It's been a thoroughly depressing start (I'm tempted to say end) to the football season for Scottish football fans. In Europe Motherwell and Aberdeen were both thumped, Hearts are half way to being gubbed, Celtic look likely to be missing out on the Champions' League, albeit against a very good Arsenal side and due to a couple of lucky goals, Falkirk falling to the mighty Vaduz from, erm, Liechtenstein and of course the national team's debacle in Norway (and we'll neatly gloss over the Loons' midweek humping by Partick Thistle).
But, ever the optimist, it looks to me like a good step in the right direction is being made up in the Granite City. These facilities are precisely the sort of thing we need more of throughout Scotland and are a welcome follow up to the recently opened Toryglen Football Centre near Hampden and the soon to be built National Indoor Sports Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome near Celtic Park.
Sport should be a central feature of Scottish life, not for the feelgood factor of seeing our sportsmen and women or national teams performing well, although that is always welcome, but rather for the overall health of the nation. Hopefully facilities such as those mentioned above, together with already existing facilities and others in the pipeline, will encourage greater participation in sport, improvements to overall health, and, ultimately, an improvement in results at the elite level.
Again, I'll be an optimist - I am a Scotland fan after all! The relative sporting famine of the last few years and the historic underinvestment in facilities gives Scottish sport an opportunity to effect a Lazarus-style comeback. The rebuilding of our sporting infrastructure must continue, in every corner of Scotland. Radical changes (e.g. summer football) should be seriously considered and, let's face it, those vested interests that would oppose radical change have very little credibility left and must be swept away. And finally, just imagine how much sweeter Scottish success will taste after all these years of suffering! Onwards and upwards Scotland!