Away supporters visiting Tynecastle Stadium, home of Hearts, have been known to taunt the locals with cries of "Flats, flats, glorious flats" a reference to the fact that there's nothing to stop the club's owner Vladimir Romanov from selling the ground to some developer or other at a moment's notice.

Property in Glasgow's much-maligned suburb of Castlemilk might cost a few bob less than anything likely to go on the market in the Gorgie area of Edinburgh these days, but the good folk of G45, beset by a distinctly unfair concentration of social problems, know a thing or two about substituting football for flats.

James Toner is one Castlemilk native who laments the loss of local playing fields. The manager of the Glasgow Sunday Amateur Football League side Castlemilk Dynamo, sitting in his front room in the shadows of the Cathkin Braes, seems every inch the lord of his manor, that manor Chateau du Lait to students of the Glasgow wit.

"Up here, there used to be 10 football pitches," says the 42-year-old. "There were games on Saturday mornings, Saturday afternoons then the same again on a Sunday. Everybody would be playing, whether it was organised or not. You knew everyone because of football. Now there are a few local teams but the facilities have gone. We're the only local team that plays at Barlia an all-weather pitch. There's a third-generation pitch being built, but it's not like it used to be.

"Go out on the streets of Castlemilk any time of the day or night and say right, we've got some money here, what do you want to do with it?' and any young boy will say get us a game of football'.

"The football has been taken away from them, though. Castlemilk Boys' Club has about nine teams but they can't play in the scheme so they have to go down to King's Park to play. They end up in fights on the way there and fights on the way back. It's like the film Warriors."

Toner's enthusiasm for the inner state of football daftness is very appealing. It would be easy to label it simplistic - social reality is a little more complex than a kickabout down the park, jumpers for goalposts or otherwise - but there is a certain logic to it. He adds: "If there's no football in a scheme where there are loads of young guys then they're going to be getting up to something else, and it's generally anti-social. That's a fact. Times are changing, but it's still the case that the majority of decent football players came from places like this."

Castlemilk's famous sons include prodigious talents such as Jim McInally, Ray Houghton, Bernie Slaven, Andy McLaren and Charlie Miller, while another of its issue, 17-year-old James McCarthy, has had glowing reports at Hamilton Accies of late. Toner himself manages to combine the excitability of a Billy Davies with the testiness of, say, a Jimmy Calderwood. The resulting forthrightness might go some way to explaining his side's success so far this season. Aside from topping the Glasgow Sunday Premier Division, Dynamo face Dundee's Cutty Sark this weekend in the Scottish Amateur Cup semi-finals.

"Sunday football has a reputation of guys coming out the pub half-cut, kicking you up in the air, kicking the ball as far as you can and chasing after it," says Toner. He and John Workman, the club's head coach and a former Partick Thistle player, try to do things differently. "We're a football team," he adds. "We try and get the ball down and pass it and move, get it forward early, score a lot of goals and don't concede many. We play football, we don't just punt the ball down the middle."

Having been involved in youth work and organising football in Castlemilk for many years, Toner became Dynamo manager four seasons ago and recognises the team is now the best he has ever had.

He says he likes to have a moan at his players in order to keep them on their toes - the tactic seems to work in terms of discipline as, remarkably, none have been sent off in the current campaign.

One thing he certainly won't tolerate is sectarian rivalry within his squad. "I ask them not to wear any Rangers or Celtic gear to games," he explains. "They're representing Castlemilk Dynamo, not anyone else. It can lead to difficulties though, as some of the boys in the team don't really have any other clothes."

How's that for football daftness?