The Big Player Interview: Calum Roberts (Duddingston Athletic AFC)

LEAFA members Duddingston Athletic – enter my Big Interview Series Spotlight today, writes Tom Scott.

Thank-you to Midfielder Calum Roberts, and also Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Mr Alan McKay, who put together the opportunity (Questions), plus supplied the March Action photograph.

What attracted you to sign for Duddingston Athletic?

“The club attracted me because it was very local, very well run, a decent bunch of guys and they treat and play the game with the correct attitude and respect.”

What are your own personal objectives short and long term?

“I’ve not been at Duddingston for long, but the main objective at the club seems to be giving guys an opportunity to enjoy playing football at a decent level. We don’t set out targets of Cups or Titles, we just encourage each other to give our best each week and see what we can achieve by doing that.”

Who is the best player you have played with and against?

“It is tough to pick a best player I’ve played with as I’ve been fortunate to be part of some very good teams, but if I narrow it down to just LEAFA Amateurs, it would be Stu O’Neil. I enjoyed the seasons in midfield with him. He made my game very easy, and his ability to influence and win a game is incredible at times. His stats speak for themselves , and you feel like you are starting a game 1-0 up with him in the team. Don’t know if I could pick out the best individual I’ve played against , but I played Colville Park in a friendly and they were the best side I have played by a country mile.”

What is the best prank or wind-up you have come across?

“Best prank was probably one that happened to myself unfortunately. After winning the League with Tollcross, the team went into town that night to celebrate. In the past on a night out, an individual would be singled out by the team unexpectedly, and be stripped of his boxers in the middle of a pub or the street. On this occasion, I was the unlucky one and had my boxers ripped off me out the top of my jeans.”

“As expected though, we all got in a bit of a state, and I didn’t return home to the Mrs until the following day. I forgot about what had happened the night before, and when stripping off it took some explaining to her as to why I had been out all night and went home without my boxers on.”

If you were able to sign a player from another team, who would he be?

“An opposition player I always thought would have been a great addition is probably Swanny. He was always the best player on the park in games I played against him. He could score all types of goals, and his pace and movement was superb.”

Should LEAFA/ Scottish Amateur Football be allowed back again?

“Yes, I feel football definitely has to return ASAP. Being part of a football team is far more than kicking a ball about once or twice a week. It is about being part of something, working with a group of mates all wanting the best for each other , and is a great release from the stresses of work or other things in personal life.”

Thanks to Calum, and Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Mr Alan McKay, who supplied the photograph.

The Big Player Interview: Andrew Crichton (Tollcross Thistle AFC)

Tollcross Thistle Centre Midfield player Andrew Crichton is in my Big Interview Feature today, writes Tom Scott

What was the attraction about joining Tollcross?

“Ambitious and had a reputation for playing good football.”

What are the team objectives short and long term?

“Win. Always.”

What are your personal objectives for the team?

“As above, but big push once we’re back to make sure we win the League. And if we get to finish the Scottish Cup, I aim to win that.”

Best player you have played with and against?

“Played with – A keeper I played with at Woodside in Aberdeen, Paul Noble.”

“Played against – A player I now play with, Stewart O’Neill. Played against him in the Select Final, when I was in Aberdeen.”

What is the best prank or wind- up you have seen at Football?

“The classic of telling new boys they need to wear a Shirt and Tie for Cup games. Simple but effective.”

Give us an insight on Management style of Alan McKay and Sean Cobain?

“Good Cop/Bad Cop. Sean takes the majority of the training sessions, which have been really good since he came in. And Alan is more the Manager, organises things, sorts the team out, highlights what we need to work on and tells you when it has not been good enough!!”

“Which is a good mix and works well.”

If you could sign a player from a fellow Amateur side to boost your Squad, who would it be?

“It would daft of me to say this player is the best I’ve played with and then not pick them to join our Squad, so in that case it would have to be Paul Noble.”

Andrew Crichton in Match Day Action for Tollcross Thistle AFC. Kindly provided by Manager Mr Alan McKay.

The Big Player Interview: Phil Blaney (Tollcross Thistle AFC)

Through in the East of Scotland area (LEAFA) today for my latest Big Player Interview Series, writes Tom Scott. Questions posed and Answered with great assurance from a player sitting in the Scottish Amateur Cup Semi-Finals. Hopefully, those games can still be completed.

Photograph, kindly provided by Manager Mr Alan McKay

QUESTIONS:

1. Name and position played at Tollcross Thistle?

“Philip Blaney – Centre Back.”

2. What was the attraction about joining Tollcross Thistle?

“The success that I saw Tollcross have, and the success players have had with getting into Scotland squads.”

3. What are the team objectives short and long term?

“Short-term goals are win Scottish Cup Semi-Final (if played), and beat each team we come up against, and long-term goals are winning every League and Cup competition we enter.”

4. What are your personal objectives for the team?

“Personal objectives are to play well each week, win Leagues and Cups, and hopefully make the Scotland set up”

5. Best player you have played with and against?

“Best player played with – Craig Thomson at Edinburgh City, and best player played against – Kris Ajer.”

