Academy Award for Fife EliteMonday, 23rd Mar 2015
Fife Elite Football Academy (FEFA) recently received its 4 Star Academy award from the SFA.
Formed at the start of the 2014-2015 season by an amalgamation of the Club Academies of Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Ath, East Fife and Raith Rovers, the award of the 4 Star criteria confirms the eligibility of FEFA to participate in the SFAs Elite games programme. Only the top 12 Academies in Scotland participate at the elite level which has 6 age groups from Under 11 to Under 17.
Speaking of the award, Head of Youth Stephen Wright said
"This is the culmination of a lot of hard work by many people and the result is that this represents a big step forward for football in Fife. Our players are now playing against the best teams and players in Scotland every week and that can only benefit our players."
Interim Chairman, Craig McWhirter added,
“Given how challenging the criteria are at this level, attaining 4 star status in such a short period of time is truly a fantastic achievement. I take my hat off to Stephen Wright, Bill Hendry, to the other Directors, and to all of the coaching and support staff for driving this to a successful outcome and achieving something that many doubted could ever be achieved – an organisation structured with the sole intent of providing Elite players for all four professional Clubs in Fife, on an unbiased and neutral basis.
"However, it is not only Elite players that will benefit. The Academy will help all of youth football development in Fife as the coaches, scouts and other staff will be working hand in hand with other football bodies to provide assistance and support wherever it is needed. Let’s hope that the establishment of the Fife Elite Football Academy, participating in the Elite games programme, will help stop the exodus of top players to other Clubs out-with the region."
Speaking from a Dunfermline Athletic perspective Craig McWhirter said,
“It was a brave decision for DAFC to abandon its standalone Academy in favour of participation in the Fife Regional Academy. However, it is a decision that is now clearly vindicated by the obvious increase in standards that has resulted from the 4 Clubs pooling resources and support from the SFA, allowing us to invest in the quality in depth that is needed for an Elite Academy. This is a much stronger platform for consistently producing top quality players than a standalone Academy, and one we need to continue to participate in, and help drive the standards up even further.”
Pictured above are the Club representatives with Head of Youth Stephen Wright holding the award.
From left Tom Ewing, Cowdenbeath, Tom Philips, Raith Rovers, Stephen Wright, Colin Cameron, East Fife and Craig McWhirter, Dunfermline Athletic