Creating a pathway for football talent at Kirkcaldy & Dysart

Kirkcaldy & Dysart’s new Club Development Officer hopes to create a pathway from childhood to the first team for the Lang Toun’s youngsters.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 9:00 am
Garry Thompson from Kirkcaldy FC, Neil Paylor and Templehall United's Ryan Hay (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

A coach at the club since 2019, Neil is now aiming to strengthen ties between K&D and its partnership clubs, which has undrstanably been overlooked during the pandemic.

"I came into the club in 2019 as a coach initially,” he says, “we then signed a pathway agreement with Templehall United but there wasn't anything really done with it.

“The club still wanted to do it though and I really wanted to take it on.

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“I want to see if I can build something up and replicate other models across Fife to get a good pathway set up.”

The project is viewed as one which will take time to come to fruition but Neil says there is plenty of work to do in the interim.

"In the short term I see it as getting relationships built up with the partnership teams like Kirkcaldy FC.

“We've already had a couple of conversations about short and long term plans to get them on board.

“We got some really good feedback. One of the main things was that the contact between Kirkcaldy & Dysart and the other clubs just hasn't been there, so we're looking to get all the teams down to Alex Penman Park for training and to introduce them to the club.

“A big factor in this has been covid.

“We had big plans last summer to get everyone down for a festival thing, but obviously we had to halt that.

“So, for me, it's to facilitate a lot of partnership activity, such as sharing facilities and equipment, and making sure that everyone can feel like they can speak to everyone else in the partnership.”

In the longer term Neil hopes to see a pathway for youngsters playing from a young age straight through to the first team.

“So, can we improve the coaching standards and the environment at the club?

“Longer term it's just about getting the kids in to enjoy their football and if we can develop a few players over the years who can go on to play for Fife Elite or for different professional outlets.

“There are good players in Kirkcaldy and we’re missing out on them at the moment.”

He added: “It’s going to take time. We’re just at the start of a long road.”