FC Southside United: Exclusive On And Off The Park

Plenty happening at FC Southside United as they plan ahead for a re-start in the GDSFC, writes Tom Scott.

Soon to be out-going Manager Derek Johnston has been addressing a number of priorities during the present lockdown….not least Non-Contact Training!

He said: “Delighted to say we returned to training at the weekend. First time most of the lads have seen each other out with Danny’s service, and a lot more smiles on faces. Great session with plenty of fun had. Not one person involved who didn’t enjoy being back out on the grass.”

“We plan to keep sessions for existing players only until contact is given the green light. When we open up for others, there will be more information over on our Social Media platforms. Anyone interested is best to keep an eye on OfficialFCSU over on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.”

“Now on the “Scoop” front – I know you love a “Scoop! ” – We had initial conversations with a potential replacement for myself , which unfortunately never materialised. Myself and our Committee felt the individual wasn’t forthcoming enough with the opportunity.”

“We remain actively seeking a new Manager to come in. Plans for myself are that I want to be moving on by our Club AGM , which will be held the end of June as discussed previously. I am willing to stay on in a background administration role if it is required however.”

“Priority is that we get someone in willing to lead the project, but our existing Committee are being prepared for having to continue if not.”

“Again, we would invite contact from any interested Coaches/Managers via our Social Media platforms.”

“When contact training returns, we will be looking to revert to our booking at Hillwood Park on Wednesday evenings. Like the GDSFC Committee, we are hopeful that friendlies will come around mid-May also. When we are back to being able to open up from the existing bubble, we would welcome interested individuals to come along to watch training, and have face to face discussions with the Committee.”

“Finally, initial conversations for how we plan to honour our friend, team mate and Alpha Danny Houston, began at the weekend. One thing we will do is the “Number 16 Shirt ” he wore for the Club will be retired moving forward.”

“Plans are afoot for Charity events to raise money for a Mental Health Charity in Danny’s name. The main event for that will be myself and others from the old AFC Bonnyholm Squad returning to the field to face FC Southside United in a Memorial Match. Once things are set in stone in terms of coming out of Lockdown, we will announce more concrete information.”

Danny Houston:FC Southside United Set To Honour Former Player

Scottish Amateur Football News Exclusive

FC Southside United Manager Derek Johnston has revealed plans will be put in place to honour the memory of former player Danny Houston, whose funeral took place last Friday, writes Tom Scott.

With Government restrictions still firmly in place, an exact time scale on Ideas won’t be finalised meantime by the GDSFC team, but Derek told me “We will honour Danny in a safe manner, and more information will be released in due course.”

“Friday was very tough. An emotional day for everyone.”

Derek and Danny both played for AFC Bonnyholm (Pollok), and those who know FC Southside United would surely relish the idea of a Charity game should one emerge from future Committee discussions.

Around The Amateur Football Scene (11/02/2021)

SAFN Chief Writer Tom Scott takes a look around some of the Amateur Football Clubs.

Kilbride Thistle AFC would like to Seamill Ceramics for again sponsoring Manager Sean Kenney. Seamill Ceramics cover a wide-range of essential work Including bathrooms, kitchens, and natural stone tiles.

Dalziel Football HSFP have embarked on a month-long (February) 100 km Challenge in support of Mental Health. I understand 21 of the Dalziel Football squad, and Management will each attempt to complete 100 km on their own using such methods as running, cycling or walking.

Buckhaven United Manager James Campbell has received possible feedback and interest on my Article this week concerning the possibility of organising a Mini-Tournament this summer as a welcome alternative to Pre-Season Friendlies.

Giffnock Soccer Centre boss Kenny Wilson has issued notice that the Over-35s squad will start “Virtual” Training schedules for everyone to participate in week commencing 22nd February.

As part of their Charity work, FC Southside United had plans to raise funds for the Beatson Cancer Charity and Brothers in Arms through buckets being passed around both teams during a Match Day, but sadly the continued absence of Scottish Amateur Football looks certain to rule out the idea.

YOUR CLUB could feature @AmmyFitbaNews. Why not contact Tom Scott with your feature, information or photographs.

Southside Boss Sets Out New Team Targets

FC Southside United Manager Derek Johnston has admitted these are strange times for everyone but still remains positive through new team targets. Today he admitted “We can only hope to get there in the end, and focus on what we can control for now.”

“Personally, I’ve enjoyed the break over Christmas and New Year with the opportunity to assess how the year went despite the tough times that 2020 brought, and set some simple targets for the year ahead.”

