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[FM18] The Last King of Scotland - From the Highlands to European Glory


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Scottish League 1 Promotion Play-Offs - Leg 1 vs East Fife


It all starts with East Fife, who have the advantage over Fort William with the win last week and unbeaten in 4 games. But, that's the past and its winner take all over the two legs and both teams have the quality to win this. Can The Fort somehow get to the play-off Final where Edinburgh City or Livingston await?

Leg 1 - Well, it was not a a classic and one, on paper that Fort William should have got something from the game. A rash challenge from Wing-back Liam Caddis in the box gave East Fife their best opportunity from the spot which was easily put away. Fort William had chances to get level but nothing was going right and in the end, in front of the biggest crowd of the season (915) Fort William could not get level and every advantage now went to East Fife on the away trip second leg.

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Leg 2 - Well, that was a turn out for the book. After a pretty stale first half with neither team really looking like scoring, a bold move from William Murray turned out to be a game changer when Club Legend Anthony Higgins came on and made an instant impact when he scored a brace on the 48th and 56th minute. With the game swung in Fort William favor, the game opened up and left room for The Fort to exploit as East Fife pushed for the goal to send it to extra time. On the 82nd minute, Anthony Higgins turned provider as he crossed in from the left and found Andrew Macrae to all but seal the game. A foul in injury time allowed Jack Murray to step up and secure the huge 4-0 away win and 4-1 win on aggregate. Fort William are off to the Play-Off Final!


This set's up a mouth watering tie vs Championship Side Livingston who beat Edinburgh City 5-1 in the other semi-final.


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Scottish League 1 Play-Off Final - vs Livingston

After the shock 4-0 win over East Fife to secure the victory and advance to the final, Championship opposition in the way of Livingston would await. Finishing 9th with 44 points, they had the same points as Raith Rovers in 8th but a worse goal difference was the factor that put them into the relegation battle. Livingston dropped down to League 1 in 2008/09 and 2015/16 season's, but won promotion straight back the following years. Can Fort William pull of the massive upset?

Leg 1 - Match Overview /  Match Analysis / Stats 

The first leg was played away at the Tony Macaroni Arena with 2,898 in attendance, but only 153 away fans. A dream start would happen as 7 minutes into the game, Andrew Macrae popped up on the 6 yard line and headed the ball into the back of the net. A dream start and could The Fort dare to dream? That advantage would double shortly afterwards when Kieran Miller picked the moment to score his first League goal of the season when he smashed the ball into the back of the net from 15 yards out to the dismay of the Livingston fans, what had happened to their team to crumble so early on in the game?

The Fort managed to calm themselves down and got through to the half without too many scares on their goal. Livingston would come out in the second half and pose more of a threat, but still struggled to really threaten. Once again, super sub Anthony Higgins made his mark when he came on in the 67th minute, chased down a long pass and 5 minutes later had scored to put The Fort up 3-0 and looking good value for their money. Going to a more counter attacking style to finish the game off, it would be a huge lead to take home to Claggan Park, surely they couldn't lose it from here?

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Leg 2 - Match Overview Match Analysis / Stats 

What can I say? With the 3-0 lead Fort William put men behind the ball and looked to break away on fast flowing counter attacks. Once again, Livingston looked like a broken team, with morale at an all time low. The toothless lion, as so it was, put up very little fight and struggled to get shots on goal. As time ticked by, their travelling fans getting more and more frustrated at the performance out there, as they finished the game with 0 goals in both games. Once again Anthony Higgins had a hand in making the goal as he fed Liam Caddis from the edge of the box to curl a sublime shot in to really cap the day off.

Fort William had won and in some fashion, 4-0 over the two legs and looked every bit the better team. An unlikely promotion for the Highland team who were now starting to have people take interest in their journey. Scottish Championship awaits, and surely these players cannot step up one more level?




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Fort William Season 5 Review - Ladbrokes League 1 - 3rd (Promoted via Play-Offs)

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League Tables / Past Positions / Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2 / Cup Fixtures / Best 11 / Overall Best 11Transfers / Awards / Team of Year

It was the 2nd November and the team dynamics that had been outstanding for the first 4 years of William Murray's time at Fort William, had dropped to an all time low. In fighting and players not happy with the manager after only 9 points from 10 matches saw them head down the bottom of the table. Stark contrast to the end of the season after beating Livingston to gain promotion via the playoffs. How life can change, and this must be the most unlikely of promotions, with the team featuring several members that played in the Highland League! 




With only two on the books, Scott Costello was the #1 pick and cemented his place for the season. Graeme Lithgow is only 20 and has room to improve, but do we have the training set up for him to ever see his potential? The biggest question will be can Costello keep his place in the Championship or will a new Keeper come in to compete?



Jamie Walker was the pick of the defenders on the season, and he formed a good partnership with Cammy Eadie and record signing Lewis Dunbar. All 3 of these are players who can grow their ability to the next level.  Sam Lidington once again provided assists from his wing-back position, but again lead the team in cards. There could be some cuts made here of several players who will probably not get a chance to play in the Championship.



