THE boss of Clydebank FC’s under-20s squad has warned that Scottish football faces losing a generation of footballers after the Scottish FA’s decision not to allow 2001 born players to compete in the Lowlands Development League this season.

The proposal was put forward in February but only knocked back on Friday, leaving 483 young footballers in the vital stage of their development, their last season in development football before being either released or signed by their club’s first team, in limbo just weeks before the season was due to start.

The Scottish Lowlands Development Football League had hoped that those born in 2001, who missed out on a full year of playing last season due to the pandemic, would still be allowed to take part in the upcoming campaign.

The SFA has argued that the move would affect the progression of younger players who would ordinarily make the step up to under-20 level, and would be displaced to accommodate the increased age group request.

Scott Carson is set to lose 10 players from his squad as they are not eligible under the SFA ruling and he has slammed the decision.

Speaking to the Post, Carson said: “It’s the timing of it all that’s really hard to take.

“Would it have been hard to create an extra season for these players? I don’t think so.

“The West only has 24 teams at under-21 level, and with a potential of 200 players coming out of the game in this area in the coming weeks, where do they go?

“To leave the players since February and not knowing where their future lies, then three weeks before the season starts make the decision, leaves these young lads scrambling about for teams.

“The league has extended the start date by two weeks, so that means we’ve got five weeks to find 10 players. It’s not a lot of time to see what’s available.

“But we can deal with that, that’s not the big issue. The big issue is the fact that these guys now have three weeks to go and find somewhere to play football or we could lose them.

“We could lose a generation of 20-year-olds out of the game because of a decision made by the SFA which hasn’t been backed up by proper reason.”

Meanwhile, Clydebank’s senior side defeated Lowland League outfit Cumbernauld Colts 2-0 at Holm Park on Saturday.

Joe Slattery scored in the first half before Ross McPherson smashed in a free kick to secure the victory.

Gordon Moffat’s side next take on Dumbarton away from home this Saturday, July 3, with the game available to buy on the Sons’ streaming platform.

Visit the club’s social media pages for information.