Bute’s newest youth football team has secured a big name sponsor, and are ready to begin their first ever season later this month.
The Brandane Bulls cater for footballers under the age of 14 on the island, and will join the Central Ayrshire League with their first competitive match taking place at Crosshouse on August 26.
And last week the team was presented with a cheque for £3000 by Andy Wallace of Bute business Delta Foods, who will take on the role of the team’s main sponsor.
For Bute and Isle of Bute Foods have also made donations towards the team’s kit.
Construction machine operator Gordon McMillan is one of the Bulls’ founders, and he told the Buteman why he set up a team: “I had been taking my son Leon away to play for a team in Glasgow for two years, then three of his friends from Bute also signed for them and me and the other parents were taking the four of them up to Glasgow every week.
“We were having to get the 6am ferry to Colintraive to make the 9am kick off times, and getting to training was a real mission due to the last ferry being at 8pm. We even spent some nights staying over on the mainland and then coming back on the first boat in the morning in time for school.
“So in February one day we were sitting on the ferry coming back from a game, and the boys asked me if we could start a team up down here on the island.
“So I booked Rothesay Academy’s astroturf pitch once a week for 10 weeks, starting in March, to see what numbers we could get.
“We got 20 boys on the first night, and every week since there has been a minimum of 20 boys training.
“So I stayed true to my word and got two other guys, Jimmy Lilley and Cameron McMillan, to come on board to help with coaching and the three of us went away and sat our Level 2 SFA coaching badges.
“Eddie Planck, Denise McMillan and Fiona Hillis who also make up the committee have done a lot of the work behind the scenes in getting our bank account and paperwork sorted out, so me, Jimmy and Cameron can concentrate on the football side of things.”
The team now trains twice a week at the academy’s astroturf pitch, and have played seven friendlies ahead of their first competitive outing.
Their record so far is impressive, with one loss and six wins including a 9-0 victory over Johnstone in their first match.
Brandane Bulls training sessions are open to any boys born in 2004 or 2005.
Jimmy Lilley works for Argyll and Bute Council, and took an SFA coaching course to help the team out.
He said: “We don’t have the facilities of other places, and we need to do something to give these kids chances to get active.”
Anyone interested in more information or in providing matchday sponsorship for the Bulls should contact Gordon McMillan on 07472 902049.