The Scottish Mail on Sunday

BSC love the limelight but locating a home in Glasgow matters more

- By Graeme Croser

THIS morning a convoy of coaches will depart Glasgow’s west end bound for a ‘home’ Scottish Cup tie at Recreation Park, Alloa. A founder of BSC Glasgow, Kenny Moyes will have no trouble enjoying the sense of novelty and achievemen­t that will surround a televised showdown with Hibernian.

Yet he can’t avoid feeling irked that a club representi­ng Scotland’s biggest city should be so displaced as it steps into the limelight.

The story of Broomhill Sports Club started in 2004, when Moyes and a couple of similarly disgruntle­d dads constructe­d a vehicle to keep their kids active after school.

The project blossomed and expanded without ever establishi­ng firm roots. That’s why, five years after accepting the SFA’s invite to join the Lowland League, the club’s flagship team finds itself operating out of Clackmanna­nshire.

‘The main challenge over the past 15 years has been facilities,’ said Moyes. ‘In that period so many people in higher positions have asked if the club is sustainabl­e.

‘We have 450 kids, we’re still here and still looking for facilities. It feels like we are being held back.

‘Alloa have been brilliant to us but, ultimately, we want to be back in Glasgow.’

Used to playing in front of crowd numbers that barely break into three figures, BSC will have the backing of around 700 spectators today, a figure that will be dwarved by a sizeable Hibs contingent.

BSC dream of growing their own devoted following but that would require a permanent home.

Scotstoun Stadium, a complex that already serves as home to several of the club’s youth teams, would be the dream location but that would require sitting tenants Glasgow Warriors to outgrow their current surroundin­gs.

Attempts have also been made to transform two disused and overgrown pitches within Victoria Park, a site that would ideally allow the club to develop a facility along the lines of the K-Park home of fellow Lowlanders East Kilbride.

‘We have tried to campaign for that,’ continued Moyes. ‘We have been at every meeting, joined all the community groups and yet nothing has happened.

‘A whole lot of time and effort has been wasted. Unfortunat­ely, there is a generation of people in the local area who have never played team sport and have an objection to kids playing in the park.’

A resident of Broomhill, Moyes takes inspiratio­n from his father David Snr, who ran Drumchapel Amateurs, the club that launched his elder brother on the road to a career that ultimately led to the manager’s office at Manchester United.

The younger sibling followed a different path, operating as an agent and also a specialist in organising pre-season tours and training camps for clubs such as Celtic.

The BSC project has given him something else to absorb his energy.

‘My three boys were at Broomhill Primary and there were no after-school activities,’ he recalled. ‘I approached the head teacher and she said we would need to do it ourselves.

‘Dennis Docherty, Steve Prince and I got together and set up the school team. Everywhere we trained there were kids being thrown off pitches to let us on, so we would invite them to stay.

‘It just grew arms and legs. From the indoor gym at Broomhill, we progressed to the outdoor pitch at Hyndland Secondary. We now have 28 teams in our youth set-up.

‘People ask where we got the volunteers but it’s just enthusiasm. A huge group of parents turning up on a Sunday.

‘My father ran Drumchapel

Amateurs for more than 25 years, so I saw how that operated.

‘Try to get the best standards, coaches and set standards for discipline. Parents feel it’s a safe place for their kids to go and get some exercise.

‘That was the catalyst for the club starting but we want to keep growing. The publicity from this cup tie is amazing and we’d love to attract another 200 kids on the back of it.’

The club’s mere involvemen­t at the fifth-round stage of the Scottish Cup is a sign of clear progressio­n under manager Stephen Swift but the overarchin­g ambition remains promotion to the SPFL’s League Two.

‘The club’s moral compass has always been in the right place,’ insisted Moyes. ‘It didn’t matter how good you were, we would find a place for you to come and play sport.

‘Then, five years ago, we got a call from the SFA to ask if we would be interested in joining the Lowland League.

‘Did we think we would get to this place so quickly. No we didn’t.’

As things stand, the Lowland League’s two best supported teams — Kelty Hearts and Bonnyrigg Rose — stand as the main barriers to promotion.

‘We still feel strong in the league,’ added Moyes. ‘If we win our games in hand we are only five points behind Kelty Hearts, who we still have to play twice.’

Just as his brother displays an undimmed competitiv­e fire during his latest managerial stint at West Ham, Kenny also has a warning for today’s opponents.

‘We have a team of men,’ he states. ‘Stephen Swift has created his own DNA, it might not be the DNA of the whole sports club, but he has taken a lead.

‘It’s not going to be easy for Hibs to come and play us on an astroturf at noon on a Sunday — it will be a bit unsettling for them.’

Glasgow v Edinburgh on neutral territory. Let battle commence.

 ??  ?? UP FOR THE CUP: Lowland League BSC Glasgow are ready to play Hibs at their ‘home’ ground in Alloa today
UP FOR THE CUP: Lowland League BSC Glasgow are ready to play Hibs at their ‘home’ ground in Alloa today
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