Scottish football legend Keith Wright is relishing his role helping to nurture the grassroots game in Midlothian.
Keith (47) - who scored over 220 goals at clubs such as Raith Rovers, Hibs and Dundee – has been a Scottish FA football development officer with Midlothian Council for seven years.
This role involves running the host of football programmes the sport’s governing body provides at the grassroots level.
“I’ve worked in football all my life – as a player, coach and manager – but this role has been my most enjoyable,” said Edinburgh born Keith.
“Helping to improve the lives of children through the power of football is a great job to have."
Midlothian is a hotbed of football activity.
Its Bank of Scotland Midnight Leagues – which provide organised football on Friday and Saturday nights – are a popular outlet for young people to enjoy.
Keith revealed the leagues were a good recruitment ground for teams in the region.
He said: “These leagues are terrific. It means young people have something to do when the weekend arrives.
“They have become a great way for teams in the area to come and see if the players at the leagues want to join them.
“I use my contacts to point the players in the right direction.”
Another Scottish FA run programme which Keith enjoys is its Quality Mark (QM) accreditation scheme.
This is an award system whereby clubs – assisted by the Scottish FA – improve their level of practice in such areas as increased age-groups, coach education and facility upgrade.
In Midlothian, there are 12 youth clubs, ten of which have achieved a QM award.
“The QM scheme has really taken off here,” said Keith. “Ten clubs have received the award and I hope to have helped all clubs in the area reach this by the end of the year.”
Keith is somewhat of a cult hero in Scottish football where he was a fans favourite at the clubs he played for.
Although deeply modest, he does admit his footballing background has provided a good platform for him to build his coaching work from.
He said: “I know a lot of people in football and understand how clubs work.
“Working for the Scottish FA and Midlothian Council is great.
It has allowed me to stay in the game and work on programmes which benefit the lives of people.”
If you would be interested In you or your child taking part in Midlothian’s array of spectacular grassroots football programmes, please contact Keith Wright on 0131 561 6511 mob: 07771 817 009 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow the Scottish FA South East region office @sfa_southeast.