Another highly successful year for youth football was celebrated as OYDG held its County Medals and Player of the Year presentation at Picky on Friday 14th November. The event held annually is about saying thank you and well done to all of the players, the coaches who give so much of their time and all the other helpers and sponsors without whom youth football in Orkney would not be possible. 

The evening started with OYDG Chairman Stephen Crawford reviewing the last 12 months of primary and club competitions. This year’s Indoor Primary league was the 27th anniversary of the S & JD Robertson sponsored Mount Cup with Glaitness United winning the league for the first time since 1995/96. United completed a league and cup double winning the TSB Trophy to confirm themselves as kings of primary indoor football.

Evie retained the Shore Shield for small schools after a close fought battle with Firth Scorpions and Hope/Burray Hotspurs, another great achievement. The Reid Crescent Shield was won by Real Dounby, their first win in the competition since 2004/05.

In the East v West games on the final night East proved to be too strong at both levels winning both the A game and the B game.

The Hourstons Jewellers Indoor 4’s competitions were won by Stromness at S1/S2 level breaking a run of East United wins and Rovers A won the S3/S4 title in another full blooded competition.

Outdoors the Gilmour Shield Outdoor Primary Competition was won by Glaitness B to round off a very successful year for Glaitness Primary School winning all the indoor and outdoor competitions.

The S1 & Under BW Kemp Cup for Division 1 was won by Stromness A and the E G Kemp Shield for Division 2 was won by Thorfinn C. Also at S1 and Under level, the Clouston Cup was won by Thorfinn A and the Clouston Plate went to Thorfinn B for the second year running.

The Under 15’s competitions saw Thorfinn winning the R S Merriman Shield for the fourth time in five years. Also at Under 15 level the Maurice Walls Cup threw up some surprise results and Stromness went on to win impressively for the first time since 2005.  

In the pre-season tournament with Whitedale down from Shetland, East United had a great weekend with their A and B teams winning their respective leagues. The end of season competition with Shetland sides Lerwick Rangers and TSB saw success for Rangers in the A League with East United B winning the B League.

The Northern Counties Competition, sponsored by Orkney Aggregates, was won for the second year in a row by Ross County. Competing for only the second time Ross County have now added this event to their annual calendar of fixtures, such is the level of competition and enjoyment that they get when they come to Orkney.  Teams that visit from clubs like Ross County and Inverness Caley Thistle take their football very seriously Stephen added.  “We take the view that providing opportunities for our teams to play against quality opposition like this can be really beneficial.  It also the case, that these professional teams use this type of competition for scouting purposes, and we are seeing increasing numbers of our young players being given the opportunity to play and train with mainland sides”, he added. This year young Orkney players Sam Hunter, Callan Jessiman, Ryan Harcus and Jay Foubister have all played for one of the Highland Scottish Premiership clubs highlighting the quality of footballing talent in the county.

Finally, the winter competitions ran for a second year. Despite being plagued by the weather resulting in several postponements the leagues were keenly fought with the N&D Chalmers Cup for S1/2 teams going to Stromness and the Jim Cormack Cup for S3/4 teams being retained by East United. 

He then thanked all the generous and loyal sponsors who have supported youth football throughout the year:-

A Flett Ltd, Brian Budge, John Foulis, Bob Gilmour, E G Kemp, Jim Cormack, Kevin Groundwater & Family, Lloyds TSB, Norrie Chalmers, Northlink Ferries, Orkney Aggregates, Orkney Builders, Pentland Ferries, R Clouston Ltd, R S Merriman Ltd, Ruth Kemp & Family, S & J D Robertson Group Ltd, S R Paterson Ltd, Lorraine Pilkington Tait & Café Lolz, Talisman Ltd, W Hourston Ltd, Scottish Sea Farms, and the Flotta workforce.  

Their continued support has been hugely appreciated by OYDG.

Stephen Crawford then handed over to the county coaches who provided detailed and amusing reviews of their seasons. Again there was high praise from coaches Graeme Harrison, Bob Clouston, Gordon Mulraine and Danny Nicolson for the quality of Orkney’s young footballers. Reviewing the past year the coaches paid tribute to the performance of the county squads. 

Highlights of the year included:-

the Under 11’s retaining the John W Shearer Cup against Shetland in June and some excellent performances against Ross County during their annual trip in September;

the Under 12’s regaining the John Manson Trophy after a penalty shoot-out against Shetland, and squad players Ryan Harcus and Jay Foubister being picked by Caley Thistle and Ross County;

the Under 13’s unbeaten in six matches at the Highlands & Islands Football Festival in May – the only team not to lose a game with Aidan Robertson scoring all eight Orkney goals; and

the Under 15’s 3-2 victory against Caithness to regain the Loisburgh United Memorial Cup in April, and their 2-2 draw against Clach in Inverness last month.

This year also saw four coaches standing aside after coaching Orkney’s young players for many years.  David Ryrie and Danny Nicolson at Under 15 level and Gordon Mulraine (Under 13) stood down. In addition Peter Connolly (Under 13’s) moved south in the summer. David has been the longest serving coach having guided the Under 15’s for the last 8 years.  

Stephen Crawford said “We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the coaches who give so generously of their time to their squads. The coaches not only turn out week after week to pass on their footballing knowledge and develop the skills of their players, they also organise fund raising, organise excursions and give their time selflessly”.  Each of the coaches was then presented with a trophy as a debt of gratitude for giving so generously of their time to the squads with additional gifts being presented to the retiring coaches.

All the four County squads were then presented with their county medals by Charlie Kemp on behalf of the sponsors Orkney Builders. 

The evening concluded with the County coaches announcing their Players of the Year for 2013. The awards are presented on the basis of several criteria including: good sportsmanship, performance, effort, behaviour at training and on trips, attendance and respect for coaches and team mates.  

The trophies were presented by Lisa Groundwater (representing the Groundwater Family as sponsors) to the top players – Under 11 - Owen Young (Under 11); Jay Foubister (Under 12); Ryan Mooney (Under 13) and Greg Scott (Under 15). Well done to all four and indeed all the players that have represented Orkney this season.

OYDG are grateful to Orkney Builders for sponsoring the County medals and the Groundwater Family for sponsoring the Player of the Year awards.



