Under-20s update

For all of you – and we know there are many – who can’t wait for the new Under-20 season to start and see how the Watt side goes this time round after last season’s exciting performances, here are some details to whet the appetite:

– The Development League season starts on the 18th of August with the group matches in the Qualifying Leagues. For obvious reasons, none of the university or college sides – Edinburgh University, Stirling University and Edusport Academy as well as the Watt – participates in that competition.

– For all of those teams, the big kick-off date is Friday 22nd September – just about enough time to get bodies into jerseys! Fixtures for the early matches are due to be released today.

– The draws have also been made for the two cup competitions which take place during the season: the Challenge Cup (played on a two-leg basis) and the Knock-Out Cup. Strangely, in both competitions, the Watt has been given an away draw in the First Round, followed by a home draw if it reaches the Quarter-Finals and an away tie in the Semis if it can get there.

– In the First Round of the Challenge Cup, the Watt has been drawn away to University of Stirling, with a potential home tie in the Quarter-finals against either new club Bonnyton Thistle (from Kilmarnock) or The Spartans. If Watt comes through that tie as well, it will be away from home in the semis, with the home team coming from Mid-Annandale, Burntisland Shipyard, Cumbernauld Colts and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.

– In the Knock-Out Cup, the First Round draw again sends the Watt out of town, this time to play Whitehill Welfare. A win in that game will give a home Quarter-final against either BSC Glasgow or Selkirk; and the potential Semi-final opponent will be one of Preston Athletic, Spartans, Burntisland Shipyard and University of Stirling.

In First Team news, as Saturday’s Qualifying League opener against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale looms ever closer, Watt’s pre-season preparations continued on Saturday with a visit to Blackburn United. With lots of players still unavailable, it was a strange-looking side that took the field, with Jackson Barker playing as a striker in the absence of Chris Donnelly, Anton Dowds, Cammy Ross and Mark McGovern; and Alex Snoddy and Jake Lloyd playing on the right side.

Blackburn ran out 4 – 2 winners, but there was much to be pleased about, despite the dismal conditions. With Aidan Quinn turning in a fine performance in midfield, Watt passed the ball well and although the goals conceded were all preventable, it was good to see the Watt lads grabbing a couple of their own, despite the lack of the usual strikers. Harry Warner scored the second, getting on to the end of a free kick to volley home, but the Watt’s first goal was the best of the day, Jackson Barker timing his run well to meet Aidan Quinn‘s superbly-judged lofted pass and lift the ball over the goalkeeper.

Tonight, the Watt has its final pre-season training match, taking on Queensferry Athletic on the Oriam indoor pitch. The match is scheduled to start at 7.15, but may kick off a few minutes earlier.