Ross County F.C.’s Developmental Squad has won the league thanks to a nil all draw between Hamilton Academical F.C. and Celtic F.C.- well done young Staggies!!
This is no small achievement as the league is made up of seventeen sides from the top two divisions and features U20 players along with a few senior players working their way back from injuries/needing additional minutes because they are not getting them with the senior side.
I was lucky enough to see the squad play (against Caley, no less) during my recent trip and they play a tidy and determined brand of football. They are well organized, fit, and they play to win (they were 20-6-6 this season if you need proof of that!) every match. While it’s always a big step up to the senior squad, there is a group of players on this side who have done/will do that in the very near future. Reghan Tumilty, Christopher McLaughlin, and Greg Morrison have all seen time with the senior side this season and Morrison has also received a call-up to Scotland’s U19 side. Just behind this group are the likes of Dylan Dykes, Russell Dingwall, Blair Malcolm and others who’ve made it as far as the substitutes’ bench at Victoria Park.
While full credit goes to each and every player involved in this year’s campaign, the bulk of the laurels have to go to manager Stuart Kettlewell. When Kettlewell was a player for County there was always talk among the club supporters about just how far the club could go if it could field a full side of “Kettlewells” week in and week out, such was the determination and dedication that he showed each time he put on a County shirt. Well, now we know, for this was a side molded in his image. The same hard work, intelligence, and sense of purpose he brought to the game as a player has been instilled in his young charges this season. It is no wonder that they had so much success.
As for Kettlewell’s future, I have only one word…