Alloa's youngsters impress in France

Monday 27th May 2013
Alloa Athletic

It was not just Alloa’s first team that was excelling last Sunday as whilst Paul Hartley’s side were winning promotion to the First Division a young Wasps outfit were holding their own against some of the best youth sides in Europe.

The Recreation Park side’s under-17 squad participated in the prestigious 3 day Festival D’Armor that is held in the small community of Ploughonvelin that nestles between Brittany and Brest and they performed so well that they have been asked back again for next year.

Head of Youth at the Clackmannanshire club, Graeme Liveston said: “We performed really well especially in the game that opened the tournament against Standard Liege. We lost that one 1-0 but ran them really close. We were in pretty exalted company and played French sides Istres Ouest Provence, Stade de Reims and Vannes in our remaining Group games.”

“We then met Brazilian’s Sporting Sul from Porto Alegre to settle our final place in the tournament and we played them off the park. Unfortunately we could not get a goal and that one finished goalless.”

Liveston added: “However we had played well enough to be invited back next year which is fantastic as it is not usually a tournament that part-time clubs get invited to. It is normally for well-known sides from Europe and beyond but my previous involvement at it with Dundee United and having a high profile first team manager in Paul Hartley has helped.”

Fifteen year old Scott Hynd, who scored the winning goal in a Second Division match against Arbroath, was involved as was Michael Hardie and Lee McClelland who have made their first team debuts recently and playing in France will bolster their chances of being involved in the First Division next season.

Liveston said: “With United we won the tournament in 2003 and Gary Kenneth and David Robertson both played. David Goodwillie and Jonny Russell also played in it as well and I expect some of the Alloa boys to use the experience gained in France to good use throughout their career.”

There was one downside last Sunday with Liveston saying: “The reception on everyone’s mobile phones was patchy and we could not find out if Paul’s first team had been promoted. We eventually found a spot but the clock seemed to freeze at 90 minutes for ages.”

“Finally we got confirmation through that Alloa had won on aggregate so we were able to have a small celebration in the North West of France.”

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