16 Mar 2023
A fledgling, all-inclusive football team is among three Glasgow clubs who will be cutting stylish figures on the pitch after receiving awards in the latest round of Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust funding.
Glasgow Phoenix FC is coached by Andy Connelly and have already held their first training session after a social media push to attract players of all abilities – from savvy veterans to total novices.
Now Allied Vehicles Charitable Trust has given the club £1,500 to fund bespoke match kits for the squad.
Andy said: “When we started this project in January, we set out some very simple goals and objectives. Build a competitive squad, establish a home base, keep it fun and let the players make the decisions.
“With that in mind we quickly settled on the team's name, colours, badge. We settled on Riverbank Primary in Dalmarnock as our home field for training.
“So, in under seven weeks we’ve been able to establish the team, build a squad of 45 players, secure a lease for training, and now we’ve been incredibly fortunate to secure the support and funding from Allied.”
Andy said they then made the important decision for the club to be all inclusive.
“This was a decision very much led by the players,” he said. “They recognised the limited options available for any non-cis male football players in Glasgow and wanted to ensure that PHX are a team where anyone is welcome and will be supported on their football journey.”
Lana Ingram from the team added: “The team are extremely welcoming to new faces – defo in my experience anyway.
“It’s one of the first social/sports clubs I’ve tried out where you don’t feel like an outsider coming in.”
Sunday League football team Saracen Redstar will also be receiving new strips after a £1,500 donation from AVCT.
Chris Cartwright founded the club to help keep the locals out of trouble. He tries to get them into something they enjoy and hopefully sign with bigger teams in the future.
“This means so much to us as a team to make us look like a real club in the same sports kit,” said Chris.
“This will motivate the team to do well in the league and have a better reputation overall!
“We are a bunch of local lads who have found an interest in football, and we really appreciate the generosity of Allied – on behalf of Saracen Redstar thank you so much.”
Park Villa Football Development Group – a charity based at Elder Park in Glasgow – use football to offer productive activity for young people, introducing them to concepts such as fitness, healthy diet and lifestyle, teamwork, self-esteem and discipline.
They start with children as young as 18 months in their “tiny kickers” group, through school age, teens and into adulthood, where male and female participants can enrol as coaches and improve their health and fitness through football.
The club asked if AVCT could help them out with around £700 to kit out the team with rain jackets, zippers and sports bags for a tournament in Blackpool in May.
Parents had already funded the trip but with the rising cost of living hitting everyone, the club felt unable to ask them for any further support.
However, the £700 from AVCT will help them look uniform in Blackpool and when they use it for outings in the Glasgow District Youth Football League.
Neil Ferguson, from the club said: “That’s fantastic news. Thank you very much. The boys will be over the moon.”
David Facenna, Allied Vehicles Corporate Culture Director, added: “Football is very popular, particularly in the west of Scotland with an increasing number of teams.
“Team Allied are delighted to encourage participation in the sport with a sum approaching £4,000 in donations, which we hope will help all these local groups reach their full potential.”