Weir Pushing To Emerge Winners Of Cup Section

Weir AFC will attempt to see off opposition from three other clubs – and emerge Section Eight winners in the forthcoming Spring Cup, writes Tom Scott.

The Southside Club have been back training a few weeks now, and players have been working hard, and turning out in good numbers.

“Their opening in the Spring Cup Section 5 is against 1st Division side Cambria AFC (away). A be a big on Wednesday, May 19. They also play Pollok at home three days later (home) and Mosspark away on May 26.

In total, there are eight Sections of the Spring Cup in the FN Teamwear Greater Glasgow AFL.

Manager Martin Guthrie has revealed news of more match action. He said: “We will also be participating in a Summer League which was set up by Caledonian team Kilsyth AFC. There are 8 teams in it and we will have 14 games between June and end of July, so it’s something to look forward to after so long without any games.

“There’s some good teams in it. Should be a decent standard.”

Weir Gearing Up For Cup Section Outings

Weir AFC Manager Martin Guthrie is delighted with the progress going on at the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL hot-shots, writes Tom Scott.

He said: “We’ve been back training a few weeks now and boys have been working hard and turning out in good numbers.”

“Our 1st game in the Spring Cup section is against 1st division side Cambria, so will be a big test for our boys. We also play Pollok and Mosspark in our other group games.”

“We will also be participating in a Summer League which was set up by Caledonian team Kilsyth AFC. There are 8 teams in it and we will have 14 games between June and end of July, so it’s something to look forward to after so long without any games.”

“There’s some good teams in it, so should be a decent standard.”

Spring Cup Crackers On The Way

The Greater Glasgow Premier AFL will swing back into action this month with the FN Teamwear Spring Cup, writes Tom Scott.

There are eight section. Pick of the early action will be:

Helensburgh v Vale of Leven
Rannoch v Colquhoun United
Belleaire v Houston United
Langcraigs v Glenvale
Cambria v Weir AFC
John Street v Eaglesham
Kirkfield v Carluke Thistle

SAFN hopes to be in a position to cover all games and results moving forward.

Clubs are also being encouraged to contact Tom Scott with News, Signings and Reports.

Weir Missing Out On Annual Club Outing

Covid-19 restrictions have forced Weir AFC to cancel this month’s scheduled club outing – and miss out on warm Spanish sunshine, writes Tom Scott.

Manager Martin Guthrie has confirmed a rescheduling of the golf tournament for later this year, or a worse-case scenario being 2022.

He told me: “Going away as a Club has been taking place for 25 years.”

“Benidorm was this year’s destination, but to be honest I expected it to be cancelled due to the current situation.”

Weir AFC have brought through their Under-19 squad from last season.

They are a group of players who have been together for over four years, and won Championships and Cups within their own age group.

Mixed with a few lads from Under-21 teams, Martin, who has been at the Club for the best part of 28 years, has every confidence they will adapt in time.

He added: “We managed three friendlies – winning two – before the last lockdown.”

“I am just hoping we can get started again soon and hopefully back to playing games.”

“We were still assessing the squad as we have not really been able to get enough friendlies, but I have been impressed with the attitude they have shown so far.”

The Big Manager Interview – Martin Guthrie

Chief Writer Tom Scott puts another well-known and respected Manager into his Interview Spotlight – Martin Guthrie, of Weir AFC.

Martin has packed plenty memories into 28 years at the Glasgow South Side club – on and off the park – and he exclusively reveals plenty of them.

Can you give us your footballing background prior to joining Weir A.F.C. both from playing and coaching/ management?

“I played for a few different teams around the Gorbals area where I was from, then Partick Thistle for a year, before Clyde over 3 years. I left when they were moving to Broadwood . At the time, I was working and I didn’t fancy the travelling to Cumbernauld 3 times a week. A couple of boys I had played with before asked me to go to Weirs. I had never heard of them but I went along to training with my mate and was stunned by the facilities they had and signed almost straight away.”

“A lot of teams still used red ash in those days, so to be able to play on a big grass pitch that was like a bowling green made it an easy decision.”

How many years have you been involved with Weir, and in what roles?

“I’ve been at Weirs the most part of 28 years. I joined in 1993 and played for the Under-21s before moving to the Amateurs. We had teams in the Caledonian and GGP Leagues and I took over as Manager of the Greater Glasgow Premier League team in 2014. With the Caledonian team struggling for numbers for a while, the club decided to go down to just one team in 2017 , and we took the decision to fold the GGPL team and I took over the Caley team. The Caley is a great League, but most away games were an hour or so away, so we decided to move back to the GGPL for this season as the majority of boys don’t drive, and it would have been a nightmare trying to get everyone to games.”

