A SMALL, but dedicated group of local football administrators have been plotting a revolution designed to build a new look structure for young Ellon players.
“We have some very simple targets which we intend to implement both in the short and long term, including keeping our young talent in the area, engaging with parents, and promoting a collective loyalty in the three organisations we represent,” said Miller Mathieson, acting chairman of the group who have been meeting over the last few months.
The three football groups involved in the ambitious project are Ellon United, Ellon Amateurs and Ellon Meadows who represent all ages and are based at The Meadows.
Mathieson, a long time supporter and committee member of junior club United is adamant the new set up - yet to have a name - will instil a sense of pride in the local game, while stopping the drain to other, allegedly better, clubs in the North-east.
He said: “The last thing we want to do is discourage youngsters from getting to the top, indeed quite the reverse. We want them to achieve the best they can in the game, even play for their country. The talent is there, it’s a question of harnessing it.”
Fellow committee member Kevin Wright underlined the strategy when he said: “This is an opportunity not to be missed. My own club, Ellon Amateurs, see a chance to bring local soccer into the 21st century.”
Wright’s coach and manager Jim Booth is already involved, contributing to the new structure with his considerable experience.
Discussions have taken place with the local SFA representative, who is advising the group.
“Mark Slater has been a tower of strength, talking us through some of the issues with his sensible advice,” said Mathieson. “They run teams from under 10’s to under 19’s, making them key partners in the structure. The idea of having 200 youngsters available to us is wonderfully exciting. We now need to ensure their full potential is realised.
“Most of all we should be pulling in the same direction. United we stand, divided we shall fall,” he enthused.
While there is a long way to go to deliver the scheme, the steps are being taken to create a forward thinking, loyal, local football structure in partnership with the community, who will have the opportunity to participate in an open day at the Meadows on September 2.
“The Meadows is central to what we are trying to achieve. The open day will explain what is going on to parents and others when we shall produce more detail,” said Wright. “This development is also about promoting good attitudes. We want youngsters to enjoy playing, and would like to see winners, but participating should be the real joy for us all.”