Caithness Under 14’s 3 Orkney Under 14’s 4 (Calum Crawford, Connor Hancock, Oskar Stout 2)

Orkney travelled to Wick on Saturday 27th October to play an Under 14’s friendly match against Caithness. Orkney don’t normally play as an Under 14 team and usually only select Under 13 and Under 15 squads. Despite some players being unavailable for selection due to the school October holidays, a young Orkney squad was pulled together and they made the trip across the Firth. The forecasted high winds did not materialise and the match was played in reasonably good overhead conditions.

The match was played over 90 minutes but split into two 30 minute periods and then two 15 minute periods. Rolling substitutes were used to give all of the boys who travelled a decent amount of match time.

The match was very even for the first 30 minute period. Striker Joss Muir got himself into a good position and was unlucky to see his shot go wide but it was Caithness who broke the deadlock and opened the scoring. Orkney were unfortunate to be in this predicament as the teams were evenly matched at this stage of the game.

In the second 30 minute period Orkney continued to push for a goal and were rewarded for their efforts when Callum Crawford sped down the right, did a one-two, and then drove the ball into the goal at the near post to make it 1-1. He was also unfortunate not to have scored a second with a low drive which hit the post.

Following a foul outside the penalty box, Sam Hunter stepped up to fire a great free-kick from 25 yards over the Caithness wall only to be acrobatically tipped over the bar by the keeper.

Caithness however managed to regain the lead to make it 2-1.

Connor Hancock then received the ball on the edge of the penalty box and unleashed a low drive to beat the keeper at the near post to make it 2-2.

Orkney pushed on and Connor Hancock skipped his opponent on the edge of the penalty box and hit a low shot which was parried by the keeper. Oskar Stout however had continued his run from midfield and pounced on the rebound to make 3-2.    

During the first of the next two 15 minute periods Sam Hunter and Oskar Stout engaged in a series of intricate passes to weave themselves through the Caithness defence only for Sam to hit the crossbar following a fine lob over the goalkeeper.

Captain Scott Taylor and the other defenders including Ewan Scott, Callum McArthur and Glen Scott and Fraser Merriman all put in good solid performances but were having to contend with some very fast Caithness forwards. Sam Rendall and Aiden Robertson were being very effective on the wings and Callan Jessiman was comfortable on the ball in midfield.

Caithness however showed their attacking strength and came back again to level score at 3-3 before going into the final 15 minute period of the match. There was nevertheless a strong belief in the Orkney camp that they could go on to win the match as it was felt that they were playing the better football.

Oskar Stout got the ball on the edge of the box, weaved into the congested area past a couple of opponents before wrong-footing the Caithness defenders and tucked the ball high up into the right of the goals. This was the final goal with the match ending 4-3 to Orkney. 

This was an excellent team performance. Sam Hunter and Oskar Stout were influential throughout the game. Jay Foubister, Orkney’s youngest player, sat behind these two in midfield and had a very assured performance. Jack Craigie, the Orkney goalkeeper made an excellent debut and had a number of fine saves.

After the match the boys watched the senior Wick Academy game against Lossiemouth and witnessed Orkney player James Pickles playing very effectively for the Wick team.

The Orkney coaches, Ian Scott and Ian Stout would like to thank the Orkney boys for their great attitude and exemplary behaviour as they were a credit to the county.



Inverness Clach Under 15’s 2 Orkney Under 15’s 2 (Connor Nicolson, Archie McPhail)

After taking in the Ross County v Celtic Scottish Premiership match on Saturday 18th October the Under 15’s faced Inverness Clach on the Sunday. The weather on the day was wet and windy making for difficult playing conditions. The match was played over 90 minutes split into two 30 minute periods followed by two 15 minute periods.

Over the season the team has started matches slowly and this game was no different with Orkney giving away possession far too often during the opening period. Orkney eventually paid the price with Clach opening the scoring. Orkney however started to force themselves back into the match during the second 30 minute period and scored a slightly fortuitous equaliser through a cross come shot from Connor Nicolson. Although others in the team felt that Connor was attempting to cross the ball Connor himself insists that it was a well placed and perfectly flighted shot which he fully intended!

Orkney dominated the final two 15 minute periods but were unlucky when Clach caught them with a breakaway goal to regain the lead. This was a poor goal to lose during a period when Orkney were dominating the match. Orkney continued to bombard the Clach during the final 15 minutes creating numerous chances, but without any luck. Just when it looked like it was not going to be Orkney’s day, they struck in the final minute of the match. Following an Orkney corner there was a stramash in the Clach box and Archie MacPhail popped up to prod the ball home for a well deserved equaliser.

Retiring Orkney coaches David Ryrie and Danny Nicolson were delighted with the performance of the team and especially the commitment they showed in their final match of the season. The match was played in a sporting but very competitive manner and the draw was well deserved for the Orkney lads. All the boys deserve praise for the way they approached the match with Tom Flett and Greg Scott performing well in defence and Oskar Stout showing up well in midfield.  



Ross County 3 Orkney 0

Under 13's with coach Gordon Mulraine

On 27th September the Orkney U13's travelled to Dingwall to take part in an end of season friendly against Ross County's U13's.

After a short but slightly rough crossing on Pentland Ferries and a bus trip to Dingwall the travelling party arrived to a nice sunny day. It was agreed that the match would consist of three 20 minute games to give all the players good game time.

Orkney and Ross County both started a bit tentatively but it wasn't long until Ross County settled into the game and started causing the Orkney defence some problems. With a fast and flowing move ending up by Ryan Harcus  (Orkney Under 12 player) who is also currently playing for Ross County, lobbing the ball over the Orkney goalkeeper’s head and into the net. The rest of the first half was pretty even with both teams trying to get control of the game. The first third ended Ross County 1 Orkney 0.

Into the second half and a few player changes were made with Orkney appearing to be getting over their travel down to Dingwall. Orkney started to give Ross County a few scares with forwards combining together but with Ross County's defence playing well as a unit they didn't get much chances to get a shot on target. Orkney's midfield were certainly having to work hard with the continuous pressure from Ross County which eventually ended in another Ross County goal to give them a 2-0 lead.

Into the last 3rd of the match and some more changes were made again for the Orkney team. The boys all dug in and played the best football of the day. Unfortunately they just could not get past Ross County's midfield and defence. Ross County made a final attack and scored ending the match 3-0.

