Youth Festival at Dalnacraig Dundee 26th August by Keith Forster

Dunfermline Carnegie youths were in action again in the Midlands youth festival at Dalnacraig, Dundee on Sunday returning home with a near perfect set of results to show for their hard work and enthusiasm.

We struggled somewhat for numbers on this occasion but with a bit of “doubling up” from some players we were able to field a team into each of the three age group categories.

First up as usual were our 10 & unders for their four-a-side event where they had seven twelve minute back-to-back games to face.  Our rarin’-to-go Carnegie squad featuring   Aidan Johnson, Frasier Bennett, Theo Wood, Daisy Smith and Zara Webb were first up against the event hosts Dundee Wanderers ‘B’ and although a bit hesitant at first we were eventual winners by 2 – 0 with goals from Zara and Aidan.

Game 2 against Stirling Wanderers was an end to end encounter with both sides having chances to score throughout thwarted by a number of very good goal-bound last ditch saves at both ends but the important thing was that two of our chances did find the net to give us another 2 – 0 win this time converted by Zara and Theo.

Game 3 was against Kinross ‘B’ and was somewhat a one-way traffic game for our team which was now playing with a lot of confidence resulting in a 5 – 0 win all five of which were scored by Zara.

Game 4 against Grove Menzieshill was a game that showed a lot of good passing by both teams and good defending by Zara who had been moved to sweeper for this one and a good all-round team performance gave us a deserved win by 3 – 0 with Daisy, Theo and Aidan finding the net for us.

Game 5 against Harris Hawks was a bit of a ‘Theo show’ with him trying to cover every blade of grass on the pitch with his non-stop running and tackling and I am pleased to report that his efforts were rewarded with both goals in our 2 – 0 win.

Game 6 against the hosts, Dundee Wanderers ‘A’ was not as one-sided as the score suggests with Zara and Theo scoring from well worked moves but legs were showing signs of slowing and the final five minutes was a case of hit the ball towards their goal from anywhere which brought about great unplanned success thanks to Aidan deciding to take a rest in the opposition goalmouth and getting final touches to long hits inches from the goal-line no less than THREE times to give us a 5 – 0 win.

Game 7 against Kinross ‘C’ with tired legs all around was more of a struggle that it would normally have been and although Kinross opened the scoring our players stuck with it and goals from Frasier and Zara gave our team a final 2 – 1 win and a perfect record of played 7 and WON 7 from this month’s Festival.


Next up were our 12 and unders represented by Owen McKenzie, Murren Willo, Ryan Dempsey, Sarah Milne, Hannah Lowe, Robyn Hewie (along with Theo Wood and Zara Webb, both of whom seemed to magically recover from their U10 exertions after a bit of fizzy drink medication).

The first of our 14 minute games on quarter pitches was against Kinross ‘B’ which, thanks to goals by Ryan and Theo(2) we won by 3 goals to 1.

Game 2 against Grove Menzieshill Athill was a close affair due to both teams having a compact midfield and with Grove having a fully kitted goalkeeper scoring was not easy, but score we did, with two goals from Ryan but they had also scored twice by then to give us an excellent 2 – 2 draw.

Game 3 was against the other Grove Menzieshill team, Dragons.  With opposition not quite as good as the previous one and playing, like us, with no goalkeeper the task was a little more straight forward and goals from Theo and Owen(2) gave us a reasonably comfortable 3 – 0 win

Game 4 against Dundee Wanderers ‘B’ was a story of missed chances at both ends but a lot of good play in the middle third of the pitch and just as it seemed with a couple of minutes to go that a scoreless draw would be the result up popped the irrepressible Theo to somehow weave a path past three strong defenders to deposit the ball home to give us an unexpected 1 – 0 win.

Game 5 against Kinross ‘A’ was a well contested affair with both defences playing well throughout until our Sarah made a rare appearance in the shooting area to score the only goal of the game to give us a 1 – 0 win.

Game 6 was a repeat encounter with Grove Menzieshill Athill but this time, although dangerous, they were not so organised and goals by Theo and Owen sealed a deserved 2 – 0 win and an overall record of Played 6 – Won 5 – Drawn 1.


Finally, on this rather wet Sunday it was the turn of our 14 and under players to show us what they could do.  With three late call-offs we were down to seven players on paper so Ewan Forster who was there to act as team manager was asked to stand in despite being slightly over-age.  With borrowed kit and stick he was ready when Dylan Koletsas suddenly made an unexpected appearance, so “happy days” we now had a sub.  This was followed by three under 12’s requesting to try the older age group game in the shape of Theo (of course), Owen and Ryan so we now had LOADS of players.

Our full list of U14’s looked like – Adam Lowe, Calum Nelson, Ryan Dempsey, Owen McKenzie, Ewan Forster, Theo Wood, Dylan Koletsas, Ciara Wilkie, Grace Wood, Robyn Hewie and Hannah Lowe.

So on we went for this five game – eight-a-side -15 minute duration – 1/3 pitch event.

Game 1 was against Kinross and was a little one-sided in our favour with goals from Dylan(4) and Ciara (2) giving us a 6 – 1 win.

Game 2 pitted us against Grove Menzieshill Dragons, with Ciara scoring three goals to her credit to give us a final result of a 3 – 2 win.

Game 3 against hosts Dundee Wanderers was another success story with a 3 – 2 victory through goals by Ciara, Ewan and Theo’

Game 4 against the other Grove Menzieshill Athill side was no less demanding and our constant substituting perhaps had them confused a little and by the final whistle two goals by Grace and one by Dylan secured us a 3 – 1 win.

Game 5 was against the more physical Harris side and we duly found ourselves three nil down before a consolation goal by Theo with two minutes left gave the score some respectability.

An overall performance of Won 4, Lost 1 brought an end to an excellent day’s performance for all three age groups for Dunfermline Carnegie.

P        W        D         L          For       –       Against.

Under 10         7          7          0          0          21        –           1

Under 12         6          5          1          0          12        –           3

Under 14         5          4          0          1          16        –           10

It was really good from a coach’s point of view to see all of our players enjoying their games with U10’s learning as they went, talking about the game during the short breaks and asking to try other positions rather than wait until being told to do so.  Results did not seem to matter to them, they were just enjoying the run-around, this was supported by the fact that some even had to ask the score when each game was over!!  Our U12’s were much more aware of what they were trying to do with defenders passing on good advice to midfielders and vice-versa and no negative stuff if anyone missed a pass or gave the ball away.  It was good to hear comments of “well done” or “great pass” from team-mates on occasions.  Admittedly things were going well but even if things were not to plan I do not think heads would drop or attitudes would change.  Under 14’s demonstrated good team-work with lots of good covering for others with players showing annoyance with themselves for errors but no adverse comments to others for their mistakes.

Smiles all round were good to see.

Many thanks to all players for your efforts and special thanks to all you noisy parents and supporters for braving the wet weather.  We hope to see you all again at the next Festival which is on SUNDAY 30th SEPTEMBER at KINROSS.