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SPFL Development League

The SPFL Development League was the top level of youth football in Scotland, which was contested in various formats between 1998 and 2018.

SPFL Development League
Founded1998 (as Scottish Premier under-18 League)
CountryScotland
Divisions1
Number of teams17
Level on pyramid1
Domestic cup(s)Scottish Youth Cup
Current championsHibernian
(2017–18)

HistoryEdit

A youth league was founded as the Scottish Premier under-18 League in 1998. Clubs fielded under-18 teams, with the Scottish Premier Reserve League originally being an under-21 league. The competition was changed in 2003 when it became the Scottish Premier under-19 League. The teams played 22 matches rather than 30.

For the 2012–13 season, the competition changed again, this time to the Scottish Premier under-20 league, there were 15 teams, and teams played 28 matches per season.[1] With the inception of the Scottish Professional Football League for the 2013–14 season, the league become the SPFL U20 League and the number of teams increased to 16.[2] Teams were allowed to field two over-age outfield players and an overage goalkeeper.[3]

The league was renamed the SPFL Development League in 2014, with the number of teams increased to 17.[4] At this time two regional leagues were also introduced, with eight clubs competing in the Development League West and nine clubs competing in the Development League East.[5] The restriction on over-age players was relaxed, with teams now permitted to use five older players in a matchday squad of 18.[6]

The league was dissolved in 2018 and replaced by the SPFL Reserve Leagues.[7]

European competitionEdit

From 2015 onwards, the UEFA Youth League provides a qualification route for 'domestic youth champions', in addition to clubs whose senior team reaches the UEFA Champions League group stage.[8] As the age group for the Development League is older than that of the UEFA Group League, Scotland's representative will be the winner of the Under-17 league, which plays competitive fixtures however does not reveal the results and tables publicly to minimise the scrutiny on the young players.[9] In 2015,[10] 2016,[11] and 2017,[12] the winners of the Under-17 league were Celtic; in 2018, Hamilton won the title,[13] and Rangers were the 2019 champions.[14]

WinnersEdit

SFL Youth LeagueEdit

Season[15] Winner Runner-up
1993–94 Aberdeen Celtic
1994–95 Celtic Aberdeen
1995–96 Rangers Celtic
1996–97 Dundee United Celtic
1997–98 Aberdeen Dundee United

SPL Under-18 LeagueEdit

Season Winner Runner-up
1998–99 Aberdeen Celtic
1999–00 Celtic Dundee United
2000–01[16] Heart of Midlothian Livingston
2001–02 Rangers Celtic
2002–03 Celtic Rangers

SPL Under-19 LeagueEdit

Season Winner Runner-up
2003–04 Celtic Rangers
2004–05 Celtic Motherwell
2005–06 Celtic Motherwell
2006–07 Rangers Celtic
2007–08 Rangers Celtic
2008–09 Hibernian Heart of Midlothian
2009–10 Celtic Motherwell
2010–11 Celtic Heart of Midlothian
2011–12 Celtic Heart of Midlothian

SPFL Under-20 LeagueEdit

Season Winner Runner-up
2012–13 Celtic Aberdeen
2013–14 Celtic Rangers

SPFL Development LeagueEdit

Season Winner Runner-up
2014–15 Aberdeen[17] Celtic
2015–16 Celtic[18] Hamilton Academical
2016–17 Ross County[19] Hamilton Academical
2017–18 Hibernian[20] Dundee

