A PIONEERING coach has picked up a national award for putting girls’ football on the map in Linlithgow.
Doug Johnston, head of Linlithgow Rose CFC’s girls’ section, was at the Scotland-Australia match last month to be presented with the SFA South East Region’s Volunteer in Girls/Women’s Football Award.
After 15 years with the 1992 age group, Doug started the girls’ section in February 2010 with only three girls, growing it to the current 65 players.
Doug Johnston (46) who stays at The Maltings, said: “I’m quite chuffed about it. It’s nice to be recognised but there are 10 other coaches and I could not have done it without them - it’s not just me.”
Doug is passionate about the beautiful game and hopes that Linlithgow could be the biggest provider of girl’s football in Scotland. The club recruits through local schools between the ages of P6 and S1 pupils.
He added: “I enjoy the coaching and Linlithgow kids are great. Some of them had never kicked a ball before.
“They also tell you exactly what they think! Their attitude is spot on - we’ve got around 40 playing every weekend and they always want to train even in bad weather.
‘‘Some are really good with a few in the south-east region’s elite squad which is one step below Scotland level.”
He also praised the supportive parents who bring the kids along to train.
Doug said: “It is the best sport on the planet. We want to make it fun and help the kids develop as players, which is positive and challenging.”
Doug will now represent the SE Region at the SFA regional finals next month.
LRCFC president Billy McAdam said: “The girls’ section is the envy of many long established girls’ teams in the country.
‘‘We hope Doug picks up the national award as it is fitting for his hard work, outstanding commitment and selfless attitude to all things football in Linlithgow. We are very lucky to have him on board.”
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