The "Sodgers’ Game" is a new initiative that has been structured by the Scottish FA in partnership with the Army in Scotland. The initiative allows soldiers to engage with their local community through football coaching at Quality Mark clubs.
The Sodgers’ Game took place at Garelochhead on 27th and 28th August 2009. 33 soldiers took part and were qualified in both the Level 1 Children’s and Youth Certificates, giving them the spring board to develop football coaching and to assist local Quality Mark Clubs.
Although the course was run at Garelochhead, soldiers attended from across Scotland and the initiative is postcode based, with soldiers living in their respective community being offered the opportunity to engage with the local football clubs.
Commander 51 (Scottish) Brigade, Brigadier David Allfrey, was very impressed by the enthusiasm, turn out and geographic spread of the soldiers from across Scotland. He was encouraged by the concept of the initiative as it adds to his tireless effort in raising awareness of the Army in Scotland and he hopes that this partnership will continue to develop over the forthcoming season.
Danny Bisland and Brian McLaughlin (Player and Coach Development Officers) from the Scottish FA were also impressed by the magnificent passion and effort of the Scottish soldiers, and were encouraged by the potential this initiative could bring to our national game.
Danny Bisland stated: “I am delighted with the amount of volunteers made available by this initiative and I hope that Quality Mark Clubs will benefit nationwide. Most of the soldiers attending were already qualified within the Army and were instructors in various fields, this experience is invaluable and with their first love (of football), utter professionalism and outward confidence; football coaching should come naturally. ”.
Captain Mac Macauley, who organized that course on behalf of the Army in Scotland stated that he hopes the "Sodgers’ Game Project will give soldiers within our communities the opportunity to engage, assist and develop community football. The professionalism and instructional ability of these young men and women is priceless assets that would be best served with the local football clubs throughout Scotland"