What has your recruitment process been during the current pandemic, and have you been able to play any friendlies?

“We’ve brought up our Under- 19s squad from last season. They’re a group of boys who have been together for 4 or 5 years , and are used to winning Leagues and Cups at their own age group. We thought the next step was to bring them Amateur and hopefully they can progress more.”

“We have also got a few lads from Unded-21s teams.”

“We managed to get 3 friendly games in before the shutdown winning two and losing one. This will be most of the players’ 1st Season playing at Amateur level, but we have every confidence that they’ll adapt in time , and hopefully start challenging for trophies.”

Have you any stories of players offering up “unusual” excuses for missing a training session or games?

“Nothing really springs to mind to be honest. We tell the players to be honest and give us a bit of notice if they can’t make it for whatever reason. It is Amateur Football, so you are relying on boys to have the right mentality and motivation to make themselves available for training and games.”

Who is the best player( s) you have ever worked with, and what qualities were you able to identify?

“I’ve played with loads of great players, so I’ll pick guys that I played a few years with. Tommy Montgomery who’s now Yoker Athletic FC Manager, and the 3 Esplin brothers Stuart, Stevie and Allan were all great players. Monty hardly ever gave the ball away, and was a constant talker on the pitch and was good at motivating the boys around him. Stuart was the best I’ve ever seen in the air. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him lose a header, Stevie had a wand of a left peg, and Allan was good box to box.”

Finally, many Managers I have spoken to fear Players or Clubs could be lost to Amateur Football due to the pandemic ie…frustration over lack of training/ games etc. What is your assessment?

“I think Amateur Football has been treated unfairly by the powers that be as we have followed all the Protocols put in place , and we are the only level of football that has been stopped. The Government has the impression that amateur teams are just a bunch of fat guys going for a runabout, then a trip to the pub, which couldn’t be further from the truth. A lot of amateur teams are run better than some pro- teams in my opinion, and unfortunately teams could fold as a result of the restrictions. I can only go on our experience, and our boys are desperate to get back training and playing. I hope our League doesn’t go down the route of others in cancelling the season. I am hoping when we get the go- ahead to play we go straight into playing League games – even if we’ve not had much training beforehand. I would rather do that to get as many games in as possible than play meaningless friendlies.”

Weir Looking Forward To Football Normality

Martin Guthrie is hoping the go-ahead to resume playing football is just around the corner – in order that the young Weir AFC squad can start demonstrating they have real potential, writes Tom Scott.

No longer playing out of their former home at Albert Park, the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL club are a work in progress in terms of players gelling together due to Covid-19, according to the Manager.

Said Martin “We stopped training just before Christmas. I am just hoping we can get started again soon, and hopefully back to playing games. Most of our boys were new this season , so we are still assessing the squad as we never got the chance to get more games pre-season.”

“I have been impressed with the attitude they have shown so far in regards to training.”

“We have always had at least 16 (attending), and hopefully have a couple of quality new signings in once we get back to it.”

“We also have our Annual Golf Tournament in March, which has been going for 25 years. Benidorm is this year’s destination, although I expect it will get cancelled due to the current situation.”

Greater Glasgow Release Provisional Fixtures

Match Secretary Paul Gunn has released provisional fixtures for the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL at the end of the month. The start of the four-tier set-up has been delayed due to Covid-19 restrictions, and the hope is additional measures won’t be introduced early next month.

Here is how the list looks: for October 31. No spectators allowed.

Division 1
Calderglen v Erskine
Eaglesham B v Westerlands A
EKYM AFC v Eastwood Parkmount A
Glasgow University A v Cambria
St Patrick’s v South Lochaber

Division 2
Eastwood Parkmount B v Strathclyde University
EKRR AFC v GSC Amateurs
GSC Jordanhill v Newshot
John Street v Belleaire
Langcraigs v Dynamo EK

Division 3A
Colquhoun v Carluke Thistle
Duncanrig v Kilbarchan
GSC Amateurs Red v Mosspark Albion
Houston v Westcliff
Oban Saints v Park Sports Project

Division 3B
Boswell v Glenvale
Craigneuk v Kirkfield
Rannoch v BSC Glasgow
Vale of Leven v Ferguslie Star
Weir AFC v Pollok AFC
Westerlands GGAFC v The Lovat Arms AFC.

