Coach left ‘gutted’ as time called on under-19 outfit

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HAWICK Royal Albert’s under-19 side has folded, with a dwindling number of players cited as the reason for the team’s demise.

The teenage outfit turned out in the East of Scotland Youth League this season, but it has been a difficult campaign for the youngsters who have suffered a couple of heavy defeats, as well as the selection problems.

Talking of the situation, team boss Alec Caldwell told the Hawick News: “I’m absolutely gutted. It’s very disappointing that this has happened.

“The Albert Under-19s are more or less the Hawick Youth Under-17s of last season who played in the Border Youth League, and I helped coach them.

“We always knew it was going to be a big step up in the East of Scotland League, but we didn’t quite realise how hard it was going to be.

“Games were played on Sundays, and were against sides like Spartans, Tynecastle and Edinburgh City, who were much superior.

“Commitment was great from the boys to begin with, but results did not go our way, and we were thrashed a couple of times.

“Numbers began to get less and less at training, and our main coach Jordan Gracie decided to pack in.

“Two weeks ago we should have played Spartans in Edinburgh, but only nine players turned up, so the game had to be put off. This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. We had a meeting during the week to see if things could get sorted out, but nothing did. So we had to pull the plug.”

Although disappointed, Caldwell has nevertheless enjoyed his experience with the youth set-up.

He continued: “I’m sorry for the Hawick Youth Football committee more than anything else as they’ve put a lot of work into trying to make the under-19s work.

“As for myself, I have loved every minute of my involvement. I’ve been helping coach these boys since they were under-15s and they have done well.

“Okay, it hasn’t worked out in the high standard of the East of Scotland League, but at least we gave it a go.”