Plenty going on at Southside Star AFC, writes Tom Scott.
Training sessions on a Wednesday Evening and Sunday Afternoon will open up when Contact Training kicks-in at the start of next week.
My Interview Series is on a double-header today as Mark Lang, Assistant Manager at Southside Star AFC and Stuart Wynne (Committee Member/Captain) answer key questions relating to the GDSFC Club.
First in the Spotlight: Marc Lang – Assistant Manager
How do you think the team will do once they are back ?
“I think the team will do ok once we are back if we get the right momentum, we could win our Division.”
How do you think things have gone since the team started ?
“It’s been good since the team started. A few disappointing moments after the winter break, but that’s football.”
“Just before lockdown, the team started to play some excellent football and were getting results again.”
How was the team’s fitness levels after coming back from the restrictions?
“They were mixed – some people had been keeping fit …..
Next for good measure: Stuart Wynne – Committee Member and Captain.
How do you think the team will do once they are back ?
“We have a great group of lads here and the majority of them have come back into the fold again.”
“We have a solid core in the team and once we get back to it with a few games under our belt we should be set up to do well in the League next season.”
How do you think things have gone since the team started ?
“When I joined the team, we were going through a period of adjustment with players coming and going every week. Last season and the start of pre- season we managed to get committed players, and were putting out a consistently strong squad every week, so massive improvements have been made from the early days of the Club.”
How was the team’s fitness levels after coming back from the restrictions first time around?
“To be honest – Not the best. Some of the lads had been going runs or training themselves during lockdown, but the rest of us (myself included) are working hard to get back to pre – lockdown fitness levels, and hopefully get better which I’m confident we will all achieve.”
GGPAFL newcomers Carluke Thistle (2011) have managed to retain their five sponsors amidst the pandemic, writes Tom Scott.
THE RAILWAY INN, ALAN FORSTER BARBER LANARK, DB REFRIGERATION & CATERING SERVICES LTD,. DAVID MURPHY ROOFING & ROUGHCASTERS, and OCO PLUMBING & HEATING have been superb at helping the Club going back to their time in Sunday Amateur Football.
Carluke Thistle have maintained an excellent Social Media presence, and involve all their sponsors at every opportunity.
As I have said many times, the help and support given right across the board by small and large businesses/ companies to Scottish Amateur Football Clubs has been amazing – given that many have been struggling themselves as a direct result of restrictions etc.
Many thanks to Carluke Thistle AFC and Mr Scott Parry for providing the excellent Sponsors’ Graphic.
Ambitious Caledonian Amateur League outfit St Joseph’s AFC (Clydebank) completed a wet Saturday training session and announced three new signings, writes Tom Scott.
St Joes, sponsored by Rainton Construction Scotland, have swooped to land central defender Jack Chambers (GoldenhillAFC) plus Strikers Sean Smith (Tower Hearts) and Sean Carrick (Dalmuir).
Speaking exclusively this morning to Scottish Amateur Football
News St Joseph’s Manager Adjie MacColl told me: “Three great additions to our squad.”
“Sean Smith is the son of ex-Clyde FC Captain and former Junior Scotland Internationalist Brian Smith. He was outstanding in both levels of the game!”
“The trio are big signings for us.”
Adjie was also behind our exclusive article last week which featured the backroom team sponsorship from Rainton Construction Scotland. Another great boost during the club’s 50th Anniversary Year as they aim to win First Division promotion.
Southside Star AFC Manager Lee Smart has given his exclusive insight into four of their furthest- travelled players as they continue preparations for games in the GDSFC-organised set-up this month, writes Tom Scott.
Said Lee “We came across this for our first season as a team.”
“Our first player, Kane Robertson, travelled from Edinburgh when he wasn’t in Student Accommodation.”
“Kane came to us after having played for Crammond Blues in the South East of Scotland League.”
In his own words “he was the best player there as he had played 11s before that team was formed.”
“Kane brings a presence in the middle of the park for the team, constantly running back to help out, and also forward to support the attackers as much as possible.”
“Second player, Jamie Smart, travels from Kirkintilloch every week.”
“Jamie followed me (his brother from Roukenglen Amateurs when they folded. The biggest attribute he brings is his work effort, doesn’t matter where you play him – you know he is going to give it 100%. He might not be able to score inside the box, but you bet he will score a few worldies in a season.”
“Third player is Ben Chilton travelling from Clydebank.”
“Ben played for Drumbank Thistle, Loved this team and felt at home before joining up with his friends at Southside Star AFC.”
“Ben brings so much energy to the left side of the team, constantly bombing forward but you better believe the big man can get back in time to help the team out in defensive needs.”
“The fourth and final player is Peter Hughes , who travels from Clydebank or Torrance every week.”
“Peter played for Drumchapel United Saturday team before he stopped playing, joined Southside Star AFC with his friend, Ben.”
“Peter is a utility man for the team, so far playing in a lot of positions. He is a Managers’ dream as he never moans – just gets on with it and gives his all.”
Chief Writer Tom Scott has been speaking with much respected and well known Kilbride Thistle AFC Manager SEAN KENNEY.
What was your Playing Experience in Football before Kilbride Thistle AFC?
“When I was young I had a brief spell with St Johnstone and then with the very successful Wolves Boys Club in Carmyle before moving from Tollcross to West Kilbride. I absolutely loved my time at Wolves, great memories of winning with my team mates and coaches.”
When did you join Kilbride Thistle, and in what capacity?
“I started playing for Kilbride Thistle (then known as West Kilbride Boys) when I moved to West Kilbride so I was about 10 years old. That’s coming up on 22 years ago!”
