Out-Going Steins Manager Reveals Decision-Making Process


Steins Thistle AFC are set to launch a search for their new Manager and Coaching Staff, writes Tom Scott.

Today, former boss George Ward reveals exclusively to Scottish Amateur Football News the background behind this shock decision emerging from the Spark of Genius Central Scottish AFL Club.

Said George “The last game we played before Covid-19 was a promotion decider against Gartcosh and although we lost it, that was the night we felt we had a team ready for success for the following season – and then Covid hit.”

“Myself George Ward (Manager), Kenny Ferguson and Sam McCue (Assistants) had been approached by David George as the new Management team back at the tail end of 2018. The Club were going through a transition period and a lot of players moved on. However, there were players whom we owe a great gratitude to as they didn’t give up on us.”

“There came a very low point against Stenhousemuir in the Scottish Cup. After the game I reached out to the McRoberts twins, and David Weir, all legends at the Club, to come in and play as they had watched that day.”

“There was no hesitation and they re-joined the Club. Adding those three to that core of experienced players started to show on the pitch, and some of the football was superb to watch. The guy’s experience and encouragement started to bring on the younger guys. The game at Gartcosh that night was a big moment for us as we felt good going into the following season. Football then got suspended for a lengthy time.”

“We did start to wonder how many would actually return and how many players’ mind sets this would affect right across the Amateur game. Some of our senior guys retired, they had been loyal and outstanding for us. Other players had work or other commitments that would also prevent them from returning.”

“When we started adding the numbers up, we felt it was another rebuilding job. We explained to our Committee we felt it was in the best interest of the Club if we stepped aside and allowed someone else to come in who could bring new players. It wasn’t that we didn’t want to be at the Club – it was purely a football decision.”

“There are guys like Chipper, Wull, Sharpy and Beastie who have given their all to Steins for years, and yes we could have kept going, but these guys deserved more than us just getting by with thirteen bodies. Steins are a top Amateur Club who need someone to come in with a fresh intake of players to get them back to where they belong.”

“We look back at this disappointed as it was a tough start, but we had turned that corner.”

“We would have liked to have gave the Committee and the players that bit of success, but it just didn’t happen, and with Covid hitting when it did, it ended up bad timing. However, it was certainly not all doom and gloom.”

“The ups certainly out-weighed any downs. Our Captain Steven Desmond and Vice- Captain Ross Fox are two class acts, and supported us right through our time. The other experienced guys, like David Fowler, Grant Scobbie, Alan Pacitti, Darren Hughes and Ryan Scobbie, again class acts and backed us all the way. The guys certainly gave it their all and we cannot question any of their commitment or work rate. Other guys that we brought in again fitted in with the current squad and added quality.”

“We all feel privileged for the opportunity given to us at Steins, and the next Management team will gain a fantastic Club with fantastic facilities. Note of interests have started to come in, and that can be done via the Twitter or Facebook accounts. At this time though, I personally would like to thank all the players who have played under us. The Committee for backing us and having everything set- up. To everyone who sponsored us, it’s not easy or cheap running a team, so again thank you.”

“Good luck to the next Management team and all the success to Steins in the future, it genuinely has been a pleasure.”

Gowdie Primed For Central Scottish Challenge

The phrase better late than never could easily be applied to Goldenhill AFC following their departure from the Scottish Amateur Football League, writes Tom Scott.

After almost eight full seasons of working their way through to the Premier top-flight – starting from Division 1B and winning a Championship alongside numerous Cup Finals – Gowdie have been accepted into the Central Scottish Amateur Football League.

Coach Graeme George said: “We are looking forward to playing new stronger opposition.”

With other big names including Oban Saints and St Joseph’s AFC having previously departed the SAFL, Graeme admitted: ” It’s a fresh challenge and in hindsight we should have done this earlier.”

Gowdie started in Boys Club football and celebrate their 50th Anniversary this year. They rarely had a poor SAFL campaign, but came close to finishing 2018-2019 without silverware until prolific striker Jamie Gallagher, who netted 76 goals and was their Player of the Year the previous season, netted a second half penalty kick winner against old rivals St Joseph’sin the Jimmy Marshall Cup Final at New Tinto Park, Govan.

Goldenhill Manager Steven Dock will have 14 of last season’s squad moving forward, and I understand new signings are in the pipeline.

Non-Contact Training has already commenced, and Graeme George confirmed future plans.

He added: “We plan to use Clydebank High School next season. It’s a cracking facility with good changing accommodation. We’ve been there over many years, and the pitch has been resurfaced twice. We also have a very good relationship with the people there, and they are great with us.”

Zoom Meeting Boosts Colville Boss

Colville Park E AFC Manager Kenny Henderson has revealed he was given a huge boost by a Friday night Zoom Call with his squad, writes Tom Scott.

No fewer than 19 out of 21 players made themselves available to run through a number of key points – including when they can safely meet up again!

Travel restrictions are still in place despite Clubs being allowed to organise non-contact training, but Kenny explained: “Only two of our players stay locally in Motherwell, while 95% of the rest – including Management – are based in Paisley, Renfrewshire and Glasgow, so that means we can’t train.”

“With the Zoom response – the two lads who couldn’t participate put in apologies – that tells me everything I need to know regarding commitment.”

“Keeping the squad together was the priority, and I have no fears on that.”

Taking over the Colville Park hot seat after the former Scottish Cup holders and Premier Division champions took a year out of football due to a shortage of players was always going to be a tough task – but Kenny Henderson does not shy away from hard work.

