Glasgow East BC have been awarded Quality Mark status during the recent Scottish FA West Region Quality Mark Awards, for their efforts in increasing participation in football and development amongst young players.
The community run club formed last summer in the East End of Glasgow, starting with only nine players and one team.
Almost one year later though, the story at Glasgow East is somewhat different; the club now caters for upwards of sixty-five young players in five different teams.
Brian McGill is the club’s president, chairman and manager of the Under 16 team. McGill along with vice president Pat Twigg both coach at the local primary school St Thomas’ and are keen for kids of any level to get involved.
McGill said, “We’re also now bringing on a lot more developmental squads, we’re allowing kids to come just in order to train they don’t necessarily have to come in to play, it is just mainly to keep kids off the streets and keep them away from the bad things we know that can happen in this area which has been kind of plagued in recent years.”
Under Brian and Pat’s stewardship, Glasgow East has met the Scottish FA’s criteria for the quality mark which is aimed at improving or supporting management, development structures, administration, planning and welfare.
Brian appreciates the big part the Scottish FA have played in aiding the development of Glasgow East.
“The Scottish FA has been very helpful in terms of they’ve given us funding we’ve received equipment, they’ve helped us with regards to the facility, helping out with costs, putting us on coaching courses –very helpful from start to finish.”
The benefits of being involved at Glasgow East are evident in the young players themselves; developing skills useful for life in football and outside.
Jack Stuart, who plays centre half for the under 16s team said: “The main thing is having fun with your team mates and playing football which I love.”
Jack’s team started the season badly but have now found their feet. He is quick to recognise what the club has done for him, saying: “I’ve become fitter and as a person I’ve learned life skills from my coaches and other people around me.”
The kids are certainly kept busy training twice a week with competitive fixtures taking place at the weekend and McGill is keen for more kids to benefit in the way Jack has. He said: “The aspirations for the club and future are to grow year on year. Obviously we want to have as many kids as possible represent the club. The main aim is within a timescale is to have a football academy which the local community can be proud of and that kids can continually enjoy coming and being part of a structured tolerant environment.”