Renfrew Set For Rovers Return After Blank Weekend

First season Renfrew Rovers have been putting the hard work in at training after they were unable to follow up a 3-2 debut win against Anchor Sociedad a fortnight ago.

Player (Goalkeeper) – Manager Scott Perry and the squad return to the Astro surface for an all Division One clash (friendly) with Southside Star.

I understand Renfrew are still aiming to bring in a wide player and another striker to complete their pre-season recruitment.

Another GDSFC, Atlantic Quay, are also in the player market. Not just outfield, but another Goalkeeper. And there is a vacancy in the backroom staff for a coach, too.

To date, Atlantic have had a few training sessions and one game.

Bullwood AFC, who have switched from A @ C Sunday League (where they won the Premier League title) and into the Sunday Central AFL South East Division are looking for some midweek friendlies to keep their high scoring squad ticking over.

There appears to be plenty of positives on the park following wins against Kirkintilloch Harp and Wishaw United.

Meanwhile, clubs have again flagged up the need for alternative opposition following pre-game call-offs. Weirs AFC have Glasgow Green booked for Saturday afternoon as Martin Guthrie looks to keep his team playing.

Dennistoun Thistle have a pitch and referee booked for Saturday.

Lomond Vale have advertised for a game on Saturday, October 10. They have a pitch.

Around The Amateur Football Scene (25/09/2020)

Scottish Amateur Football News Writer Tom Scott brings the five-day working week to a close with a detailed look around the clubs.

YOUR CLUB could feature in his Daily Round-Up. Give him a call or send a DM.

BSC Amateurs are looking for players to compete in the GGPAFL.

Condorrat Amateurs have publicly thanked Liz and the staff at Kirkie Dry Cleaning (0141 776 2071) for the continued support.

Carluke Thistle making a return to the amateur ranks will have sponsor, The Railway Inn (Carluke) on their smart home kit.

St. David’s AFC have been looking for away friendlies on October 3 and 10.

FC Southside United have an attractive looking friendly in prospect on Sunday,. when they host Anchor Sociedad at Hillwood Park. Unfortunately, no spectators can attend. Kick-off 10 am.

Later in the day (4pm). Keppochhill FC and Summerston AFC are playing a friendly at their venue.

This Saturday ( 2pm) features two friendlies which look excellent. Milngavie Wanderers entertain Milngavie Under 19 at Staney Brigg,   while the very busy Glasgow Green venue has Weirs Recreation up against Eastwood Park Mount.

Firhill Complex will be the venue for Firhill Star against Stenhousemuir. Community on Sunday (2pm) and sponsored by the Byers Road Garage.

Well done to the Kirkton Inn, who have completed a sponsorship agreement with Carluke Hotspur, who will play in the SSMAFL.

Goalkeeper Cameron Kirkwood, who has resigned with the team, was voted Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year by his team mates following last season when  they functioned as Newmains.

And in a campaign abruptly halted by Covid-19,. striker Gary Denholm took the top goalscoring award.

Castlemilk United require games on October 18 and 25.

Colville Stung By Late Two-Goal Thistle Comeback

Colville Park E AFC Manager Kenny Henderson today admitted his side ran out of steam as Motherwell Thistle netted twice in the last seven minutes of their pre-season clash at Dalziel Park.

Andy Guthrie had given Colville the lead with a penalty kick which boss Henderson conceded they were lucky to be awarded before the Jags came storming back to win 2-1.

Said Kenny “It was a good run-out though despite the final result and we face another test against Dalziel here on Wednesday evening.”

Several other clubs from the Central Scottish Amateur League were also involved with the Saturday action. Steins and Doune Castle shared eight goals, Garrowhill Thistle netted four without conceding at Gourock Athletic, Campsie Minerva edged out Milngavie Wanderers in a seven-goal thriller and Gary Hamilton’s Castlemilk Dynamo beat Southside 3-1.

Elsewhere moving around the country, Paul Leonard hit an injury time equaliser for Stewarton United in a 3-3 draw against Minishant.

Joseph Winnie hit a reply for Cambria in their 4-1 defeat against Glasgow University Football Club. Incidentally, this game was like many others played in glorious weather!

Newlands and AFC Southside had good spells of play in a cracking 3-3 draw, while Lomond Vale came from a goal down at hosts Westcliff and ran out 3-1 winners thanks to a strong second half performance plus goals from Ben Craig (2) and new signing Aidan Gilmartin.

Tony Sawers was on target twice for Weirs in their 5-3 win over Kilbarchan Thisle, while Kilbride Thistle hot shot John Pirie bagged three goals in a fine 6-0 victory against Dalry.