One of Scotland’s few girls and women-only football clubs has been recognised by the Scottish Football Association as among the best-run in the country, despite being just two years old.
Edinburgh-based Boroughmuir Thistle Football Club is to be awarded the SFA’s Development Quality Mark at a World Cup qualifying match between Scotland women and Georgia, taking place at Tynecastle this evening.
In just two years, Boroughmuir has secured a place in the women’s Scottish Premier League, but it also trains girls as young as seven years old and all age groups in-between. It means that girls, who ordinarily might be tempted to give up on sport in their mid-teens, have, with Boroughmuir, the incentive to progress in a structured way to the very top of the Scottish women’s game.
The award of the Development Quality Mark recognises the high standards of coaching and club infrastructure built by Boroughmuir.
Club chair, Gavin Michie; secretary, Chris Findlay; and former Scotland captain, Pauline MacDonald – who now manages Boroughmuir in the Premier League – will receive the award at half-time at Tynecastle. They will be joined by some of the club’s youngest players who have been chosen to be mascots prior to kick-off.
Boroughmuir has become the first female-only football club in the south-east of Scotland to be accredited with the Mark. It was achieved under the supervision of SFA regional club development manager, David Drummond, and his colleagues Mark Munro, SFA regional manager for south-east Scotland and SFA head of girls'/women's football, Sheila Begbie.
The club is actively recruiting for its under-17 squad, as a stepping stone to the adult team.
Says Michie: “Our performance and participation pathway is fairly unique in Scotland and allows girls who wish to play in the Premier League, and beyond, to do so, by joining our youth and football league squads.
“Today, around 80 per cent of girls drop out of sport by the age of 14. Numerous obstacles are cited. Our single club pathway and ethos helps clear the way for life-long participation.
“The club has paid for our volunteers to develop their education and have supported younger coaches with long-term career aspirations in the game.
“It is committed to long-term continuous education for our coaches and is recruiting additional, higher-qualified, experienced career coaches to act as mentors to help their development and those of the players.”