6. What is the best prank or wind-up you have seen at football?

“The old one of telling someone to wear a Shirt and Tie, when no one else is – always a good one.”

7. Give us an insight on Management style of Alan McKay and Sean Cobain?

“Management styles are firm but fair. If the team’s having a poor game, then they aren’t afraid to tell us, but also praise us when we’re having good games. Also, they go into detail about team structures and phases of play, which help the team on a Saturday.”

8. If you could sign a player from a fellow Amateur side to boost your squad, who would it be?

“Josh Neill.”

Tollcross Striker Has Unfinished Business Scoring Goals

Tollcross Thistle AFC prolific front man Mikey Yuill is aiming to pull the goalscoring trigger when football eventually returns – and that includes at National level, writes Tom Scott.

A year ago next month, Yuill bagged a double for the Edinburgh club as they defeated East Kilbride YM FC 2-0 in a Scottish Amateur Cup Quarter-Final Replay at the Oriam.

The clubs had previously produced a six-goal thriller on 29th February.

Equally impressive in sinking E.K. was Mikey taking his season’s scoring tally onto 51 goals….very impressive given football was immediately kicked into touch by the Scottish Government and the 2019-2020 Competition may never see the light of day again!

Having also played for the Scottish Amateur FA Select, who can blame Mikey having a clear vision of what he wants to achieve – plus a look back on why he signed for the LEAFA club – as he answered some Scottish Amateur Football News questions.

What was the attraction about joining Tollcross Thistle?

“They create so many chances I knew I’d score my fair share, and it was time for our paths to cross again lol.”

What are the team objectives short and long term?

“Short is to just get playing again as everyone is missing football.”

“Long term to be successful in every Competition, including the Scottish Cup very soon.”

What are your personal objectives for the team?

“Score as many goals as possible. Hold down a place in the Scotland Squad.”

Best player you have played with and against?

“Plenty one off games , where you come across top players in the Amateur Associations, but on a regular basis Andrew Kidd (Kiddo) as an opponent, and our own Stew O’Neil as a team-mate.”

What is the best prank or wind-up you have seen at football?

“Nothing major sadly, but we did get a couple of new boys with the Suits to a Cup Final last season (Lee the only one who has stuck around since then).”

Give us an insight on the Management style of Alan McKay and Sean Cobain?

“They trust the players to do their jobs, and set us up to be an attacking team, which suits us.”

If you could sign a player from a fellow Amateur side to boost your Squad, who would it be?

“David Livie as if he reads this and I haven’t said him, I will not hear the end of it.”

“Plenty good players out there, but I don’t know their names!”

51- goal striker Mikey Yuill, right, taking on a defender playing for Tollcross Thistle Football Club.

Photograph kindly provided by Manager Mr Alan McKay.

The Big Player Interview: Martin McCann (Murieston United)

Delighted to feature Murieston United Captain and Striker Martin McCann within The Big Player Interview Series today, writes Tom Scott.

What was the attraction in joining United?

“Murieston United are my boyhood team, I played with them throughout my whole youth career and when they joined LEAFA, having played with teams in Edinburgh previously, I couldn’t turn it down.”

What are your own personal objectives short and long term?

“Short term, we are certainly targeting silverware. We feel we have a strong squad full of quality and a good mixture of youth and experience to do that.”

“Long term, we want to solidify ourselves as one of the top teams in LEAFA over a prolonged period the way Tollcross and Sandys have in the last 10 years. Also, to provide a pathway for our younger teams to progress, and join our side and compete, strengthening our club as a whole.”

Who is the best player you have played with and against?

“Best player I’ve played with is Gaz White. We played together at Pumpherston Juniors, Tollcross, and Murieston. We are good friends off the pitch and that transferred onto it.”

“Best player I’ve played against, on his day, Mikey Yuill is unplayable. In the last couple of seasons, he’s been unbelievable, and added more to his game from when we played together, and I had to do all his running.”

If you were able to sign a player for your Club, who would he be?

“If we could sign another fellow LEAFA player , it would be Davey Gallacher from Meadowbank. Our team always have good battles and games are tight. He has a lot of quality , and would add something to our squad.”

What is the best prank or wind-up you have seen?

“Best prank was filling a boy’s ‘tingle’ shower gel with liquid deep heat. He was going straight to work after training, so grabbed a quick shower and didn’t fully realise until he was just starting his shift.”

Should LEAFA/ Scottish Amateur Football be allowed to return?

“I would love nothing more than LEAFA to return ASAP. We have all missed so much football, personally even more so as I fractured my leg, and missed 5 months of last season. LEAFA in any capacity would be a huge boost for everyone involved.”

Thanks to Martin and also Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Mr Alan McKay for his help, plus kindly providing the photograph.

The Big Manager Interview: Alan McKay (Tollcross Thistle AFC)

Alan McKay joins a list of Club Officials who have bought into the publicity ethos at Scottish Amateur Football News by supplying detailed information and photographs – not just from his own Club, writes Tom Scott.

