Finnart AFC Manager Brian Blair is convinced the club’s continued success will be helped by their thriving Academy structure. Bridgeton-based in Glasgow’s East End for the past 41 years, Finnart have racked up honours at domestic and national level spanning boys club, Under-21 and Amateur football.
More importantly, officials and coaches support the local community through countless charity initiatives, and encourage youngsters to participate in the beautiful game from a very early age via Mini Kickers and Fun Fours.
Brian Blair may be relatively new to the pressures of management, under three sessions. But he knows the club inside out through wearing the Finnart colours in a playing career spanning 22 years.
In another great @AmmyFitba News exclusive Brian revealed “Even when I was playing I was still making time to coach a lot of our young teams, so they knew what my ideas were and how I set-up sessions.”
“Through our Academy structure we have a clear pathway right through to the amateur team, which I have changed a bit in terms of going for a mixture of youth and experience. Covid-19 has changed everything. I have a young family, so tight away you have to approach things differently.”
“I miss the dressing room banter because it is part and parcel of football. We are unable to use facilities including showers and you have to bring in new ideas for training sessions. We have concentrated on game-related exercises.”
“Our Under-21 team train alongside us, which allows me to see potential talent coming through.”
The March lockdown came on a Friday evening when Finnart were due to play St Mungo in a Cup final at Broadwood, Cumbernauld, and Brian admitted “I don’t know if the League will be able to reschedule the match. I hope they can get it in.”
“We have only had one friendly due to SFA restrictions, but I think the squad will be better than last season. In addition to our retained players we have brought in some excellent signings.”
Meanwhile, Finnart’s 21-year-old internationalist striker Mark Taylor showed why he has attracted attention from clubs at the next level up with a hat-trick in Saturday’s 7-1 victory against Steadfast.
Coming up on the horizon if current rules remain in place are Tollcross AFC (September 19) and Kings Park Rangers the following Saturday. Glasgow Green will host both games.