Scottish Amateur Football News Writer Tom Scott brings us another top- level CLUB INTERVIEW, and today he linked-up with Third Lanark AFC Manager David Ampleford.
How Long Have You Been Associated with Third Lanark AFC?
This is my 9th season. I joined the club after playing against them a few years back. My mate Fraser Jamieson played here and we got chatting. The Manager approached me after I played and scored against the club and asked me to join and I was delighted. I joined the Sunday team. I was never a great player but I was a hard worker and put it all on the line every time I went out there. Thirds set up a 3rd XI and I was asked to Captain the team, and then if I could manage for a couple of weeks. I ended up having to stop playing after breaking both heels, so that couple of weeks has gone on for a long time.
Who is on the backroom staff with you?
** Folks… Censor Warning on description of former defender Grant Spy in advance!
My Assistant Manager is Willie Milligan. He managed the first team when I first came over. There was a merger of our 2 teams as that team were a little short on numbers. Willie moved over as my Assistant. Willie has been a great help to me, and has pointed me in the right direction. I’ve changed a lot as a coach.
Neil Gillon is my Goalkeeping Coach. He came over with Willie during the merger. Neil is quite the motivational speaker in the changing room, and knows what to say at the right time to get the team fired up. We’ve seen some good goalkeepers come in the door and transformed into top keepers.
Neil and Willie have been excellent additions to our team and I am lucky to have them by my side. Grant Spy is one of our coaches. Grant is a long-term player of the club as he enters his 10th season. Spy was a big b……d of a midfielder! He was absolutely solid in the air and very strong. Absolutely loved a tackle. He has a great eye for the game , and has been a great addition to the backroom staff. The team absolutely love his conditioning drills at training.
David Anderson has been a coach with us for 2.5 seasons now. I’ve known Davie a long time as we played in the same team back in the year 2000 , when we were just young pups. He played against us a couple of times for EK Accies , and I had asked him to come over and join us here. He’s got a load of experience and expects a high standard from the players during training and games.
What League do you play in?
We play in the Central Scottish AFL. My team started in the West of Scotland AFL and then moved over to the Greater Glasgow. We won the 3rd Division, and then the 2nd Division and opted to move to the Central. It is a massive jump in quality and every week is tough. It is a tough place to rebuild a team, that’s for sure.
Where do you normally train and play home games?
We normally train at Barlia in Castlemilk but it is still closed. We’re having to train at Newton Farm right now. Our home games are on Pitch 1 at Toryglen.
How has the recruitment process been during COVID-19?
Very good. We struggled our way through last season after losing around 20 players. It seemed the floodgates had opened, and the club lost its identity and character a little. It is really hard to recruit when that happens. You’re just plugging holes and it becomes tough. Turning up to games with 12/13 players in this league is mental. We’ve brought in 10 new players this season, and a few players have returned to the club. The team has transformed massively and we’re seeing great numbers at training twice a week. I reckon we’ve got competition in every position now.
What are your aims and ambitions moving forward?
I’m a firm believer that in amateur football there are 3 levels. Survival, Competing and Dominating. We’ve been through them all and back again, and last season we were fortunate to survive. The players who were here last year deserve huge credit for keeping us alive. I aim to compete this year. We want to be coming away from games knowing we’ve done well. It’s really an unforgiving league and sometimes you play well and still lose. As I say, tough place to rebuild. I have real confidence in what I am seeing from the team. We’re not there yet, but it’ll only take a couple of good wins to give this team the confidence to move on. We have some right tough teams in our division and we’ll need to find our feet quickly.