Link Up set for historic Scottish Cup clash

Fraserburgh Link Up U15s.
Fraserburgh Link Up U15s.

Fraserburgh’s Link Up team is set to take part in, perhaps, the biggest game of their storied history, facing Westwood Rovers in the Scottish Youth Cup.

Longside will host the game between the two 1999 sides, the closest that the Brochers will have had to a home tie since the opening day of the Scottish Cup campaign.

Link Up, which allows youngsters from across the North-east to play football at the grassroots level, are expected to bring a good support to Davidson Park, players in the squad hailing from Fraserburgh, Mintlaw, Peterhead, and the villages between.

Commenting on the tie, Link Up U15 coach Colin Simpson said: “From the lads’ point of view, it’s an achievement reaching this stage.

“There’s an excellent set-up behind the scenes - in a footballing context, you’ve got to give them good coaching.”

Having already beaten last year’s holders of the Cup in the quarter finals, knocking Tynecastle for five goals, it is undeniable that the hard work put in by both coaching and staff is paying dividends. The cultural change of youth football, too, is having an effect.

Simpson explains: “In the boys club set-up, things are changing. We’ve been able to hold on to the players and let them enjoy it.

“It’s about getting guys at a young age and coaching them, it’s not about winning.”

He also paid tribute to the support the club has received from its sponsors over the season, MB Plant having supplied the youngsters jackets, while Crudens have sponsored their side’s away strip.

Victoria Coaches, too, were thanked, their buses integral in taking Link Up on their Scottish Cup journey.

A shining example to other youth teams across Scotland, in many respects, Simpson says there is no secret to the success of the Link Up’s season.

“If you knew the secret, you would be doing it every year,” he joked.

Earlier this year, adding to a season that both coaches and players will remember, Link Up were awarded their Quality Mark from the Scottish Football Association.

Competing on four fronts, undefeated in the league and involved in two other cup competitions, there is talk, however muted, of a quadruple winning season for the youngsters.

Their first hurdle, however, will be getting a result over Westwood. Kick-off at Davidson Park for the semi-final is scheduled for 2pm on Sunday, March 30.