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Caledonian Braves F.C.

  (Redirected from Edusport Academy)

Caledonian Braves Football Club is a Scottish semi-professional football club based in North Lanarkshire. They are members of the Lowland Football League, in the fifth tier of the Scottish football league system.

Caledonian Braves
Caledonian Braves F.C. logo.jpg
Full nameCaledonian Braves Football Club
Nickname(s)The Braves
Founded2011
GroundAlliance Park,
Strathclyde Country Park,
Motherwell
Capacity500 (100 seated)
Managing DirectorChris Ewing
Head coachRicky Waddell
LeagueLowland League
2018–19Lowland League, 9th of 16
WebsiteClub website

The club originated from Edusport Academy, a residential youth academy for French footballers founded in 2011 and initially based at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, before relocating to Lesser Hampden in Glasgow in 2015. A second centre based in Edinburgh opened in 2014. From the 2014–15 season onwards, they fielded a team under the Edusport Academy name in Scottish senior football, the only private academy to do so in a recognised senior league. They initially played in the South of Scotland League before winning promotion to the Lowland League in 2017. As Edusport, the senior team played at the Hamilton Palace Sports Ground in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire (2014–2015) and Galabank in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway (2015–2019).

From 2018 onwards, the senior team began to operate separately from the academy after launching a membership scheme, Our Football Club. In 2019 they were rebranded as Caledonian Braves and opened their own Alliance Park ground within Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire.

HistoryEdit

AcademyEdit

The Edusport Academy was founded in 2011 by Chris Ewing with the aim of helping talented young French footballers to develop their skills in football and the English language, and gain opportunities with British professional clubs.[1] Initially, the main training venues were the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, and the Hamilton Palace Sports Ground in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire,[2] with English classes taking place at New College Lanarkshire.[3] Edusport expanded in 2014, opening an Edinburgh centre with training at Ainslie Park and education at Edinburgh College.[4] In 2015, they decided to relocate from Motherwell to a new Glasgow base; the Academy now trains at Lesser Hampden with educational classes at City of Glasgow College.[5]

Four women were added to the Edusport Academy programme in 2015. They are based at the Edinburgh centre and will gain senior experience through a partnership with Spartans of the Scottish Women's Premier League.[6]

Senior footballEdit

In June 2014, Edusport Academy successfully applied for membership of the semi-professional South of Scotland League in the sixth tier of the Scottish football league system,[7] becoming the first private football academy in the world to operate a team in a FIFA-recognised senior league.[8] They made further Scottish football history in a league match against Creetown in September 2014, when they first fielded a team composed entirely of French nationals.[8] The senior team won two trophies in their first season, the South of Scotland League Cup and the Cree Lodge Cup.[9] They applied to move up a level to the Lowland League in 2015, but their application was rejected.[10]

Edusport Academy won the 2016–17 South of Scotland League title to gain promotion to the Lowland League in the fifth tier of Scottish football. In February 2018, Ewing announced plans to separate the senior team from the academy and attract a fanbase by launching a new online membership scheme, Our Football Club. Members will have voting and decision-making powers, including a say on choosing a new name, crest and colours for the team. They will be able to recommend potential signings, but will have no say on team selection. Ewing stated at the launch of the project that his aim was to reach the Scottish Premiership by 2025.[11]

StadiumEdit

 
Galabank, where Edusport Academy played their home fixtures from 2015 to 2019

For the first season, South of Scotland League home matches were played at the Hamilton Palace Sports Ground in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. From 2015 onwards, the team groundshared with Annan Athletic at their Galabank stadium in Annan, Dumfries and Galloway.[12] From the start of the 2019–20 Lowland League season, the team will play at Alliance Park, their own purpose-built facility at Bothwellhaugh in Strathclyde Country Park near Motherwell, North Lanarkshire.[13] The name of the ground, which was voted for by more than 90% of Our Football Club members, was chosen to reflect the unity between the French and Scottish elements of the club.[14]

Current squadEdit

As of 17 September 2019[15]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
  GK Alex Marshall
  GK Nicky Hogarth (on loan from Rangers)
  DF Alan Reid (captain)
  DF Jean Guy Lucas
  DF Jack Breslin
  DF Lewis Lovering (on loan from Albion Rovers)
  DF Dominic Slattery
  DF Kyle Johnson
  DF Jack McDowall
  MF Ben Daily
  MF John Guthrie
No. Position Player
  MF Craig Quinn
  MF Blair Docherty
  MF David Sinclair
  MF Reece Glackin
  FW Neil McLaughlin
  FW Marc Kelly
  FW Ross McNeil
  FW David Winters
  FW Grant Dickie
  FW Evan Galasso (on loan from Partick Thistle)

HonoursEdit

  • South of Scotland League
  • South of Scotland League Cup
    • Winners (2): 2014–15, 2015-2016
  • Cree Lodge Cup
    • Winners: 2014–15
  • Haig Gordon Cup
    • Winners: 2018–19
  • Tweedie Cup
    • Winners: 2015–16

Academy staffEdit

As of 21 August 2019[16]

Position Name
Owner / managing director Chris Ewing
Head coach – Lowland League Ricky Waddell
Coach Colin Cameron
Goalkeeping coach Bryn Halliwell
Sports therapist Ross Anderson

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Mitchell, Robert (9 November 2011). "Edusport academy hopes to make footballing stars in Ravenscraig". Daily Record. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Football". Edusport Academy. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Education". Edusport Academy. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  4. ^ "Edinburgh". Edusport Academy. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Edusport Academy evolves". Edusport Academy. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Spartans welcome French quartet to Ainslie Park". Spartans F.C. Women. 8 September 2015. Retrieved 12 November 2015.
  7. ^ Gillespie, Stuart (6 June 2014). "St Cuthbert Wanderers boss welcomes new sides". Daily Record. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  8. ^ a b "South of Scotland League". Edusport Academy. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  9. ^ "Wigtown unlucky in Cree Lodge cup final". The Galloway Gazette. Newton Stewart. 2 June 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  10. ^ Thomson, Paul (3 June 2015). "Lowland League welcome Cumbernauld Colts for next season". Daily Record. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Edusport Academy eyes Premiership place by 2025 under web-based fan membership". BBC Sport. 7 February 2018. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  12. ^ Rutherford, Nichola; Rinaldi, Giancarlo (29 July 2015). "South of Scotland Live". BBC News. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  13. ^ "Alliance Park, home to Edusport Academy - Football Ground Map". www.footballgroundmap.com. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Our new home!". Our Football Club. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 30 June 2019.
  15. ^ "The Team - Our Football Club". Our Football Club. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
  16. ^ "The team". Caledonian Braves. Retrieved 21 August 2019.

External linksEdit