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2010/11 Season News

Youth Academy Feature - Mark Oliver

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Youth Academy Feature - Mark Oliver

PostedNovember 1, 2010

Youth coach Mark Oliver successfully completed his SFA level 4 youth award - the second highest SFA qualification at youth level - earlier this year under the watchfull eye of assessor Donald Park. The level 4 award focuses on three themes - shaping a team, individual practice and conducting a training session.

Mark joined the Club three years ago having previously worked for St. Johnstone as a community coach. Mark initially assisted Jim Ward and the pair brought through the latest crop of talented youngsters to graduate to the under 19s including Lewis Milne, Liam Callaghan and Michael Fleming.

Following Jim Ward’s decision to retire in the summer, Mark stepped up to take on the position of head coach of the under 15s.

“Cowdenbeath FC is a great club for giving youngsters a chance and I tell every kid I coach that they will not have a better opportunity in Scotland of making it to the 1st team if they work hard and take what the coaches say on board”, commented Mark.

“It has been rewarding to watch players such as Lewis and Liam continue to develop and show up well for the under 19s and reserves this season. There is a talented group of players at under 19 level and I would expect one or two of them to feature for the 1st team at some point this season if they continue to apply themselves correctly. They all know it is down to them now.

“I am working with the under 15s this season and thoroughly enjoying it. There is a lot of potential within this team and I am excited to see how they develop over the coming seasons.

“I have also been coming in to help out with the full-time skillseekers this season. Working with Jimmy Nicholl on a day-to-day basis has been invaluable in terms of my development as a coach (also improved me as a footballer!). It has also been an eye opener to work with the sports scientist, Stuart Ollis. The set-up at Cowdenbeath is the envy of many bigger clubs.

“Other highlights during my with time with the Club includes being part of the coaching staff for the recent pre-season trip to Northern Ireland with Jimmy Nicholl and Colin Cameron. I was nervous at first but it was a great experience and the players were first class with me. Also the 2 week training camp with the under 19s in January 2008 working with Bobby Paterson, Iain Jenkins and Keith Harvey sticks out for me.”

Mark’s connection with the club’s youth set up goes beyond his three year spell as a coach as he played for the Blue Brazil at pro youth level 6 years ago. He has also played for St. Johnstone and East Fife at youth level and local junior sides Crossgates Primrose and Ballingry Rovers.

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