Academy structure is centrepiece of new Bellshill Athletic set-up

Bellshill Athletic's 2004 lads
Bellshill Athletic's 2004 lads

Bellshill Athletic Junior FC are now pressing ahead with their plans to become a community club.

In addition to the main team competing in the adult McBookie.com Central Division 2 league, Bellshill have children’s league teams at 2004s,2003s and 2001s age groups.

Bellshill Athletic's 2001 squad (Pics by Brian Closs)

Bellshill Athletic's 2001 squad (Pics by Brian Closs)

Working in partnership with North Lanarkshire Leisure, Athletic have now secured a five-year ‘exclusive’ use of Rockburn Park, so they can concentrate on setting up an academy.

The club will now contact local schools in a bid to attract children to get involved in the new set-up.

Other plans include introducing cut price parent/child season tickets, staging penalty kick competitions at half-time during the juniors’ games, and involving the local schools in summer and Easter soccer camps.

The Academy will be led by qualified coaches and headed by James Brown from the 2004s team.

Bellshill Athletic's 2003 side

Bellshill Athletic's 2003 side

Bellshill match secretary Eddie Lynas said: “We are always looking to increase the number of teams playing under the Bellshill umbrella.

“At present, there are other age groups showing an interest and we are actively looking to get a ladies’ team established.

“We have also got the Quality Mark from the SFA for a development club who came out to see our facilities and listened to our plans.”

The club also expressed thanks to MSP Richard Lyle for his help in recent negotiations with North Lanarkshire Leisure.