Gartcairn Football Academy have officially opened their new state of the art “3G” training and playing facility at St Margaret’s High School, Airdrie. The project was part funded by The Scottish Football Partnership and North Lanarkshire council and it comes as the culmination of many years of hard work in which a number of key partners were involved including North Lanarkshire Council, North Lanarkshire Leisure, The Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football Partnership to make this dream a reality and help provide the Scottish F.A. Legacy Mark Community Club with a full player pathway and further enhance the Academy’s reputation of young player development. A whole host of guests including Councillor Jim Logue, Mark Kerr (Partick Thistle) and Bryan Prunty (Dumbarton) Peter Donald (SFP) were in attendance to cut the ribbon and officially open the park.Speaking at the launch, Gartcairn Football Academy Chairmen Robert McCallum said “We now have a facility that the local community can identify with Gartcairn and where we can develop and go from strength to strength. It also stands testament to all at the academy who work so hard on and off the pitch, and bodes well for the local and wider community In terms of youth participation, disability football, girls football and the general health of a growing number of participants young and old alike”.Councillor Logue said: “The upgrading of this pitch signifies a major investment by North Lanarkshire Council, along with support and funding from the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football Partnership. The development of this has resulted in a partnership management arrangement in which the pupils of St Margaret’s have access during the school day, Gartcairn now have a permanent base to develop their Football Academy aspirations and the football community in Airdrie have an additional asset of the highest quality. As such, this is a win-win situation for everyone.”Councillor Logue also praised Gartcairn in stating “Gartcairn is recognised not only locally but nationally by the Scottish F.A. as one of the most progressive football clubs and recently completed the requirements of Legacy status Scottish F.A. quality mark and also attained disability inclusive club award”He particularly singled out the commitment and enthusiasm of Head Coach, Robert McCallum, who recently was the winner of the Scottish F.A. Merit Award to services to football and North Lanarkshire Councils Volunteer of the year “Robert’s vision and philosophy in relation to football development has contributed to NLC recognising the value of this partnership. The number of participants and teams of all ages, along with a sizeable cohort of coaches, clearly illustrate that the local community has total confidence in the leadership shown by Robert. North Lanarkshire Leisure and North Lanarkshire Council will continue to work with Robert and hopefully, as a result of this, Gartcairn will attract external funding to complete the development of another 3G pitch at Airdrie Leisure Centre which will make it one of the most significant football hubs in Scotland.”
Gartcairn FA’s motto is: Those who wish to play, shall play!