The Big Player Interview – John Pirie (Kilbride Thistle AFC)

Scottish Amateur Football News Chief Writer Tom Scott returns with another outstanding Big Player Interview – Award Winning John Pirie of Kilbride Thistle AFC.

Give me your playing background prior to joining Kilbride Thistle AFC?

Started off playing at Clark Drive BC when I was about 8 I think until I was 17. They were a great team and we won multiple leagues and cups as well as the Scottish in my last season. I then joined KSC Caley Thistle, which was brilliant as it was all my best mates at school who played there. Winning the league with them was excellent as no one expected us to do it- what a party we had! I had a brief spell at Kilwinning Rangers before joining the Dirrans for my first taste of Amateur Football. It took a bit of getting used to but loved it, ended up winning two cups in one season as well.

When did you join Kilbride Thistle AFC and have you won any trophies ie Titles/ Cups?

I joined Kilbride in March 2018 after Sean had been pestering me for months it was a brilliant decision and I’ve loved every minute since. There’s a great mix of young boys with a few experienced ones, it’s a brilliant laugh, but as soon as it comes to games/training, they’re all very serious and want to win. As of yet I’ve not won anything with the club but it’s coming. At first, we were very young but as we’ve got older we’ve kept mostly the same team and gained loads of experience together whilst adding some top players especially for this season coming. In the past few years we’ve always competed very well with the likes of Hurlford and Shortlees who are two of the best amateur teams in Scotland,. That shows we’re heading in the right direction.

Biggest influence behind you playing football?

I don’t really have anyone who influenced me to play football,  but I wouldn’t have been able to start or keep it going if it wasn’t for my mum. She never missed a game when I was younger and tried her best to learn about it and understand the game. She eventually started to know what she was talking about and would speak to me about how I played… Some woman!

How have you coped during Covid-19… Football-wise and Work?

I’vecoped okay to be honest, at the start we all were doing our own running and keeping each other going until we got back training. Not playing football every week is terrible though,  and we’re all missing it like mad. For the short period we were allowed to play was amazing, even though it was only friendlies it was great to be back. Again, we’re back to the solo running but fair play to all the boys they’re smashing it again waiting for the go ahead to at least get back training!

What is best  (funniest) excuses you have heard from players missing a Training Night or Games?

Most of the boys very rarely miss training or games other than for work. But one example is when we signed a player last year and he was due to make his debut,  but put his back out digging for bait for fishing.  Was out for about a month lol.  On, another one I must mention. One of the lads said he couldn’t make Training because his GOLDFISH died and they were holding a small ceremony for it out in the garden.

Give me the Inside Story on (Sean Kenney) the Manager’s Training Methods and Match Day Preparation / Team Talks?

His (Sean) training methods are good. He doesn’t try to complicate things and believes like most good managers- players only get better by playing football/possession games.He has a certain way he wants us to play and sends out detailed diagrams of shape , broken down into 3 different parts- create, maintain and exploit. As well as watching loads of other teams’ games and training. He’s a bit of a football geek to be honest.

Many thanks to Mr Sean Kenney for supplying both photographs

Kilbride Thistle Manager Sean Kenney welcomes John “Wee Piz” Pirie to the club when he signed back in 2018.
John Pirie ….The 2021 Version

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