Len Nicol (left) receiving his A&DJFA award on Wednesday 25th June 2014.
Len joined Dyce Boys Club in 1980, the year the Club was formed. Following the untimely passing away of the Club’s co-founder, Eddie Mannall Jnr. in 1980, Len was invited to help coach the Club’s very first team, the U13s, by the Club’s co-founder Alan King and coach Eric Mannall.
As Dyce Boys Club grew, Len has managed/coached various U13s and U18s teams and is now back at the start, assisting in coaching the Club’s 4 v 4 non-competitive age groups. This is very much a pet project for Len as along with Eric Mannall, he was instrumental in setting up Dyce BC’s annual summer event “Coaching in the Community”.
He has been a member of Dyce Boys Club’s Management Committee since day one and, since taking over the role of Club Treasurer in late 1980, has ensured the Club’s finances are kept on the straight and narrow. The late Gerald Kelly, of the now defunct Sunnybank A, quoted “You may or may not win leagues, local or Scottish Cups, but with Lenny as Treasurer your books will always be 100% right and always balanced”. Len is known as being “canny” (or sometimes referred to as tight fisted) with the Club’s money.
Len is the one that arranges with Aberdeen City Council, and others, the booking and payment of the Club’s seven age group training lets. He arranges the sending of letters and collection of the Club’s fees from over one hundred parents and ensures the Club’s SYFA and A&DJFA affiliation forms are sent along with the obligatory cheques.
Len always oversees any sponsorship deals which could benefit the Club and makes sure any request letters are written in the appropriate tone.
Len is in charge of organising the Club’s fund raising corporate dinners every two years by booking the hotel, entertainment and MC along with arranging the ticket sales, raffle prizes and auction items. Included in this work is overseeing the whole evening to ensure it runs smoothly.
Len identified early that Dyce Boys Club’s playing and training facilities needed improving and was a leading member of the Dyce Sports and Leisure Development Trust which, for a few years, tried to get Aberdeen City Council to develop the area surrounding the football pitch at Pitmedden Park, Dyce for football and other sports, but to no avail. This certainly turned Len’s black hair to a nice shade of grey but subsequently, he was successful with his efforts in persuading Aberdeen City Council to grant the Club a lease for the football pitch at Pitmedden Park, Dyce.
His efforts also ensured the Club gained its Enhanced clubCap Accreditation from Aberdeen City Council and its SFA Quality Mark Standard and Development Awards.
Len’s vision knew that these latter awards would provide benefits for the Club and, with his hard work and the support of the SFA North Region’s Graeme Sutherland and Mark Slater, the applications to the Scottish Football Partnership and the Scottish Governments Cashback for Communities were successful. These two projects will provide Dyce Boys Club with 1) two changing room containers and one storage container at Pitmedden Park and 2) a 3G pitch at Central Park, Dyce, which will also be used by other community sports clubs.
Although not prominent on the juvenile football pitches of Aberdeen any longer, Len’s background efforts, both administrative and financial, are ensuring Dyce Boys Club will continue to flourish and its players continue to develop.
Len was a good footballer back in the black and white TV days. If anyone remembers Charlie Cooke, then Len was the juvenile/amateur equivalent. Therefore his coaching skills are based on skill development.
Len was presented with the award at the A&DJFA AGM by Moira Kelly, the late Raymond Kelly’s wife.