SPFL consider introducing colt teams into league system

Rangers' colt team took part in the past season's Irn-Bru Cup. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker
Rangers' colt team took part in the past season's Irn-Bru Cup. Picture: SNS/Ross Parker
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The SPFL has confirmed that it is in discussion with clubs regarding the introduction of colt teams into the league pyramid.

The organisation are wary of the difficulty of players making the step up from youth level into the first-team and are seeking different views and opinions from the clubs on what can be done.

A statement said: “As part of wider discussions regarding the production and development of elite young players in Scotland, particularly in the 17-21 age bracket, the SPFL is consulting with all member clubs to seek views in relation to the potential introduction of colt teams to the league pyramid.

“This consultation exercise was discussed and approved by the SPFL’s Competitions Working Group comprising representatives across all four League divisions.

“Clubs have been invited to respond with their views and once feedback has been assessed, the SPFL Board will consider next steps in relation to the potential for colt teams to be involved in the professional football pyramid.”

The Premiership clubs fielded Colt teams in the past season’s Irn-Bru Cup with four of the 12 sides it through the group stages. Motherwell, Hamilton Academical and Rangers all lost in the second round, while Celtic reached the third round where they were defeated 5-1 by Livingston.

MailSport have reported that if the idea is given the green-light the colts teams would have to start in either the Highland League or Lowland League, working their way up into the SPFL where they would be able to rise as high as League One.

In most countries that have second teams playing within the league system their ceiling is the second tier, they can’t be promoted to the top-flight.

Proposals seen by MailSport lay out a number of requirements, including teams will feature under-21 players, colt teams will have to have a ground with the minimum of League Two standards, the teams will not compete in either the Scottish Cup or Betfred Cup.

Clubs have until 30 June to deliver feedback with the hope that, if given the go-ahead, colt teams would start in the pyramid from the 2018/2019 season.