Category: General News

Academy Secretary’s Report 2014

The youth academy AGM took place on Monday 21st July at the Sheksburn Council offices in Ballycastle.


The new committee was voted in and discussions were started on which age groups would be running next season.


The club are hoping to run competitive teams at the following age groups:

U15 (2000)

U13 (2002)

U11 (2004)

U9 (2006)

Mini Soccer (non-competitive)

There were a number of expressions of interest from people looking to help out at these ages but we are now looking to confirm coaches for our next meeting on Monday 4th August. We especially need volunteers at the U13 and U11 age groups, please contact us through our Facebook page or by email if you are available to help.


Below are is a summary of the secretary’s report for the 2013/2014 season:


It has been a great year for the youth academy. At the same point last year there was virtually no committee, £20 in the bank,  and little future for the academy.

–          Now well over 120 fully registered players.

–          A healthy bank balance.

–          Purchased equipment to be reused in the following seasons.

–          Kitted out the teams in new kits and hoodies.

–          5 coaches completed their IFA level 1 badges.

–          Nearly all the coaches are now fully access NI checked.

–          Funding secured from the Dept of social development to put even more coaches through their IFA coaching badges in the following season.


There is a lot for the committee and coaches to feel proud but also much for the parents to feel proud of:


–          Parents have shown their support of the club, coaches and kids throughout the year. We would not run without their generosity.

o   From turning up at matches to support.

o   Using their cars free of charge to transport kids to matches.

o   Most importantly for supporting the coaches at every turn, providing encouragement to the kids while, at the same time, not undermining the coaches.


But the biggest difference in the club has been the progression of the kids themselves:

–          The U13 and U15 teams has their first seasons in the North West Colerain & District youth leagues and, against all odds, managed to beat most of the teams in their respective leagues. This achievement should not be understated as they were playing against many established teams like Coleraine FC and Ballymoney United whose teams have been playing with each other for years.

–          The U11 team managed to win 3rd and 5th place at the local MDC-PSNI 5-A-Side football finals.

–          The mini soccer setup has seen a huge explosion in numbers and talent. We are so oversubscribed at the minute that we will have to close registrations next season if we cannot source more help. The progression in the kids has been unbelievable, So much so that we are looking at the possibility of entering the 2006 age range in competitive competition at Ballysally next season.


I think it is worth remembering that everything at the club is voluntary. The coaches and committee use their own time and resources to coach and transport the kids. The parents have been extremely generous with their time and resources too.

It has enabled us to channel every single penny that the club receives for the youth academy directly back into the academy.


Even though it has been a exceptional year we will still have a few challenges for next season:

–          We need volunteers. The mini soccer needs more coaches and the other teams need to bolster coach numbers to take some pressure off of them. As mentioned we have funding secured for coaching badges and we would try to get new coaches on these courses as a token of our commitment to them.

–          Committee. The committee is very small so we would really welcome anyone who thinks they would have something to offer at committee level. It is not a huge commitment, we meet for an hour at most once a month.

–          AccessNi and Child protection. Most of the coaches do already have their AccessNi and we have very good child protection procedures, but we need to make sure that ALL coaches and volunteers are covered for the new season.

–          Costs. Without the grants and extra fundraising we would probably be struggling financially this season. Our biggest bill is to MDC for the astro turf, we should use the astro turf sparingly in the new season due to the huge costs.


So to sum up, we have come a long way from last season. I am proud to have been secretary for the year and I hope everyone else involved from coaches, parents and kids feel proud of themselves of what they have helped to achieve.



Ballycastle United Youth Soccer Presentation Night

It has been an exceptional year for Ballycastle United Youth Academy; its mini soccer section has grown beyond recognition and its U13 and U15 teams have gone from strength to strength.

On Saturday evening all the youth soccer players, parents and coaches gathered together to celebrate a tremendous year and to reward the efforts of the players.

Due to the numbers, the annual presentation night was held in two sections on the Saturday evening.

