Southside Spartans have two key sponsors – and the backers Thomas Clark and Michael O’Hara have both physically played for the trophy-winning GDSFC team, writes Tom Scott.
Here we go:
Thomas Clark (player and sponsor).
Pro Wood Design.
Pro Wood Design is a 2D Wood Engraving company that creates Bespoke wooden plaques to suit our customer’s needs.
MOVEstrong is a fitness concept based in Glasgow. Initially it was a group fitness programme, with large groups gathering a few nights a week to improve their overall movement, strength and conditioning. Since lockdown, we’ve developed an online programme that can be followed via an App at your convenience. We’ve worked with people from many different walks of life. It’s something that footballers of any ability would benefit from – from helping alleviate any aches and pains to improving on the field performance. @movestrong_glasgow Instagram.
Many thanks to Southside Spartans Co-Manager Mr Michael McKean for supplying info / sponsors ‘graphics.
SAFN Chief Writer Tom Scott has managed to secure another top Club Interview today involving a team which has dominated the GDSFC silverware chase since their formation in 2013.
Tom posed a number of questions to Southside Spartans Co- Manager Michael McKean, who towards the end of the Interview revealed an Incredible Trophy haul list!
How, when and why was the team formed. How do you recruit players?
“Southside Spartans was formed in 2013 by myself, my brother Martin, and a mutual friend Danny Shannon. At the time I was recovering from knee reconstructive surgery and Martin from a brain injury known as Encephalitis, and our respective injuries meant we both had to stop playing football.”
“Together with Danny, we decided to set a team up which Martin and I would manage. This quickly grew momentum and within weeks we had a team together and had purchased a set of second-hand strips and balls from Strathclyde University. In the early stages, the team comprised of friends and former team-mates, whom we had played Saturday Amateur Football with.”
“We were confident we could build a successful team just on friends and former team-mates alone, which proved to be the case in our debut season in the GDSFC as we went on to win the Division 3 and a Cup double.”
“We have always kept our recruitment of players very tight to ensure we get the right players on board. As a result, almost every player in our squad are former team-mates of ourselves or are friends, brothers or just recommendations of other boys in the team. So, while the turnover of players since 2013 has been high, we have always had the same strong core and been able to add good people and good players to that, so that the quality and winning mentality of the squad has remained a constant.”
Who is involved in running the team, and where do you train normally / home ground?
“The team runs itself really. All the boys are brilliant, and my brother and I just pick the team on a Sunday from the squad we have available. We don’t have a specific home pitch, but we like to play at Palace of the Arts where possible.”
“We have never had a single training session as a team which will probably come as a bit of a surprise. The reason being, when we started in 2013 a lot of the boys in the team played Saturday football and trained with their clubs once or twice a week, so we decided an additional training session wouldn’t be necessary.”
“There are less boys still playing with Saturday teams now, but we have stuck to that, and it has worked well for us. Everyone is busy with jobs and families, so part of the appeal is a game on a Sunday with no midweek commitments. On top of that, due to the fact we only really recruit players internally, most of the squad knew each other before playing for the Spartans, and had played together over the years, so know each other’s game very well.”
Who sponsors the team?
“Thomas Clark of Pro-Wood Design and Michael O’Hara of MoveStrong. Michael has played with us on and off for many years, and Thomas still plays for us.”
Name each season and the Trophies won?
“2018/19 – Treble (GDSFC Division 1) and both Cups.
2017/18 – League (GDSFC Division 1) and Cup Double.
2016/17 – League (GDSFC Division 1).
2015/16 – Nothing.
2014/15 – League (GDSFC Division 2) and Cup Double.
2013/14 – League (GDSFC Division 3) and Cup Double.”
Is the Club involved in anything outside of Football ie …..Charity Work?
“Not included above is the GDSFC Super Cup, which we have won on a couple of occasions, which is a one-off Cup Final at the start of the season contested between League and Cup Winners. Instead of distributing medals, the League offers the winners the opportunity to make a £100 donation to Charity. We always support the Encephalitis Society with this, or any other club donation.”
With no completive football currently being played I asked GDSFC Secretary Nim Roy to open his file on Association trophy celebrations and he immediately produced season 2018-2019 which recorded the unbelievable achievement of Southside Spartans Managed by brothers Martin and Michael McKean, writes Tom Scott.
Nim revealed: “Spartans picked-up an unprecedented Treble in 2018- 2019 to stake their claim as the best team in GDSFC history.”
“The trophy haul started on 24th March, 2019 with a 2-1 victory over fellow Division 1 team GSC Utd in the Only Sport Ltd Champions Cup Final at Toryglen Sports Centre.”
“Next Trophy to head to the McKean/Spartans Collection was the Brothers in Arms League Cup with an impressive 6-0 win over Pollokshields United at Benburb Juniors’ New Tinto Park, Govan, on 26th May, 2019.”
“To complete the clean sweep and a glorious treble, Southside Spartans wrapped up the Only Sport Division 1 Championship on 16th June , 2019 – incidentally winning the League by 9 points with 14 wins, 3 draws, and 3 defeats. A total of 78 goals were scored, which gave them a goal difference of +36. Wow!!”
“What a remarkable achievement from a brilliant team. Massive well done to Michael, Martin and the Spartans lads.”
“Here’s hoping we get football back for them to defend their titles.”
Huge thank-you to Mr Nim Roy for his Round-Up, plus all Photographs and Graphics.
SAFN Chief Writer Tom Scott takes a weekend look at the Amateur Football scene.
The majority of clubs in the Glasgow Colleges Football Association have voted (in favour) on a Proposal to finish the current season 2020-2021 completely, and re-start in August ( hopefully ) with the 2021-2022 campaign.
Muirhouse Thistle have been accepted into the Football Central Lanarkshire Division.
I understand “the lads are excited to be involved with the new exciting League.”
Football Central are going to give Summer Football a two-year trial.
Airdrie-based Monklands Thistle are being sponsored by JGGS, and are willing to run the rule over new players.
Back in May, 2020 – amidst the current pandemic – Southside Spartans announced winners of their Player Awards. One them featured Pete Carr, who finished Top Goalscorer for the fifth consecutive season.
Southside Spartans AFC are rated among the favourites for another title success in the GDSFC campaign.
Spartans already head an impressive list of clubs in the Only Sport Ltd sponsored Premiership set-up.
The quality and variety of 36 clubs in league membership will undoubtedly increase competition at all levels.
There appears to be a good mixture of established amateur clubs alongside newcomers.
Dumbarton United AFC have a proud history dating back to 1958, Maryhill Black Star AFC can be relied to continue their ethos of possession-based quality football out from the back, and first season Renfrew Rovers AFC aim to give local talent a platform to showcase individual ability from their base at New Western Park.