One of Scotland’s newest and most ambitious football clubs is at the heart of a new documentary now available on the STV Player.
Brave Calling follows the journey of semi-professional team Caledonian Braves FC, a North Lanarkshire-based side playing in the Lowland League since 2017.
Originating as a youth football academy set up to help French players develop their skills and gain opportunities with British clubs, Caledonian Braves was soon transformed by founder Chris Ewing into a fully-fledged team.
In a first for British football, the club allowed its small but dedicated group of fans to take personal control of its future, with major decisions such as the team’s name and kit colours were virtually voted on by anyone who had paid the club’s £25 membership fee.
In the 90-minute feature, produced by Chocolate Films, Ewing explains the rationale behind the club’s unique approach: “It’s about being part of something of value, and feeling that you can have a voice. You can be a millionaire, or you can be on minimum wage, but your vote counts as much as anybody else’s.
“That’s what football should be about – sharing passion for the game, sharing the same ambition and sharing the same hopes.”
Football documentaries have proved popular in recent years, with Amazon’s Manchester City: All Or Nothing and Netflix series Sunderland Till I Die widely acclaimed.
Documentaries on Hearts and Tottenham Hotspur are set for release in the coming months.
Brave Calling is billed as a warts-and-all portrayal of the various challenges involved with forming an entirely new football club in the 21st century, from attempting to build a global online fanbase made up of people who might never have the opportunity to watch the team in person, to being forced to transport players to and from a “home” ground located over 70 miles from the club’s base.
Ross Dickson, Brave Calling’s director, said: “As a filmmaker and football fan, this was a dream project for me. It’s been especially refreshing to make a positive Scottish football story about hope and ambition – something I’ve not seen too often in my lifetime!
“All the staff, players and fans were incredibly welcoming and really trusted me to tell their story, so I can’t wait for people to see it on the STV Player.”