Mark Stowe was the pick of the midfield and won fans player of the year award with a team high 7.51 rating. Him and Jack Murray formed a great partnership and could enjoy more success together next year, with Jack having the ability to continue his development. Kieran Miller anchored the midfield and Liam Caddis enjoyed a successful spell at wing-back with 3 goals and 10 assists. Craig Murray came off the bench for most of the season and played well when called upon with limited minutes.



Somehow, Anthony Higgins lead all scorers with his heroics in the play-offs. He may lack a little for the level, but his standing in the team has never been questioned due to his return and what he brings to the table. Going forward he may be limited to off the bench appearances. Chris Duggan suffered a season ending injury or he would have added many more to his 18 goal haul and hopefully he can recover to lead the line next year. Andrew Macrae chipped in with 18 goals and despite a slow start, loan signing Scott Cameron had 13 goals in 15 starts (14 more sub appearances). With all 4 guys adding goals and assists, they once again excelled and were key to the promotion.



On the plus side, we finally saw something happen with facilities as they granted my request to improve the youth facilities. They wouldn't stretch to training facilities but the youth set up is terrible with 0 players even close to making the ranks. It will still be a long time before we get our first player able to step up from the youth team.



Well, that took a battering with the youth facilities upgrade. Let's hope more people come out to watch us next season rather than the 408 last season, which was up from 221 the year before. 

Scottish Premier League


Celtic win again.... oh and again! This is their largest margin of victory in years and now have 10 titles in a row!! Can anyone ever get close to them, it doesn't look like it.

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On 19/07/2018 at 22:25, Nobby_McDonald said:

Very well done Prince.

Going beyond expectations at the minute! Think it shows how little there is between the leagues in terms of quality!


On 20/07/2018 at 20:42, Clarky323 said:

I think Fort William can break Celtic's winning run ;)

Eventually, maybe! But they are spending some serious money each season, between 20-30 million every season since the game started! Going to be hard to catch up to that, oh and this season they are literally destroying everyone!

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Season 6 preview - Ladbrokes Championship - Predicted 10th

Not a huge surprise but once again we are favorite for the drop. It's a little lack luster in the preview as I didn't do it at the time and now half-way through the season, it will be a small recap! It was still a big struggle to bring players to us, often losing out to teams several divisions below us and for less money, which is always a kick in the teeth! Still, a few good signings and we should be good enough to fight against relegation.



A few players to bolster the first team and several that the scouts have found with high potential to stick in the under 20's and see if any can make the grade to the first team.



The biggest get would probably be Robbie Thompson, the first player to sign for us. Having a top class keeper in goal at this level is a no brainier and despite his 300p/w wages, he is one of the top players at the club. We managed to secure Striker Scott Cameron for another season on loan from Dundee and his goals this year could be what keeps us from relegation. Reece Lyon and Aaron Splaine come in to bolster the midfield which needed some new blood, along with Jack Murray could form a formidable partnership, if they can all work together. (Screenshots taken after the Betfred cup at the start of the season.



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Irn-Bru Cup Semi Final - Preview

Once again cup fever is hitting Fort William as they head to the semi-finals for the second time in their history after tasting success in the competition in 2019/20. With a tie against St Johnstone under 20's on the cards, The Fort will be wanting to head to a second final.


With a solid run so far and with confidence high at the minute, but the Bookies have the youth from St Johnstone as favorites.



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Irn-Bru Cup Semi Final - Analysis

In what turned out to be a one sided game that was over by the half, Fort William's Andrew Macrae produced a superb hat-trick and the result was never in question. Fort William now return to the final, hoping to pick up another bit of silverware but have to wait to see who they will face. Added to this cup run, a Quarter Final against Morton in the Scottish Cup could see The Fort heading to at least another semi-final this year. 



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Irn-Bru Final

In what is bound to be a grudge match for Raith Rovers, they have a chance to get revenge over Fort William for the Irn-Bru Cup Final 3 years ago when they lost 3-1, with Peter Anderson getting a brace for Fort William. Raith beat Morton 1-0 in the other semi-final and set's up what should be a sold out final.


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IRN-BRU Cup Final Preview


When it counted, Fort William came up big to beat Raith Rovers the last time they faced in this competition when the met in the final 3 years ago! It has been the Highlands club that has had the most success recently, but Raith Rovers may have the advantage with a 3-1 win only a couple of weeks ago. Fort William are performing better in the league as they are looking more likely to get to the play-off final then be in a relegation battle, but Raith are only 5 points above safety.





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IRN-BRU Cup Final

Match Review / Match Analysis

These are always much harder to put up after a loss. With our two main strikers out, one on international duty and the other cup tied, we just didn't make our chances count. We missed a couple real easy chances and in the end, the only way they could score was from the spot and did just enough to claim the win. Deflated by the loss, the money from the cup run helps but really wanted that second cup trophy! Guess we shall have to see how it goes again next year!


Not much more to say, a poor end to a great cup run!

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Scottish Championship - Promotion Play-Off First Round


The final day of the season saw St. Mirren overtake Fort William for 3rd place in the league, but that didn't change the match-up as they both ended up well behind Champions Motherwell and runner up Dundee. With the head to head in favour of St. Mirren, there was nothing to lose for The Fort who never expected to be heading to the play-offs at the start of the season.


St. Mirren lead the head to head with 3 victories in the 4 previous games, only dropping 1 point in that run.



