Dunfermline Press

End of an era for Andi as Soccer Sevens chair


THE chairman of Fife Soccer Sevens has said they can “hold their head up high with what they’ve achieved” after announcing he’s leaving the role after two decades.

Andi Campbell has been synonymous with the youth football extravagan­za, which is held between March and November at Pitreavie, for 20 years but says it’s “the right time to go”.

Run by the Fife Soccer Sevens Developmen­t Associatio­n, it attracts more than 200 teams, and around 2,000 young footballer­s, to the Queensferr­y Road site each weekend during its season, with teams coming from as far afield as Perthshire and Clackmanna­nshire to take part.

This year saw the Soccer Sevens celebrate its 25th anniversar­y and, during his 20 years as chairman, Andi has seen it grow from having 30 teams playing on a Saturday morning to more than five times that number.

Earlier this year, Andi was feted at the Dunfermlin­e and West Fife Sports Council Sports Awards, picking up a ‘Services to Sport’ accolade for his work with the Soccer Sevens, which has also included investing in a defibrilla­tor to be installed at Pitreavie, help introduce ‘super fives’ and nine-aside football at grassroots level, and earn praise in the Houses of Parliament.

Huge numbers of wellwisher­s have posted comments on social media congratula­ting Andi on his commitment to grassroots football, and he told Press Sport that he’s proud of what has been achieved.

“I think the timing’s right. It’s the right time to go,” he said.

“Twenty-odd years of Saturdays and Sundays, and stuff during the week. I kinda thought about this halfway through the season, and I was saying, nah, I don’t fancy doing another season.

“Everything, in my view, is perfect. It’s running great, the numbers are fantastic, so from bringing it up from 30 teams to over 200, with 2,000 bairns, I think I’ve left it in a good state.

I’m now moving on to let somebody else bring it on even further.

“For the 20 years that I’ve been doing it I take a lot of pleasure out of what Fife Soccer Sevens have achieved, from getting brought through to Hampden for introducin­g the ‘super fives’, and the SFA are saying ‘what’s all this’, and you can’t do all this, then, lo and behold, they bring that out.

“Soccer Sevens were pivotal in doing that, same with the nine-a-side - we fought for years and years - and they then decided to put it on trial to see if it works. That’s now a fundamenta­l part of the grassroots game.

“I genuinely think we’ve done our bit, not just for the Soccer Sevens, but for the sake of grassroots football.

“The Soccer Sevens can certainly hold their head up high with what they’ve achieved.

“We have referees now which we brought in, and the referees have been brilliant.

“I take great pleasure in what Soccer 7s have done for grassroots football.”

Andi continued: “From 30 teams (at the beginning) to over 200, 2,000 medals were bought for the end of the season for the players. We introduced the yellow fair play cards, and if a player gets five, they swap it for a gold fair play card. “We’ve done well. “I can leave holding my head up saying, from what we started to what it is now, with the amount of coaches, the amount of players, and the amount of parent helpers that are all involved, down at Pitreavie, it’s like a big community hub. Everybody knows everybody and it’s brilliant.

“I am that wee bit sad, and have mixed emotions, but I’m looking forward to the next challenge for whoever takes it on board. I’ll always be there to help them out, advise them, and push it forward again.

“I think over my 20 years, I’ve done my bit.”

On their Facebook page, Pitreavie Sport and Soccer Centre described

Andi as a “true living legend”, commenting: “You will be sorely missed at the weekends; it won’t be the same without you.

“A true living legend. Well done.

You should feel an immense sense of pride at everything you’ve accomplish­ed and sacrificed for kids to play football in a safe and inclusive environmen­t in Fife.”

 ?? ?? Andi Campbell is stepping down from Fife Soccer Sevens after 20 years. Image: Dave Wardle.
Andi Campbell is stepping down from Fife Soccer Sevens after 20 years. Image: Dave Wardle.
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