After the match Orkney were guests of Ross County and attended the Premiership match between Ross County v Dundee. The match was very enjoyable especially since it was Ross County's first win of the season and the boys managed to meet many of the players - no doubt the “selfies” have been getting passed around! Coach, Gordon Mulraine, expressed thanks to Ross County who were great hosts and made everyone feel welcome. The boys were a credit to Orkney over the weekend and special thanks also go to Lenny Merriman and John Swannie for all their help and assistance over the last few years on away trips.



Orkney Under 12’s travelled down to Inverness on Saturday 20th September. After taking in the Scottish Premiership match between Inverness Caley and St Johnstone on the Saturday they faced up to Inverness Clach on the Sunday. The match was played in three 30 minute sessions.

Orkney started well and had most of the play in the first third. It was no surprise when they took the lead when a good move down the left hand side saw some excellent interlinking play which ended with Jamie Clouston chipping the Clach keeper to make it 1-0. Just before the end of the opening third Orkney gave away a simple goal to bring the sides level.

An even second third which Clach probably just edged brought no further goals.

The final third was one Orkney will want to forget as Clach scored two quick goals early on. Orkney heads dropped and with the superior fitness of the Inverness side beginning to tell, they scored a further 5 goals to run out 8-1 winners.



Orkney West

Orkney East

Orkney Kirkwall

A party of 23 young footballers left Orkney on Friday 12th September for the Under-11's trip to Dingwall and Inverness, which for the bulk of the group would be  their first experience of representative football outwith Orkney.

Saturday 13th September - Ross County

On a warm and sunny Saturday morning, the group travelled from their hotel base in Inverness to the Highland Football Academy in Dingwall, adjoining Ross County FC's Global Energy Stadium.  The boys split into three teams, "West", "East" and "Kirkwall" to take on three teams from Ross County's development squad in a 7-a-side round robin tournament.

All three Orkney teams competed well against their talented and well organised opponents in very demanding conditions and, after a slow start, played some excellent passing football which impressed the large watching crowd, including some travelling Orkney fans.  Special mention should go to the Orkney "West" team, who emerged from the morning with a 100% record, with Aiden Foubister and Owen Young scoring some excellent goals in the process.    

Full results:

Orkney West 3  (Aiden Foubister, Owen Young 2)  Ross County C 0 

   Orkney West 2  (Aiden Foubister, Owen Young) Ross County B 1

  Orkney West 3  (Aiden Foubister, Owen Young 2) Ross County A 2     

              Orkney Kirkwall 1  (Craig Harrison) Ross County A 3                          

Orkney Kirkwall 1 (Sam Davidson) Ross County C 0

Orkney Kirkwall 2  (Craig Harrison, Finlay Scott) Ross County B 5 

Orkney East 3 (Alexander Scott, Tom McArthur, Nairn Hall) Ross County C 0

Orkney East 0  Ross County A 4     


Orkney XI 3 (Craig Harrison, Tommy Ballantyne 2) Ross County XI 0

After the 7's tournament, a full-scale 11-a-side match was staged with Orkney taking on the pick of Ross County's boys.  This proved to be a very entertaining encounter with both sides playing attractive passing football as the game swung from end to end.  The deadlock was broken when a fine swinging cross by Ross Leslie was met on the half-volley at the far post by Craig Harrison to fire Orkney in front.  With the heat and strength-sapping pitch taking its toll on young legs, rolling subs were the order of the day and almost all of the 23-strong Orkney squad were able to play a part in the match.  Encouragingly, it was the Orkney team that appeared to cope better with the conditions and their enterprising play was rewarded when a fine Aiden Foubister through pass was neatly finished by Tommy Ballantyne to put Orkney 2-0 ahead.  The Orkney boys continued to grow in confidence and a cleverly worked short corner move on the Orkney right saw Craig Harrison chip the ball into the box for Tommy Ballantyne to lash an unstoppable shot into the roof of the net to round off the scoring at 3-0, and cap a fine performance by the visitors.

Afterwards, the Orkney boys were treated to lunch inside the Academy and were then the guests of Ross County at that afternoon's home SPFL fixture against Motherwell.  The Orkney boys thoroughly enjoyed the full SPFL experience, and although they added their voices to the more vocal elements of the home support, they could not bring about a first elusive victory of the season for the home side, Motherwell running out 2-1 victors.  Grateful thanks go to Chaz McPhee and everyone at Ross County for the excellent competition and warm hospitality, and particularly to the players of both first team squads who gave freely of their time post-match to chat, pose for pictures and autograph all manner of things for the boys.        

Sunday 14th September - Inverness Clachnacuddin

On another fine, sunny morning in Inverness, the squad moved on to the 3-G facilities at Charleston Academy and the same three (geographically-split) teams took on two teams of Inverness Clach youngsters in a friendly 7-a-side tournament.  In the initial games, both Orkney East and West teams were showing signs of leg-weariness from the day before and started slowly, both falling behind to their Inverness opponents. However, in the second-half, both teams fought back strongly to draw/win their respective matches, scoring some well worked goals in the process.  The second round of games proved more comfortable for the Orkney teams with East running out comfortable 4-1 winners in their match and Kirkwall putting in 6 unanswered goals in a devastating first half performance to win at a canter.  The games were notable for fine hat-tricks for Nairn Hall (East) and Finlay Scott/Craig Harrison (Kirkwall). 

Thanks to everyone at Inverness Clach for a very sporting competition, which produced some excellent football from both squads. 

Full results:

Orkney East 1 (Tom McArthur) Inverness Clach A 1     
Orkney East 4  (Nairn Hall 3, Tom McArthur) Inverness Clach B 1     

Orkney West 3 (Aiden Foubister; Archie Atkinson; Magnus Runciman) Inverness Clach B 1    

Orkney Kirkwall 8 (Finlay Scott 3, Craig Harrison 3, Tommy Ballantyne; Charlie Corsie) Inverness Clach A 2 

All in all, a memorable trip, which was made all the better by excellent travelling weather/unseasonably warm playing conditions, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved.  The series of competitive matches against fresh opponents undoubtedly provided all of the squad with valuable experience which will stand them in great stead in their future Orkney careers.  All of the boys acquitted themselves excellently, both on and off the park, and special thanks go to Kathy McLeod and her team at the Holiday Inn Express Inverness for looking after the boys so well.



