Last season the Spiders competed in a ten-team league and for this campaign they will be up against eight other teams. Premiership sides Dundee, Hibernian, Kilmarnock and Livingston have been joined by Airdrieonians, Ayr United, Dunfermline and Queen’s from the Championship as well as League 1 Queen of the South.
Recently appointed Head Coach of Young Queen’s Park, Thomas O’Ware, is looking forward to the first whistle as he explained: “It is great to have the Reserve League as playing for points will make the games more competitive than the friendlies we have been playing. It is a good mix of teams and every game will be a competitive one which is important for the players in their development pathway.
“I would have preferred two rounds of fixtures instead of one, to further help the development of the players. There is a League Cup competition as well which will be made up of groups of four and five and I’m glad we are in a five-team group as even an extra 90 minutes playing in a Cup competition would help development as well.”
O’Ware is a firm believer that reserve team football is a hugely important stepping stone as he explained: “Within the club we have the same values and football identity, although we do have our own stage within the program to deliver.
“We are working to further develop players ‘learning to win’ and get players ready to play at that higher level. It is also our job to ensure that playing for Young Queen’s Park is something that every player in the Academy is striving to do.”
As well as working with Young Queen’s Park players first team players could also feature in the SPFL Reserve League with O’Ware saying: “Every week the First team and Young Queen’s Park Staff are looking for what is the best program that week for all individuals. The biggest purpose for Young Queen’s Park is to allow the future generation of Queen’s Park to play together. We aim for as much players as possible to play each other and to be integrated to the first team. Ideally in the next 2/3 seasons, the majority of this team is playing in the first team on the highest level and by them they are already familiar with each other playing style.”
O’Ware will of course be familiar to Queen’s fans as he has been a professional footballer since 2011 and he played against The Spiders for his first club Morton and also for Partick Thistle before moving to Kelty Hearts in 2011.
The 30-year-old said: “I am still playing at Kelty, you could say I have two great jobs. However, I have been coaching since I was 21 and that is nine years now so coaching is taking priority and I am looking forward to the League action starting on Tuesday.”
August 29, 2023 – 2:00 pm kick-off.
SPFL Reserve League
The BBSP Stadium, Rugby Park
Kilmarnock v Queen’s Park