Scottish Amateur Football News Exclusive!
Kilbride Thistle AFC will have a new team in their structure next season – and today I can exclusively reveal the current Tass Thistle amateur squad will take over their identity in the Ayrshire AFA, writes Tom Scott.
Confirming details in another exclusive for Scottish Amateur Football News, Manager Sean Kenney told me: “As you know we had been speaking with Officials from another Ayrshire AFL club , and now they have agreed to come in and will play under the name of Kilbride Thistle.”
“I am very excited to welcome Allan MacMillan (Manager) and the Tass Thistle team to the club. We’ve been in constant dialogue over the past month and we are delighted that we’ve got a good plan in place to make the boys a very exciting and successful Amateur team.”
“We are very proud of the work we’ve done in Amateur Football, and very happy that Allan and the lads will keep that work going.”
“It’s a very, very exciting time to be involved with Kilbride Thistle Football Club.”
Meanwhile, Allan MacMillan couldn’t hide his delight when I caught up with him today, and he revealed: “I have informed Tass Thistle we will be leaving and they were very understanding given the circumstances.”
“I have run the team for the past two years, and before that was involved in Sunday football. We were in Division 2A of the Ayrshire AFL. A really tough League with a lot of good football played. We went on an unbeaten six-game run before the season was halted.”
Allan has no doubts maintaining high standards and “changing the mentality to winning,” which is the benchmark for every team at Kilbride Thistle AFC, was a major factor in agreeing to the move.”
He added “A lot of work has gone on already to succeed l, and I can’t wait to get started once restrictions are eased. I have a good core of players (10-12) with five or six aged 21 and under, with the rest quite experienced. The likes of Jamie Knox, who is a terrific talent, knows the Thistle set-up, and is absolutely buzzing. We all are!”
“We’ve had a Zoom Meeting about the move and everyone was delighted. I’ve got 3 coaches plus a Committee of 6, and they will be moving forward with us.”
With Sean Kenney confirming his current squad are making an application to join the West of Scotland Conference League, it means an expansion to the set-up at Thistle.
In addition to the Saturday teams, they will also run an Under-20 squad in the Development League, plus their Sunday team.
Another valid reason why they are pushing for their own home ground adjacent to St Matthews Secondary, Saltcoats, which I also exclusively reported on last month.
Sean Kenney is continuing dialogue with K.A. Leisure- although Covid-19 is holding up vital decision-making.
The area photographed used to be called Jacks Park until the new School was built, but many refer to it as St Matthews. Kilbride Thistle still go with the name Jacks Park.
Many thanks to Kilbride Thistle AFC Manager Mr Sean Kenney for the overhead photographic view of the ground. Also to Sean and Allan for giving up their time to reveal today’s Exclusive.