Author Topic: Fife Amateur Football  (Read 3109 times)

Offline CraigDoyle

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Fife Amateur Football
« on: October 28, 2013, 08:12:54 am »
This season I have been doing a little photography work with the University of St Andrews Football Club. The club operates a very professional setup with regards to structure and training methods under the guidance of the excellent director of football, Stuart Milne. They currently have six teams; four men's squads and two women's plus two development squads which sees around 150 players involved in the club.

The University football system is such that each of the teams plays at different levels in the BUCS (University) leagues on a Wednesday afternoon with the top two men's teams also playing in the local Fife leagues on a Saturday. The first team play as the University of St Andrews whilst the second team operate under the United Colleges name. While the teams operate independently and play in different divisions they are often viewed with suspicion by the local teams who seem unable to grasp the concept of it being 'one club' where players can graduate from one of the lower squads to play in the top teams. The finger is often pointed when United Colleges win with many a team claiming that first team players were playing when in fact it is rather rare to see a first team player pulling on a second team shirt.

Recently I've been photographing a lot of the women's first team who have thus far shown themselves to be a technically excellent team. They have yet to concede a goal in three games in their University league but that is hardly surprising given the wealth of talent they have available. For the most part the team is filled with Americans who are physically strong on the ball and able to pass it around well. It's good to watch and of a very high standard.

This weekend though I went along to watch the United Colleges play against Kirkcaldy Rovers in the cup. I was fortunate enough to catch their recent league match a few weeks ago which was a pulsating 4-4 draw with the Colleges scoring from a corner in the last minute to snatch a point. Unfortunately the club as a whole has been ravaged by injuries with six in the first team alone meaning that several Colleges players have been drafted into the first team to plug the gaps requiring third team players to step into the spaces and represent the Colleges. Given that the last game was such a close affair I thought the Colleges might struggle a little. Initially I was right and Kirkcaldy went 2-0 up early in the second half but surprisingly against the run of play. Half an hour later and the score read 5-2 in favour of the Colleges after some excellent passing football. Unfortunately like many games at this level it was ruined by the shocking attitude of the losing team. One player in particular took it upon himself to run 40 yards and fly in two footed only to completely miss and take out his own centre half. The match naturally ended with players surrounding the referee (who looked no less than 70!) shouting and swearing at some decision or other that made no difference at all.

The standard of play was admittedly rather good from the Colleges. The switch from the grass surface (waterlogged) to the 4G synthetic surface perhaps aided that. While I find the 4G pitch a little heavier underfoot (not helping my calf muscles - ie I'm unfit) it does have the feel of a good surface for playing a neat passing game which is to the strength of many of the University boys.