Team Manager (Darren Young)
Young grew up in Whitlawburn, Cambuslang and attended Cathkin High School. He started his career at Aberdeen (where he was later to be joined by younger brother Derek), signing from Crombie Sports on 29 February 1996. He made a quick impact, making his first team debut against Hearts in August 1996, aged only 17. Young’s prodigious development which had seen him awarded several Scotland Under-21 caps was hindered however, by a serious knee injury which required three separate operations to repair.
Young made a successful return to the Aberdeen first team in 2000, by which stage his brother Derek was also an established member of Ebbe Skovdahl’s resurgent side. Darren was soon awarded the captaincy and led the ‘Dons’ to a 4th-place finish in the league in the 2001–02 season. This ensured European football returned to Pittodrie and Young increased his continental appearances for Aberdeen to 10, as the ‘Dons’ played FC Nistru Otaci and Hertha BSC Berlin in the 2002–03 UEFA Cup.
Darren and brother joined Dunfermline Athletic together in July 2003 as part of Jimmy Calderwood’s new-look side and were part of the team defeated 3–1 by Celtic in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden Park in May 2004. Young was once again blighted by injuries the following season but helped the Pars retain their SPL status in the 2005–06 season, as well as reaching League Cup Final where Celtic again proved too strong, beating the Fife side 3–0.
In July 2006, his brother was released by Dunfermline (eventually signing for St Johnstone), ensuring the Young brothers would play separately for the first time in their professional careers. In May 2008, Darren rejected Dunfermline’s final contract offer meaning he would leave East End Park at the 2007–08 season, after five years with the Fife side.
In May 2008, Young signed for First Division club Dundee. Young was sent off after three minutes into his debut for Dundee, during a league match against Clyde at Broadwood Stadium after pulling back an opponent. He was released by the club on 4 May 2010.
Young featured in two games as a trialist for Dumfries club Queen of the South early in the 2010–11 season, during the reign of Kenny Brannigan’s management. In the second game for the Palmerston club he was substituted due to injury after 10 minutes. Young then went on trial at Greenock Morton after a spate of injuries to their midfield. He was offered training facilities and the possibility of trial matches. After playing well in his three games, he was signed until the end of the year. After a dozen league appearances, Young was released in May 2011.
Young signed for Alloa in July 2011. With his vast experience, he was soon appointed captain and led the team to the third division title in the 2011–12 season.
Young was appointed player/manager of League Two club Albion Rovers in June 2014. In his first match in charge, he scored the winning penalty as Albion Rovers beat Airdrieonians 4–2 on penalties following a 2–2 draw in the Scottish Challenge Cup on 26 July 2014. Young won the League Two championship and promotion in his first season as a manager, sealing the league with a 3–2 win against Clyde.
On getting his team promoted into League One, despite budget restraints and low expectations Young led Albion Rovers to their best start to a third tier season in the club’s history, taking 28 points from their first 17 games and placed third.
Assistant Manager (Billy Stark)
Born in Glasgow, Stark made his professional debut in 1975 in nearby Paisley for St Mirren. Two years later he won his first honour, a First Division winners medal. After 255 games for St Mirren, scoring 60 goals, he was signed by Aberdeen for £80,000. During a period of success for the side, he helped Aberdeen to win a European Super Cup in 1983, a Premier Division and Scottish Cup double in 1984, another league title the following year and a League Cup and Scottish Cup double in 1986.
Stark was signed by Celtic in 1987, for a £100,000 transfer fee. In three seasons with the club he won two further Scottish Cups and a League Championship, before leaving for Kilmarnock for two seasons. In 1992 he transferred to Hamilton Academical as a player/coach, but returned to Kilmarnock the following year under manager and former Celtic colleague Tommy Burns. Stark retired from playing in 1994, having scored over 100 league goals.
After retiring as a player, Stark became assistant to Tommy Burns at Celtic. When Burns left Celtic in 1997, Stark managed the side for three matches in a caretaker capacity before leaving himself. Stark then had spells managing Greenock Morton and St Johnstone before becoming Queen’s Park manager in 2004.
Stark led Queen’s to one of their greatest results of modern times in August 2006 at Firhill Stadium, when Queen’s Park beat his former club Aberdeen on penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in the 2006–07 Scottish League Cup. Stark also led the Glasgow club to promotion from the Scottish Third Division and later hailed the achievement as the highlight of his football career.
Stark left Queen’s Park on 1 January 2008 to oversee the Scottish national youth teams, a role that involved managing the Scotland national under-21 football team. Stark’s under-21 side reached the qualification playoffs for the 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, but they lost out to Iceland. David Goodwillie, Danny Wilson and Barry Bannan were promoted from the under-21s to the full national team selected by Craig Levein in November 2010. The team finished in second place in their qualifying group for the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, but did not gather enough points to be eligible for the playoffs.
Stark was placed in caretaker charge of the Scotland team for a friendly against Luxembourg in November 2012, following the departure of Craig Levein. He resigned from the position of Scotland under-21 manager in November 2014.
In June 2015, Stark was appointed assistant manager to Darren Young at newly promoted Scottish League One side Albion Rovers.
Development Team Manager (Brian Kerr)
Brian Kerr started his career with Newcastle United, but failed to hold down a regular first team place. Despite this, he won three caps for Scotland under the management of Berti Vogts. When Kerr was released by Newcastle in 2004, he signed for his home town club Motherwell, despite having attracted interest from Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. His career then suffered a major setback when he damaged an anterior cruciate ligament in a pre-season friendly, causing him to be out of football for almost nine months. After recovering from his injury, Kerr re-established his place in Motherwell’s first-team squad, and he scored his first goal for the club with a spectacular strike in a 4–4 draw with Celtic in 2005.
In 2007, Kerr left Motherwell and signed a two-year contract with Hibernian. Kerr scored (what proved to be the winner in a 1-0 victory) on his debut for Hibernian against Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts on 6 August 2007. He played regularly under John Collins, but found it harder to hold down a first team place under Mixu Paatelainen and was released on 1 September 2008.
It was reported by BBC Sport on 12 September 2008 that Kerr was in signing talks with Major League Soccer club Toronto FC. Kerr failed to agree terms with Toronto and then had unsuccessful trial periods with Brighton & Hove Albion and Oldham Athletic. Kerr told the Daily Record during January 2009 that he may have to end his playing career due to his failure to find a new club since leaving Hibs. Soon afterwards, however, new Inverness CT manager Terry Butcher invited Kerr on trial and he was signed on 2 February. He made his debut for Inverness against former side Hibernian in a 2–0 win and scored his first goal against Hamilton. Inverness were relegated on the last day of the season and Kerr was subsequently released by the club.
On 29 June 2009 Kerr signed a contract with Dundee. He scored his first and what turned out to be only goal for Dundee against former club Inverness Caledonian Thistle on 6 March 2010. On 15 October 2010, Kerr had his contract terminated by Dundee due to the club entering administration. Kerr signed for Arbroath in July 2011.
In June 2016, Kerr was appointed to a coaching position by Albion Rovers.