Tell our audience a little bit about yourself.
My name is Ian Grey, and I am the Club Chairperson of Rossvale Football Club. I have been with the Club from the very beginning in 1976, playing in the very first game. I was eight years old at the time, and now I am 46.
I also work in Residential Childcare for the last 20 years, so everything I do is very child centred. I took over the Chairpersons role from my father. I have some OCD which means I am very driven to do things the way I want them, and fortunate to have many people around the Club who are very similar.
I give between 30-40 hours a week to running the club, and willing to do everything from top to bottom and I enjoy the process. I am happiest when I am setting up a new project and love the challenge of it, to prove I can make it a success. I badger people to help and to support the Club, and that has paid off with a new development at Huntershill Playing Fields. I am very ambitious, whilst trying to include everyone.
So how did the idea of Rossvale come about?
Rossvale was born out of a number of kids getting together and playing football from Woodhill Primary School in a public park. From that point my dad, who was a qualified youth leader, decided to organise something on a weekly basis for the kids in a structured safe environment. From that one team in 1976, it has now grown into what it is.
The Club ran with five or six teams for the first half of its existence, until I made the decision to run an academy involving five and six year olds which was laughed at by numerous people. The academy propelled the club, overtaking others. The academy is now the main foundation of our Club, and just recently added a new futsal section for four year olds.
So how many players do you have in total, counting boys and girls?
Currently the club has about 600 players, 120 officials and about 60 teams. Our players range from four years of age up to over 35’s. We have added a semi professional team in the last three years, and at the present time are doing reasonably well. We have further ambitions to add walking football, over 50’s football and numerous other projects to fulfil our SFA Quality Mark Legacy Level.
Could you tell us a success story over the time Rossvale has existed?
Rossvale has won the Scottish Cup four times, and as recently as last year. We have now about a dozen players who have represented the Club at international youth level, and currently in excess of 100 players in the current pro youth set up, with a few making it into the senior game.
However, the greatest success is the amount of kids we have kept off the streets on a week to week basis, running into thousands over our history. Many of our players have developed long term relationships, with some in excess of 30 years, which should be the mainstay of every club to ensure kids enjoy themselves, build strong wider relationships and become better people
So I understand you have some new plans for the girls side of the club?
We are keen to develop our girls section to match the level the boys department has become. The club believes that we should be able to create an equitable academy to the girls and allow them the same as we offer the boys, with the long term plan of putting a women’s team in place. We believe that this requires us to put a strong foundation in place and we need to bring in girls born between the years 2000 and 2009.
We want to build an environment where players are ambitious, to be better players and better people. We need more players and more organised ambitious people to come on board, who want to make this work, both at competitive and community, all inclusive.