Beauly boys bring big hope for future of shinty club
BEAULY‘s dominant success at junior level is giving the club hope it can get to the top flight of shinty.
After a rampant 2018 where their under-14 team lifted the MacMaster Cup without losing a game, they are already seeing their young stars making an impact with the senior team.
Finlay Maclennan (15), who was part of the junior cup winning team scored the equaliser in a 1-1 draw against Oban Celtic in the National Division last weekend.
It is an early sign of how its successful grassroots program is creating the next generation of players.
Under-14 coach Niall Maclennan says Beauly have a number of teenagers ready to make the step-up to the senior first and second team and make an impact.
“We have three or four boys who are on the periphery of the first team at the moment,” he said.
“Seven of the boys from the MacMaster squad last year are embedded in the second team. We have nurtured those players as a collective all the way through the system and now they are getting these opportunities.”
Beauly Shinty Club has around 70 players involved in its grassroots program which is run by eight coaches. It teaches the sport to children aged from primary one to seven who are split into three groups.
Its grassroots programme received a £1000 donation as well as new strips from Muir of Ord company SGL Carbon to continue its good work.
Maclennan says the success of its youth team has been the culmination of hard work from a dedicated coaching team which is now showing rewards on the pitch.
“Our success hasn’t happened overnight,” he said.
“We have committed individuals who have put a lot of time and effort into coaching over a number of years at the club.
“It has resulted in this conveyor belt of kids coming through where success is breeding success.
“The kids that are coming through are seeing the achievement of the under-14 team last year and it is encouraging them to stay in the sport.”
Beauly Shinty Club celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2017 and Maclennan says the success of the junior team has brought pride to the village which they will hope to see more of in future.
“It means a lot to the village that the juniors are achieving success and hopefully one day it will manifest in the senior teams.
“We want to build on this success.”