• Dyce BC benefit from the Quality Mark scheme through their relationship with the Scottish FA
• The club are developing a 3G pitch due to be completed by early 2016.
• Interview: Len Nicol
Who better to speak to about Dyce Boys Club than Len Nicol? The club stalwart has been part of the furniture at the Aberdeenshire club since the 1980s, taking up a number of roles across the club in this time.
He is now the club’s treasurer and coaches the under-seven and under-eight teams. Speaking to Grassroots, Nicol was able to give an insight into the history of the club and how the recent award of the Scottish FA’s Quality Mark has impacted upon it.
"We started off obviously as one team, and there was a local competition here called ‘Champion Street’," Nicol explained. "It was a knock-out competition, and we had great fun in the competition and we managed to get quite far on.
"At the end of the competition it was decided that it was something good that we had started, so let’s continue it, and that’s basically what happened. The club continued, entered a team into what was then the Youth Service Association, and has grown and developed over the years."
Bringing it back to today, he told us how the club now has a good reputation at under-12 level and below. "We seem to attract kids quite early and we’ve sort of built on that, and we’re really working with kids from the age of six and upwards. Hopefully they’ll stay with us and form decent teams once they get to competitive level."
Dyce BC are now certified with the Scottish FA Quality Mark, which has brought a number of benefits to the club.
"We have benefited greatly from the Quality Mark scheme," Nicol said. "We’ve got the two changing rooms and the storage container through the Scottish Football Partnership, which we would not have had without the Quality Mark scheme.
"We’re also a partner in a 3G development at Central Park, which is another part of Dyce. We’re a partner there with the Aberdeen City Council, the Scottish FA, the local amateur club, the rugby club. And so later on this year, early part of next year, we will have a 3G pitch in the area as well."
These developments have also seen the club form a connection with the Scottish FA through working closely together. "We’ve built up a good relationship over the years and, as I say, these guys have backed us to the hilt, so they have been very helpful," said Nicol. "They’re only a phone call away and we can call and they’ll help at any time. It’s nice to have a good, working relationship. But also, I think it’s a friendly relationship as well."
Despite the recent changes to the club, Nicol stressed that the coaches have not forgotten their old traditions.
"One thing we’re quite strong on is discipline. We actually like to see the boys smartly turned out," he said. "One rule we’ve always had in place, for example, is we never let them play with their shirts outside their shorts. Their shirts have always to be in the shorts, their socks have always to be taped up, they’ve to wear their shin guards, and their boots have to be clean."
It is an approach which he expects might once more bring the various sides success. "I think, based on our past record we’re usually there or thereabouts when it comes to competitive sides being in cup finals, and maybe winning trophies and titles."
"It’s really about the development of the kids, as our main aim. That’s what we like to work on. The thing we do guarantee is if a boy comes to Dyce Boys Club when he leaves at whatever age, he will be a better player. And hopefully he will be a better person at the end of it as well."