YOUTH CLUB

Glens sign agree­ment with Croft­foot United

Rutherglen Reformer - - The Back Page - John Gorrod

Ruther­glen Glen­cairn are set to sign an agree­ment with a lo­cal de­vel­op­ment out­fit to fur­ther en­hance their youth sys­tem.

The New Southcroft club will take Croft­foot United un­der their wing to give promis­ing play­ers a route into the ju­nior game.

Un­der the agree­ment, United’s youth sides will play as ‘Ruther­glen Glen­cairn’.

Glens have al­ready en­joyed mas­sive suc­cess with their un­der-21 squad, with the likes of Del Es­plin, Ross McNeil and Jonathan Boal all go­ing on to the first team in the five years since it was cre­ated.

This the latest move will see play­ers as young as 10 have ac­cess to their ex­per­tise.

The op­por­tu­nity to link up with a club which was formed in 1895 was too good to turn down for United founder and chair­per­son Robert Fox.

In a state­ment re­leased last week on the Glen­cairn web­site, Robert said: “It goes with­out say­ing that this is a ma­jorly ex­cit­ing time for the club and puts an im­me­di­ate in­fra­struc­ture in place giv­ing all boys a strong path­way to ju­nior football.

“To join a club with over 100 years of history is noth­ing short of pure bril­liance and I thor­oughly look for­ward to work­ing with the first team man­ager Wil­lie Har­vey and the com­mit­tee of Ruther­glen Glen­cairn FC.”

Wil­lie Har­vey said: “We are pleased to con­firm that we have an agree­ment with Croft­foot United which will pro­vide the club with a full youth sys­tem that will hope­fully de­velop play­ers and fam­i­lies with an iden­tity and love for Ruther­glen Glen­cairn Football Club. We want to move for­ward and in­clude the lo­cal com­mu­nity at ev­ery level of the club.”

Af­ter­wards Robert told the Re­former: “The big name at­tracted me and the dis­cus­sions with the first-team man­ager Wil­lie Har­vey about our vi­sion for the fu­ture.

“The Ruther­glen Glen­cairn (name) is a gi­ant in the ju­nior game. I was flab­ber­gasted that they didn’t have a youth set-up.”

Robert formed United when he was just 16.

He said: “In the lo­cal area, there were no football teams. My old man­ager in­vited me down to help take train­ing ses­sions and I de­cided then to stop play­ing and start coach­ing. It all just blos­somed from there.

“I set out to cre­ate one team in Croft­foot, not the eight or nine that we cur­rently have.”

But not ev­ery­body is pleased about United giv­ing up their name. Robert ex­plained: “That was the tough­est thing, giv­ing up the name af­ter build­ing it up from noth­ing.

“Peo­ple have been say­ing that we have taken the only club out of Croft­foot again, which is true, but I have ded­i­cated 10 years of my life to it. I am 25 now and I’m not sure how much more I will be able to give. At least now I know that there is a struc­ture in place.”

Young guns Glen­cairn have al­ready en­joyed suc­cess with their un­der-21 squad. They will now hope for more of the same as they en­ter into an agree­ment with Croft­foot United.

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