Please define the roles you have occupied at the Club?
“I started as a player at under 10s and was the proud captain of the club until I had to retire through a work injury when I was 25. Since then I’ve been President, Coach, Assistant Manager, Scout and the past 2 seasons I’ve been the Manager. Basically whatever needs done I’ll do it, the same as loads of guys at most clubs. I’ve been trying to delegate a lot more the past couple of seasons but being a control freak I sometimes find that hard! Thankfully we’ve added a great structure at the club since Lockdown and there’s a lot more people who I trust who are in and playing their part.”
What have been the best memories both as a Player and Manager?
“I’ve had so many brilliant memories at this club it’s really hard to narrow it down. Winning the league as Captain in 2013 was superb but I think getting promoted from the First Division to the Premier Division meaning we got promoted every season since we started and the way we done it over the season was a tremendous achievement for the club. From where we were in pre season (4 players left at the club after the majority of the squad left to join our rivals) to where we finished was excellent. It was nice to score the promotion winning goal as well!!”
“The things I’m most proud of with the club is probably stuff that has happened off the park. There’s been some really sad things that I won’t go into that have happened off the park and the way the boys really look after each other and step up for one another is something I’ll always be proud of them for. It’s a great group of boys we’ve had for the past few years and that’s why we’re very careful who we add to the team. They have to be the right fit on and off the park. It has probably stopped me signing some top players but if I don’t think they’re right for the group then I won’t sign them.”
In terms of Coaching and Management, who has been your biggest influence moving through from Coaching into Management?
“Well when I was growing up my dad managed the local team in Tollcross. There was nothing better than going watching them up The Venchie on a Sunday. At Wolves I had great coaches in Shug Bracelin and Derek Morrison who just helped and encouraged us all to love football from a young age. Of course my Gaffer at The Thistle was John Bell and he’s a club legend. John done so much for the club and largely on his own for well over 20 years. He made me his captain and we had a great relationship. We tended to have our disagreements because we worked closely together and we’re both passionate guys but not usually in front of the boys and it was always done respectfully and no grudges held. 4 great guys who I’m very lucky to have had guide me and give me boot up the backside at times when needed along the way and trust me, there’s been plenty of them!”
Please define your style of Management?
“I’m a very lucky manager. I’ve got some top players playing for me who make me look good. Good players make a manager look good and crap players make a manager look crap!” I really hate this question because I think it’s better if others answer it but I’d like to think we create an environment where people come in and enjoy being here. I believe it’s the players job to come to training but it’s the coaching teams job to make them want to come back by putting on good sessions. The boys work hard and are very ambitious but we’re also a tight group off the pitch. I hope the boys think I’m honest with them and have good relationships with them all. I love the club and I’m very proud of the group of boys that I have and I think they deserve the best. I try to make sure they don’t want for anything off the park and make sure they know their jobs on it. Again though, good players make all this stuff easier.”
What are your ambitions moving forward for yourself and the Club?
I want to build Kilbride Thistle up on and off the park and take us as high up the pyramid system as we can go. Next season we will have 4 teams under the club name and we’ll be looking to add more each year.”
“I’m delighted we have finally started with our youth department. That is something that will be massive for the club and something I’ve wanted to do since we went amateur 10 years ago.”
“As well as the youth teams we will have women and disability football teams as the club grows. I think it’s vitally important we give back to the community who are great to us and we are introducing a charity department at the club which will help us work with local charities and help raise funds and exposure for them in any way we can.”
“On the footballing side of things I’m a very ambitious guy and I want to manage as high as I possibly can. I believe this club can climb through the leagues and become a very successful club along with the top clubs already in our community. This is obviously very ambitious but 25 years ago we started as an under 6’s team and look how far we’ve come since then!”
“Let’s see what the next 25 years brings.”
KILBRIDE THISTLE AFC SEAN KENNEY OPENS UP HIS PHOTO ALBUM AND SHARES GREAT MEMORIES WITH SCOTTISH AMATEUR FOOTBALL NEWS…..
Running for goalkeepers at training sessions should be a thing of the past – in many cases it is still the opposite amidst these days of session planners – according to the longest-running ‘Keeper Coaching structure in Scotland, writes Tom Scott.
In the absence of full dressing room facilities throughout the country and as most clubs are now adapting to restricted twice a week stints, Shot Stoppers have been evaluating how they can assist many of the game’s top clubs.
Some of their experienced Group Coaches have most recently helped Managers and Coaches in their local area (s) without breaching travel bans.
Using protocols, Club officials and frustrated (very frustrated) goalkeepers have been given a huge lift following two lockdowns.
The Goalkeeping Coaching CV is impressive and covers every grade of football in producing nine Scottish Cup winners and five beaten finalists.
Their working relationship includes numerous Boys Clubs, and at senior level, Partick Thistle and Stranraer (winning titles),the former juniors’ structure at Cambuslang, Glencairn, Maryhill, Pollok, Rob Roy, and Vale of Clyde, and into the amateur ranks with Black Star, Red Star, Castlemilk Dynamo, Shawbridge AFC and Tynecastle AFC.
An inside told Scottish Amateur Football News: “Every Coach or Manager should be open to new ideas – more so if specialist Goalkeeping Coaching can be provided!”
Until normality and dressing rooms become available again – most likely that wont happen until August – I can reveal some innovations have already been planned to help verbally and in a practical sense.
Looking further ahead, Pre-Season Work is also available from late June and through the month of July.
Saturday and Sunday League Clubs can obtain more details with a call to 07814269198.
From past evidence/ the Coaching CV, they wont be disappointed.