'Writing was on wall for Falkirk after scrapping academy', says former assistant

Former Falkirk assistant Gordon Young
Former Falkirk assistant Gordon Young

Former Falkirk assistant boss Gordon Young admitted the club were on a "slipperly slope" when the board took the decision to axe the youth academy.

The club's academy which had brought through the likes of Scott Arfield, Jay Fulton, Conor McGrandles, Craig Sibbald and Stephen Kingsley in recent years, had its funding withdrawn in December 2017 as the Bairns looked to plough more money into the first team and push for promotion to the Scottish Premiership.

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Young returned from America and joined Falkirk in January 2018 becoming Paul Hartley's number two, along with recruitment scout Richard Mitchell and head of development Gordon Wylde.

However, after a terrible start to the following season, Hartley was dismissed after a 3-0 defeat to Queen of the South in August and Young took over on an interim basis.

Ray McKinnon was then brought in as manager but he was unable to keep the Bairns in the division and instead of promotion it was relegation to the third tier of Scottish football.

Young, who is just back from a spell as the assistant boss at Latvia, admitted the signs were ominous when the academy was scrapped.

He told the National “The Falkirk thing was a big disappointment because that was the whole point in me coming back from California.

"That was a three-year plan for development, and when they scrapped their academy it sent out the signals to me they were on a slippery slope.

“It’s sad to see where they are, because they are nice people and a nice club, but you could see the writing on the wall."