Leg 1 - Player Stats - It was a huge victory for Fort William as they took a slender 2-1 lead into the away leg after all the action happened in the last 15 minutes of the game, including coming from behind to win the game. Billy Simpson put St. Mirren ahead but the lead would only last 2 minutes as wing-back Aaron Dunsmore fed a beautiful delivery into the box for Scott Cameron to head home from short range. 

With the game looking to be heading to a 1-1 finish it was a moment of passing delight as Liam Caddis played a beautiful ball for Andrew Macrae to run onto before placing the ball past the keeper and sending the home crowd crazy. A tense few minutes to see out the game ended at the final whistle as Fort William took a much needed victory into the away leg, which must favor St. Mirren to get the victory.

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Leg 2 - Player Stats - A dream start with Scott Cameron scoring after only 3 minutes saw the 111 away fans start to dream that today could be the day they took one step closer to an unlikely promotion season. In a tough game, with chances for both sides, Fort William went back to a more defensive mentality to try and see out the game with the 2 goal lead. It was looking good until the 65th minute when a soft penalty in the box gave Jim Dunn the chance to get St. Mirren back in the game, which he put away with ease.

Fort William held on and looked like they had done enough before a mistake late on in the game saw Jim Dunn land his second goal of the game in the 87th minute. With the momentum now on their side, St. Mirren went into extra time the most likely to win the game. But, both teams were tired and with a strike force that had the two freshest players on the pitch, this was the difference as Scott Cameron would end up with his hat-trick and player of the match honors as he buried two goals in extra time. Fort William a shock winner, with Scott Cameron taking the applause for his brilliance to seal the game and avoid a dreaded penalty shoot-out.

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Scottish Championship - Promotion Play-Off Round 2 


With only a couple of days between Fort William's heroic extra time victory over St.Mirren, they face a well rested Dundee side who had a bye week awaiting the winner of that tie. Advantage firmly with Dundee who are able to put out a full strength team with Fort William struggling with injury and players still tired from Saturday. 


Only 2 goals separate the teams in past meetings, but them goals are the difference between 2 wins and 2 losses as once again, Fort William have struggled against today's opponent. The last game was a 5-4 thriller, fans can only hope this game lives up to that.

Leg 1 - Player Stats - Let's just say, that Dundee flat out dominated this game from start to finish, battering shots on goal once every 2nd minute. When Jordan Critchley found space in the box in the 3rd minute, it almost looked like the writing was on the wall already. But loan striker Lee McStay popped up on the 23rd minute to place home the shot and give the home side a chance. The tide turned when a Lewis Caddis shot was deflected off the unlucky Jordan Critchley and somehow, despite only a handful of attacks, The Fort were 2-1 up.

Still up against it, a long ball over the top enabled Lee McStay to outrun the defense and slot the ball home past the helpless keeper. The 1,400 travelling Dundee fans were in shock at what they had seen, dominating the game but somehow 3-1 at the half. Fort William continue to struggle to keep possession but some brave defending saw them hold onto the lead til the 61st minute when Mark O'Hara headed in from the corner and Dundee would have wanted to get at least a draw from here. But, for 30 minutes of domination, they could not find a way through Fort William and despite 27 shots, came away with a little more to do in the 2nd leg then they thought they would do. Advantage Fort William, but Dundee at home won 13 from 8 games with 3 draws. The only two loses came to top of the table Motherwell, so would go in favorites to win the second leg.

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Leg 2 - Player Stats - Well, what can be said about this game? It really had everything and maybe it was cruel to not go to penalties as the two sides fought to the last whistle and a thrilling extra time period. With 5 goals, yes 5 in extra time, Dundee were just too much for the semi-pro side from the Highlands who were not disgraced and Dundee really knew they were in a game. But, it was just a little out of reach in what was a memorable season for Fort William. 

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Fort William - Season 6 Review - Scottish Championship 4th Place Finish

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League Table / Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2 / Scottish Cup / Irn-Bru Cup / Best 11 / Overall Best 11 / Award Winners


In what was a hugely successful year for The Fort, they exceeded all expectation and found themselves fighting in the play-offs. Despite 4 great games, they finally got beat in extra time against a determined Dundee side who then went on to beat rivals Dundee United to win promotion back to the big time. Speaking of the big time, Celtic won an 11th straight Premiership and added another Scottish Cup. Once again Celtic are Kings of Scotland, but Fort William made huge strides in what is an almost all Scottish team.


If someone had offered 4th place at the start of the season, I would have taken it every day of the week. A strong start saw the team riding high and challenging Motherwell for the lead, but with the games piling up the team began to struggle to get consistent results and despite being in the top 3 for most the season, ended up on the last day of the year finishing 4th. That was enough for a play-off berth and a famous win over St. Mirren saw Fort William finally knocked out by Dundee. A fantastic season and one the club must look to build on next season.

Irn-Bru Cup

It was another great cup run from The Fort as they managed to get to their second Irn-Bru up final to face Raith Rovers, who they beat for the title 3 years ago. This time, Raith would get their revenge and The Fort would leave without the trophy they wanted so badly. Chances to head back next season must be high on the list as the Fort William's fans would love to see the trophy return to the highlands once more.