The mini soccer participants went first and received their trophies, medals and goody bags (courtesy of Boyle’s Spar) for their efforts over the year. The club also presented a special award to remember young Logan Crawford. The annual ‘Logan Crawford Memorial Shield’ was awarded to someone who demonstrated a zest for life. Someone who lives each day to the fullest, who grasps the opportunities they are given, in particular, by making the most of their time at the mini soccer sessions. Essentially someone who embodies the spirit of Logan Crawford. This year’s award went to Chloe Jamison.


The U11, U13 and U15s went next and received their well deserved rewards for their exceptional performances while competing in the Coleraine & North West District Youth league.

The club would like to thank everyone involved in making the evening happen, in particular McQuillans GAC, Boyle’s Spar, The Golden Chip and RD Engraving. Special thanks also to all the parents and coaches who gave up their time and, often expense, to help throughout the year, in all conditions, to help make the club what it is today.

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The club is also looking for volunteers and new coaches for the forthcoming season. If you feel that you would be able to help out then please contact us on our Facebook page or attend the youth academy’s AGM (taking place on Monday 21st July, 7pm, Sheskburn Recreation Centre). As with all our coaches, access ni checks will be arranged and IFA coaching will be provided to regular coaches.

For updates about the AGM, and all other Ballycastle United related news including pre-season training teams, please keep an eye on the club’s popular Facebook page:

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Academy coaches receive IFA qualification

Ballycastle United Youth Academy has been going from strength to strength this season and are pleased to announce their latest achievement of IFA Level 1 coaching badges being awarded to its coaches.

Five dedicated academy coaches took time out from their busy lives and, over the space of three weeks in April, completed their IFA Level 1 coaching badges. The coaches received up-to-date training on topics such as child protection and training practices from IFA representative Wes Gregg at Cullybackey in Ballymena.

The club would like to thank the coaches for giving up their time to improve the quality of coaching at the club, an activity that will ultimately benefit the burgeoning number of local children who enjoy the coaching sessions weekly.

We would also like to thank the Department of social development, whose financial assistance helped to offset the costs for the course.

St.Patricks Weekend Activities

Ballycastle United prepares for a busy weekend of sport in Ballycastle.

On Saturday, the mini soccer descends on Quay road for a special tournament, the seniors have a charity match and the U15 team have a league game.

The mini soccer kids will be joining the kids from the hurling and camogie clubs and parading from 1.30pm from the Dalriada hospital down to Quay road playing fields. At 2pm there will be matches on the main pitch and Thompson’s field for the U13,U11,U9,U8, and U7s.

The senior team (plus veterans who want to play) will be playing a charity fundraising challenge match against a Cushendall select this Saturday 10.30am Thompsons Field. The club are hoping to raise much needed funds for the Wee Nic Fighting Neuroblastoma campaign. All donations for this great cause will be gratefully accepted.

The U15 team will also be playing a league match on the main pitch at 11am.

Dalriada Hospital


Directions to Quay Road

N.B. Car parking at Quay road may be congested in the afternoon so we suggest parking at either Sheskburn council offices or Ann Street car park.



Mini Soccer Update

The Ballycastle United FC Youth Academy keeps going from strength to strength.

Not be be outdone by the successes on the field of the u15 and U13 teams, the mini soccer section (ages 6-9) are currently investing in the future talent of the area. Last week, the mini soccer kids, with generous sponsorship from Boyle’s Spar, each received their very own Ballycastle United hoodie. 20140211_214639On top of this, the club are investing in the skills of the clubs’ hardworking, dedicated coaches by paying for five of them to achieve their IFA coaching badges in April.

The mini soccer coaches have been hard at work since last summer to enable as many kids as possible to play and learn soccer in a fun environment. The mini soccer section has grown incredibly since the summer and is now a victim of its own success by having just about as many kids as the coaches can handle. 20140218_200501We are always on the lookout for additional coaches and helpers so please contact us ([email protected]) if you, or someone you know, would like to help out.





Mini Soccer Returns on Tuesday 4th February

The hugely popular mini soccer sessions return this Tuesday 4th February from 7-8pm.