Shetland A 2 Orkney A 1 (Ryan Harcus)

Shetland B 4 Orkney B 4 (Aidan Foubister 2, Owen Young, Craig Harrison)

The A team who were unlucky to lose 2-1 to Shetland

A superb comeback saw the B team draw 4-4 with Shetland

The Under 12 inter-county A and B matches were played on Monday 31 August and with the home matches at Picky in June being very close affairs with Orkney A winning on penalties and the game between the B teams ending goalless, further tight matches were expected. And so it transpired with nothing to choose between the teams in both matches.

Unfortunately for the A team Shetland gained revenge for the June defeat with a narrow 2-1 victory. Earlier in the summer Orkney had relied on a fantastic late comeback to score 2 goals in the last 3 minutes to level the match but the boot was on the other foot this time round as Shetland scored two very late goals to turnaround a match where Orkney looked to be heading for victory through a Ryan Harcus goal.

The B game was equally exciting with Orkney B producing a fantastic comeback from what looked like an impossible situation when they found themselves 4-0 down. With Shetland also fielding a good number of their starting A squad for the B game, the Orkney B team, made up to a large extent of Under-11’s, were likely to have something of a mountain to climb.  This proved to be so when, playing into the strong wind in the first half the smaller, lighter Orkney boys struggled to make progress and, despite trying to play attractive passing football, found it hard to breach the last line of Shetland defence.  The Shetland team used the conditions to their advantage and Orkney quickly found themselves two goals down.  Some slack defending allowed the home team to score again shortly afterwards, to take a 3 – 0 lead into half time.

Orkney’s problems compounded when Shetland scored again immediately after the break.  However, despite being 4-0 down, the young Orkney side refused to buckle and kept playing attractive football, despite the tricky conditions.  Their endeavour was eventually rewarded when Aidan Foubister latched on to a fine passing move to fire Orkney back into the game.  This gave the Orkney team a considerable confidence boost and with their passing and movement in midfield proving highly effective, it was the older Shetland boys’ turn to struggle.  Two further Orkney goals followed through a fine strike from man-of-the-match Owen Young and a second Aidan Foubister counter.  Craig Harrison then got in on the act, lobbing the Shetland keeper from the edge of the box to bring the scores level at 4 – 4. 

Shetland had no answer to Orkney’s devastating burst of four goals in eight minutes and Orkney finished the game the stronger side.  Any Shetland attacks were thwarted by a resolute Orkney defence and, with a bit more luck in front of goal, the Orkney boys could have went on to snatch an unlikely victory.  Nevertheless, at the final whistle, the young Orkney team’s remarkable comeback was greeted as enthusiastically as a victory by the travelling support, and provided an excellent finish to a successful weekend of football.



Shetland 2 Orkney 0

Under 13's in Lerwick, Monday 25th August

On Saturday 23rd August the Orkney Under 13’s travelled overnight by Northlink to Shetland.  After breakfast on the boat they travelled to the Clickimin Sports Centre to compete in a 7-a-side club tournament.  It was a warm sunny day and the boys were fresh after having a good sail to Shetland.

The Orkney team was split into two separate East/West teams which meant they were in separate leagues during the competition.  Both teams played exceptional football which meant that both finished top of their respective leagues and met each other in the final.  With the East team winning after extra time and penalties.  Coach, Gordon Mulraine was delighted with their pre-county match performance.

After an enjoyable afternoon with a tour round the Up Helly A galley shed and a trip to the pool the boys rested overnight for the inter-county match for the J W Thomson Cup.

On Monday the team woke up to another bright sunny day and travelled to the Clickimin Centre.  After the teams valiant efforts the previous day it was clear that the Shetland team had the upper hand.  During the first five minutes of the game Shetland had most of the ball and the Orkney defence had its work cut out.  Eventually with a Shetland attack and a slightly mistimed challenge by an Orkney player in the box meant that the referee gave a penalty against Orkney.  Shetland capitalised on this and scored to take the lead.

The shock of this goal was what the Orkney players needed and they rallied and started to play better football.  There was a close call when a through ball from Callan Jessiman to Ryan Mooney who narrowly missed the target.  The first half ended 1-0 and the team were clearly disappointed.

In the second half after a good team talk the boys started more positively with good moves from the midfield.  During this time Andrew Mulraine passed a crossfield ball to Scott Swannie who fired the ball straight into the Shetland goalkeeper’s hands.  Orkney were pushing forward constantly during the second half and were unfortunate not to gain the equaliser.  In the final minute of the game following an Orkney free kick the Shetland goalkeeper intercepted the ball and quickly kicked the ball deep into the Orkney half. The ball was picked up by a Shetland player who fired it past the Orkney goalkeeper to make a final score of 2-0 for Shetland.

The whole team were clearly disappointed after such fantastic football the previous day and their better second half where the team had worked very well together.  Ryan Mooney was named Orkney’s Player of the Match.



Orkney 1 (Archie McPhail) Shetland 2

Orkney's Under 15's pictured after the match at Picky, 23 August

Orkney's Under 15's were very unfortunate to narrowly lose their inter-county match against Shetland 2-1 at Picky on Saturday 23 August. In an eagerly anticipated fixture the teams were playing each other for the first time at this age level since Orkney established an Under 15 squad in 2010.

Orkney had the better of a goalless first half creating a number of good chances but a combination of bad luck and indifferent finishing cost the home side. Early chances fell to Rory Crawford who lobbed narrowly over and Oskar Stout who shot at the Shetland keeper after being played through. Midway through the half Orkney were desperately unlucky not to open the scoring when first Robbie Scott and then Archie McPhail both hit the Shetland woodwork in close succession.

There was 25 minutes on the clock before Shetland troubled the Orkney keeper when Magnus Merriman was forced to push a Shetland shot wide. There was a further nervous moment for the Orkney defence on the stroke of half time when they struggled to cope with a Shetland attack but the balance of play in the first half favoured Orkney who could count themselves extremely unlucky not to be in front at the break.

A fantastic start to the second half saw Orkney take the lead that their first half play deserved. A free kick on the right hand side was floated high into the net by Archie McPhail evading the Shetland defence. Orkney’s lead was short lived however as Shetland hit back immediately with two goals in a 60 second spell as the Orkney defence failed to clear their lines.

With only five minutes of the second half played however there was still plenty time for Orkney to turn the match round and coaches David Ryrie and Danny Nicolson made a number of substitutions to freshen things up. Orkney continued to create the better chances with the Shetland keeper saving from a Sam Hunter free kick and an Oskar Stout shot. Further half chances fell to Oskar and Archie as Orkney pressed for the equaliser.

