Four Ross County Academy youngsters hit the right notes with Stornoway's finest, Peat and Diesel


For the popular band have thrown their support behind a quartet of talented Lewis footballers to help support their weekly trips across the Minch to train and play with the Ross County youth teams.

Samuel Maclennan, Ben Macleod, Liam Macleod and Cole Lamb originally caught the eye of Staggies youth scouts and landed Academy deals.

But the weekly costs of travelling to Dingwall from Lewis are significant for the boys and their families so Peat and Diesel have stepped in with some valuable support.

"Peat and Diesel are delighted to help the boys out,” insists accordion player Innes Scott.

“We had help from plenty of people in other ways throughout our time in the band and it’s good to give something back. We are a community that tries to help each other out as much as we can.

“As with ourselves the boys coming from the island to go and play on the mainland are at a real disadvantage due to travel costs and time involved so they need to get every bit of help they can get.

“I’m not a massive football supporter when I do have to support a team, it's Ross County for me. Mon the Staggies! Best of luck to the boys and from what I hear about their skills on the pitch they are already showing everyone how we do it in the Western Isles.”

A pathway from the Lewis and Harris Youth Football Association to the Academy in Dingwall with SPL side Ross County has never been more established with a partnership now marking a year’s anniversary between the two organisations.

County coach Gordon Duff travels to Lewis every month for training sessions with the LHYFA Development squad who have access to session plans from Ross County for delivering training sessions to the group, as well as ongoing advice and support.

A pair of friendlies between Lewis and Harris Youth Football Association Select sides at U13 and U14 level and their respective age groups from Ross County take place later this month to assess developments while the LHYFA will also have further friendlies later this year.

Following the success of the squads a younger select squad has been established covering the U12 age group coached by Angus Mackay and Jonathan Maciver.

Gordon Duff beamed: “This partnership has been beneficial for all parties since it began in December 2022 and this is evident from the players who have now progressed forward over the last year.

“It has been testament to the hard work and dedication from Alec, Gary and the volunteers who provide a platform for the selected players for RCFC and for the select squad both on and off the island through weekly training and providing them with opportunities through the LHYA to head off to the mainland to play competitive football against a wide variety of teams.

“As well as this I think it is also a credit to the local teams across the island who provide kids with opportunities to play and progress throughout grassroots football to select squads and beyond. I look forward to continuing this partnership throughout 2024 and beyond and seeing the development of the players progress further in their footballing journey.”

“All this started from Gordon Duff and Ryan Farqhuar's visit in December 2022 which led to a partnership with us,” recalled LHYFA coach Alec Lamb.

“The partnership has been a great success for youth football on the Island, it has allowed local players and coaches an opportunity to develop their skills during the monthly coaching sessions, as well as ongoing input and guidance from Gordon Duff and the Ross County coaches throughout the year.

“It's also allowed our players to gain valuable experience playing against competitive opposition on the mainland, which has helped their development as young players.

“Over the course of the year we had five players from the select squad invited over to Dingwall to train with the Ross County Academy squads during school holidays, it was a great experience for the players.”

At present Ben Macleod has been signed for the Ross County under 13s; Liam Macleod and Cole Lamb to the under 14s and Samuel Maclennan continues with the under 15s and Peat and Diesels generous backing will help support the boys through the rest of the season.

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