The Big Interviews – End of Year Review -Brian Blair (Finnart AFC)

FINNART are a club I know very well from covering not only their various football teams, but also numerous Charity Projects over the years, writes Tom Scott. Co-incidentally, the Amateur are heavily involved with one right at this moment raising money for MENSELF+

Who better to interview during the pandemic than Manager Brian Blair. Viewing figures on this one were amazing. Another top-notcher! “Boss Blair Building New Finnart Amateurs Culture.”

Brian Blair had a trophy-filled playing career with Finnart Star AFC over 22 years – now he is determined to replicate the success as Team Manager.

Despite Covid-19 lockdowns and Tier 3-4 restrictions, the five-times Scottish Amateur Sunday Trophy winner – one of those came from playing at Rutherglen Vogue – could never have predicted an abrupt end to the 2019-2020 campaign ( his second in charge), or currently one league played against Holytown back on October 3.

When the original March lockdown started, the announcement put paid to Finnart and St Mungo’s contesting a Cup Final at Broadwood. Nine months on, there is no official word the game will ever take place.

Undaunted, Blair recruited one-time junior football player and Vale of Clyde Manager John Crooks, who also steered Glasgow Harp to a Caledonian League Premier Division title, and Scottish Amateur Cup Semi-Final, onto his backroom staff. Following a pre-season (training) like no other, Finnart went goal crazy with warm-up games, and carried the form onto defeating Holytown 11-0 in the Caledonian First Division opener at Glasgow Green.

However, the opportunity to put more points on the board at hosts Kilsyth AFC a week later (October 10) was quickly removed by the Scottish Government, and most of the amateur game has been idle ever since.

Brian revealed “This club has contested ten Scottish Cup finals (losing two) over a span of 40 years. Good times!”

“Phil Blair has been at the helm all that time, but no football just now is frustrating for all of us.”

“We have built a cracking young team. I personally am trying to get them back to where we should be with some trophies, but that will only come as soon as we can start back hopefully.”

“Some of our guys (players) have been out with West of Scotland League teams to get them games before we start back, which doesn’t look like anytime soon!”

Finnart AFC
Finnart AFC – Thanks to BRIAN PATON for supplying the photograph

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