DUMBARTON have announced that they will withdraw from the Club Academy Scotland setup after conducting a review of their youth development structure.

The Sons fielded sides at Under-17, Under-15, Under-14 and Under-13 level this season under the guidance of Head of Youth Tony McNally.

The Scottish FA are set to roll out Project Brave in the coming months as the focus shifts to elite players and ensuring Scotland’s top young talents rise through the ranks.

As part of the blueprint, the number of clubs and number of kids involved at the top level will be reduced as a ‘best v best’ philosophy is introduced.

And the Sons have now informed all youth players that they will be free to leave the Cheaper Insurance Direct Stadium.

A statement read: “The Board of Dumbarton FC has recently concluded a review of the SFA Club Academy Scotland (CAS) model for youth development.

“Dumbarton FC currently has four teams participating in the CAS structure.

“With decreasing grant funding coming from the SFA, the ongoing uncertainty surrounding Project Brave, the significant resources required to comply with CAS participation, and the SFA's commitment to elite player development, Dumbarton FC has reluctantly concluded that the finance and resources necessary to operate within the CAS model cannot be sustained.

“With all of the above factors taken into consideration, DFC has had to face the fact that that it will not be able to participate in competitive youth football, within Club Academy Scotland, next season and will advise the SFA accordingly.

“The Board would like to thank the entire Dumbarton FC youth development staff who have supported our youth operation over the years.

“Parents of all youth academy players are currently being informed of the decision, and being advised that the boys are free to find new clubs ahead of their contract expiry on 30th June 2017.

“Dumbarton FC wishes to stress that, despite this unavoidable decision about withdrawing from Club Academy Scotland football, it remains committed to the future of youth football in the area, and will be exploring other creative routes to supporting young players in the future.”