Bonar Bridge Football Club, from strength to strength

The club is working towards the clubhouse renovation, has expanded its training sessions to cover all age-groups as well as signing up for the North Caledonian League season.

Some of the committee members / coaches (from left to right on the back row): Nene Maclean, Carrie Vetters and David Anderson with some of the junior players (front row). © Maree Nicolson
The younger players (P1-P4) posing after the training session. © Maree Nicolson
© Maree Nicolson
© Maree Nicolson
© Maree Nicolson

It’s been a busy and exciting year for Bonar Bridge Football Club. Despite the ongoing Covid 19 crisis, the club has managed to continue going from strength to strength in 2020/21. Expanding its training sessions (within Covid protocols), signing up for next years’ North Caledonian League season, and an ongoing Clubhouse Renovation Project.

Junior Training resumed at the end of April after an extended break due to lockdown. We’ve had a surge of new children join us, and now support over 50 children over two Friday training sessions, some of them are completely new to football, others travel from outwith the local area to join us.

Noticing a gap in the current training age groups, Chairman David Anderson has been keen to start training for High School age groups (S1-6) These sessions started on the 27th April, offering fitness and football to young people in that age bracket on a Tuesday evening (6-7.30pm). They’ve been a huge success, already supporting nearly 20 young people, keeping their fitness up and hopefully preparing them for the time they will be able to join the Senior team.

The Club offers training sessions to children from P1 to P7, teenagers from S1-S6, and has now started the “Geriatric Football”, informal sessions for over 30s

The latest addition to our training schedule is Geriatric Football for over 30s! The committee has found themselves deflated at not being able to have a kick of the ball so in a tongue in cheek move have decided to start an informal (and fun!) over 30s kickabout on a Tuesday at 7.30pm (after High School training) All of our training sessions have a suggested donation of £1 to support the club and help us pay for equipment.

The senior team has signed up again for the upcoming 2021/22 North Caledonian league which starts in August. Our management team –Robert Mitchell and Scott Macgruer– is keen to support local players and is hopeful for an uninterrupted season!

Last year the football club applied for and were in turn granted awards from The National Lottery, Beinn Tharsuinn Windfarm Community Benefit Fund (Ardgay & District and Creich Community Councils), SSE Achany Wind Farm and RWE Rosehall community funds. Totalling a renovation fund of just under £60,000 this project was given much needed support from local readers, with the club receiving over 100 letters of support to back up their application.

This project started in March 2021 and is being overseen by local contractor Kenneth Macnab who in turn has involved other local trades, with many of the contractors involved having previously played for BBFC or currently have children attend kids training. It will see a full renovation, replacing windows and doors, new showers and toilet facilities, updating the plumbing and electrics, reworking the kitchen facilities, new flooring and redecoration. Making the space safe and fully usable for all ages within the community.

This is phase three of four for the Club which hopes to work towards raising funds for work on the pitch itself. The existing pitch has extensive drainage issues which prevent game play for league games, training for senior and junior teams and making it occasionally unusable for the local primary School. BBFC is keen to keep all league games played on the Migdale Playing Field if possible. We are so looking forward to match days again where we can let anyone attend, we can advertise the games, see lots of local supporters come out to cheer on and see the team and encourage both teams to go back to the local pub after the game. The whole ethos around Bonar Bridge Football team is supporting the community, that community is in Bonar Bridge, and that is where we need to play.

With this in mind the club is keen to expand the existing committee and field of volunteers, in order to support the next stage of our development we would love to have some more heads in the game! This doesn’t necessarily mean an office bearing role, we are keen to put together a rota of volunteers for match days, lining the pitch, making teas etc as well as more formal committee members. If you are keen to get involved, we will be holding our AGM in July 21 (date to be advertised) please let us know if you would like to attend via our Facebook page or contact Carrie by email.

by Carrie Vetters

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