A YOUNG Menstrie footballer was left devastated after signing for Falkirk FC only for the youth team to be disbanded months later.

Keevan Roddie signed for Falkirk alongside more than 10 young footballers at the end of last year with promises to enter a pro youth league along with foreign trips and other incentives.

However, it turned out the board had no knowledge of the venture with the club issuing an apology for "the hurt that the parents and the kids have went through".

Keevan left his local team to join the Bairns after impressing Falkirk’s head of youth development and a coach.

The 10-year-old, alongside other young players, signed for the club on December 17.

However, less than a month later the head of youth development resigned.

It was at this point that alarm bells started to ring for Katie, Keevan’s mum.

Parents were assured that nothing would change, training and friendlies would resume as normal, and they did for a short period.

When the coach resigned in March, the parents held an urgent meeting with Jamie Swinney, the club’s chief executive officer, to find out what exactly was going on with the team.

It was then that the parents were told that Falkirk had no intention of sending this team into the pro youth league or to set up an academy.

The parents also discovered that this whole venture, with boys being promised foreign trips and other incentives, was apparently done without the board’s knowledge.

Katie told the Advertiser: “It’s been a really difficult time if I’m honest.

“When your son is promised the chance of a pro youth academy and it’s so exciting.

"Then it’s taken away because, as the club’s director said to us at a parents meeting, the club’s toxic from top to bottom.

“For it to be taken away from them so quickly as well. They only signed in December, they made many promises to us.”

Katie continued: “Keevan wants to be a professional football player, that’s what he wants to do with his life and he really thought this was the start of that career.

“Luckily, he’s been able to go back to his old club.

“It’s not because of his ability, it’s the club’s fault.

"They should never have taken the boys on.

"That’s what we’re trying to get through to him. He feels like he’s went back the way [in his career].”

Ultimately, with Keevan now back at his former club, Katie hopes Falkirk learn from this mistake.

She said: “We don’t want this to happen to another group of boys.

“We hope there’s lessons learned so that this can’t happen again because you’ve got a lot of young boys disappointed.

“It’s been a really tough time. Really tough.”

Jamie Swinney, speaking to the Advertiser, agreed the club must learn from this situation and ensure that it never happens again.

He said: “These boys have been badly, badly let down by the football club. We have to take ultimate responsibility.

“I can only apologise because the situation the boys found themselves in is completely unacceptable and should never have happened.

“This should never have happened to these kids, the duty of care and responsibility of looking after young people to a club is probably the number one priority, and we failed in our duty of care.

Swinney continued: “We, as a club, can never allow something like this to happen again. We must make sure we learn this lesson and it never happens again.

“On behalf of Falkirk FC, it’s a situation that is unacceptable, it should never have happened and the club deeply regrets that this situation was allowed to take place under our badge.

“We can only apologise for the hurt that the parents and the kids have went through.”