THE club’s youth development programme has been boosted by a five-figure SFA grant.
The news brings a rigorous project to a successful conclusion with over a year’s worth of work going into making sure the club met a set of stringent criteria.
Head of Youth of Development, Stewart McInnes, said: “The turnover of staff at the start of last season meant that there were lots of criteria that we failed to meet – we never had suitably qualified youth coaches, sports first aiders, child protection officers or goalkeeper coach at some point between then and submitting our application for this grant. Therefore, we never applied for grant funding last year as we knew we would not receive any award and that was a big blow to us because of the all of the running costs involved in having a youth programme in place.
“Now, though, we meet all of the criteria and we are delighted to have received this grant. It means that we can now push on with our plans to grow and develop the youth setup at the club because we know we are just at the beginning and are only really getting started. This grant allows us to start thinking about making progress and it means that we can plan for next season in plenty of time.
“I have to thank all of the coaches and others at the club who have given up a lot of their free time to go on courses to ensure that we meet these criteria and continue to give many hours to ensure the club is able to run a youth setup.
“If anyone is interested in helping out with the running of the youth side of the club then they are welcome to contact me.”
Chairman Donald Matheson added: “I have to give thanks to Stewart and Steven Bain for all of their hard work in successfully applying for this grant. We are delighted to have received it because of how important a correctly-functioning youth setup is to the club and we will continue to work hard to produce players who are good enough for the first team and give them their chance to play in the Highland League.”