Midway through the second half Shetland almost increased their lead as they created a couple of good chances of their own. The final chance of the match fell to Orkney with a Morgan Foubister shot well saved by the Shetland keeper.  Given the number of chances created this was a match Orkney did not deserve to lose but credit is due to Shetland for the way they responded immediately to going a goal down with two quick fire goals of their own.

At the end of the match OYDG Chairman Stephen Crawford thanked the Shetland team for coming down for the match and congratulated them on their victory. He then presented the Shetland captain with the Peter Morrison Memorial Cup.



Orkney A 2 (Reid Kemp, Ryan Harcus) Shetland A 2 (Orkney won 3-1 on penalties)

Ewan Manson presents the John Manson Trophy to the Under 12's @ Picky

Orkney staged a fantastic comeback scoring two goals in the last 3 minutes of the match played at Picky on Sunday 8th June to level the match against Shetland at 2-2. The first half belonged to Shetland and only Shane Swannie with a brilliant save tipping the ball onto the post stopped Shetland from taking an early lead. The woodwork also saved Orkney on another two occasions including a Shetland free kick which smashed the crossbar. The pressure eventually paid off midway through the half when Shetland took the lead from close range after the Orkney defence failed to clear. Worse was to follow as Shetland scored a second five minutes before half time when the Shetland forward outpaced the centre of the Orkney defence to drive the ball home.

Whatever Orkney coaches Bob Clouston and Paul Kemp said to the boys at half time it was a different Orkney team that emerged in the second half. It was one-way traffic towards the Shetland goal with a variety of attempts on goal by Reid Kemp, Jamie Clouston, Ryan Harcus and Jamie Flett. Despite all the pressure it was beginning to look like it was not going to be Orkney’s day and with only minutes of the match remaining hopes of an Orkney victory were remote. Three minutes from time there was a glimmer of hope when Reid Kemp drove the ball low into the Shetland net to pull a goal back. This spurred Orkney on and they poured forward in search of an equaliser. With a minute left to play Orkney got the equaliser that their second half display merited. The hero was Ryan Harcus who scored a great goal after a mazy run through the Shetland defence, much to the delight of the home support.

Having led for most of the game the late Orkney goals were hard for Shetland to take but provided the Orkney boys with a major boost as the game headed into penalty kicks. Shane Swannie in the Orkney goals was once again in excellent form saving the first two Shetland penalties whilst Jamie Clouston, Jay Foubister and and Ryan Harcus hit the target to give Orkney an unlikely 3-1 victory.

After the match OYDG Chairman Stephen Crawford congratulated both sides on an excellent game of football and thanked Shane Stanger for refereeing the match. The John Manson Trophy was then presented to the winning Orkney team by Ewan Manson who was representing his father John.

The main match was followed by another inter-county match between the respective B teams composed of younger players. A tight first half saw few chances created and the first half ended goalless. The Orkney side picked up the pace and dominated the second half with a number of chances created. The nearest Orkney came to scoring were when Craig Harrison hit the post after finding himself free in the box, and a goalbound Charlie Corsie shot which was well blocked by a Shetland defender. Also prominent in attack with attempts on the Shetland goal were Aidan Foubister and Nairn Hall. Despite all the pressure Shetland held out and the match ended goalless.


Orkney Under 12's B team

The final match on Sunday saw an Orkney/Shetland Select play Inverness Caley Thistle. The Northern Islanders put in a good performance but the Caley Thistle boys proved too strong and ran out 4-1 victors. 

At the end of the days play various awards were handed out to players from each team who stood out over the weekend’s matches including the Northern Counties.

Ronnie Duncan of Inverness Caley picked Ryan Harcus as the Orkney player of the weekend and Brandon Taldukter as the Shetland player of the weekend. ICT player of the weekend was Matthew Wilson.

Orkney A player of the day against Shetland was Jay Foubister

Orkney B player of the day against Shetland was Ben Swannie

Shetland A player of the day against Orkney was Joe Waddley

Shetland B player of the day against Orkney was Matthew Robertson


Orkney pictured with the John W Shearer Cup, 1st June 2014

A perfect day for football at Picky on Sunday 1st June saw Orkney’s Under 11’s looking forward to their first competitive action in the annual inter-county fixture against Shetland for the John W Shearer Cup. Four matches were played with the cup winners being the county winning the majority of ties.

Orkney B 0 Shetland A 0

This was a solid start by Orkney’s B team against the top Shetland side. They defended well in the first half and finished the match as the stronger side mounting a number of attacks. The nearest scoring opportunity for Orkney came when a Charlie Corsie shot was well saved by the Shetland keeper.

Orkney A 0 Shetland B 0

The second match saw one way traffic towards the Shetland goal as Orkney mounted incessant attacks. However despite all the pressure and opportunities created Orkney were unable to put the ball in the net. The Shetland goalkeeper pulled off a string of good saves when Orkney found the target ensuring the game ended goalless.

Orkney B 2 (Finn Hancock, Tom McArthur) Shetland B 0

The drought of goals was finally broken with an excellent long range effort by Finn Hancock whose shot dipped perfectly over the Shetland keeper to give Orkney the lead. In a dominant performance a mazy dribble followed by a low hard shot by Tom McArthur provided Orkney with another great goal and a well deserved second goal giving the home side the upper hand in the cup competition.  

Orkney A 3 (Nairn Hall 2, Aidan Foubister) Shetland A 2

Only needing a draw in the final match to retain the cup there was an early shock as Shetland took the lead. A Shetland free kick was not properly cleared by the Orkney defence leaving Shetland with a tap in from close range. Orkney nerves were eased when Nairn Hall connected perfectly with a low cross from Craig Harrison and drove the ball low into the net. There was double delight for Nairn as he scored a second soon after rounding the keeper and rolling the ball into the net. Orkney continued to create chances and added a third as quick thinking by Aidan Foubister who robbed a Shetland defender and poked the ball into the net. Just on the final whistle a stunning strike for Shetland reduced the Orkney winning margin to a single goal.

