East Fife Youth Academy (EFYA) was founded in 2013 when East Fife JSC, East Fife Youths, East Fife Community and East Fife Ladies became one. The idea of bringing all the parties together was to share the same vision, direction and have one ethos running consistently throughout the club, joining all parties together also had the added benefit of creating a stronger link to East Fife FC and senior team. Players can join the Academy at the age of 3 and from there can progress throughout the Academy. By creating a pathway children can move from the Academy onto Fife Elite through East Fife FC and advance hopefully into EFFC first team.
EFYA currently has over 300 kids registered, accumulating in 19 boys youth teams which take part within CEFSSA fun 4/super 5 festivals, CEFSSA 7-a-side league and FFDL and AFYFC Leagues.
We also have a ladies section which is run by Liz Anderson which holds a further 70+ registered members, 5 teams, and a community section.
The club has remained community focused and realised that the area we live in brings up challenges for parents and children in normal day-to-day life as well as with finances. We offer funded places to those who require it and support parents/carers too with boot banks etc. to allow their child to have everything they need to allow them to participate. We have payment structures in place to ensure that nobody is left out due to affordability and have ensured that the cost of training is well below the average charged for similar community clubs in the area.
Teams are very friendly and as a result the academy is seen as an extended part of the family, we encourage get together’s and fund-raisers to bring the community together. Every year we host a family fun day, the children come along and show off their talents as well as have the opportunity to beat the goalie or soak their coach. We also encourage the community to join in with this and they can bring any of their goods/wares to sell on the day. This can be anything from home baking to hand-made jewellery.
By running the community teams as well as the Academy gives the children, from a young age, the opportunity to learn football, gives them a good grounding on learning how to play as part of a group/team and encourages them to interact with children from all backgrounds.
East Fife Youth Academy has a fantastic team of over 70 volunteers who on a monthly/weekly and daily basis ensure the kids well being, safety, learning and enjoyment. Without them we would not be able to provide as much activities as we do. On top of attending twice weekly training sessions and weekly matches, some of our volunteers are on the Main Committee which meets on a monthly basis.
East Fife Youth Academy has a “football for all” policy, we offer places to kids who are disabled, have behavioural issues, are naturally gifted and to those who need that little extra training. We are keen to develop this further and will be looking to start a disabled team in the near future. Initial indications show a need in the area and we are fortunate enough to already have secured two volunteers to run a team.
The Academy tries to encourage all kids, adults and volunteers to get involved with the community and has not only raised money for charity, but taken part in a community clean up in conjunction with the Scottish Fire Brigade. We are always very keen to support any cause and generally can send along volunteers.
We are always attracting more children and do not wish to turn any child away. In order to ensure the Academy continues to grow we are working closely with Fife Council. Due to the amount of teams we have we are now looking at parks which can be used to increase the amount of 7-a-side and development pitches available. We are also reviewing the facilities available to ensure we can provide a great standard going forward.
East Fife Youth Academy is accredited by Scottish FA as a Quality Mark Legacy Status club in the community.