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!
Caledonian League chiefs are hoping to reschedule the long awaited 2019-2020 Douglas Smith League Cup Final – alongside commencing last season’s (2020-2021) William Turner Challenge Cup as soon as possible, writes Tom Scott.
I have been looking at the League Cup Competition which will see First Division Finnart and Premier Division St Mungo go head-to-head in what should be cracker.
ROAD TO THE FINAL:
Finnart: First Round- Finnart 5, Glasgow Harp 2. Second Round – Finnart 5, Weir AFC 2. Quarter-Final – Glasgow University 3, Finnart 4. Semi-Final – Milton 0, Finnart 4.
St Mungo: First Round – Bye. Second Round – Strathclyde University 0, St Mungo 4. Quarter-Final – St Mungo 9, FC Dal Riata 6. Semi-Final – EKYM 0, St Mungo 0 ( 5-6 on pens).
Twenty St Mungo players and their Co-Managers were back on home soil at Loretto on Saturday Morning, writes Tom Scott.
John McClymont and former St Roch stalwart John Conner were delighted to welcome their Caledonian League Premier Division squad back after months of inactivity, and observed restrictions via a Non-Contact session.
The former, whose association with the Bishopbriggs-based Club goes back 23 years, said: “We had an excellent turn-out of 20 bodies.”
St Mungo AFC boss John McClymont reckons the prospect of having a Cup Final on the horizon is a big incentive for his players reporting back to Non-Contact Training this morning, writes Tom Scott.
The Caledonian League Premier Division Club, who will start to celebrate their 90th Anniversary with a Tournament this summer, have dramatically improved the Loretto outdoor structure at Bishopbriggs.
Said John: “We have really came on over the last six years. The place is looking great. You personally would not recognise it.”
“We’ve got floodlights and five pitches which have to be maintained financially.”
“The Mungo – it’s more than a wee Club.”
“The Caley League are also going to re-list the Douglas Smith League Cup Final against Finnart, which was about to take place exactly around the time the Scottish Government completely shut down competitive games last October.”
“That in itself is a great incentive for our squad of 21-22 players when we get back together. It will be a case of them reporting in to get the legs working again, and we find out Individually how the squad has been coping through this between 10.30am and noon.”
With their Scottish Amateur Cup Fourth-Round game with Echt called off, St Mungo played out a very useful and winning friendly against Drumchapel Amateurs, writes Tom Scott. Murray gave Saints the lead against their Premier Division opponents midway through the first half with a neat finish, and the same player was unlucky with another effort,. which struck the post.
Drumchapel pulled level when a superb header flew past ‘keeper Robertson.
Substitute Newall put St Mungo back in front when he powered home a header from McGratton’s pinpoint cross.
The Drum piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser but they were denied when Gallagher’s long ball upfield allowed Tullis to race clear and make the final score 3-1.
Templeton Cup Blow: Templeton Albert crashed out of the Scottish Cup against a very good Hurlford Thistle, who led 2-0 at the interval.
A third goal followed on the resumption and although Albert reduced the leeway through substitute Taylor, Hurlford easily ran out 5-1 winners.
Significantly, Templeton goalkeeper Martin Lennox did his best to keep a respectable final scoreline and was named Man of the Match.
Meanwhile, Garrowhill Thistle reached the Fifth Round of the Scottish Cup after defeating Renfrew Town 3-2. Calton Athletic were held to a 1-1 home draw by New Cumnock.
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!”
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