Today, I am delighted to feature his Answers on a number of different Questions.

HERE WE GO:

WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME and POSITION AT TOLLCROSS THISTLE?

“Alan McKay. Team Manager.”

WHAT IS YOUR FOOTBALL BACKGROUND PRE- TOLLCROSS?

“It’s been a while now since I played due to injuries unfortunately, but I played in Amateur and Youth Football.”

TELL US WHAT A WEEK OF INVOLVEMENT WOULD BE LIKE BEFORE COVID-19.

“It never stops really as you are always trying to give the players that platform to perform at training and games. This ranges from groups, and 1 to 1 Catch Ups, Pre Training.”

“Training sessions are ran by my Head Coach Sean Cobain, and then the hard decisions of picking a 16- man squad for the Saturday (sent out in the Friday evening).”

“The match day is always the favourite!”

HOW HAVE YOU ADAPTED AS A MANAGER DURING THE PANDEMIC?

“It’s just really checking in on the group. It’s obviously a difficult time for everyone in different ways whether that’s work and/or personal life.”

WHAT IS THE BEST PRANK OR WIND-UP YOU HAVE SEEN HAPPEN IN FOOTBALL?

“I have seen a few good ones that probably do not fall into the PG category, but Robbie Simpson delivered a fish to Steven Moncur’s face on a trip to Newcastle. I have also been done myself, when on a bus trip to a game ,and one of the players called me to say the game was off.”

“I fell for it unfortunately.”

CAN YOU GIVE OUR READERS AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR STYLE OF MANAGEMENT?

“It’s pretty simple really- give the players a platform to perform. I am no different to any other Manager. I want my team to play well and win.”

The Big Player Interview – Jack Blaney (Tollcross Thistle AFC)

Opening up the new week my Big Player Interview switches from the West to East of Scotland, and Tollcross Thistle AFC Centre Midfielder Jack Blaney, writes Tom Scott.

What was the attraction about joining Tollcross?

“Always competing at the top of the League and the high standard of players.”

What are the team objectives short and long term?

“Objectives are to win the Scottish Cup and the League.”

What are your personal objectives for the team?

“Maintain my place as a regular starter in the team, and win the League and Scottish Cup.”

Best player you have played with and against?

“Josh Walker at Edinburgh City.”

What is the best prank and/ or wind up you have seen at football?

“Tying a player’s clothes from one end of the Changing Room to the other.”

Give us an insight on the Management style of Alan McKay and Sean Cobain?

“Progressive Management style that demands the best out of each player in the team.”

If you could sign a player from a fellow Amateur side to boost your Squad who would it be?

“Ciaran McGuire.”

Match Action photograph and player availability organised by Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Mr Alan McKay.

Tollcross Experience Vital In Scottish Cup

There is no substitute for experience – and Tollcross Thistle AFC have that quality in abundance, writes Tom Scott.

Several players have featured at international level, and since the onset of Covid-19 the LEAFA Premier Division club were left wondering if their run to the Semi-Finals of the Scottish Amateur Cup would be in vain after a 2-0 Quarter-Final Replay win against East Kilbride YM FC at the Oriam on 7th March.

Pictured are defender Hamish Flett (number 14) and Number 10 midfielder Stewart O’ Neill, who Thistle Manager Alan McKay tells me is the all-time scorer at Tollcross.

Stewart O’Neill warming-up.

Scottish Amateur Football Association President Mr Stuart Urquhart presents International Cap to Stewart O’Neill.

Michael Yuill ( Number 9 ) scored the double which dumped East Kilbride, and Chris Cairns (Number 16).
Michael Yuill in action for the Scottish Amateur FA National Select.

All Photographs kindly provided by Mr Alan McKay.

Scottish Amateur FA National Select (March 2020)

As part of their planning for the April international fixture against Leinster Senior League – ultimately cancelled due to the pandemic – the SAFA Select met Shotts Bon Accord the previous month at Dalziel Park, writes Tom Scott.

David McArthur (Glasgow Harp) and Chris Cairns (Tollcross Thistle) were added to the squad late on.

Michael Yuill scored for the SAFA near half-time (1-1 score line), and Shotts missed a 57th minute penalty kick.

They were made to pay when Ciaran McElroy netted what proved to be the winner eight minutes later.

Photograph kindly provided by Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Alan McKay.

You Have A Club Sponsor – Who Are They? (Tollcross Thistle AFC)

Friendships can be established in early years learning and continue well into adult life – and that is certainly the case with Tollcross Thistle AFC

Manager Alan McKay and his Club Sponsor, writes Tom Scott.

Today Alan revealed “It is Kevin Fraser Scaffolding. He is a childhood friend of mine, and Kevin has sponsored the team for 3 seasons now.”

“We are actually about to do something new with him.”

The Adidas Kit was created and produced by top suppliers

F.N. Teamwear (Edinburgh) for Thistle, who play in the LEAFA Saturday Premier Division.

Photograph kindly provided by Manager Mr Alan McKay.