He said “Rebuilding the Club from scratch in normal circumstances was not going to happen overnight, but during a global pandemic has been a nightmare.”

“The earliest I can see us starting back – if restrictions allow – is May. The Central Scottish League may introduce a Cup competition to get teams back on the park again, but in terms of the division we will be in that’s the Championship because the Club were absent for a season.”

“The bigger picture for me is pre-season. We might need to hold off until the first week in July.”

Meanwhile, Kenny Henderson is looking to add to his backroom staff with a second Coach. Interested parties should contact him on 07702314289.

Timing Right For West Park Amateurs

West Park United Football Club Secretary/ Treasurer Andy Burns has revealed the timing was right to launch the Amateur team which has been successful with an application to join the Spark of Genius Central Scottish AFL, writes Tom Scott.

The Bishopbriggs-based set-up, founded in 1980, have been hugely successful in terms of silverware success and developing players for Senior Football.

Currently, they start fun-filled sessions for youngster aged 4-5 years, and were the first East Dunbartonshire Club to set-up a Woman’s team (2014), which presently accounts for 20% of the West Park membership.

Said Andy: “We only ever wanted to go as far as Under-21 level, but with the introduction of the Development League (a year younger), we believe the appetite is not there and interest has tailed off.”

“Iain Kennedy, who is Manager of the Amateur team, had 11 years with West Park. We wanted to be ready and prepared for this. The time was right for continuation purposes.”

“We are not really starting from scratch regarding players and the coaches. Being part of a big Club will attract good players, and already the bulk of the squad have had a couple of years in Amateur Football.”

West Park United FC have attained SFA Gold Standard status, and bringing an

Amateur team on board will allow them to make further progress.

Andy added: “Every team kit right through the Club is branded with Nil By Mouth. We felt it was right that discrimination should not be tolerated in any shape or form.”

“It’s not just a branding exercise.”

Many thanks to Mr Andy Burns for the Club Crest and attachments.

Two New Clubs Accepted by Central Scottish

Newcomers West Park United – Amateurs and experienced campaigners Goldenhill have been successful with applications to join the Spark of Genius Central Scottish Amateur Football League, writes Tom Scott.

United have earned a brilliant reputation up to Under-21 level in Youth Football since 1980, and this new journey into the Amateur ranks will be spearheaded by Iain Kennedy, who was previously Manager at Springburn Thistle, alongside Coaches John Black and Stewart (Gus) Collins.

Goldenhill are a long-standing Club, and from 2012-2013 successfully moved through the various divisions within the Scottish Amateur Football League – which they are leaving – alongside being crowned top-flight Premier Champions (2017-2018), Gowdie won the Centenary Cup, Jimmy Marshall Cup, and Coronation Cup.

Meanwhile, a fresh update on the Central Scottish AFL Over-35s Section should become clearer this month following Tuesday’s Government announcement.

And I can also reveal watch out for a major announcement from the Central Scottish Officials.

New Coach Vacancy On Offer At Colville Park

Spark of Genius Central Scottish AFL Championship outfit Colville Park E AFC have announced they are in the market to bring an outfield players’ Coach into their set-up, writes Tom Scott.

Without a competitive game since Garrowhill Thistle departed Dalziel Park with a 3-2 victory early last October, new Manager Kenny Henderson and his backroom were left frustrated over the lack of opportunities to get back onto the training ground and work with what amounted to a complete squad rebuild following his appointment.

Mistakes and Individual errors had been highlighted from Pre-Season outings and the Garrowhill reversal, which Kenny and his staff desperately wanted to eradicate under the Dalziel floodlights until Scottish Government restrictions binned games and contact training sessions completely five months ago.

While Boss Hendo has managed to keep everyone on board and safe, he now feels the timing is right to augment his backroom “team”.

Non-Contact sessions for over-17s with limited numbers could return early next month, and Kenny said: “Nobody has left, but these things can change.”

“The plan was always on bringing in a 2nd Coach, so I need to get things moving now.”

The former Premier Division champions plus Scottish Amateur Cup and West of Scotland Cup holders compete in one of football’s best known and competitive organisations.

Potential and interested Coaches can register interest with a DM through the Club’s Twitter Page, or to Kenny Henderson on 07702314289.

Around the Amateur Football Scene (08/03/2021)

SAFN Chief Writer Tom Scott takes his first look of the week at some Amateur Football Clubs.

The dreaded “no another pre-season” shout will soon echo around Scottish Amateur Football!

The EK Harp coaching team have put together an 8-week Strength and Conditioning Programme, which will benefit each individual player and commences today.

Ardgowan Hospice will receive £600 as a donation from the latest Greenock HSFP AFC Last Man Standing Competition. I hear the jackpot is into four-figures.

Stewarton United had three prizes on offer for their February Monthly Draw.

The running order was as follows:

First: £250 – Mary McCance.
Second: £50 – Hamish McMillan.
Third: Taj Bar and Grill Kitchen Voucher – Isabel Cairns.

The Stewarton United Last Man Standing Competition opened with 73 participants, and a jackpot of £365. In Round One, 14 were eliminated.

West Park United- Amateurs have their Last Man Standing Competition worth £510.

Meanwhile, United have confirmed they have applied to join the Spark of Genius Central Scottish AFL, and await a decision on being accepted.

Starting next season, Kilbride Thistle AFC have agreed a two-year deal with Play Data.

YOUR CLUB could feature here! Contact Scottish Amateur Football News today.