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The most promising Forres Mechanics Youth Development squad players have been issued with awards

By Garry McCartney

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NEARLY 300 people over three evenings attended a celebration of youthful talent at a local venue.

Forres Mechanics Youth Development under-10, under-12, under-14, under-16 and under-18 squads - as well as the under-18 squad from 2022-23 - enjoyed their annual awards nights at Forres Golf Club.

Youth Development Coordinator Dave McCartney confirmed that the Awards Evenings had been a tremendous success and enjoyed by players and their guests.

He said: “Head coach Allan Frisken made an excellent master of ceremonies.

“Forres Golf Club, which provided fine catering and an attractive venue, was appreciated by all and we were honoured that awards were presented by Cans' former chairmen, James Anderson and Dave MacDonald."

The three main accolades open to each squad are ‘Players' Player of the Year’ voted by the players, ‘Coaches' Player of the Year’ and ‘Leading Goalscorer’.

“Each of these awards holds its own meaning and merit for the winners,” added Dave. “The coaches' choices this season were especially difficult, with so many players showing real commitment and improvement throughout the season, and the various squads performing so well.”

This year’s under-16s and under-18s awardees.
This year’s under-16s and under-18s awardees.

The U16s were close runners-up to Elgin in the Moray League, losing out by two points to champions Elgin City with a record of played 14, won 12, drawn one, lost one.

The U18 squad was fifth in the North League out of 12 teams with a record of played 22, won eight, drawn six, lost eight.

“They should have achieved more,” said Dave, “but the highest number of draws in the league cost them.”

The under-14 prize winners.
The under-14 prize winners.

The under-14 Gold squad was runners up to Elgin City in the unofficial placings. In the Moray Firth tournament held at Alness at the end of the season, they also finished third, narrowly missing out on penalties for a place in the final.

Dave added: “The under-14 Whites - mainly the younger boys at this level - showed steady improvement throughout the season.”

Several U18 players and some U16s have already featured in Can-Cans first team squads, a trend which looks set to continue in 2024-5, as the promising young players continue to improve and mature.

The Mini-Cans (under-10s) showing off their awards.
The Mini-Cans (under-10s) showing off their awards.

Dave said: “The Youth Development has made tremendous strides over the last few years, introducing squads at U8, U10 and U12 ages.

“In 2023-24, we also signed our first ever female player, Zara Ramage, to the U14 Gold squad, where she has been a real stalwart in midfield and is heading for North of Scotland representative honours.”

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