Chief Writer Tom Scott takes a midweek look at what is happening in Scottish Amateur Football.
Additional players and coaches have been targeted by FC Dynamo Glasgow.
Lochend AFC are looking for players as they prepare for their first season in the LEAFA Sunday Mornings.
Glenafton Amateur FC want to arrange a Friendly week beginning May 17 down at New Cumnock.
Restalig AFC, who play in the LEAFA Saturday League, are encouraging everyone to support centre-back Matthew Smith, who will be participating in the Edinburgh Marathon to raise funds for Maggie’s Centres – a Charity close to home to many people and the LEAFA team.
Silverknowes FC – LEAFA Sunday Mornings – are looking for new players to join them in Non-Contact Training Sessions.
Royal Union FC seek some friendlies in advance of competitive games going ahead from May 17.
Tynecastle AFC have started looking for friendlies.
Leith Athletic FC, who have been busy recruiting signings, are celebrating their 25th Anniversary this year. The Club was originally founded to allow children to enjoy and play football in a safe environment.
Talking of Club Celebrations, St Mungo are 90 years old, and St Joseph’s AFC have hit the big 50!
Johnny Gibbons will follow a tried-and-trusted organisational method in planning the 50th Anniversary of St Joseph’s AFC, writes Tom Scott.
People within and outside of football refer to Mr Gibbons as either the St Joseph’s Chairman or President, but he immediately offered corrections on those theories!
“It’s never been about titles at St Joes,” he revealed.
“Everyone is part of the family. We didn’t even have a top-table as such when we celebrated 40 years in 2011.”
“Yes, I deal with just about everything from looking after the strips / making sure they are washed etc, training kit and footballs. Whatever the Manager needs – he gets! That’s the way it should be.”
Current Government restrictions mean the Caledonian League newcomers are held back from pushing through everything connected to 50 years, but a venue has been identified, and Johnny added: “What we did ten years ago will form our plans for the big one.”
“We will send out letters to former managers, ex-players, and probably two or three guests inviting them to attend when we determine the exact date.”
“Once we find out who can commit, then they are given options to choose their preferences on a three-course meal.”
Going back to the days when he signed as a player (1983-1984) from Welfare League Football, Johnny told me of one very special guest who is assured of a tremendous 50th Anniversary welcome – Founder and Past President Mr David Ward, who we can see in photographs with Johnny Gibbons.
The silverware on show relates to another St Joseph’s Scottish Amateur League Premier Division title and Cup double around three years ago, and Johnny visited David at his Erskine Hospital home.
He added fondly: “I went there on 21st May just after we won the double, and he was thrilled to see our success.”
“I love to relate a typical story about him from a few years back. He always came to watch the weekly games, but one time we didn’t see him at all for around 10 weeks. We tried to find out if he was ok – without success – and then one day sure enough he turns up to watch the team.”
“Would you believe it; David had been in hospital undergoing major heart surgery – and here he was back at the Club he started because he had spotted boys kicking a football about, they were talented in his opinion, and as they couldn’t get anybody to manage them, he stepped in and got them accepted into a proper League – that was the start of St Joseph’s AFC.”
Huge thanks to Mr Johnny Gibbons for his time, and the photographs.
Chief Writer Tom Scott takes a weekend look around the Scottish Amateur Football Scene.
South Gyle Rovers AFC are looking to add to their backroom staff with coaches.
The LEAFA Sunday Morning team will also be seeking to bring players into their squad for season 2021-2022.
I understand a training session will take place at Gyle Park today (Sunday) at noon.
Maybury Star AFC LEAFA Sunday Morning League are looking forward to playing in the Saughton Sounders FC Tournament, which they have entered.
Buckhaven United AFC – Fife Sunday League – have appointed Gregor Kerr as Assistant Manager.
Greenock HSFP AFC will resume training on April 13.
St Joseph’s AFC start their Non-Contact sessions next Saturday.
Dean Thistle (Kilmarnock) have helped their local community over the past year with several projects – including delivering in excess of 5000 food parcels, shopping for anyone isolating and helping people with doctor appointments. New friends and partnerships have been developed along the way. Great work!
