Football's coming home as Milngavie FC open new ground at Auchenhowie

Milngavie Football Club will have massive cause for celebration this weekend when they open their brand new facility at Auchenhowie.

Milngavie FC caters for all members of the community

A special opening day on Sunday will mark the culmination of a long battle for adequate facilities by the club which runs sections for all members of the community.

The club has spent £60,000 over two years converting an empty field at Auchenhowie Sports Hub into a new facility.

Sign up to our GlasgowWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Scottish FA chief football officer Andy Gould will cut the ribbon, in front of local dignitaries and councillors, football players past and present and and all 148 MFC coaches and committee .

The club also supports mental health through sport and has teamed up with the Back Onside charity who will also be in attendance.

The club is run by Caroline Diaz who said: “We have been fighting for facilities in Milngavie for years as they are extremely limited compared to the other towns in East Dunbartonshire.

"This is massive for Milngavie."

When Caroline took over running the club in 2011 there were eight teams and a handful of coaches - it now has nearly 60 teams and classes over different age groups, boys, girls, ladies and men.

"Our youngest is three, our oldest 78 with the walk football," she said. "We also do a ladies fitness outdoor class through use of footballs. Our membership this year is projected to get to around the 750 mark.

"We tried over the years to work with the council to do something with the red blaes pitches at Oakburn and Lennox to provide more facilities; this happened in all the towns of EDC bar Milngavie.

"It then left us to look for facilities. We work very closely with West of Scotland Rugby Club and use their astro and grass pitches when not used for rugby but it still wasn't enough.

"We finally managed to get in talks with what used to be known as the Milngavie and Bearsden Sports Club; now it is Auchenhowie Sports Hub.

"Beside the Western Wildcats Hockey and Milngavie Tennis Club was an empty field. We have taken this field and making it into three pitches - one nine-a-side that can be converted into two seven-a-sides and two four/five-a-sides that can be converted into a seven-a-side pitch, so there are lots of opportunities and ways we can use our three pitches.

"There is still no room for an 11-a-side so we are still very keen for the council to upgrade Lennox and Oakburn but making them not only football, but an outside running track with outside gym equipment etc as due to Covid-19 it is now about getting more people outdoors."

As well as recently adding a second 2015 section, an under-17 girls section, an amateur team, a ladies fitness class and goalkeeping academy, due to the new pitches there will also be a new 2016 section, a mini kickers for boys and girls, restarted ASN section and new mental health drop-in workshops, in partnership with Back Onside.

The club also manged to apply successfully to the Scottish Football Partnership for a DeFib which will be on the site at all times.