In his first exclusive interview for Scottish Amateur Football News Writer Tom Scott came up with a number of questions for recently appointed Bearsden AFC manager Kevin McGroarty, who was honest and forthright with his answers. Many thanks Kevin.
What made you go for the job?
I took time away from Coaching due to my work commitments but always had the desire to get back into coaching. I was given the opportunity to go in with Colville Park E AFC as Assistant Manager with the club going through their own rebuild having taken a season out.
I was always looking to get back into management and when Thomas McCall from Bearsden AFC got in touch we began talks about what the club would be looking for and what their goals were going forward.
After several chats with the committee and seeing everything that was on offer, with how ambitious the club are that really made me say yes I will take the managers job!
How has planning been during the pandemic?
Planning has been tough, when taking the job I had roughly about 8 players at most so straight away knew the 1st thing to do was get on the phone and get lads interested, speaking with them about what we would be looking for commitment wise and what we can offer them.
After getting a squad together, I made up a training and nutrition programme for the players to combat the lockdown, keeping the mental wellbeing in check and giving them different exercises etc to keep them ticking over, which they really enjoyed!
Training has been a lot different to what we are used to with the social distancing aspect and we have been back for just over 2 weeks sticking in line with the government and Scottish FA Guidelines, but all in all the numbers have been great!
Have you signed any players? Positions and Previous clubs?
In terms of signing players, as stated previously, it was a rebuilding job at the club. One of the main goals was to get a squad together that had a good number of youth players involved in that as well, as well as some experienced signings too, to help out the youngsters as well.
We have brought in lads from the like of Kirkintilloch Rob Roy youth set up, Cumbernauld Colts Youth and then have been tapping into players I have coached previously as well at Kilsyth Rovers who bring experiece to the side.
Has the team secured any sponsorship?
The club are sponsored by the local Bar/Restaurant in Bearsden, The Station Bar who give us a place to call home for after our home games. We are in talks with a number of businesses at the moment about securing sponsorships at the club as they are so important to the upkeep of any amateur team.
I personally have introduced Management Team and Player Sponsorship this Year for the 1st time at Bearsden AFC and that’s has been a fantastic effort from all individual sponsors, who will all get shoutouts weekly from our Social Media Team and be invited to any events we hold as a club.
Any potential friendlies?
As you can imagine it’s a strange time for all clubs at the moment with not knowing what to do in terms of when we can play. I have spoken with a number of clubs who include – Harestanes AFC, Campsie Minerva AFC, Glasgow Harp AFC, Kirky Thistle & a few u20s teams as well but as you said there is no confirmed dates at all and just all provisional talks at the moment.
Some people with have opinions on how things were at Bearsden AFC in regards to the previous season, But myself and my Head Coach James Whyte have been ruthless when it comes to being brutally honest with the lads about our ambitions.
I reckon clubs should keep an eye out for the club which could potentially be a real surprise to everyone when we are back doing what we enjoy most when safe to do so.
We aren’t here just to make up the numbers in the league we are here to compete.
Kevin McGroarty Manager. Bearsden AFC