“In terms of the club, we are beginning discussions with a replacement manager, which we will see how they develop. The interest came off the back of your article, so as always thanks for the help from yourself and the team at SAFN.”

“To re-engage our group (players) we will be returning to Zoom Fitness Sessions from this Sunday. More to get talking and having some fun together than anything else.”

“Whilst we remain hopeful that some form of football will prevail this season, it’s a very strange position to be in. In limbo in many cases be that purely playing the game and also in the transition phase we are in with myself working my notice at the club effectively.”

“That said, my focus is simple. I want to see the lads get themselves ready to go. If a season falls on our lap my aim for them will be simple: let’s sign off on our time together in the best manner possible.”

Socially Distanced Squad Photos Are The New Norm As FC Southside United Players Discovered.

Socially Distanced Squad Photos Are The New Norm As FC Southside United Players Discovered.

United Boss Gives His Own And Club Position For The New Year

FC Southside United Manager Derek Johnston is determined to leave the club on a high next summer, and today provided Scottish Amateur Football News with an exclusive update on current affairs within the set-up.

He said: “Hopefully, this may spark some interest on who is going to continue the project we have built under my reign to date. On Monday evening, our Leadership Committee held a positive meeting via Zoom to discuss the future, with around 75% of the squad likely to remain in place when I move on to new challenges. A main talking point surrounded the next steps in leading the club. Within this, I have personally confirmed that I will leave the club officially after our AGM, which has been pencilled in for Sunday, June 27, 2021. However, we are keen to get someone in well before that to assist with the transition for both new Management and the existing Playing Squad.”

“We understand fully this is an uncertain time for any commitment to Amateur Football given that we are now ten weeks in the cold storage that COVID regulations have placed on our level of football. We remain hopeful that we can get someone in and involved as soon as possible, with our goal being to have a clearer picture of the progression of the Club by around the first week in March, 2021.”

“In terms of what any new manager will find, we’ve built up a strong platform for anyone to come into and hit the ground running. With an established committee, who already support myself well, which I don’t see changing all that much and a strong sponsorship structure, which means the Club is sitting in a strong financial position with not too much to be added in terms of kit etc.”

“Anyone interested in discussing this matter in more detail with us is welcome to make contact via our social media platforms, where you will find the club by searching OfficialFCSU, or alternatively they can email fcsouthsideutd@gmail.com.”

“On a personal front, I am delighted to be getting the wheels in motion for the next steps in the game with two exciting opportunities potentially bearing fruit in the coming months, which will be my first paid roles in football should they become a reality. I am also hopeful of finding an opportunity to Coach or Assist someone at the newly formed West of Scotland Football League level as I look to challenge myself. I am hopeful that I will make the step from current College Work with my HNC in Football Coaching with Development, and use it as a springboard onto the BSc Football Coaching, Performance and Development (with the Scottish FA.)”

“With that in mind, I am looking to aim as high as I possibly can in my own next step-up, and would be very keen to discuss any potential new opportunities with anyone. Saturday afternoon football still remains an option I will strongly consider, and I have an offer on the table from a friend regarding that. Anyone looking to speak to me in more detail it is best to contact me via @TheGlasgowFC on Twitter.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed supporting Aaron Connolly with his Time to Tackle Group over at St Mirren Park last Friday (December 11). It was nice to be back out on a pitch, but more importantly supporting a cause close to my heart. Using football for good. The way it should be!”

Around The Amateur Football Scene (12/11/2020)

SAFN Writer Tom Scott has a look at what is happening around some clubs after Scottish Government restrictions were extended until Tuesday, November 17.

Caledonian League are holding their General Meeting tonight (Thursday) at 6.15pm via Zoom. All clubs are requested to be represented. An Executive Committee Meeting will follow the General Meeting.

With Derek Johnston having already confirmed he will be standing down from his role as FC Southside United manager this summer,the Leadership Committee are keen to speak with potential candidates, who can initially register interest via United’s Social Media platforms or through an email at fcsouthsideutd@gmail.com.

DJ,like everyone else involved with football, wants to return to working with players and his coaching staff, and maintaining the excellent progress at the Sunday set-up.

Lochgilphead Red Star AFC beat Dunoon Amateurs 1-0 in a friendly at the Dunoon Stadium last weekend. Coll McCallum netted what proved to be the first half winner.

Corstorphine Dynamo have launched a Xmas Food Appeal on behalf of Edinburgh Food Project.

