Thanks to part funding by a Direct Club Investment grant from sportscotland, Giffnock Soccer Centre have hired a part time Development Officer for their Disability and Girls section. For the next four years Ryan Quinn will work to increase the numbers of players with disability involved in the game and develop/mentor new and existing coaches.

Despite tough competition Ryan was selected for the role and given his experience at age 23, it’s clear to see why. With an Honours Degree in Sports Science from Stirling University and having worked in the grassroots and academy set-up at Falkirk FC, Stirling Albion FC and the Scottish FA’s Performance School at Graeme High School, his work in Scotland is vast. On top of his work with soccer camps in the USA and with the New Zealand FA, Ryan was a stand-out candidate.

“It was a long process”, said Ryan.

“It started with an application which included outlining briefly how I would develop these sections (girls and disability) at the club and based on this I was asked to attend an interview.

"After a successful interview, I was then asked to put on a coaching session during an evening when both the girls’ section and adult disability squad train."

With the combination of theoretical and practical experience and having demonstrated his ability, Ryan was selected and is now five weeks into the new role.

In that short space of time he’s hit the ground running and already has big plans.

He said: “Ideally we would like to have more than one adult disability squad and very much wish to develop and encourage the inclusion of ladies with disability and ideally have a ladies team.  The current team play as Giffnock United.”

Currently the disability section trains on a Monday evening, 7.30-9pm at Eastwood Park and apart from recently having participated in a five-a-side tournament, Giffnock United are playing in the Scottish national pan-disability league, organised by the Scottish FA.  Fixtures are monthly, the next being November.

In addition to the adult section, the club currently supports the integration into the mainstream for children and young players with disability/additional needs. This requires that the young person have enough ability to be able to engage in the game and participate in drills, for example.

Additional coaching is in place to support this outcome but more is required, this being one of our areas of on-going development.

However, with the drive to involve more players with disability, there is also the need for more coaches.

“It’s a cycle,” said Ryan.

“Not only are we looking for players, but we are also looking for new coaches to get involved at the club.”

As well, Ryan is hopeful of bringing in coaches with a background in disability football. “At the moment we are looking into funding to make this possible as it would be a huge boost for the club overall.”

On top of increasing the number of players and coaches, Ryan will also help with the coach education and mentorship of current and new coaches and will be putting in place a support network to actively assist and guide coaches where possible.

John Gervaise, Scottish FA Football Development Officer for East Renfrewshire added:  “Having supported the club with various programmes over a number of years, we were delighted to support the development of a disability section within Giffnock Soccer Centre.

“As a Legacy Level Quality Mark Club it is a great way for all players with a disability to get involved in the game and provides a great exit route to club football from our own East Renfrewshire Football Development disability participation centre. The partnership working between East Renfrewshire Council Football Development, Giffnock Soccer Centre and the Scottish FA has really proved invaluable in creating these opportunities for the local community of East Renfrewshire.

“Having met Ryan to discuss the plans going forward and how we can continue to work in partnership it is a programme that we are very much delighted to be involved in.”

Ryan would be keen to hear from any interested in hearing from anyone who is interested in coaching or playing. Email Ryan at or through Twitter on @Giffnock_SC.