The on-going community work in the Glens district of Forfar is paying dividends for a group of local youths from the area.
Led by local business-man Ali Ashraf, what started as a simple football ‘kick-about’ to get the youngsters off the streets has resulted in the formation of a popular football team which is now in demand throughout Angus.
The group has also been working closely with Police Scotland’s community liaison officers and on Sunday community liaison officers Constables Scott Anderson and Ally Smith presented new football strips for the team.
Ali started the ‘Shade F.C.’ after the group of footballers got together. At that time they had no support and no one to coach them.
Ali said: “It really started as a kick-about, to get the lads off the street and doing something positive.
“We have worked really closely with Scott and Ally of the Police. The main aspect was to get these boys off the streets to keep them away from distractions. As a result of this, four of them have now gone on to get jobs.
“Their parents have said it has been a miracle.”
The demand for the project has been so high that there are now two teams which play every Sunday.
Ali continued: “We are in demand from other teams wanting to play against us. We have played against Strathmore and Letham, and have taken part in the seven-a-side tournament in Arbroath.”
Commending Ali’s commitment Community Liaison Officers Scott Anderson said: “Ali has done a great job with the team. We have been looking at the Glens to see how we can help groups in the area and donated these football strips as we thought it was a worthwhile cause. We have played the team a couple of times and they have both been really good games. This has helped to build bridges between the community in the Glens and the police. Residents now recognise us and see past the uniform.”