Overall a very satisfying performance for the Orkney youngsters who fully deserved their victory and with more clinical finishing the winning margin could have been more comfortable. At the end of the matches Stephen Crawford OYDG Chairman thanked Shetland for coming down and Ivan Leslie for refereeing the matches, before presenting the John W Shearer Cup to the delighted Orkney squad.  Pennants were also presented to the Players of the Day: -Orkney A – Aidan Foubister; Orkney B – Reece Worthington; Shetland A – Gary Scott and Shetland B – Cian Irvine.



Under 13's pictured at Victoria Park, Dingwall, 24th May

Sixteen players from the Orkney Under 13’s County Squad travelled down to Dingwall at the weekend to take part in the Highlands and Islands Football Festival 2014. The Festival featured nine select teams from the Highlands and Islands. It was hosted by Ross County and organised by the Scottish Football Association (SFA).

The standard of the football was good and all of the games were close and hard fought. Orkney’s schedule consisted of five games on the Saturday and one game on the Sunday morning. Orkney had to rely on its whole squad to cope with the 4 hours of competitive football played, during their two days. The squad was also invited to stay on to take part in a development match with Ross County’s Under 13’s Team on the Sunday and to have a tour of the stadium and its facilities.

On a cloudy but mild Saturday morning the Orkney squad headed to Ross County’s Victoria Park for their first match, which was against local side Alness United. Both teams were clearly determined to get off to a good start but took time to settle. It was Orkney who started to put pressure on the Alness defence. A free kick awarded just outside of the penalty box saw John Angus Galbraith’s effort just miss. This was shortly followed by a free kick in a similar position, as Alness were struggling to cope with Orkney’s attacking pressure; this free kick resulted in Orkney’s first goal of the day as Aidan Robertson skilfully placed his shot in the top right hand corner. Alness were struggling to cope with the pressure and Connor Hancock fed a perfect pass through to Aidan Robertson, who slid the ball pass the keeper for his and Orkney’s second goal of the game. The second half saw a more even match with both sides creating good chances but with no further goals added. Scott Swannie and Andrew Mulraine’s work rate in midfield absorbed most of the pressure from Alness, as the Orkney defence worked hard to settle and find their shape.

Orkney 2 (Aidan Robertson 2) Alness United 0

The second match was against their regular rivals Shetland, who had already played and won their first game on the Friday night. The match was played at a high tempo, with Shetland having good possession but not having many attempts on goal. Jeremiasz Kaluzinski in goal for Orkney dominated his goalmouth and penalty box, and the Orkney defence were starting to gel together and create a formidable barrier which Shetland failed to breach. Orkney had several attacking moves, corners and close shaves but Callan Jessiman, Ryan Mooney and Aidan Robertson could not find the winning goal, in this doggedly fought match between two teams who have come to respect and know each other well.

Orkney 0  Shetland 0

Orkney’s third match was against Clachnacuddin and a number of changes were made to the Orkney starting line-up. The Orkney midfield dominated the majority of the first half with Connor Hancock and Ryan Mooney prominent.  

Logan Scott and John Angus Galbraith both had shots saved and stopped by their keeper and the metal framework of Clach’s goal. Clach started to settle and attack down Orkneys flanks. Just before half time a cross left Brough beaten on his near post as Clach took a surprising lead. This led to further changes for the second half and clear instructions to start working as a team and not as individuals. This approach soon paid off as Callan Jessiman fed a precise pass through to Aidan Robertson who slotted home for his third goal. Clach tried to assert more pressure on the Orkney defence but Josh Rendall and Nicol Harcus had settled in defence and were able to resist the ongoing pressure by Clach’s pacey wide players. A clearance by Glen Brough was controlled by Aidan Robertson who turned and scored the winner and his fourth goal of the day.

Orkney 2 (Aidan Robertson 2)  Clachnacuddin 1

The next match, following a well-deserved lunch break, was played on an astro-turf pitch against Elgin City FC’s select squad, who play their weekly football in an SFA development league. Orkney were caught out by a quick Elgin break which saw then take an early lead. Orkney responded by upping their game and matching their opposition. This match turned into one of the best games of the festival, as verified by the match official, as both teams played high quality passing and attacking football. Andrew Mulraine broke down the left and drove into the Elgin penalty, before playing a perfect pass to Aidan Robertson who slotted home his fifth goal of the day. Elgin were struggling to cope with this swift reply and the energy of Scott Swannie, Ryan Mooney and Connor Hancock across the midfield. John Angus Galbraith, Glen Scott  and Lee Rendall were also commanding in defence. Callan Jessiman was excelling in his control of the ball and flicked over a pass which landed behind the Elgin defence, allowing Aidan Robertson to score his sixth goal of the day. The second half was an even contest and Orkney worked hard for a third goal. Elgin eventually breached the Orkney defence and slotted an equaliser past Kaluzinski. The game ended in a draw with plaudits drawn from all spectators who had witnessed a competitive and skilful game of football played at an outstanding level, for two under 13s teams.

Orkney 2 (Aidan Robertson 2)Elgin City 2

The fifth game on the Saturday was against Strathspey Thistle. Orkney again freshened up the starting line-up, using all of the resources and the remaining energy of the squad to battle out their final game of the day. A weary Orkney side struggled to make an impact on the Strathspey goal and dug deep to defend.  A breach of defence and speculative shot which hit the cross bar and bounced on the line behind Glen Brough was ruled to be a goal. Orkney reached half time a goal behind and were able to bring fresh legs back on for the second half. The remainder of the game was a frustrating stop and start affair, with a sequence of lectures by a fastidious referee. Orkney were battling hard putting increasing pressure on the Strathspey goal with numerous chances going just wide of the post. With only minutes left Orkney won another corner but this time Ryan Mooney’s cross into the box created a stramash with Aidan Robertson lashing the ball into the roof of the net for the equaliser and his seventh goal of the day.

Orkney 1 (Aidan Robertson) Strathspey Thistle 1 

The Orkney squad returned to Victoria Park on a damp and fresh Sunday morning, for their final game of the festival. Their challenge was to beat local rivals Caithness who were focused on spoiling Orkney’s unbeaten record. Orkney kicked off and always looked in control of the match. Jak Craigie had developed during the tournament into a confident and powerful central defender alongside the cool and collected Fraser Merriman and both were solid in defence throughout this match. The early break came as Connor Hancock drove forward, passing wide to Ryan Mooney who sent a cross into the Caithness box, where Aidan Robertson was on position to open the scoring with his eighth goal of the Festival.

