Stories From The Past

Good News Stories

Never ever, ever…. give up on your dream !!!!

Hi Folks

A little story from the Academy Director.

About four years ago, we signed up a very good, strong and dynamic kid called Jamie Smith. Jamie played a couple of years with the 2002 Yellow squad and was invited in to train with a number of senior clubs including Hearts & Aberdeen… was very rosy for this promising young man.

However, Jamie’s fitness levels dropped the year after and he complained of ankle problems. This unfortunately cost him his place in the Yellow Squad and he moved to the Navy Squad. He was released from his senior commitments as the pain simply got worse.

It got so bad at times that Derek Haughey, coach of the 2002 Navy came to me and informed me that Jamie had difficulty keeping up with the running at training and in games, and the big man struggled to keep up to speed in some of the matches. Several times Jamie asked to be taken off at half time due to the severe pain. Doctors could only say ‘growing pains’ but that didn’t help. It looked like a lost cause. A year ago, I had a long conversation with his mum and she explained how depressed Jamie was feeling in the fact that he was desperate to play ….but just couldn’t !!!

We decided to just let him come along to training when he felt fit enough to participate, and slowly but surely we would monitor him and try and get him through this. But it wasn’t really working. Then Margaret (his Mum) had a brainwave. She asked me if it was ok for Jamie to have some ‘extra training’ and I sanctioned this. She then came to me saying that Jamie had an ‘interest’ in playing in goal. I was pretty shocked to say the least and she asked if he could join in Wes Mc Quarry’s (SBC Goalkeeping Coach) training sessions. I said there was no harm in it. After a couple of weeks Wes rang me up and told me to have a look at Jamie as he thought there was something there. I looked and was very impressed in what I saw. In fact I was so impressed I asked him to come back in to the Aberdeen Development Centre  and we would have a proper look at him.

As the growing pains improved, so did Jamie’s confidence. Not only did he look like a different kid, his enthusiasm for the game was at an all time high. I decided to approach Margaret again and had a word with her and Jamie with a view to offering him a position as a goalkeeper in the 2002 White Squad. Well, he almost bit my hand off. He was over the moon and so was his Mum and Dad, Stevie. His fitness improved and his agility all started coming back. He played all last season for the 2002 White Squad and was absolutely fantastic. Ask the parents of the 2002 White Squad and they will re-iterate that if it wasn’t for Jamie, they would not have won as many of the games as they did. Suddenly Jamie was in demand. The 2002 Yellows asked him to play on occasions, so did the Navy Squad…..he was now a very popular guy and a goalkeeper in demand.

At the end of the season, a move back to the 2002 Navy Squad was inevitable and I tied the deal up. He was delighted and so were his parents. And they all lived happily ever after…..a great ending to a fabulous story you are all thinking…….but no, read on ……

In my new role as Senior Youth Coach at Heart of Midlothian, I popped my nose in to see who was who, and what was what, and one of the tasks I was given was to analyse their current 2002 Squad. One of the observations I made was that one of the two goalkeepers they had was not (in my opinion) quite up to the standard that Hearts FC should be looking for. They asked me if I had anyone in mind and the first person I thought of was Jamie. I thought, what’s the harm….in for a penny, in for a pound.

I arranged for Jamie to get along to Riccarton and he trained with the full time goalkeeping coach there for two to three weeks. It was just a ‘punt’. Last week I grabbed Jonathan (GK Coach) aside and confronted him as to what he thought of Jamie and if he was not up to the mark, to let me know very quickly as I didn’t want his folks travelling through every week wasting time, petrol etc. Jonathan announced that they were offering him a one year contract with immediate effect. I was astounded at the contract offer (but not surprised at the praise he gave the big man). When I told Margaret and Stevie it was disbelief all round.

Anyway, the above picture says it all. Jamie Smith signs for Hearts !!!!  Have you ever seen a bigger smile on a kids face that that one.

I got the below e-mail last night;


 Myself and Margaret would like to say thank you very much for being such a major part in getting Jamie to this point. Thank you also for your patience with him and even more with us……..

We are super proud of him and that is in no small part your fault so thanks again…


Stevie an Margaret

Folks …..that’s what we are here for !!!! Well done to Jamie and his parents for never, ever giving up !!!!

 NB :  Out of the 32 x 2002 players the Academy had last year (3 squads), Jamie is the 25th player to sign professional. A remarkable achievement.




SBC - Stories From The Past  

Michael McLaughlin
(now with Celtic FC)

Captains the young Scots to famous Glenafton victory.
Scotland Boys Club won every game right through
to the final without conceding a goal.





SBC - Stories from the past

Kevin Keegan entertains the students at his new training concept at Braehead.
The squad are seen here pictured with SBC Coach – Chris Jones. See Below also…


School of Excellence & Academy PLUS turn on the style at Braehead

SBC Photo

The School of Excellence and the Academy PLUS had their ‘party day’ out last Sunday at the XSCAPE complex at Braehead. Geraldine Glackin (Regan’s Mum) would like to take this opportunity, and I am sure that she speaks on behalf of all the parents, of thanking the Fund Raising Committee for arranging and funding the event and of course for buying all the students their new boots which were signed by Kevin Keegan (pictured right) with three of the School of Excellence students – Callum Gibson, Ross Lyon (captain) and Sean Hughes. The kids had a wonderful day out and I have been asked by the parents to point out that their behaviour was impeccable and they were an absolute credit to themselves, their parents and more importantly, to Scotland Boys Club – Academy of Football



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