The Scottish FA Quality Mark scheme strives to make football in Scotland more inclusive and exciting. The programme supports a host of football clubs and thousands of volunteers, hoping to increase more youth and community participation. Two clubs, Rossvale FC and Tullibody FC in the Central Region, have excelled with help from the scheme.

Rossvale FC was the first club in East Dunbartonshire to join the Quality Mark scheme back in 2007. Since joining the programme, Rossvale have expanded massively and their ambitions of becoming an integral part of their community have now been realised.

The club have recently attained Legacy status under the Quality Mark programme – the most prestigious award on offer – in recognition of their success in player development, management and planning.

The club have demonstrated a ‘football for all’ philosophy, establishing teams open to adults, youths and girls. While increasing participation, Rossvale strive to also develop and educate their players both as footballers and as individuals, stressing the importance of respect, fair play and teamwork.

The commitments of the coaching staff have been most commendable. By investing heavily in coaching certificates, the coaches are determined to deliver a professional level of tuition and mentoring to the players, giving them the best chance of reaching their potential.

Rossvale Chairman, Ian Grey, described reaching Legacy Level as a ‘major project’, with all associated with the club having worked tirelessly in achieving the award. He said: “We have had to be at the top level of everything. We also have had to contribute more to the community.

We were one of the first clubs on the Quality Mark programme in Scotland which has driven us on to go to the top. We used the Quality Mark Programme to centralise and recognise the work we were already doing.

The coaches in the club are ambitious and work hard to develop every player to their highest potential.”

Tullibody Community Football Club has been an essential part of its community since the late 19th century – having operated under different names over the years. Like Rossvale, the club have strived to galvanise its community and encourage local players, regardless of background, to keep active and play football. Tullibody, too, have recently reached Legacy Level under the Quality Mark programme.

In 2007, Alan Morgan, the Scottish FA’s Development Manager for Central Region, was contacted by the club looking for advice on how to best maintain the club long-term. After careful consideration, Tullibody opted to redefine itself as a community football club.

Tullibody have since branched out significantly, introducing two additional girls’ teams with other local youth sides also joining in association. The inclusive nature of the club has allowed for greater participation in football in the area, offering opportunities – playing and non-playing – open to all.

The decision to re-emerge as a community outfit has been most worthwhile and has collectively inspired all associated clubs to excel and proudly represent their community.

The club have taken great strides in developing their playing and training facilities, giving their players and coaches the chance to work in a quality and modern environment.

In 2008, Tullibody approached the local council in an attempt to take control over a barren bowling green, which was at the time disused and abandoned. Their application was successful and the club was granted a one year licence to refurbish the land.

Initially revamped to allow adequate space for training and other pre-match activities, the club wanted to further enhance the grounds. In 2009, Tullibody were granted a five year lease of the area and with support from the Scottish FA and local industry, the club were able to accommodate space and planning for floodlights, while ridding the land of unwanted rubble and debris.

This innovative regeneration project, which was first realised and pushed by the club itself, showed real passion for producing the best possible conditions for all connected with the club. Such hard work and dedication echoed the overall ethos for success and excellence from Tullibody Community Football Club.

Both Rossvale FC and Tullibody CFC have displayed incredible desire in bringing their local communities together and giving their players invaluable lessons and opportunities. It is this level of commitment shown by such clubs that is necessary for football in Scotland to remain just as vibrant and invigorating to its players, coaches and communities.

If your club is in the Scottish FA’s Central Region and if you are interested in finding out more about the Quality Mark scheme, then you can contact Alan Morgan (Forth Valley) or Alan Taylor (Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire), the Scottish FA’s Central Region Development Managers.