Tass Thistle youth coach Alex Keir says he was delighted to be recognised for his efforts at the club as he was named the winner of Scottish Football Association Grassroots Awards Best Volunteer in Girls & Women’s Football.

Keir has been with the North Ayrshire club for over six years as a volunteer coach and has built the club’s girls set up, which now has over 80 players across U7’s to U13’s.

Keir said: “I started off with Tass because of my son and daughter showed an interest in football.

“The girls team began with eight girls and I think it is near 80 at the moment.

“The oldest girls I have got at the moment are U13’s and they are playing competitive seven-a-side.

“They are doing well this season as well.

“We are aiming to be fighting for the league title and we are in the quarter finals of the League Cup.

“I have had that group since they were four to six years old and they will be moving to 11-a-side and U15’s girls football next year.”

As well as creating competitive sides on the park Keir also has quite a knack for developing youngsters as well with two of his players recently signing for Celtic.

“Reluctantly, the girls got picked to go up for a trial at Celtic.

“We had a goalkeeper who was selected for the regional national development squad and from that it progressed to two of them being offered to join Celtic.”

Keir’s efforts at the club were rewarded last week with his award being bestowed upon him by the SFA at the national stadium, Hampden Park.

The Thistle coach says he only found about the award a fortnight ago and although he is pleased he does not volunteer for the accolades.

Kier said: “I found out two weeks ago that I was getting the award, it was nice to be recognised for my efforts. But at the end of the day I am not really doing it for the awards I am doing it for the kids that I coach.”

Next up for Keir is to create a player pathway at Tass Thistle and he said: “The overall target is that I will take the U13’s all the way to women’s adult football and create a player pathway.”