Caithness worked hard to get back into the game, trying to drive down both flanks but Lee Rendall and Glen Scott constantly limited their progress. A fine Caithness shot from outside looked destined to be heading for the bottom left hand corner, and as the Caithness coaches started their celebrations, Jeremiasz Kaluzinski pulled off a breath taking save by diving full stretch to tip the ball around his right hand post.

The second half witnessed another determined Orkney display with Connor Hancock, Andrew Mulraine and Scott Swannie all coming close to scoring a much needed second goal with long range efforts. Orkney looked in control with Jak Craigie making a superb last minute tackle on the edge of the penalty box which stopped the main breakaway challenge of the second half. Orkney saw out the match and paid respect to Caithness for a tight and hard fought match

Orkney 1 (Aidan Robertson) Caithness Utd 0

Coaches Gordon Mulraine and Peter Connolly were delighted with the attitude, discipline, work rate, teamwork and skills shown by their strong and committed Under 13’s squad. The team raised their game for tough matches and dug out results in the matches they should have won more comfortably. Aidan Robertson scored all of Orkney’s eight goals whilst quite a few other players were frustratingly close to scoring throughout these six matches. As a sixteen man squad they showed a collective unity and strength of character which was noted by the SFA officials and head coaches as being exceptional during the course of the whole weekend. Special thanks go to John Swannie and Lenny Merriman for being part of the coaching team during the weekend and providing excellent support and encouragement for all of the Orkney players.

The Orkney squad stayed on as guests of Ross County and played their Under 13’s squad. The whole squad participated in this match with some players being asked to try out new positions as the game progressed. Initially Orkney were pinned back in their own half but soon settled and started to match their talented opponents. The Ross County team participate weekly in an SFA development league against teams from SPL and SFL clubs. The Orkney squad matched them well with Glen Brough being a standout player in goal making numerous excellent saves. Logan Scott, Nicol Harcus and Josh Rendall also stood out as they worked hard to contain their skilful and fast opposition.

The Orkney Squad were afterwards shown around the Ross County facilities and complemented by the Ross County Head of Coaching and Development for the quality of their football and their work rate as a team.



ORKNEY 2 (Ryan Mooney, Aidan Robertson) SHETLAND 0

The Orkney squad pictured before the match, Saturday 10th May

Orkney Under 13 squad opened their season with an inter county match against Shetland at Picky on Saturday evening (10th May).  An excellent performance by the home side saw them dominating large phases of the match, playing attacking football and carving out many goal chances. The opening exchanges were played in the midfield as both teams tried to get to grips with each other. The first chance fell to Orkney as Scott Swannie played Aidan Robertson through but he shot narrowly wide. Orkney were however to take the lead with their second attack on goal after 10 minutes when Andrew Mulraine played a through ball to Ryan Mooney and he shot low and hard into the bottom corner of the net beyond the diving Shetland keeper.

The opening goal spurred Orkney on and they continued to created chances. John Angus Galbraith chipped over the bar; Scott Swannie turned and shot over; and a great run down the right wing by Glenn Scott resulted in a fine cross which found Callan Jessiman who fired wide. Glenn himself was next to shoot high over the bar, followed by a Scott Swannie shot straight at the Shetland keeper after he was set up following an excellent turn and pass by Aidan Robertson.

Shetland’s goal chances were restricted by a strong Orkney defensive line and there was 25 minutes before Jeremiasz Kalazinski in the Orkney goal was tested but he was able to save comfortably. There was a nervous moment however for the keeper on the stroke of half time when he was unable to cleanly catch the ball following a Shetland free kick, but luckily the defence managed to clear their lines.

Despite creating the majority of chances the half time whistle sounded with Orkney having a slender single goal lead.

Shetland opened the second half the brighter side and an early chance was saved by the Orkney keeper. However with 10 minutes gone Orkney doubled their lead with a well worked goal. A fine run down the right wing by Ryan Mooney was followed by an excellent cross into the box which was met on the half volley by Aidan Robertson who hammered the ball into the back of the Shetland net. The second half followed a similar pattern to the first half with Orkney creating a number of chances. A cross come shot from Glenn Scott was just over the bar; an Aidan Robertson turn and shot was palmed over by the Shetland keeper; a Ryan Mooney shot was fumbled by the Shetland keeper; and Aidan Robertson shot wide after he was found by a good cross from Glen Scott.

Five minutes from the end of the match Jeremiasz Kalazinski  in the Orkney goal pulled off the save of the match when he pushed over a Shetland shot that was heading for the top corner to ensure a clean sheet for the home side. 

Coach Gordon Mulraine was delighted with the win and felt that it was a good solid performance by the whole team which resulted in a well deserved victory on the day.

After the match OYDG Secretary Euain Penny congratulated both teams on their fine play and thanked Shetland for coming down for the match. He also thanked the Picky groundstaff and Gavin Leask for refereeing the match. The Shetland coaches picked Orkney keeper Jeremiasz Kalazinski as the top Orkney player. This could not have been an easy pick as there were many outstanding Orkney performances on the day, but the Orkney keeper apart from producing the save of the match was also quick off his line on a number of occasions to clear dangerous Shetland attacks.

The victory and performance sets the team up for the Highlands & Islands Football Festival at which they will be playing in Dingwall next weekend.



Orkney’s Under 15 County squad went into Saturday’s (3rd May) match looking to complete a season double over Caithness having previously won the away fixture last month. However it was clear from the kick off that Caithness were going to be no pushovers and the first 30 minutes witnessed incessant Caithness attacks and only poor finishing prevented them from taking the lead on a number of occasions.

Just when it looked like the Orkney defence might hold out until half time they were hit with a whirlwind three Caithness goals in the five minutes before the break which effectively killed the match. Orkney contributed to their own downfall with two of the three goals resulting from defensive slackness. With most of the first half played in the Orkney half little was seen of Orkney as an attacking force and the only half chance for the home side came midway through the half when the ball was scrambled clear by the Caithness defence following an Orkney corner.

Another half chance came Orkney’s way early in the second half when Gregg Scott fired straight at the keeper following another corner, but it was Caithness who increased their lead after 10 minutes when a Caithness striker was first to meet a low cross from the left wing.  Midway through the half Orkney had their best chance of the game when Robbie Scott ran onto a through ball from Callum Crawford but the Caithness keeper rushed out to produce a fine block save.

