Following months of hard work behind the scenes Houston United Football Club were recognised at the Scottish FA West Region Quality Mark Awards. The Renfrewshire club received the Standard Award, their first rung on the Quality Mark ladder.

The Standard Award ensures that basic club operating standards are in place. The awards recognise pro-active clubs and schools working to increase youth and community participation. Louis Jeffrey, Houston United Chairman and Head Coach of the 2003 year group, praised the effort of his club and those who have helped them achieve this award.

Speaking to the Scottish FA, Jeffrey said: “The work began 18 months ago when we knew we were due a re-accreditation, with planning and testing ourselves against the standards set by the Scottish FA. At that time there were a number of areas in which we fell short. 

"The last 18 months has been about working hard to get people on the right courses, to improve education standards, to test ourselves in relation to our player protection qualities and methods. I’m glad to say we got their eventually but with a lot of hard work.”

Head Coach of the 2006 age group, Andy Barclay, echoed those sentiments.

Barclay said: “Houston United is a community run club within Houston and the surrounding areas.”

He also applauded the progress that the club has made to achieve this award.

“We’ve done a lot of work in coach education, first aid and child protection, rather than having one or two qualified coaches", he said. 

"This has brought all of our coaches up to a far higher level of coaching experience.”

Jeffrey said: “Without the Scottish FA we wouldn’t have achieved the Quality Mark. It was with their help and guidance that we knew what standards we wanted to achieve.

“We’ve achieved (this award) in a more inclusive way involving a broad range of players, a broad range of skills and they’ve all been welcomed into the club in the best possible fashion.”