I love the idea of the Yes Picnic that is being planned for the 29th July. Don’t get me wrong I am realistic enough to know it will probably pish doon wae rain but it is exactly the king of gathering I was talking about a couple of weeks ago about using the summer months and the “better” weather to bring people together. The boss here at Defiaye Towers is helping to organise and I am to understand that a wee dug of the ginger variety will be there.
What it will do, and this is important, is attract nosy/curious peole in the park that day to come and see what isgoing on and these are the really important conversations we need to have over the next couple of years. In my experience most people are really receptive to the “idea” of independence but are a bit scared of it. We need to take the sting out of it. And informal gatherings in public places can help to do that. We need to stop shouting and start listening. Stop talking AT people and start talking to them. Conversations are a two way thing and too many in our movement want to talk and shout AT people and not take the time to listen and converse. Let them come to us because what we are doing is interesting, fun and worth their time. Actually too many in our movement spend too much time on social media arguing with people who are NEVER going to be convinced, but that is a whole other blog. So if you are about on the 29th and fancy a blether, come along. I’m taking the weans. Bring a bit o scran and a bottle of ginger. It’ll be great.
Last night was a tough one for our Womens football team. Those of us who follow the side knew it was going to be a difficult night. Particularly as we were missing Kim Little, Jen Beattie,Lizzi Arnott and Emma Mitchell through injury. However, that has created opportunities for others and most of them are young enough to learn great lessons from last night. Disappointingly I don’t think our players did themselves justice. I am sure they will be desperate to prove that they are better than the scoreline and performance suggests and they are. On Sunday they move on to play Portugal and it is a game they can win. Qualifying for this tournament was massive, but we don’t want to be there just making up the numbers. The experience of tournament football will be brilliant for the squad and should drive them on to bigger and better things and any girls out there playing the game or watching last night shouldn’t be downheartened but it should make them more determined to push on.
Which brings me to the appalling way the SFA treat our team. While the men are resting up in the luxury of Mar Hall the ladies are treated like second class citizens. That has to change. If we are serious about progressing our game in Scotland and encouraing more girls and women to play and watch the game, we have to treat our elite squads properly. They have the ability but they need the preperation time and facilities that are afforded to the top nations in the Womens game. Make no mistake, this is a talented group we have with better talent coming through behind them. If we invest now, we have a real chance. Is the SFA brave enough to really back the Womens game in Scotland? I hae ma doots.. but they should or else a terrific opportunity will be lost. Oh and by the way, the Scottish Government could intervene here with a couple of million quid, small beer for them, and demand that the SFA match their investment. I appreciate that money is being spent in grassroots fooball but it is the elite squads doing well that drives participation at grassroots. The FM is patron of the Womens National team, lets see if her Government can put their money where their mouths are.
Before I finish can I also point to the great coverage the Womens game gets in The National newspaper. The only newspaper to take the Scottish Womens game seriously and I really hope they continue to grow their coverage of Womens Football.
Firstly let me say that I don’t really care what individual presenters on the Beeb get paid. However as a big fan of Scottish football I was annoyed to see that Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer are receiving more for presenting Match of the Day than the amount the BBC paysin total for Scottish Football coverage. I love Match of the Day and really like Lineker and Shearer but I think it is time for the BBC to shell out a bit more to support our game, produce a better Sportscene product and give it a prime time slot. That in turn would encourage more people to watch, attend games and that would, hopefully encourage more participation in the game. I don’t grudge anyone a single penny but we pay the licence fee too in Scotland and our national game deserves better from the national broadcaster.