Headline Makers Revisited: Shortlees AFC (Season 2017-2018)

Shortlees AFC took the Scottish Amateur Cup back to their Kilmarnock base for the first time on May 20th, 2018, writes Tom Scott.

The Lees struck twice within the opening 12 minutes through Gordon Minor and Joe Gold on their way to a 2-1 win against Goldenhill from the Scottish Amateur Football League.

On June 4th, Shortlees clinched the Ayrshire AFL Premier Division title previously won by Hurlford Thistle.

Headline Makers Revisited: New Farm Loch AFC (April 2018)

After only five seasons in existence, New Farm Loch guaranteed themselves promotion into the Ayrshire AFL Premier Division, writes Tom Scott.

Goals from skipper Alan Parker, Dale Andrews and Ryan Beveridge gave the Kilmarnock club a 3-0 victory against Crosshouse Waverley.

The job was only half-done as New Farm Loch were still unbeaten, and could focus on winning the Championship!

Dalry Cup Exit From Eight-Goal Thriller

Dalry Amateurs lost 5-3 against hosts Minishant AFC in the First Round of the Scottish Amateur Cup at The Oval, Prestwick, on 7th September, 2019, writes Tom Scott.

Shaun Ferguson, Stephen Poulter, Ross McIver, Ryan Turkington and Allan Bell were on target.

Minishant were paired away to Perthshire League club, Alyth Amateurs, in the next round. Despite counters from Ross Wylie and Sam Piper, the Ayrshire team were defeated 4-2 at Diamond Jubilee Park.

Kilbride Reveal Identity Of New-Team Joining Club Structure

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.

The Big Player Interview – Ryan Singleton (Kilbride Thistle AFC)

Today I am delighted to provide the Interview with on-loan midfielder Ryan Singleton, who has signed with Kilbride Thistle AFC meantime from Ardrossan Winton Rovers, writes Tom Scott.

Thanks to Kilbride Thistle AFC Manager Mr Sean Kenney for all his help, plus the Photograph.

FULL NAME and POSITION(S) PLAYED AT ARDROSSAN?

“Ryan Singleton, Centre Midfield.’

HOW DID THE LOAN MOVE TO KILBRIDE COME ABOUT AND WHAT WAS THE ATTRACTION GOING THERE?

“Once Winton pulled out of the junior league, I was desperate to get a move sorted as soon. And I text Sean asking if he’d take me. I had went to a few junior teams to see what it was like, but preferred training etc at Kilbride. Only downside was not being able to get started due to Covid.”

“I had friends at Kilbride who I knew were good players, they’re an ambitious team ,and highly spoke of by anyone who has played for them.”

WON ANY HONOURS? PLEASE DETAIL COMPETITION and YEARS.

“Won the Ayrshire District League with Irvine Vics in 2014.”

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR HAPPIEST MOMENT IN FOOTBALL!

“I played with Irvine Vics for 8 years, and every time we beat Irvine Meadow was my happiest moment.”

WHAT IS THE BEST PRANK/ WIND-UP YOU HAVE WITNESSED AT TRAINING, OR DURING PRE-MATCH INVOLVING A PLAYER?

“Nothing that comes to mind straight away, just things we used to do in the changing room like cover players’ jerseys in deep heat before the game ,and we used to phone players pretending to be other Managers etc.”

GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO THE MANAGEMENT STYLE OF SEAN KENNEY?

“Good manager. Very committed, and is focused on playing his style of play. Likes to play it out from the back, and defend from the front.”

Restrictions Delay Game-Time For Thistle Loan Pair

Covid-19 restrictions have prevented hopes of Kilbride Thistle AFC giving two loan players from Ardrossan Winton Rovers much-needed game time in the Ayrshire Amateur Football League, writes Tom Scott.

Full-back David Donald and the versatile Ryan Singleton had mixed with the Kilbride squad before tougher Government action was implemented – although the pair had already made a huge impression on Thistle boss Sean Kenney.

He said “We know both players, and they came in from the Rovers, who had decided they were not going to play in the new West of Scotland League and South of Scotland Cup this season.”

“The loan arrangement with Ardrossan Manager Stevie Wilson means they will return to them for next season, and I will honour that.”

“I previously signed David for us when I was Coach here under John Bell, who was our Manager at the time. He has also played with Ardeer West, and was rated one of the top Ayrshire AFA full- backs in recent years. He has really impressed, wants to learn, and is very fit.”

“Ryan had an 8-year spell with Irvine Vics prior to Ardrossan Winton Rovers. He can play in a number of positions, including through the middle.”

“I can’t speak highly enough of them. It’s a real shame we haven’t been able to see them in match action. I have been really impressed with their attitude.”

Meanwhile, the local Community has played their part in helping Kilbride Thistle celebrate 10 years just from participation in Amateur Football once 2021 kicked-in amidst these difficult times.

Sean revealed: “Yes, that’s 10 years in the Amateur ranks, but we actually started at Under-6s level as Kilbride Boys -. not that a lot of folk know that!”

“This is my 21st year at the club, but the gentleman who deserves a lot of the credit for the Kilbride name still being around is Mr John Bell, who these days devotes all of his time to the family and grandchildren.”

“Without doubt John is not only a Club Legend, but a Community Legend.”

Tiger King Scoops Last Man Standing Winnings

Stewarton United have confirmed that Elliot Duffy (aka Tiger King) has scooped the club’s Last Man Standing Competition jackpot prize, writes Tom Scott.

In a two-player showdown, Elliot correctly chose West Ham United – 3-0 winners against Sheffield United this week – and collected £425.

The next Last Man Standing Competition will commence on 27th February, and full details can be obtained via the Stewarton United Facebook Page.

The local Community has been outstanding in supporting Stewarton through the LMS, and their Monthly Draw, which provides three prizes drawn on the last Saturday of every month.