M2C United, an Edinburgh- based Club, are hosting a 24 hour Live Stream Gaming Marathon on April 10. Scott Judge and Mark Phillips will be participating according to my Club Contact.
Troon Dundonald AFC have been running a fund raiser. Prizes are signed framed shirts from Rangers boss Steven Gerrard and striker Alfredo Morelos.
Aberdeenshire AFA 2021-2022 season is expected to start on August 5-6. Friendlies can commence May 17 provided Covid Protocols are observed. I hear the 2020-2021 campaign has apparently been scrapped.
ANOTHER BIG SCOTTISH AMATEUR FOOTBALL NEWS EXCLUSIVE
St Joseph’s AFC Manager Alastair MacColl has dished out huge praise on the gesture that has been forthcoming from Scotland goal ace John McGinn, writes Tom Scott.
McGinn, the youngest of three Clydebank-born footballing brothers (Stephen and Paul), netted a very timely late equaliser against Austria in Scotland’s World Cup opener at Hampden Park on Thursday evening.
St Joes Gaffer Alastair revealed “John McGinn has generously sponsored all of our training kit, and through your column I would like to express our sincere thanks. It’s a great gesture!”
“John, Paul and Stephen, having a local connection, know a lot about this Club, and our ambition to continue being successful now that we have moved into the Caledonian League, and won our opening domestic fixture before lockdown.”
“The lads have watched us in action, and a couple of years ago Stephen actually did some pre-season training with us!”
Talking of which, St Joseph’s are returning to restricted Non-Contact Training locally next Saturday, and I understand new or potential signings will be involved.
For the record, John McGinn is the youngest of the three brothers, and the trio have all played with St Mirren.
Striker Jamie Gallagher hit a second half penalty to ensure Goldenhill finished the season with silverware in the Scottish Amateur Football League – and defeat champions St Joseph’s AFC in the Jimmy Marshall Cup Final at New Tinto Park, Govan.
The clubs know each other well – playing locally in Clydebank – and by their own standards, Gowdie had experienced. a poor 2018-2019 campaign Gallagher gave them their 1-0 victory when he dispatched a penalty kick past Scottish Amateur international goalkeeper Scott Urquhart.
St Joseph’s AFC player recruitment has gone well following their move from the Scottish A.F.L. into the Caledonian League First Division according to Manager/ Head Coach Alastair MacColl, writes Tom Scott.
A step-up in competitive terms – one which the players were more than keen to see implemented – follows their disappointment of seeing season 2019-2020 being deemed Null and Void with St Joes looking odds-on to win the SAFL Premier title.
Ten successive wins opened up an 11-point gap ahead of second-placed Castlemilk.
Easthall Star FC (Premier 1), and Premier 2 pace-setters Glenburn Athletic were also denied silverware due to the pandemic shutdown.
Said Alastair “We got the targets (signings) we wanted. Ten of the players are aged Under-23 – Including some with experience of winning Scottish Cups at Antonine and Tower Hearts.”
St Josephs, who celebrate their 50th Anniversary this year, only managed one First Division game before restrictions were applied. Goals from Ryan Forrester (2), Aaron Graham and Sean Gallagher scored a 4-3 victory against Westerlands AFC at Scotstoun Sports Centre.
Alastair said “We were 4-1 up with seven minutes to go and made a couple of substitutions. They were a very good team.”
Off the park, St Josephs have a 3-year sponsorship deal with The Duntiglennan Bar (Duntocher).
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.
Clydebank based St Joseph’s AFC are delighted they managed to secure and have retained a three-year Sponsorship deal with the Duntiglennan Bar – especially given the current global pandemic, writes Tom Scott.
Manager/ Head Coach Adji MacColl confirmed the sponsorship with the Duntocher- based Pub and Boss Mr David Cunningham.
Many thanks to Mr MacColl for kindly providing one of the St Joe’s team tops’ and the Club Crest (founded 1971).
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