Rossvale aiming for seasons in the sun

AN AMBITIOUS boys club which aims to set up the second junior football team in East Dunbartonshire has unveiled its new manager.

Bishopbriggs-based Rossvale has announced former Glenafton Athletic Scottish Cup winner Ian Gray as its junior boss.

Gray was recently assistant manager at Lanark United where he helped guide the club through successive promotions to junior football's highest league, the Super Premier division.

Rossvale's plan is to enter the junior ranks as a playing club at the start of the 2011-2012 season.

Gray (47) said: "This is an opportunity to build a team from scratch, an opportunity to mould a team.

"I've been involved in the juniors a long time and I've only heard of teams going out of the game, never coming in.

"I was very impressed with the club's enthusiasm and long-term plans."

Rossvale plan to utilise the Dutch method of building community-based teams from young children upwards, culminating in an under-21 side that feeds the juniors.

Gray says the coming 2010-2011 season will be used to identify "at least three or four experienced juniors".

Rossvale chairman Ian Grey, whose father John formed the club in 1976, said: "The under-21s will provide the cornerstone for the club in the future. We are looking for ambitious players who want to push themselves and try to get into our junior team.

"Setting up a junior team gives our youth players something to progress to and aim for, and gives those footballers who have been released from professional teams the opportunity to keep playing.

"At present the club is still looking to base itself at Huntershill in Bishopbriggs, though if this isn't suitable we have a couple of other options."

While Ian Grey will remain chairman of the overall set-up, fellow Bishopbriggs man John Wales, a former Arsenal trainee and Rangers and Partick Thistle youth coach, will become specific chairman of Rossvale Juniors.

The club, who are still looking to fill the positions of match secretary and vice-chairman, will also run a physio clinic headed by Tony McAllister, who previously worked at Premiership side Tottenham Hotspur.