Young footballers in the Berwick area stand to benefit from a new Football Partnership between several of the town’s clubs.
This follows a recent meeting which resulted in clubs agreeing to work together to create a clear pathway for players of all ages, and especially those who aspire to play league football at weekends.
Matty Moor, who operates a successful coaching scheme for young children, offers sessions for children as young as four. Berwick Juniors currently run 11 teams from U7s to U15s, and play in the Glendale League and further afield in the Northumberland Pin Point League.
The Juniors have a long-standing partnership with Zeewolde in the Netherlands, and regular exchanges have taken place between Berwick and Holland.
A recent development is the Berwick Colts, playing for the first time this season in the Border Amateur League and fielding a side primarily of local 16-18 year-olds.
Tweedmouth Rangers are also experiencing a new competition, having successfully applied to enter the East of Scotland League with a home pitch at Old Shielfield, whilst several local players are involved with the Berwick Rangers U20s development squad, who play against other clubs from Scotland.
Berwick Rangers manager John Coughlin sees the partnership as an essential step in the right direction.
“There’s plenty of evidence that clubs and coaches in the Berwick area are producing talented players, but perhaps there’s been a lack of co-ordination between clubs to see that players get the best possible opportunity to develop and play at the highest level they can,” he said.
“The hope is that the partnership will get people talking, exchange ideas, and support those volunteers who give up so much time every week.”
The first opportunity presented was last week when the Berwick Rangers squad held a training session at Shielfield under the watchful eye of Berwick Juniors coaches.
John Bell, the vice-chairman of Berwick Rangers and the director with responsibility for youth and community issues, is looking forward to getting more clubs involved.
“We hope that this approach will see more clubs coming together, from both sides of the Border,” he said.
“We’re geographically isolated from the football networks in Edinburgh and in Tyneside, so it’s long overdue that we get together to see what can be achieved.”