Huntly’s youth development side have seen a number of changes both on and off the pitch ahead of the 2020/21 with a new captain, vice-captain and two new coaches.

 

With Keigan Mathers moving up to the under 20s, the captaincy was up for grabs and we are pleased to announce that Dillon Farquhar has been named as captain and Cameron Middleton as vice-captain.

Farquhar (16) has been part of the development squad since in March 2019 and has made the right back position his own following since debuting. Farquhar who is the son of former Huntly goalkeeper and coach, John Farquhar has made 14 competitive appearances for the youth side since debuting and earned a call-up to the under 20s last season and his performances in the Aberdeenshire League saw him finishing runner-up to Ross Gill for player of the year by a very narrow margin.

Middleton (15) joined the development squad in summer 2019 making eight appearances last season and would receive a call-up to the under 20s in the final game of the Aberdeenshire League coming off the bench to debut against Turriff United.

Speaking on the appointment of his new Captain and Vice-Captain, Head Coach Iain Ralston said:

“I am delighted for both of the boys. 

DillonFarquharDillon (left) has grown in confidence since he arrived at the club as an U15 and we have seen him grow as a player over last season, which was reflected in his performances for the u20s while still only 15. 

As a Captain, I am looking for a player that has the confidence in himself, the respect of the players around him, and leads not just on the pitch but in the dressing room and Dillon gives me that.

And since we returned to training this season Dillon has continually pushed himself and has demanded more from the players around him, and was the clear choice as Captain for the U17s this season.

CameronMiddletonCammy (right)  has been a great addition since he joined. He has worked hard in training and performed well in games last season which earned him an opportunity to become the first choice keeper towards end of last season for the 17s as well as being called up to the 20s.

He returned to pre-season with a great attitude and commitment towards training, his teammates and the club. Cammy has shown a great level of maturity and provides a lot of confidence in the players around him, even though he is only 15, and I felt he was the right person to be the vice-captain this season.”

Off the pitch there have been changes on the youth coaching staff. John Farquhar moved on to Inverurie Loco Works in April while Raymond Mathers called time on his two year association with the club in the summer.

After coming in to the youth setup at the end of the 2019/20 season, Sammy McFadyen has taken on the as Assistant to Head Coach Iain Ralston and will also take up the role of goalkeeping Coach while long-serving club official Grant Turner has also joined as youth coach as he continues a long association with the club of approximately 30 years.

Ralston was pleased to welcome the duo who have been involved during pre-season and friendly matches.

687A7352He said: “While I was sorry to see Johnny and Raymond move on, I am delighted to have Sammy and Grant join the coaching staff for the 17s.

Sammy stepped in to help out with the 17s towards the end of last season and I was delighted when he agreed to make it permanent this season.

I have a great deal of respect for Sammy and have known him for a number of years, initially when he managed me as a player and later as a coach.

He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience having played, coached and managed at a number of different levels over the years, from Youth, Amateur and the Junior ranks, in addition to being a qualified goalkeeping coach.

He is a great addition to the coaching staff of the Club and in particular for the 17s squad, as his experience will be invaluable in continuing to build the standard of the development squad.

Adding Grant to the 17s coaching staff is great. He has been extremely supportive of myself and the 17s over the last couple of seasons and I have regularly asked him to become more involved with the 17s and therefore  I was delighted when Grant finally agreed this season and joined the coaching staff.

Working with Grant over pre-season with the squad has been great as he offered a different insight into how players were reacting to the training and he has already built up a good rapport with the players.

Having been involved with Huntly FC for close to 30 years, in various roles from a fan to Match Secretary, Grant's knowledge of the club and its history will be invaluable to the u17s, as it allows the boys to understand exactly what they have now become a part of.

I am looking forward to working with both Sammy and Grant this season as we look to continue to build and evolve the development programme within the Club."

Photos by George Mackie c/o Still Burning Photography

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