Brandane Bulls charge to Club of the Year honour at awards

Brandane Bulls junior football team named Club of the Year, Nov 2018 (Submitted pic)
Brandane Bulls junior football team named Club of the Year, Nov 2018 (Submitted pic)

The Brandane Bulls Junior Football team were recently presented with the award for Club of the Year in the annual LiveArgyll Sports Awards.

About 18 months ago the only junior football team on Bute folded and left a big void in the sporting opportunities for young people on Bute. Fortunately, shortly after this Gordon McMillan stepped forward and announced that he was keen to start a new junior club.

He had been taking his son Leon away to play for a team in Glasgow for two years, before three of his friends from Bute also signed for them and Gordon and the other parents were taking the four of them up to Glasgow every week.

They 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.

They even spent some nights staying over on the mainland and then coming back on the first boat in the morning in time for school.

After one of the boys asked Gordon if he could set up a team on Bute, he got in contact with Jane Gillies from Active Schools and Andy Trull, the Community Sport Hub Officer.

Once a development plan had been looked at, Gordon then set about recruiting a team of volunteers which now totals eight qualified coaches along with a whole range of other people who are essential to run a club successfully.

The Brandane Bulls had to overcome problems with teams not wanting to visit Rothesay which made entering a league quite difficult and at one point some referees were also reluctant to make the journey.

However the club was not easily put off and after playing a lot of friendly games they finally got accepted into one of the leagues on the mainland and had a very successful first season.

The Bulls – which cater for footballers under the age of 14 on the island – flourished playing in the Central Ayrshire League.

Running any sports club on an island is a challenge but the volunteers at the Brandane Bulls are happy to face that challenge head on.

The club is going from strength to strength and now caters for over 80 boys and 10 girls across four different age groups.

The Brandane Bulls are now widely considered to be a great example of how people can make things happen in a community through sheer hard work and commitment.

The Buteman would like to wish the Brandane Bulls every success in their future development.