Representatives from Dalkeith Thistle and Bonnyrigg Rose are currently on an SFA-led study tour of clubs in the Netherlands.
Community Football Club representatives Chris Matson (Dalkeith) and Jamie Ferrier (Bonnyrigg) took a week-long trip to Holland last Thursday, alongside 12 colleagues from other ambitious East Region clubs.
Based in Utrecht, the group was hosted by Sjaak van den Helder, Holland Scout for Celtic FC.
They visited Premier League sides Vitesse Arnhem and AZ Alkmaar in addition to hearing presentations by four well established community clubs there.
Speaking on Monday from Vittesse Arnhem’s ground, Chris was thoroughly enjoying the trip.
He said: “There is lots of things we have learnt already which we can apply back at our clubs and we have still got so much to see.
“It gives you context in a European sense, there is great things happening here but there is good things happening in Scotland too.
“On so many levels we can learn a lot from this for our clubs. Vittesse Arnheim for example play a really active role in the community, so we have seen what they do, working with over 60s and helping tackle youth unemployment. There is unquestionably so much we can take from this trip.”
Bonnyrigg coach Jamie was blown away by the facilities on offer at clubs at a same level to his, with no capital cost to the clubs. He said: “The facilities that the councils can give to the clubs is brilliant.
“The community club we were at the other day had the latest astro pitches and great facilities which the council built for them.
“The club pays five thousand euros rent a year but their income from the facilities last year was 230,000 euros. Incredible figures, that we can only dream of.
“This allows the whole club to grow, some of the clubs have up to 2,000 players.”
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