The continued bad weather means that we are still in CPC hall for the sessions until springtime.

Remember to return all registration forms asap (as all registered mini soccer participants will be receiving their free branded hoodie in the next few weeks).

Registration forms can be downloaded from the following link [wpdm_file id=1].


Youth Academy Goes From Strength To Strength

What a season it has been so far for the Ballycastle United Academy; from u15 right down to u6 the teams have surpassed expectations.


U13 & U15

The club entered competitive teams at both u15 and u13 levels in the North West Coleraine & District Leagues with the hope that the teams could get some experience in order to become competitive in future years. U13 team who beat institute att he weekendHowever, the hard work put in by all the coaches, players and parents involved with the teams has paid dividends, and the teams are not not only competing at this level, but also stringing together some incredibly impressive wins. Both teams have taken some big scalps since the league started and continue to impress with their hard working ethos and quality football.

Even without kicking another ball, the season is already a success for both teams and is a credit to the hard work put in by everyone involved.u15s

Mini Soccer

Not to be outdone by the u13s & u15s, the mini soccer coaches have been hard at work since the summer to enable as many kids as possible to playing and learn soccer in a fun environment. The mini soccer has grown incredibly since the summer and is now a victim of its own success by having just about as many kids as the coaches can handle. We are always on the lookout for additional coaches and helpers so please contact us if you would like to help out.20131210_193926

Club Effort

The list of those responsible for the huge effort in making the academy a success if a very long one; it is only through a team effort of parents, players, coaches, helpers, committee, sponsors, supporters etc, can such success be achieved. In the new year the club will continue to consolidate the success since the summer and continue to place its community ethos at the heart of everything it does.

Ballycastle United Win Another Double

Players and committee from Ballycastle United celebrated winning two awards at Saturday’s Moyle Sports Awards.


At the awards, presented by Tyrone GAA legend Mickey Harte, the club picked up an award for ‘Team of the Year’ and chairman Billy Watson picked up an award for ‘Contribution To Sport’. The team award was presented to the past and current senior team managers Lee Watterson and Daniel Mooney, while the ‘contribution to sport’ award was received by an emotional Billy Watson.

It was a great night for the entire club, who turned out in great numbers, suited and booted, and thoroughly enjoyed their evening.

The awards did not stop there though with goal-scoring talisman, Saul McCaughan also picking up a well deserved award for ‘Young Sportsman of the Year’.

Many thanks to MDC for the event, the golf club for the venue and catering, and to all the speakers who kept us entertained on the night.

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Youth Soccer Thrives in Ballycastle

Youth soccer is set to thrive in Ballycastle once again this year.


The club is pleased to announce that they will be able to offer coaching for kids from 5 years of age all the way up to 15 year olds.


The u15 (born in 1999/2000) and u13 (born in 2001/2002) teams will be competing in North West & Coleraine District Youth league on Saturday mornings against teams such as Ballymoney, Limavady & Coleraine.

The U11s will be training alongside the u13 team in order to advance their skills to be able to compete next year.

Ages 5-9 training will  be running as part of a skills centre every Tuesday night at 6.30pm. We youngsters will be in preparation for friendly games and for locally hosted ‘speed soccer’ tournaments.


As always we are always looking for volunteers to help out with all the ages groups.

Please contact us through the website ( or our Facebook site (/BallycastleUnited) if you are able to help out.

Keep an eye out on Facebook for further training times or contact us with your mobile number and we will add you to our distribution list.

White Eagles 1 Ballycastle United 0

The team were brought down to earth with a bump by a hard working and physically strong White Eagles team this morning.

Ballycastle had two very early chances but both were saved and after this the game turned very physical. White Eagles defended really well and prevented Ballycastle from playing their usual flowing game. As frustrations grew the passing wasn’t as crisp/accurate as usual and the niggly game affected performances all over the pitch. White Eagles struck with a well taken goal in the 30th minute when No 9 got on the end of a long ball and scooped the ball into the net. Ballycastle pushed for the equaliser but Eagles held out for a fine win for them.

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