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Football Chat: U20 League to be formed


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Sorry for posting a football story on here but I see that it has been announced that the SPL are to run an U20 league (Its in the Record but cant find a link)

I think this is great news for us and long overdue - they should never have got rid of the reserve leaugue and this will give our U20 players more competitive matches with something to play for (and for us will be a bit like a reserve league anyway!)

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I think overall it is a good step in the right direction.

I am still in favour of clubs being able to enter B teams in the lower leagues as I think it would be a massive benefit to young players and the lower leagues. Not sure how it would all fit in together.

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Heres the article:

Wotte reckons the U20 league will benefit young stars such as Rangers' Rhys McCabe

MARK WOTTE last night hailed the SPL’s decision to start an Under-20s league next season as a major step on Scottish football’s road to recovery.

The SFA performance director was delighted that one of the initiatives he trumpeted as a way to improve the future of our game has been embraced by the SPL, who will kick off their Under-20 league on September 1.

The matches will be staged on a Monday night and a number of over-age players will be allowed to take part, giving youngsters invaluable experience of competing against hardened pros – and Wotte believes the kids will benefit enormously.

He said: “I’m delighted my idea has the support of the SPL. At the moment there is too big a gap between the Under-19 league and the first team.

“It is very difficult for boys to bridge that gap – but this gives them a better chance.

“I believe clubs will still use 18 and 19-year-olds, as well as their slightly older players and some over-age players who may be returning from injury.

“They will be playing in a competitive league every Monday and that will be a really good thing for them.”

Wotte pointed to the impact young Rangers midfielder Rhys McCabe has made in recent weeks at Ibrox and admitted he feared for boys like him because they weren’t playing enough football.

He said: “Young McCabe’s situation was a perfect example of something that was seriously wrong with the game here.

“He was too old for the Under-19 league but not experienced enough to play in the first team so he was getting no competitive football at all.

“He’d be playing the odd bounce game but that is not enough for guys with talent to develop.

“Thankfully he has been given his chance at Rangers and has shown he has promise.

“He stepped into an Old Firm game and didn’t look out of place. But this new league will give boys like him the chance to play more regularly.

“If every SPL team finds one player more than they would have because of this league, it will have done a great job.

“We have to get more young players through if the game is to flourish here. Boys like James Forrest at Celtic have emerged but not enough of them. Ideally, I would have liked an Under-21 league or a return to the reserve league but I was told there was no way clubs could afford to have two teams.

“So this is a compromise. Clubs can still use their youth players but have one or two senior professionals involved as well. It will be a great help to everyone.”

Neil Doncaster, SPL chief Executive, agreed the league would benefit youth development in the country.

He said: “Providing the right platform for developing young Scottish players is vital for the whole of Scottish football and I am delighted to announce the introduction of an Under-20 league from next season.

“Working in conjunction with the SFA, I hope this goes some way to reducing the development gap between the current Under-19 league and the SPL.

“It will better equip young players for the demands of first-team football and aid the development of more and better young Scots for the national team.”

Sounds just like a reserve league but with the focus on u21's, with a certain amount of "overage" players being able to play to keep up fitness or regain fitness after injuries.

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