Scottish Cup

Another huge cup run that saw some fantastic results including three wins over Championship foe. The quarter final saw 1,480 fans in Claggan Park as Fort William took care of Morton 2-1 which would set up the clubs first semi final visit. With Rangers and Celtic left in the competition, winning it was not on the cards but a huge experience was on the cards. With Rangers being the semi-final opposition, a 3-0 loss was always going to happen, but the fall-out from the game in terms of prize and tv money may have just set up the team for years to come. 


New Contract

Well, it wouldn't be right to turn professional without a new contract, and that's what landed on the desk. With no reason to move, a 2 year deal was signed.


Professional Status

Well, with the huge Scottish Cup run giving the club some much needed funds, the board decided to not want to invest in training or youth facilities, the nest best thing was to ask to turn Professional. The club had no hesitation to say yes and at the end of the year, the little Highland club would be now Professional which can only help the club to grow.







We have a wide range of players across the team and some future stars mixed in, but keeping everyone happy this year has been a struggle. Jack Murray once again had a huge season in the center of the midfield, but Andrew Macrae had a big season despite two youngster on loan who also managed to bag plenty of goals. To challenge next year may see some tough decision and some fan favorites leaving.


Oh hello!!!! One good cup run and we are in a great position! Looks like next year we may have a good war chest to compete in the Championship and build for a future (hopefully) in the Premiership. What a position to be in, all aim will be on the Scottish Cup again next year to try and get another good run like this year.



Not much here, but at the start of the year the Youth Facilities did have an upgrade. Hopefully we can start to increase the levels of both youth and training if we want to bring along players to challenge for years to come. Once again, not a single youth prospect was worth talking about....


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Thanks guys, definitely made some good progress but I swear the hardest part was getting out the Highland League. 6 seasons done and still feel this had plenty of legs to go for many more years. I'm pleased we didn't get promoted as we are not ready for that and happy to grow for a while longer. In fact, with the move to being a professional team it will help some of the young talent I have brought in to hopefully improve, so I will not be too upset if we stay in the Championship for another season or two! The jump up to the Premiership seem's massive, and then to get to Celtic is not going to be easy at all.

Plenty to look forward to as a new season draws in!

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IRN-BRU Cup Review

This cup is fast becoming Fort William's favorite as they enjoyed another great run to make it to a 3rd final in 7 years, and the second in a row. With a focus on cup competitions once more key in minds, a few close encounters in the the quarter and semi finals, The Fort did just enough to make the final, maybe playing only at home played its part too?


But, the task at hand was not going to be an easy one. After their relegation from the Premiership last season, Falkirk were riding high at the top of the Championship and looked like they would be heading straight back up as Champions. Would it be two finals and two loses for the highland club?


Previous history would show that this was not going to be easy for Fort William.


Game Day - Analysis

WIlliam Murray had a plan, something he hadn't tried before. With a fairly standard 5-3-2 attacking formation being the backbone of his time here, one of the central midfielders moved into a DM position in front of the back 3. Moving to a more defensive look, playing a counter style with the brief to look to frustrate the opposition and look to play decisive long balls to use the pace of the 2 up top. Falkirk had not seen this before, and the first they knew about it was as the team sheet was read out before the game. Would this pay off or was it just delaying the victory for Falkirk?

The game went much the way expected, Falkirk dominated the shot count but Fort William managed to hold possession better than expected, adding to the frustration of the Falkirk players. Maybe it was a lack of concentration after the break, but a decisive ball from Allan Stuart found Scott Cameron on the edge of the box. Running deep, he pulled the defenders out of place before flashing the ball across the 6 yard box to be tapped in at the back post by Kevin Wilson. Fort William had the lead, but had most of the 2nd half to try and see the game out. Despite the best efforts from Falkirk, and a few heroic saves from Robbie Thompson, Fort William had managed to secure their second Irn-Bru Trophy. 



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Fort William 2023/24 - Season 7 Review - Scottish Championship 5th Place Finish

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League Table / Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2 / Scottish Cup / Irn-Bru Cup / Best 11 / Overall Best 11 / Award Winners / Transfers


Well, this is a first for the career. Fort William finished in a position lower than the previous year, 5th rather than 4th we managed last season. The start to the year was not kind and we were always playing catch-up and never quite got there. Still, mid-table was the initial aim and we achieved that comfortably. The move to professional and full time deals for the players seems to have brought many on much more than previous years, so hopefully next year we can once again challenge for a play-off spot and then who knows. The team is still struggling to attract players of quality to the team, or the ones that will come want to smash our tight wage structure and I'm not prepared to pay someone £1,800 a week when most are on £300. For now, it's keep scouting lower teams and look for bargains and players that can improve!

League - 5th Place 

A 5th place finish was all we deserved as we struggled for much of the season. Never really in danger of finish in the bottom two but never higher than 5th, it was an un-eventful year. Home form was not at the level it needs to be in this league and if we are to challenge for the play-off's next season, we need to play much better at home. Overall it was a season where we continue to build for the future, but not one to remember for anything in the league.

