FOOTBALL: Changes afoot Brightstars Youths

The Brightstars FC under 11 squad with coaches Stephen Gallagher, JP Walsh and Dan Glenn.
The Brightstars FC under 11 squad with coaches Stephen Gallagher, JP Walsh and Dan Glenn.

It’s all change at Brightstars Youths FC.

The youth football club who are approaching their tenth anniversary have big plans in store.

The Brightstars FC under 13 squad with coaches Kevin Tracey and Jeff Wetherall. In centre at back is team sponsor, Mr. Eddie O'Connor, Estate Agent. Not pictured but also big sponsors of the club are Adrian Kelly of EuroSpar and Gavin Higgins of Higgins Butchers.

The Brightstars FC under 13 squad with coaches Kevin Tracey and Jeff Wetherall. In centre at back is team sponsor, Mr. Eddie O'Connor, Estate Agent. Not pictured but also big sponsors of the club are Adrian Kelly of EuroSpar and Gavin Higgins of Higgins Butchers.

Under the stewardship of Stephen Gallagher and Kevin Tracey, the club are looking to expand with more players, coaches and setting up a girls’ team.

The club, which was founded in 2008 by Mohamed Ali, who had great success with his 2000/01 side in the D&D, winning several cups while losing out in the Northern Ireland League Cup semi-final. However,just last year Ali handed over the mantel to the newly formed management committee, who are currently restructuring the club and they are in the process of completing their accreditation with the IFA.

Tracey believes the future is bright for the club and he hopes they can expand both on and off the pitch.

“Since Mohamed left, myself and Stephen have been running the club and we are in the process of a whole re-structure of the club,” he admitted. At the minute we have a 2004, 2006 and 2009 teams but we are looking to expand on that, especially younger age groups.

We are actually based at St Columb’s College at the minute, but eventually we are looking to get our own pitch and we are also discussing about setting up a girls team going forward

Kevin Tracey

“This year the 2006 team are in the Foyle Cup and that will be our preparation for the start of next season. All the kids are looking forward to the Foyle Cup, which they do every year.

“We were over in Blackpool this year in a tournament and we were in Scotland last year and we go away every year to different tournaments.

“At the moment we have got six coaches at present but we are looking to expand on that and as I said we want to expand our teams and age groups.

“We are actually based at St Columb’s College at the minute, but eventually we are looking to get our own pitch and we are also discussing about setting up a girls team going forward.

“We are a cross community and cross border club, as we have players from both the Cityside and Waterside as well as over the border.”

Both coaches have been working with the club for a number of years and Tracey admits he’s really enjoying it.

“I love it and although it’s every time consuming, it’s something we all enjoy doing,” he added.

“We started off as parents taking our kids to the team and now we are coaching teams. I’m coaching this last six years as is Stephen, there are a few other coaches who have also been doing it for a number years.

“Then this last season and half we have got a few more coaches in helping out.”