Scottish Cup,
The U17 are currently waiting to see if they can play in the Semi Final of the Scottish Cup and have had a magnificent season.
The 19s and 21s have provided players for the first team squad and have done well in their respective leagues, indeed even before the current announcement; several players come through our youth system and play for the first team, players such as: Liam Davis, Euan Curragh, Chris Callander and Robbie Lynch. We have played friendly matches throughout the season to integrate the boys with the first team and we have identified a number of players who have potential to reach the first team.
The new league allows us to integrate the teams at various levels and we will be moving the successful management team of the U17s to take the U20 Team. The coaching team of Stephen Forrest, Michael Wardrope and Glenn Lewis, will work with Derek Frye. Derek has worked with the first team squad in the Recruitment Department and provides a direct link to the first team.
Together with coaches for the various teams at all age groups we look to provide teams at all levels from U21 to mini kickers. Wullie Shearer will continue to oversee the Youth curriculum for the whole club. From Mini-kickers through to the First Team we will have a structure that is the envy of some established SPFL clubs.
I’m sure the development team will be afforded the vociferous support from our fans and this will ensure the talent that we have at our disposal fulfils the clear potential shown.
As always, stay safe and we hope to see everyone soon. Season 20/21 promises to be one where the club continues to grow in all aspects.”
Chris Strain Colin Boyd