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Gers legend Laudrup launches Ashfield's academy

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Brian Laudrup is somebody that can certainly say that they have contributed a great deal to the city of Glasgow. A one-of-a-kind player for Rangers, the Dane scored 44 goals in a blue jersey amongst numerous league and cup doubles.

Laudrup was back in Glasgow recently to bring together the community, as he helped to  launch a new football academy based in Possilpark. Ashfield FC, who compete in Scottish Junior Football League, now play at the re-developed Peugeot Ashfield Stadium, and benefited greatly from a lucrative multi-million-pound makeover to restructure their ground and create new facilities for the locals, mainly funded by Michael and Gerry Facenna.

Ashfield’s Football Academy is constructing a unique coaching and development programme for all levels of football, offering a pathway for 12-17 year old boys and providing the highest standard of coaching. With this idea helping to keep young people active and involved in football, as well as engaging them with other sports, it will go a long way to helping out major social-issues.

Laudrup was keen to get involved with helping the local community with this event, taking charge of a coaching session for a fortunate group of selected 12-15 year olds, and spoke highly of the occasion: “I played a lot of football in Scotland but this is my first time running a coaching session so it is a bit special. Giving kids a high quality of facility and coaching to help them develop not only their sporting skills but life skills as well is so important.”

He also sang his praises for the new stadium owner: “With the enthusiasm Gerry Facenna, and everyone involved, has for the project I am sure it will be a great success and will help Ashfield FC, Scottish football and, most importantly, the young people of the local area.”

One of the men who helped all of this come into fruition, Facenna himself, spoke of his desire for this project to make a difference: “We’re working with the local community to help enhance opportunities for people of all ages in North Glasgow. The Ashfield Academy of Football, with programmes for all ages and abilities, is a great example of this and one we’re delighted to support. Getting Brian (Laudrup) involved is just the icing on the cake – an added incentive to inspire local youngsters to think that one day they could be the next Laudrup or Larsson.”

The Ashfield Academy will have some of the finest facilities in Scotland at their disposal for all sports, including AstroTurf training pitches and a speedway training track.

Club secretary Tom Robertson said: “We are delighted that someone of Brian Laudrup’s status could give up his time to visit the club. It’s been an absolute privilege for these kids to be coached by him and a great way to raise the profile of the new academy. The whole aim is to benefit local kids, along with the wider community and this has been a fantastic way to kick it off.”

He added: “We also can’t praise Gerry and Michael Facenna enough for what they’ve done to turn the club’s fortunes around. If they hadn’t come on board, there would no longer be an Ashfield Football Club.”

Click here for a full photo gallery from the event by Collarge Images.

Gregor Kerr | YFS South East Region Journalist
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