Football coaches aim to be winning team in business

Two Edinburgh football coaches have joined forces in a bid to become a winning business team in the city.

As members of the Spartans Youth set-up, Kenny Cameron and Craig Dinwoodie have nurtured some of the game’s brightest prospects.

The coaching colleagues are now turning their thoughts towards life away from the pitch and have set up the Edinburgh Alarm Company. The security firm will offer a range of services including domestic and commercial alarm installations, fire suppression systems, smoke and heat detection alarms as well as the latest CCTV technology.

As the Youth Work Manager at Spartans Community Football Academy, Kenny is responsible for the development and growth of key social impact and youth work programmes.

One of the first members of staff at the sports-based social enterprise in the capital, the 40-year-old has been helping youngsters in the north west of Edinburgh for nearly two decades.

Kenny, who also coaches the Spartans Reds 08s in his spare time, sees the new venture as a chance to change direction in his career. He said: “I’ve been a youth worker for 17 years, and at Spartans for around 12 years and I think there is a length of time after which you stop being effective in that role,” he said.

“I had been giving it some thought for a wee while and had always had the ambition to set up my own business. To be fair, I’m a year ahead of schedule with the plans.

“I love my job with Spartans and I’m not going to turn my back on the youth work completely but I definitely wanted to have other professional interests. 

“We’re running the new company on a part-time basis, working in the evenings and at weekends for now. But the aim is for me to gradually increase my time in the business and reduce my hours with Spartans.

“I love my time coaching my kids’ football team and I’ll still be doing that but I just felt it was time to look at the bigger picture.”

Supported by a team of experienced alarm engineers and qualified electricians, the Edinburgh Alarm Company will cover domestic and commercial properties in the city and the surrounding areas. 

“I know there are a number of alarm companies in Edinburgh but I think there is space for us in the marketplace offering a real quality product with a quality service that comes with a genuine personal touch,” said father-of-five Kenny.

“We care about people and want to do the best for them and our values of honesty and integrity are the foundation of our business. 

“I have grown up as a guy from Muirhouse always wanting to help other people when I can and that will never change. 

“I want to eventually be able to give young people a chance in our alarm business. I’d love to give them their first step on the career ladder or help them back into employment once we get established.

“I’ve spent all my years at Spartans encouraging young folk to create opportunities for themselves in life and do well for themselves. 

“At 40, I decided it was time for me to practice what I was preaching and try to make a success of this for me and my family who have always supported me over the years.”

Craig has years of experience of working in financial services and is manager of Spartans U11-U17 development squads. 

It’s been non-stop for the pair as they juggled work commitments to achieve the relevant qualifications and Craig is confident it will all be worthwhile. 

He said: “We’re both excited at the venture and determined to make it a success. 

“We work well together as a team and complement each other nicely. Launching a business in a pandemic has its challenges but the early feedback we have had has been very encouraging.

“Lockdown has been difficult for a lot of people over the past 12 months and the reality is that crime goes up as a result of poverty. We want our customers to feel secure and safe in their homes and will work tirelessly to ensure that is the case.”