George Ward has admitted he was taken away by the speed of his appointment as the new Manager of Doune Castle – as his former club Steins Thistle bring in their new boss, writes Tom Scott.
He told me: “Firstly, happy to see that Steins have appointed a Manager who will be bringing fresh players in – hopefully this sees them knock on. It wasn’t a decision we expected to make eight weeks ago, but it was the correct one for the Club.”
“Once we advertised the vacancy for Steins, Doune had seen that I had stepped away , and made contact about my availability and plans for next season. My plans were to get out on my road bike and go to Ibrox as I have a season
M ticket. However, after speaking to Doune and William Docherty, I was keen to take up the role.”
“I am very familiar with the Club and its success over the years. I was made aware of what players were staying on, and who was coming in, so I felt they were in a strong position.”
“I am familiar with the Caledonian League and the beauty is that most of the games next season are Stirling based. Another factor was that I live five minutes away, so it will make a huge difference on my home life.”
“It has all came around very quickly but it is something I couldn’t say no to. We start Non-Contact Training on Monday, 26th April, which gives us 7 weeks to gradually get the guys up to speed before we play our first game in the Stirling Summer League.”
“This will allow us to prepare and plan for the 2021-2022 season.”
Caledonian League chiefs are hoping to reschedule the long awaited 2019-2020 Douglas Smith League Cup Final – alongside commencing last season’s (2020-2021) William Turner Challenge Cup as soon as possible, writes Tom Scott.
I have been looking at the League Cup Competition which will see First Division Finnart and Premier Division St Mungo go head-to-head in what should be cracker.
ROAD TO THE FINAL:
Finnart: First Round- Finnart 5, Glasgow Harp 2. Second Round – Finnart 5, Weir AFC 2. Quarter-Final – Glasgow University 3, Finnart 4. Semi-Final – Milton 0, Finnart 4.
St Mungo: First Round – Bye. Second Round – Strathclyde University 0, St Mungo 4. Quarter-Final – St Mungo 9, FC Dal Riata 6. Semi-Final – EKYM 0, St Mungo 0 ( 5-6 on pens).
Twenty St Mungo players and their Co-Managers were back on home soil at Loretto on Saturday Morning, writes Tom Scott.
John McClymont and former St Roch stalwart John Conner were delighted to welcome their Caledonian League Premier Division squad back after months of inactivity, and observed restrictions via a Non-Contact session.
The former, whose association with the Bishopbriggs-based Club goes back 23 years, said: “We had an excellent turn-out of 20 bodies.”
St Mungo AFC boss John McClymont reckons the prospect of having a Cup Final on the horizon is a big incentive for his players reporting back to Non-Contact Training this morning, writes Tom Scott.
The Caledonian League Premier Division Club, who will start to celebrate their 90th Anniversary with a Tournament this summer, have dramatically improved the Loretto outdoor structure at Bishopbriggs.
Said John: “We have really came on over the last six years. The place is looking great. You personally would not recognise it.”
“We’ve got floodlights and five pitches which have to be maintained financially.”
“The Mungo – it’s more than a wee Club.”
“The Caley League are also going to re-list the Douglas Smith League Cup Final against Finnart, which was about to take place exactly around the time the Scottish Government completely shut down competitive games last October.”
“That in itself is a great incentive for our squad of 21-22 players when we get back together. It will be a case of them reporting in to get the legs working again, and we find out Individually how the squad has been coping through this between 10.30am and noon.”
Following the Government announcement that competitive football can resume from Monday, 17th May, the Caledonian League have announced the 2020-2021 season William Turner Challenge Cup will run from Saturday, 22nd May until mid-June, writes Tom Scott.
Should the present Covid-19 pathway remain on schedule, it is hoped the 2021-2022 season will kick-off as normal during August.
Today my Interview Series features current St Joseph’s AFC Manager/ Head Coach Mr Alastair MacColl, who has worked at every level of the game in Scotland, writes Tom Scott.
Alastair also confirmed the people behind the scenes at the Caledonian League First Division club: Chairman – Johnny Gibbons. Secretary – Willie Gibbons. Coaches – Matt Armstrong, David McLeary. Kit Man- Andy McLeary. Club Captain- Kieran Boyce.
* Now onto Question Time!
Who is the best Manager you have worked with? What were the attributes that made such an impression on you?
“John Yogi Hughes was a massive influence on me and am still in contact on a daily basis. Also, Ross Wilson ,who was my boss at Falkirk, and now with Rangers FC. They were always ahead of the game, and 2 guys who wanted things done yesterday and not today. Our Chairman, Johnny Gibbons, gives me a free hand in everything that goes with St Joe’s, and he has played a major part in Club’s success.”
What are your aims and objectives moving forward out of the pandemic?
“We are targeting 3rd of April to get the boys back in once a week, and will be testing them on all parts of the game ,and hopefully some news of the Summer Cup etc will begin.”
Who is the best player( s) you have worked with at different levels of the game?
“Best Players: John McGinn ,who spent an early part of his career at Antonine BC. Attitude was magnificent even at an early age. Scott Arfield as a youth player at Falkirk. John Henry. I signed him when I was Youth Coach at Clydebank. Were the ones that stood out.”
You managed one game in the Caledonian League (winning 4-3) following the move from the Scottish Amateur Football League. How has your Squad been put together?
“Through my contacts at various levels of the game, plus lots of excellent players already in place, we targeted local boys in our closest area. Was the target as we wanted a close bond locally, and we hope to keep our targets this way!”
Can you give us your footballing background?
“Spent 4 seasons with Falkirk FC. In charge of the West of Scotland Academy based in Clydebank / Stirling University.”
“Also Founded Antonine Boys Club along with my best mate Willie Gibbons. Very successful as the Club won 2 Scottish Cups, and produced a number of boys for professional football.”
St Joseph’s AFC have a three-year Sponsorship deal with Boss David Cunningham and The Duntiglennan Bar (Duntocher).
One of the tops is featured with Club Crest. Thanks again to Mr MacColl.