Port Glasgow AFC have taken delivery of a new kit thanks to sponsorship from GBSS Civils and Plant Hire Ltd.

Clubs in. membership of the Aberdeenshire AFA will still be able to organise and play local friendlies aside from the start of the new season being delayed

Tannochside United, who recently held the first collection from their Food Bank Donations 2020 Project, will split monies raised between food and supplies for future collections,. plus a Christmas Toy and Gift Projects

Support A Local Food Bank is the idea being promoted by Newmains Hammers and they have set a date of 4th December for the final collection.

The donation will then be made on 7th December. Note, donations can be Via the Newmains Hammers Twitter Page, or any player.

Vale of Atholl would greatly appreciate offers from potential Match Sponsors.

The Old Mill Inn, who recently sponsored a new strip at the amateur club, were sponsors for the home game against Wolfhill on 7th November. Wolfhill won 4-2.

United Manager Reveals Low Morale During Current Restrictions

FC Southside United boss Derek Johnston has broken ranks to reveal his set-up are struggling to cope with the changing demands placed on Amateur Football by the Scottish Government and has dropped the bombshell he intends departing from the role in Management at the end of the season!

Today he told me “FC Southside United have been very strong in our disappointment that ourselves at adult amateur level are being left out in the cold. As you will see via our club website fcsouthsideutd.com we canvassed for pressure on MSPs with a template email and contacts for those representing Glasgow’s respective seats. The silence on that front has been deafening with ourselves as a club having no response whatsoever from the First Minister and the Justice Minister, who both serve in our two respective constituencies.”

“I have been speaking with my players in the last week and it’s very clear to see motivation has evaporated and in some cases it is pushing lads down paths we would rather not see them on with other vices now taking over. This is the risk with the measures, if there are no positive outlooks for the public it will only lead to darker paths.”

“On the exclusive front, I will personally be departing the club at the end of this season should it ever get going. I feel that I need to move on to a new challenge and will be looking to weigh up any options in the coming weeks and months. That said, my main concern right now is continuing to improve the club I inherited and leaving it in a better position than what I found.”

“Anyone interested in taking over at FCSU is more than welcome to get in touch. They will be supported by the committee we have created, who are all a credit to the good work we have done together. Personally, my next steps will be either a return to Saturday football with me finally weighing up afternoon involvement or potentially a move into youth football.”

“I feel it’s a step I need to take as I look to further develop my coaching journey, and I would be open to any approaches from anyone who wishes to discuss with me in more detail.”

Southside Manager Looks To Final Friendly Success

FC Southside United Manager Derek Johnston is looking for the club to round off their pre-season programme with a win over Kelvindale AFC this Sunday (9am) at Hillwood Park before the GDSFC action gets under way on October 18.

Due to new work commitments, DJ was not in attendance at their latest 5-3 win against Dynamo Glasgow. Co-Manager Willie McArthur led the team on the day and provided a very comprehensive report as Southside maintained their unbeaten spell.

Derek told me “I was delighted to hear the lads got another win and that goals were shared around the team somewhat, with two defenders and two strikers getting the goals.”

“The joys of amateur football, despite a near two- hour defensive focused session on Wednesday at training, the clean sheet wasn’t possible unfortunately.”

The game started very openly with both teams sizing each other up and trying to get the ball down and play football on a very questionable pitch, Southside dominated possession and dictated the play with some very good football through the middle. After 30 minutes the domination payed off , when Jeffery sent  a great ball down the line to James MacLeod, who played a high looping ball that lost the opposition goalkeeper’s sight and resulted in an easy header for McGuire from a yard out. 

Southside doubled their lead two minutes later when Captain Alan Aiden collected the ball from a deep position and advanced into the opposition half before curling a left footed effort around the goalkeeper from 25 yards.

A very disciplined final 12 minutes saw the Orange and Black maintain that lead into the break. On the resumption Sean McGuire tore the oppositions defence to shreds before playing a driven pass to Alastair Mathieson , who provided a lovely finish with a heel flick past the keeper (3-0).

Applying further pressure, Southside scored a fourth from a corner. Stevie Jeffery whipped a glorious left pegged delivery to the back post and new signing Daniel O’Hare rose well to nod home. Less than five minutes later it was 5-0. Ally Mathieson scored his second after the Dynamo defence found their keeper out of his goal and United’s number 9 saw his delightful lob nestle in the net. 