Further defensive slip ups resulted in a further two goals in two minutes for Caithness just before the half hour. There was further agony for Orkney when Caithness scored a seventh goal with seven minutes of the match left to play.

The only blot on a near perfect Caithness display came three minutes from the end when they had a man sent off for using foul and abusive language. This was a sore defeat for Orkney to take but they just didn’t turn up for the match and were second best in all aspects of play against a very impressive Caithness side. At the end of the match OYDG Chairman Stephen Crawford congratulated the winners and presented the OYDG Quaich to the Caithness captain.


CAITHNESS 2 ORKNEY 3 (Oskar Stout, Sam Hunter, Archie McPhail)

Orkney’s Under 15’s regained the Loisburgh United Memorial Cup after a well deserved 3-2 victory against their Caithness counterparts on Saturday. The match was played across the Pentland Firth in Halkirk with a strong wind blowing across the pitch making difficult playing conditions for both teams.

The match started off fairly evenly with Caithness having just the better of the early exchanges, but it was Orkney who opened the scoring through Oskar Stout midway through the half. Although his initial shot from just inside the box was saved by the Caithness keeper, Oskar picked up the rebound as the keeper could only parry and cooly slotted home. Although Caithness had their chances in the first half these were wasted and Craig Drever in the Orkney goal was rarely troubled. The half ended with Orkney holding onto their narrow 1-0 lead.

There was an excellent start to the second half for Orkney as five minutes after the re-start Sam Hunter doubled the lead with a fantastic effort when he turned and hit an unstoppable shot from just outside the box. Two minutes later and a third goal followed as Archie Macphail robbed the Caithness keeper as he tried to guide the ball out for a goal kick, with Archie netting from a tight angle.

At 3-0 down and with Orkney cruising Caithness mounted a sustained period of attack which saw them pull a goal back and win a penalty which to Orkney’s relief was missed. However a second wind assisted goal saw Caithness right back in the match with 20 minutes of the match still remaining. At this point the Orkney coaches instigated a number of positional changes in order to strengthen the defence and provide a more solid platform. The changes worked and Orkney never looked like losing any more goals and indeed could have added a couple of further goals as they looked dangerous on the break.

All the Orkney players deserve credit but special mention must be made of Greg Scott who formed a fantastic central defensive partnership with Tom Flett. In midfield Oskar Stout and Sam Hunter also put in excellent second half performances after getting to grips with the opposing midfield.  Orkney coaches David Ryrie and Danny Nicolson were delighted with the victory and performance and are looking forward with optimism to the return fixture which will be played at the KGS All Weather Pitch on Saturday 3rd May.



Arsenal Boys Club 5 Orkney 2 (Robbie Scott pen, Oskar Stout)

Under 15's pictured at Celtic Park during recent trip to Glasgow

Orkney’s Under 15’s travelled down to Glasgow last weekend to play Arsenal Boys Club a team based in the north of the city in their opening match of the season. Having lost the corresponding fixture last year 4-1, Orkney were looking for a more positive scoreline this time round.

Orkney suffered from a slow start to the match and found themselves a couple of goals down in the opening 15 minutes to the slick passing Glasgow outfit. Despite the loss of a couple of sloppy goals early in the match it did not deter the Orkney lads and they were unlucky not to end the first half even as they had a couple of chances cleared off the line.

A further goal was conceded at the start of the second half leaving Orkney with a mountain to climb to salvage anything from the match. From this point onwards however Orkney took control of the match and Oskar Stout pulled a goal back from an Orkney corner. A further opportunity to reduce the lead was spurned when Sam Hunter missed a penalty but Robbie Scott made amends shortly afterwards when he scored a second spot kick awarded to Orkney.

Orkney created numerous chances afterwards and were extremely unlucky hitting the woodwork and having a further goal bound shot cleared off the line. Pushing forward for the equaliser the boys were caught by a sucker punch by the Glasgow side who scored a breakaway goal to make it 4-2. A fifth goal two minutes from time was extremely unlucky on an Orkney side and did not reflect the true balance of play and number of chances created.

Coaches David Ryrie and Danny Nicolson although disappointed with the manner in which the team lost the early goals were pleased with the overall performance of the team in what was their first time playing together.

After the match the Orkney contingent took in the Scottish Premiership match between Partick Thistle and Aberdeen to complete a very enjoyable trip.



Following four weeks of trials the county coaches have announced their four squads to represent Orkney in 2014. The players chosen are as follows:

Under 11’s

Archie Atkinson, Tommy Ballantyne, Fraser Bruce, Findlay Cooper, Dylan Cormack, Charlie Corsie, Sam Davidson, James Donohoe, Aidan Foubister, Nairn Hall, Finn Hancock, Craig Harrison, Ross Leslie, Connor MacLeod, Tom McArthur, Cameron Milne, Scott Rendall, Magnus Runciman, Alexander Scott, Connor Scott, Findlay Scott, Ewan Stevenson, Reece Worthington, Owen Young.

Under 12’s

Ben Swannie, Liam King, Mark Slater, Euan Flett, Jamie Clouston, Reid Kemp, Jay Foubister, Ryan Harcus, Craig Marwick, Jamie Flett, Ryan Tait, Ryan Watt, Alex Sinclair, Gregor Dowell, Ross Sinclair, Owen Griffith, Erik Park, Shane Swannie.

Under 13’s

Andrew Mulraine, Aidan Robertson, Andrew Bell, Callan Jessiman, Connor Hancock, Fraser Merriman, Glen Scott, Glen Brough, Gregor McLeod, Jak Craigie, John Angus Galbraith,
Josh Rendall, Jeremiasz Kalazinski, Lewis Gorn, Lee Rendall, Logan Scott, Logan Smith, Nicol Harcus, Ryan Mooney, Scott Swannie.

Under 15’s

Gregg Scott, Robbie Scott, Connor Nicolson, Rory Crawford, Tom Flett, Jamie Flett, Oskar Stout, Magnus Merriman, Archie McPhail, Calum Crawford, Sam Rendall, Harry Siderfin,
Ewan Scott, Joss Muir, Calum Cheer, Craig Drever, Morgan Foubister, Morgan Whitehall,
Ryan Chalmers, Harry Ralph, Marcus Moore.

Well done to all the players who have been selected and OYDG look forward to a successful 2014 season for all the squads.






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