Scottish Cup - Lost Quarter Final vs Celtic 4-2

When the draw was made, anyone but Celtic was the general vibe among the team. It was a brave show in the quarter final against the best team in Scotland and to score 2 goals was testimony to the desire in the team. In fact, these were the only goals that they let in during the whole competition which is good to recognise, but losing at this stage rather than at the semi-finals really makes a huge difference in the money. Not the big pay-day as last year, but with the right draw again next year maybe, just maybe a long run will be here once more.

Irn-Bru Cup - Winners vs Falkirk 1-0

Well, well well! Second year in a row to the final and despite a defensive game, Fort William once again lifted the cup with a great battling performance against Championship Winners Falkirk. In a game that easily could have seen The Fort lose their second final in two years, just the one goal was the difference and brought the trophy back to the Highlands. Fort William have won this now twice in their history and have to go down as having a great shot next year once more.


A record year for spending with two young players coming in for bigger fee's, including a club record £150,000 for Allan Stuart, a central defender from St. Mirren. He came on leaps and bounds for the first team exposure and soon established himself as one of the top players in the team. Striker Tony Davidson joined from Alloa for £35,000 and central defender Aidan Wilson joined for £23,500, also from Alloa. With £2,000,000 in the war chest from last years Scottish Cup run, William Murray had plenty left to play with as many targets just would not leave the comfort of the major cities. 






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7 hours ago, metallimuse said:

I cannae wait to see when your youth prospects start becoming viable but feel that could be years off yet if you get promotion soon.

Well done on the Irn Bru cup success though.

Our youth prospects are horrible at the minute still. Hence why I haven't mentioned any. I had my first decent one then it crashed and didn't get anything close to him when I got back to that point in the game. Most are struggling to be 2 star potential which doesn't get them anywhere. I would love to start having my own guys come through the youth, but can't see it for 5-10 years!

I'll be honest, promotion is proving difficult, but that is good. Just cant attract players here or the ones that will come want £2,000 a week!!!

20 hours ago, Nobby_McDonald said:

Well done winning the Fizzy Drink Cup.

We like the Fizzy Drinks Cup! No Premiership teams in it, gives us something to target each year!


In other news, doesn't look like they rate our chances again this year......


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Irn-Bru Cup Review 2024/25 - Analysis / Review

Back to back for the Fizzy Drink Cup as The Fort destroyed all competition along the way to record the most goals in a season, including a huge 12 for Andrew Macrae. A demolition of Dundee in a shock 8-1 victory had to be the highlight as The Fort would once again play Raith Rovers to see who would be victorious this season.


In what was a first half dominated by Fort William, we found ourselves down 1-0 at the half. An aggressive half time talk seemed to work magic as the team came out on a mission and a wonderful strike from Jason Jarvis from the edge of the box settled the nerves and got The Fort back into the game. Without many clear cut opportunities in the second half, Raith Rovers never looked like scoring and Andrew Macrae was fouled in the box, before putting the penalty away right down the middle. It was enough to see off the opposition and Fort William won back-to-back trophies and put the 3rd Irn-Bru Cup in the trophy cabinet.



That looks good for the fans, and adds another tick in the William Murray Managers box.


It might be the least prestigious cup, but I'll take winning it over not!

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After a slow start, we came on during the middle of the year and now we are in with a real chance of at least play-off football. Airdrie look to have the easiest task, but a win over them would add pressure, but to avoid the extra 2 games, finishing 2nd is key if not finishing on top.


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Game 33

After a defensive first half, a move to an attacking formation in the second half saw Fort William take a decisive lead and also would top the table on goal difference. Dundee Untied would also get the victory but St. Mirren lost. With 3 games to go, it's tight at the top. Tony Davidson had not seen much game time so far this season, but scored both goals in a display that may open him up to more starts shortly.


Game 34

Wow! Former loan striker Connor McBride capitlised on poor defending for his second goal and after 27 minutes, it looked like Fort William's hard work last week was going to be wasted, but a superb strike from Aaron Splaine on the stroke of half time gave momentum to kick on for the second half. A valiant fightback saw the game come back to 2-2 as Paul Macleod scored. It looked as if dropping 2 points was going to the final outcome, but a terrible mistake in the 92nd minute left Tony Davidson free to blast the ball home from 8 yards out and somehow from 0-2 down, Fort William had won and remained on top spot.


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Game 35 

Balls!!!!!!! Another slow start and once again 0-2 down! Once again we come back to take the lead only to be pegged back in what was a cracking game of football. Unfortunately Airdrie scored late on to take the top spot and to take the advantage into the final game of the season.


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2024/25 Championship Play-Offs


The 2nd Round saw us match up with St. Mirren once more in what is always a tough game. Despite taking the lead late on in the first leg, somehow Fort Williams won the game to take the advantage back to Claggan Park. The second leg was a tense affair which looked like it was going to be a bore 0-0 game, but St. Mirren popped up in the 80th minute to take the game to extra time. A tired St. Mirren team couldnt cope with the extra minutes and Fort William secured the win with a Reece Lyon header when penalties looked the likely way to seperate the teams. The easier part of the job done, now to try and beat a Premiership team....

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Relegation/Promotion Play-Off Final


Kilmarnock found themsevles in 9th place, 10 points above the bottom team Falkirk but facing Fort William to keep their Premiership aspirations alive. Superior on paper, could they do the business to stay up or would the Highland team get the glory and a shot at the big time?

