When you have a second footballing birthday and can’t venture onto a park never mind the training pitches due to the worldwide pandemic, frustration is one of the apt descriptions being put forward by Glasgow East End- based Dennistoun Thistle AFC – especially as they have yet to complete an entire season, writes Tom Scott.
Laura MacKenzie, Head of Marketing and Club Secretary, has revealed the inside story to Scottish Amateur Football News on their TWO-YEAR journey!
*Thanks to Laura MacKenzie for providing Club Photographs.
About us: “Myself and Chris Irving set-up the team in Feb, 2019. Chris had previously been Assistant Manager at other teams before and was interested in starting his own team, I love football and (despite what my disorganisation over the last few weeks would make you think!) actually love organising, planning and getting things done, so together our previous experience and skill sets suggested we might manage it! We started playing friendly games in mid-February of that year while trying to organise a League to play in, fundraising for kits, equipment etc. Between February and when our League started in August, we’d played 26 games, so felt we were fairly well prepared and had a good squad of players. “
“We joined the Strathclyde Evangelical Churches League (SECL or Churches League for short) thanks to the support of St Andrews East Church in Dennistoun, and started in the lowest Division. In our first season we progressed to the Final of the Athol Cup (still not played) and when the League was suspended, we were in second spot, so had been going well. However, since then bar some training when it was allowed and friendlies (also allowed), we haven’t had the opportunity to do anything, much like all the other Clubs Dr Dr. We’ve just celebrated our 2nd Anniversary, and have yet to complete a League season – which feels odd.”
“The Churches League have yet to confirm what’s happening this season, but given it is February I think it’s safe to assume it will be cancelled and we’ll be starting over next season. To date, they have been promising to honour the Cup Finals – perhaps having them happen over the summer if football is allowed then, but we’ll need to wait and see how that pans out. “
“Our home games are at Whitehill High School Pitch in Dennistoun (Assuming we’re able to renew the let again next season). Our home Kit is Red, and our away Kit Black. We have approximately 30 players in the squad ranging from age 18 to 37.”
“Our Facebook also has loads on it as I take photos at every game: https://www.facebook.com/DennistounThistle”
“Our Website – http://www.dennistounthistle.co.uk – Has general information about us, Churches League, Players, Fixtures, Scores, Sponsors etc – although this is all based on season 2019-2020, so it will need a bit of Updating before we start up again!”
“News – https://dennistounthistle.co.uk/news/ which I keep up to date with what we’re up to: Sponsor Info, Club Announcements, etc. – only things missing are one Summer Friendly , and the latest Announcement about the League not starting.”
“Sponsors – We made the decision this season not to take on Sponsors as it didn’t look likely the season was going to go ahead and we didn’t want to burden any businesses when we may not be able to offer them anything in return. However, both of our main Sponsors, Promotional Warehouse and The Cabin Cafe, are keen to continue working with us when things get going again, so we have continued to support them where we could.”
“You can see on the Website though that the previous year we took on a number of Sponsors to keep costs low, and give lots of businesses the opportunity to get involved in an affordable way, and we will aim to do the same again next season.”
“Charity – Since the Club has been up and running, we’ve donated Christmas Presents both years through Glasgow’s Spirit of Christmas Campaign, donated to local Foodbanks on a number of occasions, donated money to St Andrews East, our supporting Church to help with their Charitable work, donated to our sponsor Cabin Cafe ,who have been giving free breakfasts to School Kids since last summer, along with other small gestures here and there. It’s something that we do bits and pieces of and will mention occasionally in a Tweet, but I personally, feel it’s more important to do the acts than shout about them, so it’s not something we’ve maybe publicised as much as we could. We also have no formal link to one Foodbank or cause like some teams do, so also not as easy to talk about. However, that is something we haven’t ruled out looking into in the future.”
“Where we’re at just now as a Club: “Things are quiet! We have our Group Chat, and players are still sharing their runs and occasional exercise activities, the odd bit of football banter etc, but for the most part we’re essentially shut down, until we get the news, we’re all waiting for. Everyone has things going on in their own lives just now, so it’s not always taking centre stage, That being said, the players are looking forward to kicking a ball again, and I think once info starts coming out about getting back to it then everyone will perk up a bit!”
“Feeling like the Cup Final is still at the end of this has certainly kept our lot going too! Although there are some of them nervous about having lost all their skills when they come back, or players at the older end of the age range , who fear a year out of the game may mean it’s time to hang up the boots for good.”