In times of crisis role models are worth their weight in gold and although he won’t thank me for again highlighting his massive contribution within Amateur football, and coaching youngsters at grassroots level, Finnart Star AFC Goalkeeper Brian Paton fits the bill perfectly.
I first came across Brian seven years ago after he signed with Wellhouse Amateurs – sadly no longer with us despite winning the Scottish Cup – when I was asked by the club to organise some Tuesday evening coaching sessions. There was no mistaking his dedication and work ethic – essential qualities that have stood the test of time through his 15-year career.
Said Brian “In 2005 I started with the Finnart Sunday Amateurs. We lost the Scottish Cup final in 2006. However, that only spurred me to try again and I was a winner in 2007, 2008, 2010, and two years later at Rutherglen Vogue as Finnart attacked the Saturday Leagues!”
“In 2013, I made the dreaded call to try a new Saturday challenge as training numbers never went well in Pre-Season at Finnart. Wellhouse were the Scottish Saturday Amateur Cup champions. We reached the Quarter-Finals of the national trophy and got through to three Cup finals – all of which were played in one week while I was in Salou with my family!”
“After one season, it was time to return to Finnart, and here I am still trying to win trophies having turned 37 in November.”
Finnart manager Brian Blair brought in the experienced John Crooks as his Assistant. John previously managed Glasgow Harp – winning the Caley League Premier Division title and reaching the Scottish Amateur Cup Semi-Final.
He also played at a high level in junior football. Brian revealed “We have a very good squad this season. Training games have been the best training games I’ve been involved in, and we still a few players to be added into the mix.”
In addition to chasing more success between the posts, Brian Paton also has a clear passion for coaching kids and many of the current Finnart 2008 squad have enjoyed going through the transition of football development (for the past five years) from Fun 4’s to 11-a-side.
He added: “I also helped Brian Blair and Billy “Woody” Woodburn with the Finnart Under-19s in season 2017 – 2018. Billy was a great coach, with great ideas and great training sessions. We also enjoyed his work at the Amateurs before he had to step back for work reasons”