Shortly afterwards,  Southside made four changes for an array of reasons, but struggled to maintain their dominance, and conceded three goals in quick succession. Dynamo Glasgow deserved them, but Derek Johnston said “That was still hard to take considering the work put in midweek at training was all with a defensive emphasis.”

Southside Boss Swoops To Sign Defender O’Hare Ahead Of  League Campaign

FC Southside United Manager Derek Johnston today added to his squad by recruiting defender Daniel O’Hare, who has impressed in training and featured over 135 minutes across their opening three friendlies.

Committed to winning the ball back with the old traits of a defender –  looking to defend first – boss Johnston believes they are a left back, centre mid and striker away from the squad being set for the new season. Any player interested in getting involved is more than welcome to contact the club via social media, wiith training on a Wednesday evening 7:30-9:30pm at Hillwood Park.

The arrival of O’Hare brings a second pair of brothers together within  the FC  Southside United squad.

Johnston revealed “Daniel has been on trial with us since the return to training having been brought along by his brother,.  and has made three appearances in our pre-season friendlies so far. 

“A strong tackling, reliant defender,  Dan will bring further options to our defence with his ability to play centre back, right back and also sit iin front of the defence in a holding midfield role.”

“He has impressed throughout training and games , and we hope Daniel will go on to be an important part of a team aiming for success throughout the season ahead.”

Meanwhile, Daniel will be available for player sponsorship. For £20 a  company will feature whenever Daniel is mentioned and they will have the chance of winning a £100 prize if he wins enough man of the match nominations this season to win the United Player of the Year award. If interested, people should contact  the club across all social media platforms by searching for OfficialFCSU or if you prefer email fcsouthsideutd@gmail.com.

United Boss Left Frustrated By Drop In Sunday Standards

FC Southside United Manager Derek Johnston has revealed frustration following Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Anchor Sociedad at Hillwood Park. Taking time for @AmmyFitbaNews he told me “Over the piece it’s probably a fair result although I can’t help but be a little frustrated as I feel we fell short of the levels we’ve been setting for ourselves lately. That said, great character shown by the lads to still pick themselves up.”

“The good thing is it mostly individual moments in the game that has cost us and these are things we’ll work hard to correct.”

“With us now heading into the home straight  of pre-season I’ll begin to focus more on finding my starting eleven in the next two games and we’ll start to be more specific in work we do on the training pitch. I am still on the lookout for some additions to the team with competition and quality needed middle to front along with needing another left back, but we continue to go in the right direction.”

Anchor started the stronger of the two sides and made that count when they went one up within the opening 20 minutes following some slack possession from the Orange and Blacks, which was punished.

It may have been a case of settling into the game or perhaps adapting to a more natural surface, but the early exchanges were somewhat scrappy for both sides. The odd foul without any malice included, it would be one of those fouls which led to an equaliser. Alastair Mathieson grabbed  the opportunity with a free kick from over 30 yards out. The referees shout of it being direct was even more fuel to the United number 9’s intentions, when he lashed one off the post which flew across the goal line before settling in the back of the net to pull the homesters level.

Vice captain Lee Kane was replaced by Captain Alan Aiden after 30 minutes with a recurrence of a groin injury which has kept him out recently. Unfortunately, the skipper couldn’t get a chance to get up to the speed of the game, finding himself beaten for Anchor’s second of the game.  He went on to  have a strong showing thereafter.

Just before the break it was another bit of individual brilliance from Stevie Jeffrey which gave Southside their second goal. He created a pocket of space in the middle of the park and drove one into the back of the net from 30 yards!

At half time Manager Johnston  made several changes in hope they  would get a lift in performance levels. Daniel Ohare, Brandon Copeland  and Ashton Ohare taking the place of James MacLeod, Bonny Osoro and Sean McGuire. The message was simple: ‘Settle on the ball more and cut out the individual mistakes.”

The draw,  in the end, was a fair result, with Anchor taking control of the first half and FC Southside United slightly edging the second half. On the hour mark , Jamie Dealey replaced Danny Houston and United had more joy from the wide men second half. 

Brandon Copeland was an important figure, but Southside failed to create any clear cut chances.

Anchor was a good test for the squad and there are  further opportunities to guage overall progress with two friendlies before the first competitive match on Sunday, October 18. United  host Dynamo Glasgow in a 2pm kick off at Hillwood Park on Sunday, October 4, in what should be an interesting match between two new sides in the GDSFC Only Sport Ltd Division One.