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A missed penalty was all that separated the teams in the second leg which would have forced extra time and maybe penalties, which anyone could have won. So close, yet so far away for William Murray and his Fort William Warriors who will have to re-group and try once more to win promotion. As we have seen so far, 3 years, 2 play-off losses for this team, it is not easy making the leap to the big time!


Least this is not one of them stories where promotion and glory happens every year (i don't count the Irn-Bru Cup as no big teams in it!) There are some players wanting to move to bigger clubs so keeping them and finding better players to join but without massive wages will once again be a challenge, and Fort William may have to win the league to gain promotion. Bit deflated, but we shall go again! 

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Fort William 2024/25 - Season 8 Review - Scottish Championship 2nd Place Finish

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League Table / Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2 / Scottish Cup / Irn-Bru Cup / Best 11 / Overall Best 11 / Award Winners / Transfers


So close, and yet so far again! With a chance to win the league with 4 games to go, slipping up in the final two games meant the hard way if we were to gain Promotion. To be fair, we lost the title way before the last few games with a slow start to the season, a few more points here or there and we could have been easy winners. 2nd place meant we missed the play-off first round and that gave us a huge advantage over St. Mirren in the 2nd round as they were visibly tired from 4 games in just over a week. It would come down to us beating a Premiership team and we were almost there, just a missed penalty being the difference between taking the game to extra time, and from there, it's anyone's game. Fort William will have to re-group and come back once more to try and gain promotion at the 4th attempt.

New Contract


Always nice to get a new deal. They only wanted to give me 2 years but pressured for the 3rd and it was granted. Besides, we could still be in the Championship in 2 or 3 years time, this league is difficult to get out from without spalashing the cash!





Competition Overview


I honestly don't know, its been 3 years and it could be 3 more and we may be in the same position. To win the division is hard, to have to go through the play-offs (4 or 6 games) is extremely hard for a club like this. Having to bring on young players is a slow progress and once they get good, they want to move to a bigger club and do it starts again! it's a vicious circle. I'm not hopefully of promotion next season, top 4 I think we get but above that it's a lottery!

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10 hours ago, JavierChicharito14 said:

How much do they players need to travel to playing an away game IRL lollll

anyway amazing progress, I've been there, nice place 


8 hours ago, dllu said:

So close! :(

Better luck next year.


8 hours ago, deltablue said:

Pity to miss out again :(


Thanks for checking in. Frustration again, but probably a fair result as it goes! Definitely a lovely place, just maybe not for football players!!

New season is upon us, cracking on with that after a day at the footy today which has almost inspired me to do another story, but think will wait til 19 for that as I can see this one has many years ahead still, and thats just to gain promotion and then beat Celtic!

Not sure we can win it this year, but I guess we shall see!

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Fort William 2025/26 - Season 9 Preview - Scottish Championship - Predicted 5th

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Another new season on the horizon and another brutal looking season to try and gain promotion. With Falkirk back here (seemingly our bogey team), both Dundee's  and a pretty decent St.Mirren team, there really is a huge battle ahead to come out on top. I really cant see any one team dominating and I think, like last season, will come down to the last few games of the season.

Squad & Transfers - Transfer List

Last year was a struggle trying to keep players happy and not wanting to move to bigger clubs. Most wanted release clauses in their contracts to sign, and not big ones! I managed to weather the storm last year but had to sell 2 of my brighter stars this year, both to Hearts. 19 year old Striker Paul MacLeod went for a (then) club record £750,000! It would be a transfer deal day and a promise to CB Keith McCarthy that if a big bid came in, he could leave. As they wanted to get the deal done in time, managed to negotiate 50% of next transfer clause and to be loaned back for this and next season. A blow to lose both players, but the money may help the club grow in the future.

The loss of Paul MacLeod was softened as we had already secured 17 year old striker Ian Bowden for £20,000 from Alloa. Without that signing, the other deal would have been hard to do with no cover. Keeper Eddie Riley comes in from a free from Hibs and may be good enough to take the #1 jersey from longtime player Robbie Thompson. Fraser Patterson also comes in for big money, £300,000 from Hamilton and can play all across the midfield adding strength to the vital position.

I predict the starting 11 for the season will be.....


6 new players in the starting 11 (GK Eddie Riley, CB Paul McKinlay, WB Gary McCord, MC Gary Granger, MC Fraser Patterson, ST Ian Bowden) and expectations will be high once more, despite any big name signings. Everyone still fits in to the wage structure (Max £625 per week) which helps the wage bill with the low attendance each week. 

Final Thought - Will it be another year of pain, or is this the year we get over the hump and the real work begins?


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Season 9 - 2025/26 Last Few Games - Championship Countdown

Once again we come to the end of the season, and once again we are in the hunt for the title but on the outside looking in. St.Mirren went on a magical run where they just did not lose for months and we couldn't keep up and now they have a 4 point lead with 4 games left to go. Looking at the fixtures you would have to say they are favorites as they play the bottom 2 teams first, We have a similar run with 10th and 8th but the biggest game will be against Dundee which really could be the title decider if St. Mirren carry on winning. I would put the chances of winning this year at 80% St. Mirren, 20% Fort William as we need lots of help along the way!


