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Share issues for Stirling Albion and local rivals

Mark Wotte, the performance director of the Scottish Football Association, has expressed his frustration at Stirling Albion's continued refusal to join the regional academy based in their own city.

He was at Stirling University yesterday to unveil the former Kilmarnock and Morton manager, Kenny Shiels, as new head of coaching at the Forth Valley Football Academy, which has integrated the youth systems of Stenhousemuir, Falkirk and East Stirlingshire.

He insists the model provides smaller clubs with the best chance of producing players capable of reaching the top level and has tried everything to bring Albion on board, but he declined to comment on whether their reluctance is based around holding on to the funding they receive from Hampden.

"That is maybe a question you have to ask Stirling Albion," said Wotte, who has also failed to recruit Alloa. "We have really made an effort to get them on board, but we could not get a yes from them. They wanted to do their own thing and that is something you have to accept.

"I was disappointed with that because I think you should give all the players an opportunity to join an elite academy. If their best players could train with the best players of Falkirk, Stenhousemuir and East Stirling, their development would accelerate."

Wotte believes in clubs sharing finances from the SFA with Dunfermline, Raith, Cowdenbeath and East Fife having agreed to form a regional academy.

"Falkirk and Stenhousemuir don't have the resources to have an academy like Hearts, Hibs, Rangers or Aberdeen, but they can do a much better job with resources put together," he said.

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