As part of their planning for the April international fixture against Leinster Senior League – ultimately cancelled due to the pandemic – the SAFA Select met Shotts Bon Accord the previous month at Dalziel Park, writes Tom Scott.
David McArthur (Glasgow Harp) and Chris Cairns (Tollcross Thistle) were added to the squad late on.
Michael Yuill scored for the SAFA near half-time (1-1 score line), and Shotts missed a 57th minute penalty kick.
They were made to pay when Ciaran McElroy netted what proved to be the winner eight minutes later.
Photograph kindly provided by Tollcross Thistle AFC Manager Alan McKay.
Brian Blair had a trophy-filled playing career with Finnart Star AFC over 22 years – now he is determined to replicate the success as Team Manager.
Despite Covid-19 lockdowns and Tier 3 restrictions, the five-times Scottish Amateur Sunday Trophy winner – one of those came from playing at Rutherglen Vogue, could never have predicted an abrupt end to the 2019-2020 campaign (his second in charge), or currently one league played against Holytown back on October 3.
When the original March lockdown started the announcement put paid to Finnart and St Mungo’s contesting a Cup Final at Broadwood. Eight months on, there is no official word the game will ever take place.
Undaunted, Blair recruited one-time junior football player and Vale of Clyde Manager John Crooks, who also steered Glasgow Harp to a Caledonian League Premier Division title and Scottish Amateur Cup Semi-Finals, onto his backroom staff. Following a pre-season (training) like no other, Finnart went goal crazy with warm-up games, and carried the form onto defeating Holytown 11-0 in the Caledonian First Division. opener at Glasgow Green.
However, the opportunity to put more points on the board at hosts Kilsyth AFC a week later (October 10) was quickly removed by the Scottish Government, and most of the amateur game has been idle ever since.
Brian revealed: “This club has contested ten Scottish Cup finals (losing two) over a span of 40 years. Good times!”
“Phil Blair has been at the helm all that time, but no football just now is frustrating for all of us.”
“We have built a cracking young team. I personally am trying to get them back to where we should be with some trophies, but that will only come as soon as we can start back hopefully.”
“Some of our guys (players) have been out with West of Scotland League teams to get them games before we start back, which doesn’t look like any time soon!”
Glasgow Harp may be currently side lined from training and competitive football due to Government restrictions, but that has not stopped them looking at potentially strengthening their squad.
I understand the club are working on a couple of areas where they would like to add some competition. Under the current circumstances at Amateur and West of Scotland League Conference levels, the Harp coaching staff feel there may be an opportunity to pick up a quality player or two due to the uncertainty that is flying around.
Anyone contemplating a change of club, and who would be keen on Glasgow Harp, can send them a DM via their Twitter Page or call 07879 410090.
Vale of Clyde Saturday Morning Co-Manager David Andrews today revealed the names of the squad which will go into action later than usual due to new Scottish Government restrictions.
In another great exclusive David said “All players are new to the club. We thought it would take longer to gel together, but we as a team have hit the ground running and the start of the season can’t come quick enough.”
Here is the impressive list of signings:
Gk-Tommy Hunter- Eastend Colts Gk-Stephen MacKay- FC Baillieston Def-Jake Green- Eastend Colts Def-Shane Bradley- AC Rovers Def-Ross Girwood- Viewpark Utd Def-Grant Flood- Bargeddie Def- Steven Craven- Bargeddie Def- Jacob Kennedy- Eastend Colts Def- Cody Kerr- Scotland BC. Mid- Anton Jack- Maryhill Mid- Connor Shepherd- Eastend Colts Mid- Thomas Burns- Eastend Colts Mid- Aidan Smith- Eastend Colts Mid- Raymond Bremner- Glasgow Harp Mid- Martin Ryan- Eastend Colts Mid- Marc Armstrong- Third Lanark Fwd- Jack McCann- Eastend Colts Fwd- Ryan Taylor- Eastend Colts Fwd- Liam Mullen- Bullwood Fwd- Jamie Fitzpatrick- Finnart Fwd- Craig Hamilton- Army Battalion Select Fwd- Dean McTaggart- Motherwell Villa
Looking ahead to new restrictions arriving at 6pm from October 9 to 25, David revealed: “With us being a new club we’ve still to iron out a few things behind the scenes such as new kits, new teamwear and finalising our sponsors, so this will still be a busy couple of weeks for the club. It’s not ideal as we were starting to put in some real performances in our friendlies and at training. Hopefully this break won’t be extended and we can all get back to it soon.”
“I’d like to give a special mention to our sponsors for this season, who have very kindly donated towards our match kits and teamwear.”
“The McCann Family Foundation, who do so much work for multiple charities and their local community.”
“The Kick Mental Health Charity, who hold various meetings and events to greatly promote talking openly about mental health as well as maintaining physical wellbeing.”
“We are proud to have these 2 worthy sponsors on our club merchandise for the foreseeable future.”
Cambusbarron Rovers and Callander Thistle both scored four goals on the opening day of the new Caledonian League season last Saturday. Now the pair go head-to-head in Division One fixtures released for this weekend.
Hosts Callander will be boosted by an outstanding 4-0 win at Doune Castle where Man of the Match Andy Orr, who scored one of the goals, was superb.
Rovers opened up with a comfortable 4-1 victory against Dunblane Soccer Centre.
Holytown Colts, on the end of an 11-0 mauling against Finnart at Glasgow Green, will attempt to throw offf the hangover when they entertain a St Joseph’s squad fresh from their 4-3 win against Westerlands.
In the Premier Division, Glasgow Harp, Stenhousemuir Community, and Dumbarton Academy are just three of the club’s chasing two wins in a row.
Thorn Athletic and Eaglesham, who both won last Saturday, and St Mungos v Wiishaw Wymcombe Wanderers have great potential for 90 minutes of high standard football.
Premier Division Giffnock North AFC v East Kilbride YM AFC Glasgow Harp AFC v Dalziel HSFP AFC Glasgow University AFC v Dumbarton Academy FP AFC Milngavie Wanderers AFC v Strathclyde University AFC St Mungos AFC v Wishaw Wycombe Wanderers AFC Stenhousemuir Community AFC v Cambria AFC Thorn Athletic AFC v Eaglesham AFC
Division One Callander Thistle AFC v Cambusbarron Rovers AFC Doune Castle AFC v Milton AFC Dunblane Soccer Club v Rhu AFC Holytown Colts AFC v St Joseph’s AFC Kilsyth AFC v Finnart AFC Rothesay Brandane AFC v Westerlands AF