Games 33 - Saturday 11th April 2026

Well, this is a turnout for the books as bottom of the league Hamilton defeats title chasing St. Mirren 2-0. Fort William survived a late comeback by Livingston wwith a late penalty to win 2-1 and with that shock loss, the gap at the top is now only 1 point. A major slip up from the league leaders, and really has now let Fort William back into the title race.


Games 34 - Saturday 18th April 2026

The Fort William drive for the title took a huge step forward as they did the business and avoided slipping up at Hamilton like St. Mirren did last week. With a solid 3-1 victory we went top of the League as St. Mirren once again slipped up and could only manage a draw against Ayr. 1 point again the bottom two teams is a nightmare for a team that looked so strong over the season, and with Dundee gaining 6 points the last 2 weeks, they are now chomping on the heels to get into contention. Another fantastic week for The Fort, but now the biggest game of the season pops up.... least it's a home game vs Dundee.


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Season 9 - 2025/26 Last Few Games - Championship Countdown

Games 35 - Saturday 35th April 2026

Well, what a turnout for the books! 4 points behind and now 1 point ahead with 2 games to go. It's hard not to get excited about this proposition, but with playing 3rd place Dundee is that game that really could decide the title. This is the crunch game, Dundee are a really good team and not going to be easy. More pressure was added on as St. Mirren's game was played mid-week and they got back on track with the victory to go top of the table once more.


Fort William vs Dundee

A dream start as wing-back Gary McCord somehow found himself in the box and smashed in the volley from around the 16 yard line into the top of the net, the Fort William faithful silenced the 855 travelling fans! The joy was short lived when in the space of 3 minutes, some slack defending let Dundee not only get back into the game, but to take the lead. The rest of the first half was a non-event, and William Murray could see the season slipping away in front of his very eyes.

You wouldn't have wanted to be a Fort William player at half-time as Manager William Murray tore into his team in an aggressive manner very fairly seen from the calm and passionate manager. It obviously worked for the team and one player in particular as striker Andrew Macrae had the score level within 3 minutes. In what would turn into a pasting in the end, Macrae would end up scoring 4 goals in the 2nd half in a glorious display from the 27 year old who is currently playing well above his ability level.  5-2 flatters Fort William, but Andrew Macrae and his 4 goals may be the most important of his career as Fort William go top with only 1 game left to play.



1 point clear with 1 game to go, all on the line with the away trip to Ayr. The plot thickens as a draw or win for Ayr could be enough to see them avoid both automatic Relegation place or having to face a playoff. Ayr will not just roll over and hand this to Fort William and could be a dangerous opposition, but it is worth mentioning in the last 6 games away at Ayr, Fort William have won 5 and drawn the other. St. Mirren will face a tough test against Falkirk so 3 points are not guaranteed there for them.


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Scottish Championship 2025/26 - The decider..... Scottish Premiership or bust

Falkirk, our bogey team who always seem to beat us gave us a huge helping hand in the 3rd minute as they got on the score sheet against St.Mirren to take the lead. Fort William and Ayr were playing in a cagey affair with very little in quality chances as both teams were playing for something worthwhile, even if it was at the bottom of the table. The game, lacking momentum headed to the half 0-0 and at this point in time, Fort William are heading to the Scottish Premiership. 45 minutes to go, but all can change in a flash so focus will be demanded at the half.


At this point, Ayr will not be going down automatically and Fort William are Champions. Hamilton have saved themselves and look to be staying in the Championship.


Second Half - Let's go....... wish me luck

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Goal Update - 54th Minute

A foul won on the edge of the box has the free kick whipped in by Gary McCord. Running from the edge of the box central defender Allan Stuart beats his man and powers the header into the back of the net. Fort William have 1 hand on the title...

F3DpAHE.png  9iVaF5G.png

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Scottish Premiership - Is the tide of change upon us?

Before we get to if we gained promotion or not from above, there is some drama in the Premiership on their last day of the season....

Hibernian should have won the league months ago. They started the season with 12 victories, but a poor run in march saw Celtic get back into contention! With 1 game left in the season, it all comes down to this. Will Celtic break Hibs hearts and snatch victory, and their 15th Scottish Title in a row, or will finally someone knock them from the top spot? With everything to play for, can Hibs do it on the last day of the season?


Well.... guess the answer is no! Hibs chucked it away and Celtic win their 15th Scottish Title in a row!!!!


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Fort William 2025/26 - Season 9 Review - Scottish Championship Winners

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League Table / Fixtures 1 / Fixtures 2Irn-Bru Cup / Scottish Cup / TransfersBest 11 /Overall Best 11 / Season Awards


YESSSSSSS! We've only bloody well gone and done it. Ayr's late goal didn't stop The Fort claiming promotion as Falkirk ended up winning 2-0 against St Mirren and ending their hopes of promotion. 9 Seasons from Highlands League to winning the Scottish Championship has seen this little Highland club move up the ranks and into the top tier of Scottish Football, where the likes of Hibs, Hearts, Rangers and the mighty Celtic await. For now it's all about celebrating the clubs greatest achievement, but tomorrow the hard work starts for William Murray and his staff to try and put together a team capable of avoiding the drop next year.


