IN THE DUGOUT | December 6th | LEGACY, the new buzz word in sporting circles

December 6

By IAIN KING, Head Coach, BSC Lowland League brought to you in association with Sport Careers www.sportcareers.co.uk

LEGACY, the new buzz word in sporting circles.

What will you leave behind when you hang up your boots?

Will they remember you when you coach your last session or push your last pen as an administrator?

Legacy. SFA chief executive Stewart Regan will one day have to look back and consider his when he exits Hampden for the last time.

Craig Levein, Mark Wotte, the demise of Rangers, the rise of Scotland again under Gordon Strachan.

Streamlining the blazer culture, dragging the SFA kicking and screaming into the modern era. All up for debate, I’d need a book.

Personally, I consider a key part of Regan’s own legacy will be bringing in the league pyramid and the play-offs to put some excitement back into our set-up.

Make no mistake, opening the pathway to the SPFL from the new Scottish Sun Lowland League and the Highland League was Regan’s brainchild.

He forced it through because he felt in his heart it would enliven football communities the length and breadth of Scotland with the dream of making it into the pro ranks. He was right.

At BSC Glasgow the journey is just beginning but there is real energy and ambition at this club to take the next steps forward. Quickly.

The sportsdesk of the Scottish Sun is an unforgiving arena for debate.

Over the last two years as coach of East Kilbride FC and now BSC I have had to put up with some barbs about the standard of football in the Lowland League.

That’s why I have relished the run of Dougie Samuel’s Spartans to the last 16 of the William Hill Scottish Cup.

Our flag-bearers, already conquerors of Barry Ferguson’s Clyde, dumped League One leaders Morton out on the day that junior football kingpins Bo’ness United lost 0-5 at home to League Two Arbroath.

Lowland League leaders Edinburgh City beat junior giants Auchinleck Talbot 2-1 before being edged out by Highland big guns Brora Rangers in the next round.

Craig Young and I were steeped in junior football as players. Craig prospered far more than I ever did at Thorniewood as his attacking nous was cherished at powerhouse clubs like Lesmahagow and Glenafton.

We know that world, we have huge respect for those operating there and will relish our friendly with St Roch’s at James McGrory Park on Saturday afternoon.

Yet over the last two seasons we realised that in some circles the League we coach in didn’t get the respect it deserves.

Surely not now, surely not when many football insiders now EXPECT Spartans to defeat Berwick Rangers or Albion Rovers and make the last eight?

Nope, the Scottish Sun Lowland League is here to stay and Spartans, remember, don’t even lead it right now. They are a distant 10 points behind capital rivals City.

The SFA chief executive has a right to believe the brand he helped create is flourishing.

I spent Tuesday with my day job at the SFA Convention and it was fascinating. Spartans chairman Craig Graham spoke superbly on the strides the club have made to become the beating heart of their North Edinburgh community.

There is much to be learned from Spartans in my eyes, not least the humility with which they continue to carry themselves.

Craig joked with me at Hampden that he thought he’d be struck off the list of speakers because his club have had too much publicity. Nonsense, they’ve earned it.

It’s my job when I don’t have a BSC tracksuit on to question and at times criticise the leaders of our game.

Stewart Regan knows me well enough to know that if the SFA deserve a kicking they will get it.

Yet in this country we are champions at giving ourselves a doing and grudging at the times when respect would be dished out instead.

Two years into the Lowland League they have a sponsor, a title race with unexpected leaders that will be a thriller and a team in the last 16 of the Scottish Cup.

Whisper it but that’s starting to look like a legacy.


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