Young Ellon rugby players show plenty of promise

Ellon's Matthew Emmison - selected for the Scottish Districts Under 18s.
Ellon's Matthew Emmison - selected for the Scottish Districts Under 18s.

Ellon Rugby Club will be making a bid to bring success to the town this year through its highly rated Under 18 team in the Cross Border Under 18 Premier League.

The club’s Under Age Co-ordinator, Neil Emmison, said: “Ellon has a fine tradition in all under age groups, right from the minis through to the under 18’s.

“I’d like to think the continuation of offering opportunities to all age groups will have the desired effect of preparing players for the rigours of playing for the senior side who badly need a boost in Caledonian One.”

Neil is one of the many coaches at the Meadows-based club who give up precious hours each week to ensure youngsters get a game, while progressing their development further afield.

He believes the Under 18 side could be going places under the shrewd leadership of the club’s development officer Ross Finlay.

The enthusiastic coach said: “It should be recalled the club’s only full Scottish cap Andrew Wilson came through the under age structure. Anything is possible.

“We learnt so much last season, much of it painfully against top-class sides like Melrose, but this year we are in a league set up in which I believe we will flourish under Ross who has had the boys in training for most of the summer. Fitness and organisation are key to our preparation for the league.”

The Under 18’s kick off the season with a home game against Glasgow Hawks at the Meadows on Saturday, August 31, before heading to Edinburgh where they will play top- rated Boroughmuir on Sept 7, followed by a long trip to Ayr.

Neil said: “There’s lots of travelling involved, so we are looking for an ambitious, forward looking sponsor to back the team. If there is anyone out there please get in touch. We would love to hear from you.”

The section has already been recognised as one of its players has caught the eye of the national selectors.

Neil’s son Matthew, 16, has been selected for the Scottish Districts Under 18s and will play against Leeds Academy in the Scottish Borders on August 18.