25 July 2018

Striker coach has future in his sights

Striker coach has future in his sights

An entrepreneurial Scottish football striker is putting his Abertay University sports science degree to full use - both supporting troubled young people and starting up a new business.

Stenhousemuir marksman Mark McGuigan, who bagged an impressive 20 goals in League Two last season, graduated from Abertay in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) Sport and Exercise Science.

Despite his playing success with Stenny, and before that Partick Thistle, the 29-year-old has always had an eye on his future, and left Abertay with the perfect grounding for a career after hanging up his boots.

Mark currently works as a Progressions Coordinator for employability project Street League in South Lanarkshire, tackling unemployment through football and often dealing with young people who have had a challenging start in life or have faced food poverty issues.

“The fact I have a degree in sports science is a great selling point for the business, because I’m able to deliver the complete package.”

The rewarding role sees him source employment, education and training opportunities for young people aged 16-24 who engage in football academies, while bringing on their personal development and soft skills.

Turning his thoughts to his own career path, the Abertay graduate recently launched a separate venture – his own coaching business, M-Line Soccer.

Offering bespoke striker training for footballers of all ages, Mark uses the analysis, coaching and performance enhancement skills learned at Abertay in every session.

He said: “I loved my time at Abertay from start to finish, and it prepared me in so many ways - not one bit of it has been wasted, I use it all.

“The fact I have a degree in sports science is a great selling point for the business, because I’m able to deliver the complete package.”

Mark was picked up as a professional footballer in 2012 by Patrick Thistle after capturing the attention of the club while playing for the Abertay and Scottish university sides.

With the clear goal of carrying on playing until the age of 35, he has high hopes for the future of M-Line, which already boasts clients aged nine to 19.

“The training sessions run for three or four hours on Sunday afternoons at Stenhousemuir, and are honed, individual and specific to the player in their position.

“I’m really loving every minute of it - it’s so important to enjoy what you do.”

 

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