CLYDEBANK FC Academy has been awarded a prestigious qualification.

They have been granted gold status by the Scottish Football Association (SFA), upgraded from silver, after meeting the necessary criteria.

The SFA Quality Mark system is designed to recognise the hard work and dedication of member clubs and teams.

There are four levels of quality mark, bronze, silver, gold and platinum.

And Darren McEwan, head of academy operations, opened up on the importance of the award.

He said: "Given the academy is only eight years old, having grown to 20 teams and a gold quality mark in such little time shows the rate of progress that has been made by everyone at the club.

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"The award rewards clubs who are operating a club that maximises the opportunity to participate within a well-organised environment.

"By actively liaising with the quality mark programme the academy ensures that it is up to date and following football development best practice in areas such as management, development structures, administration, planning and welfare.

"The additional benefit to obtaining these awards, at the highest level possible, is that it will maximise the attractiveness of the club when we apply for funding, including funding streams overseen by the SFA, as a number of these are only available to quality mark clubs."