Two Forfar clubs have linked up in what is hoped will be a terrific boost for football in the area as junior side Forfar West End and Sunday league club Lochside FC have formed a new partnership.
The move originally came about when there were fears that Lochside FC would be losing it’s Under 14s and 15s sides due to players moving on, however, when it was suggested that these sides would represent Forfar West End the potential problem was avoided.
The move means that, including the junior side, there are now six teams that fall under the Forfar West End name – Under 15s, 16s, 17s, 19s and Amateurs.
The move is one step closer to the creation of a full community club formed by Lochside FC and Forfar West End.
It is hoped that the partnership will prove to be beneficial for both clubs; the new West End teams will have full use of the Social Club and it is hoped that young players will provide a steady and encouraging progression for all players as they move up through the teams.
Daryl McKenzie, head coach of Forfar West End JFC, said: “We have been delighted with the progression of the partnership set up. From a playing side we are committed to progressing youth players into our full senior side.
“We currently have four players in our senior squad who have come through the pathway and in total we have given 13 players from the affiliated teams their full senior debuts over the last two seasons.”
Lochside FC will continue to produce teams for the younger age groups ranging from 4v4s and Super 5s to Under 12s.
Children aged between four and six are eligible for 4v4s while Super 5s is generally for kids aged seven, the teams then move to 7-a-side games every Sunday in the Under 9s to Under 12s age groups.
Lochside FC chairman Brian Lavery, said: “It has been great to see the numbers of players in all teams expanding since the partnership started.
“The move of 11-a-side teams under the West End name has been very good for all connected to the club and now it means there is more focus on us producing teams for the younger age groups every year.
“It can only have a positive effect for a parent to see a route of progression set in place where their child could possibly end up playing junior football after completing their youth career.”
As always, both Lochside FC and Forfar West End encourage new players, coaches and volunteers to join and help the teams in any way possible.
Scott Wilson, manager of Forfar West End Amateurs and Chairman of West End Youths, added: “This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for young players to develop into either the juniors or amateurs.
“There are always opportunities for players and coaches to come and join a community club that will keep growing.”