Ladbrokes Scottish Championship - Winners


Champions! Doesn't that sound good, although with 4 games to go it did not look likely until St Mirren only took 4 points from 12 and ultimately, handed us the title, but we shall not complain one bit. A campaign that only saw 5 defeats (Falkirk x2, Dundee, Dundee Utd and Queen of the South) and Fort William had surprised everyone. Goals win games and with 79, Fort William were the top scores in the league with Dundee at 73 and no other team close to that. Put that with only 38 goals conceded, only 1 being leaders St Mirren at 37 it is easy to see how this team went on to win the title. Champions, but really the true story starts now as most teams that go up, ultimately seem to come down again next year!


We may have only had 8 weeks at the top spot from 36, but all that matters is being #1 on the last day of the season!

Irn-Bru Cup

They might as well rename this the Fort William Cup after taking this 3 years in a row and the 4th of William Murray's career. In what might have been the easiest one to date, every round was won easily, including a 6-1 demolition of Dundee in the semi-final. Inverness really had little to offer in the final and were well beat 4-0 and never looked in it.


History for the game shows Fort William with 4 titles from 5 visits, Raith are second with 2 victories from 4 visits. Inverness have 1 win from 3 visits, but this will be the last time Fort William get to play for this trophy, well unless they come crashing back down next year.


Scouting news

With a limited to UK scouting range, and a few trips over to Scandinavia added in, the first bit of business for William Murray was to request scouting in Europe. To my shock, the board refused stating the scouting range was good enough. Unfortunately, I had to play the "look at all I have done for the club card" and this was enough for them to agree to the request. Scouts were immediately sent out, with Portugal high up on the list to find some players from.



How many of these will still be strong enough to play in the Premiership? Hopefully quite a few as I'm just not sure how many players I can bring in yet and the wage expectations will be in thousands and not hundreds. Fortunately our back 3 are some of the best players in the team so hopefully they can make the jump up, although the attacking 5-3-2 may have to be replaced with a more defensive 5-3-2. Strikers once again did the business with Andrew Macrae playing way above his stats/ability with a 7.70 average rating, 34 goals and 22 assists. The signing of Ian Bowden for £20,000 must be the bargain of the season!!! Fraser Patterson justified his £300,000 move from Hamilton with solid performances all year and will be key for next year.


As we see below, Andrew Macrae is not a superstar, but his performances this year were incredible. I feel kind of sad that he probably won't play many more games for us, surely he cannot make it in the Prem?



Really not much new here, still well below where we need to be and far behind our new standing in the Premiership, but hopefully we can grow these shortly. The next major hurdle may be our ground, which only averaged 950 this season (52% full) but surely should be full week in week out? We may need more seating to fill it out and start getting more money in each week to pay for the wages that will be hiking up.


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Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaas ya dancer! :applause:

Aye the fact the stadium is no full to the prim always eludes me. I'm just finishing my third or fourth season in the Premiership with my Airdrie team on a second successive top 6 finish yet the most I can fill my stadium is 82%, ridiculous.


What's your bank balance looking like these days? you've not included it past few seasons.

What's your expectations first year up? When I took Airdrie up I told the board avoid automatic relegation, spent the majority of the first 36 games 11th and then beat Kilmarnock 3-1 away game 37 to leapfrog them to 10th where I finished after 38.

Flipping scenes in ma living room that night I'm telling ye :brock:

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On 29/07/2018 at 16:33, SmileFaceGamer said:

Whatever happens, we will dethrone Celtic, even if it takes an eternity

It may take a while... Celtic are truly a different class in this save. Spend £30,000,000 every year but tend to make more on selling players so their bank account must be massive. Added to the 15 League titles in a row, they have 6 Scottish Cups, 5 Betfred Cups. Europe has been tough for them, never getting out of the Champions League Group Stages and only one Euro Cup final loss.

Still, as you say, one day there shall be a Highland Champion of Scotland.


6 hours ago, metallimuse said:

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaas ya dancer! :applause:

Aye the fact the stadium is no full to the prim always eludes me. I'm just finishing my third or fourth season in the Premiership with my Airdrie team on a second successive top 6 finish yet the most I can fill my stadium is 82%, ridiculous.


What's your bank balance looking like these days? you've not included it past few seasons.

What's your expectations first year up? When I took Airdrie up I told the board avoid automatic relegation, spent the majority of the first 36 games 11th and then beat Kilmarnock 3-1 away game 37 to leapfrog them to 10th where I finished after 38.

Flipping scenes in ma living room that night I'm telling ye :brock:

Finally! Didn't feel like this was going to be our year either so that makes it even sweeter! Have to admit that final game was a tense one and enjoyable at the final whistle.


The average attendance has been poor! I know we are out of the way but in the Championship and still under 1,000 fans. Just a real struggle to get fans to the games. Hopefully that will change in the big time. But a new stadium will be a must!

Knew I was forgetting something on the end of season. Finances has remained stable at around the £2,800,000 to £3,400,000 thanks to the wonderful Scottish Cup Semi-Final run a few years back. If it wasn't for that it looks like we would have just been about break even!


Expectations, survive! That is the only aim, bring in some players to hopefully compete but under no illusions it's going to be a fight! I would actually like a relegation battle (but not as close as yours) as that sounds pretty epic!! Got to love days like that.

Preview coming up for the new season!

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