Other Competitions (SFL / SPFL era)Edit

Although the Scottish Premier League (SPL) superseded the Scottish Football League (SFL) as the top division in 1998, the SFL continued to run an under-18 league until 2003, when the age group was split into under-17's and under-19's.[21] The SFL also ran a cup competition (not to be confused with the SFA Youth Cup) for the various age groups.[21] After the SFL ceased operation in 2013, with the foundation of the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) in 2013, an under-19 league and cup competition was run alongside the new under-20 league.[22] There were also West and East Development Divisions operating under the main SPFL Development League between 2014 and 2018.[22] Club Academy Scotland (CAS), organised and managed by the Scottish Football Association (SFA), began operating youth leagues with under-17 the top age group in 2014.[23] The under-17 age range was raised to under-18 by CAS in 2018.[23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "SPL to create Under-20 league". STV Sport. 12 April 2012. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  2. ^ "U20 League fixtures". spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 6 August 2013. Retrieved 6 August 2013.
  3. ^ Waddell, Gordon (9 October 2011). "Reserve league football could return as part of SFA plan to revamp Scottish game". Daily Record. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Development League fixture list". spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 7 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Development League East & West fixtures". spfl.co.uk. SPFL. 14 July 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.
  6. ^ Development League kicks off, SPFL
  7. ^ "Reserve Leagues for season 2018/19". SPFL. 23 July 2018. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  8. ^ "UEFA Youth League retained and expanded". UEFA. 18 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Academy Teams". Hearts Youth Development Committee. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  10. ^ a b "Celtic Under-17s book European place with title triumph". Celtic FC. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  11. ^ a b "Aitchison fires in a hat-trick as Celtic U17s seal league title". Celtic FC. 29 May 2016. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  12. ^ a b "European football once more for Celtic's U17 champions". Celtic FC. 25 May 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
  13. ^ "u17s win Elite Youth League". Hamilton Academical Football Club. 13 May 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2018.
  14. ^ a b "Gers Are Under-18 Champs!". Rangers FC. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  15. ^ Scottish Football Historical Archive Mirror – SFL/SPL/SPFL Youth Leagues
  16. ^ AFC Heritage – 2000–01 SPL Under-18 League Table
  17. ^ "DONS WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE". SPFL. 30 April 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
    "DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE ROUND-UP". SPFL. 7 May 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
    "ABERDEEN RECEIVE U20 TROPHY". SPFL. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  18. ^ "CELTIC SEAL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE TITLE". SPFL. 4 April 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
    "CELTIC UNBEATEN IN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE". SPFL. 6 May 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  19. ^ "ROSS COUNTY WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE". SPFL. 4 May 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
    "ROSS COUNTY SET TO RECEIVE U20 TROPHY". SPFL. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
    "ROSS COUNTY RECEIVE U20 TROPHY". SPFL. 17 May 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  20. ^ "Hibs clinch the SPFL Development League title". Edinburgh Evening News. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
    "HIBERNIAN WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE". SPFL. 17 April 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
    "HIBERNIAN RECEIVE DEV LEAGUE TROPHY". SPFL. 1 May 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  21. ^ a b c d "Youth Winners". Scottish Football League. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  22. ^ a b c d "SPFL Winners 2013–19". SPFL. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  23. ^ a b "CAS Regulations 2019" (PDF). Aprefs. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  24. ^ "Cameron aims to cap big month with a vital victory". Herald Scotland. 30 April 1999. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  25. ^ "Sore Defeat For Hillcoat's Men". Clyde F.C. 18 May 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  26. ^ "LEAGUE TITLE JOY FOR UNDER 17s". SJFC. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  27. ^ "Congratulations to Livingston under-19's". Scottish football league. 19 April 2011. Archived from the original on 1 February 2013. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  28. ^ "U17 YOUTH DIVISION CHAMPIONS 2010/11". SPFL. 16 May 2011. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Livingston lift third trophy of the season". Scottish football league. 17 May 2011. Archived from the original on 22 May 2011. Retrieved 30 September 2011.
  30. ^ Youngsters win SFL u19s League Cup Final, Stenhousemuir FC, 14 May 2012
  31. ^ "Livi win Title". Scottish Football League. 13 December 2011. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2011.
  32. ^ Livingston's under-17 side complete double, Scottish Football League, 8 May 2012
  33. ^ "Under 19s: Forfar Athletic Under 19's 2 Hamilton Accies Under 19's 5". Forfar Athletic F.C. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 3 August 2019.
  34. ^ "Celtic Under-17s win SPFL U19 league title". SPFL. 15 December 2013. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  35. ^ "CELTIC LIFT U19 LEAGUE CUP". SPFL. 18 May 2014. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  36. ^ "U20 TITLE JOY FOR AIRDRIE". SPFL. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  37. ^ "FORFAR SECURE U20 TITLE". SPFL. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  38. ^ "Morton Under-20s 1 – 0 Ayr United Under-20s". GMFC. 28 April 2018. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  39. ^ "STIRLING WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE EAST". SPFL. 12 April 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  40. ^ a b "Stevenson praises U17s after league title win". SJFC. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  41. ^ "QOS WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE WEST". SPFL. 22 March 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  42. ^ "ROVERS WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE EAST". SPFL. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  43. ^ "MORTON WIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE WEST". SPFL. 26 April 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  44. ^ "ROVERS RETAIN DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE EAST". SPFL. 10 April 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2019.
  45. ^ Cite error: The named reference hafc15 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  46. ^ "U17 LEAGUE WINNERS TO BE HONOURED". Inverness CT. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 15 June 2019.

External linksEdit