Yarrow Park is gearing up for a weekend of trials which could lead to full-time football contracts for Borders youngsters looking to get ahead of the game.
Despite their senior outfit finishing bottom in their first season of Scottish Lowland League football and being knocked back when trying to enter a second team into the East of Scotland League, Selkirk FC has announced ambitious plans to build a new squad of full-time players.
“We have been working on this since Christmas and are now ready to put it into practice,” said senior team manager Steve Forrest.
“In terms of facilities and club management, we are the best in the Borders and now is the time to give the playing side a complete overhaul.”
Forrest and assistant manager Paul Doig are to be joined by another two members on the coaching team who will oversee selection and tutoring of the new young squad.
Funding agreements with the Scottish Government for the new modern apprentice posts have been reached and the club hopes to get sponsors on board to enable them to field a squad of around 20 players on full-time contracts in the East of Scotland Under-20s league with a view to moving up to the senior squad in the future.
“It’s a similar idea to the old YTS scheme, which is the same avenue that both Paul and I took,” explained Forrest.
“We are looking to build a young infrastructure as quick as we can and create as many opportunities as we can.”
As well as undertaking the same training regimes as professionals, the players will also do an SVQ in sports management, be put through their SFA coaching and first aid certificates, as well as learn about finance, cooking and nutrition, and carry out general chores at the club.
“We are also looking for additional funding, so I would urge anyone looking to invest in a forward-thinking, ambitious football club to please let us know,” added Forrest.
At the moment, funding is only available to provide contracts for people with birth dates between 1994 and 1998, but the club is working to include older players in the future.
Open trials for players between the ages of 16 to 20 years old will be held on Saturday, June 21, when players can win the chance to become a professional footballer for a year, with the possibility of extending their contract thereafter.
And, if there are a lot of applications, the club will run another trials day, so everyone has a fair chance.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.