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Youth Coach Receives Fifa Award

By Cameron Macdonald
Fri, 28th Jun 2002 12:00am

Rutherglen man Nicky McDonald has been coaching boys to play football for almost 40 years. In 1963 he started Ardencraig Boys Club to give boys in the Castlemilk area of Glasgow something to do. Ardencraig then became Craig Dynamo before eventually settling to become Grange Boys Club.

In 1974, Clyde supporter Nicky approached then Clyde manager Stan Anderson to ask if they could adopt the name Clyde Boys Club. Stan gave Nicky permission on the condition that he was kept in touch with the progress of the boys. Nicky has always done this and now indeed he coaches Under11s at the club on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

On Tuesdays and Thursdays he coaches his team at Stonelaw Astroturf in Rutherglen. Under his guidance the boys club have won cups and trophies galore and Nicky has brought on some of the best Scottish talent.

Players like Arthur Graham of Manchester United and Aberdeen, Andy McLaren, George Shaw and Bernie Slaven have all been coached by Nicky since he formed Ardencraig. Gary Brady, who went on to Spurs and Newcastle, Simon Donnelly of Celtic and current Dunfermline manager, Jimmy Calderwood all started out playing at Grange Boys Club under Nicky.

Although Nicky works away quietly in the background, his talent and skills have not gone unnoticed or unheralded. He was recently voted Coach of the Year for Rutherglen and Cambuslang district and he has been recognised at the very top of the game. Two weeks ago Nicky received a joint award from FIFA and the International Olympic Committee for his services to football.

The award signed by both Sepp Blatter and Juan Antonio Sammaranch and is the highest possible recognition for the last 40 years of dedication. What started out as something to give the boys of Castlemilk something to do has gone on to see Nicky McDonald recognised by the people at the very top of football.