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[FM2019] - Over the Maryhill and Far Away.

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Posted (edited)

Been a while since I last did a career save - took a break from FM for the last couple of years. Some old timers may remember my antics with AVRO JFC a few years back - which included South Sefton Borough climbing from EFL lvl10 to the EPL.

Anyway, for this save, I've decided to go with the following setup:

Leagues Loaded
Belgium (1st Div and above)
England (Vanarama N/S and above)
France (National 2 and above)
Germany (3. Liga and above)
Italy (Serie C and above)
Holland (Keuken Kampioen and above)
Scotland (Junior + Senior pyramid - Mozza's Full Scottish Pyramid file from Steam)
Spain (2nd Div B and above)

 

Career History
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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

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Maryhill Football Club are an association football team based in the Maryhill area of Glasgow, Scotland. Members of the Scottish Junior Football Association, they currently play in the West Region, Central District First Division.


Formed in 1884 as a Junior club, Maryhill were beaten finalists in the second ever Scottish Junior Cup in 1887–88 and turned senior the following season. The club entered the Scottish Cup three years running from 1888 but never got further than the second round, suffering 9–3 and 7–2 defeats to Third Lanark and Linthouse respectively in 1889 and 1890.  Maryhill eventually returned to the Junior ranks in 1894 with some success, reaching four national cup finals in eight years. The Hill also won a wartime final in 1940.

Postwar they were not one of the bigger Junior clubs, but investment from a wealthy backer, (Hamilton Accies owner Ronnie MacDonald) in the 1990s brought a period of success.  In 1983, 16-year-old Craig Hutchison (son of club coach Alfred Hutchison), made history by coming on at half time in the Scottish Junior Cup semi final against Auchinleck Talbot and scoring a hat trick, turning the game round from being 2 down at half time. Unfortunately, Hutchison was injured and missed out on the televised final at Hampden Park.

The team plays at Lochburn Park, although there is talk of a proposed move to a new ground in the future. Club colours are red and black. The team have been managed since July 2018 by Jim Taggart.

The club received national news attention in April 2017 when Gavin Stokes scored one of the fastest recorded goals in world football in a home fixture against Clydebank, with his drive into the top corner from the halfway line timed at 3.2 seconds.

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

July 2018, in an alternative FM reality. Detective Chief Inspector Jim Taggart, well known as a no-nonsense Glasgow cop, is also a football fan. Between putting away criminals, he also put away a few goals for his Sunday League side. Now past his playing days, he turns his hand to football management in his spare time. There's only one club for Jim - Maryhill FC.

The SFA have also incorporated the SFJA into the league pyramid structure, giving minnows the chance to rise to great heights, and giants the peril of plummeting down the leagues.

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2018 - 2019 - Maryhill F.C. - SJFA West League Division One - Mid-season Report (July-December 2018)

So Jim Taggart arranged an in-house friendly to appraise the players available to the squad. They weren't a bad bunch, in fact they could be considered above average at this level. But there was still some room for improvement.

Transfers
With the club finances not being the best, Jim was limited in his options, but still managed to find one or two decent players to lure on a free transfer.

In
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All five new additions quickly settled into the squad and soon became first team regulars. On the whole, they're consistently good, although Jack Lingard's performance level began to dip through December. Craig MacMillan leads our scoring charts with 13 goals, Kieran Dall isn't far behind on 10 goals.

In addition to the permanent signings, Jim decided to utilise the option at junior level of using up to 4 trialists for most matches. With club finances taking a hit through the first half of the season, trialists signed for 4 weeks have been a good way to bolster the squad for free - although it has annoyed one or two of Maryhill's fans, especially when a top performing trialist can't be a permanent signing.

As the months progressed, one or tow players voiced concerns about lack of playing time. Being a no-nonsense man, Taggart explained to them that they were rubbish, and showed them the door.

Out
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Pre-Season
A good set of results, and the team worked well to gel and familiarise themselves with their tactics. Taggart was particularly pleased with the win against Cambuslang Rangers who play 2 divisions above Maryhill.
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Competitions

SJFA West League Division One
Board Expectation: Top half finish.
Media Prediction: 12th.

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Not too shabby for a first half of the season. Some convincing wins, others a struggle. Taggart wasn't too happy about the final two fixtures of the year - games Maryhill should have won easily. On a slight plus side, there was only one match lost, but to Wishaw who were languishing around the bottom of the table. Good dominating play, and inspiring shouts from the gaffer spurred the team on, to leave them sitting pretty in 2nd at New Year.


West Sectional League Cup
The board were just happy Maryhill were taking part in this cup. What they did made the West League sit up and take notice.

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Maryhill qualified from the group stage without too much effort, but rode their luck with the rest of their fixtures. They'd been expected to lose to Rossvale (who were a step up the league) in the QF, but pulled off a shock result. Division rivals Maybole - having pulled off their own QF shock - were waiting in the SF but were brushed aside.

Maryhill were in the first ever West Sectional League Cup Final in their history. Standing between them and the trophy - the mighty Cumnock, from 2 divisions above. The press and fans had written us off. But Taggart, with his never say never attitude, instilled belief in his players. As they took to the pitch, a brave battle ensued, and fortune favoured the brave!

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How they did it, only they will know. Taggart watched as his team withstood a barrage of goal attempts from Cumnock. Somehow, dogged determination meant Maryhill were able to hang on for 90 minutes. With no extra time in this competition, it was straight to penalties. Taggart looked at his options. His best penalty taker had a 5 in the skill, the second best 3, and all the others a lowly 1. But the hero of the day was 24 year old keeper, Billy Young, who saved 3 penalties in a dramatic shootout which saw Maryhill lift their first silverware in over 100 years! 

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The Cumnock fans (seen in the stand behind the jubilant Maryhill players) were left in tears.


Scottish Junior Cup
Again, the board were just happy the club were playing in the competition. A jittery start against Aberdeen University was followed by a sound thrashing of Glasgow rivals Ashfield. The match against New Elgin was close, however, Maryhill were 3-1 up after 47 minutes and never really looked like losing.

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Next up is a home tie with West Premier side Largs Thistle on 26/1/19. With Largs 2 divisions above, it'll be a tough ask for Maryhill to come out of that match with anything.


West of Scotland Cup
Yes, you guessed it, the board are happy Maryhill are taking part. Easy street so far.

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A 3rd round tie against West Premier side Kirkintilloch Rob Roy is scheduled for 30/3/19. (Personally, I'm looking forward to it, as I used to go and watch Rob Roy at weekends).


Looking Ahead
Jim Taggart has his eye on the prize of promotion to the West League Championship division. But it'll be a close fought contest, with East Kilbride Thistle in pole position at the halfway stage and Glasgow Perthshire gunning for promotion too.

Worryingly, the club finances are worse than ever, currently £18k in the red, and things don't look like improving...

Edited by psychonaut

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2018 - 2019 - Maryhill F.C. - SJFA West League Division One - End of Season Report (January - June 2019)

So with half of the season gone, work began to ensure Maryhill would be in the challenge for the top spot in the division come May. 


Transfers
Not much activity on the transfer market for Maryhill in the second half of the season. 4 players who just weren't up to the mark were released, and 7 trialists all had month long spells at the club although none of them really shone and weren't signed (not that the club had the funds to do so anyway).


Competitions

SJFA West League Division One
Board Expectation: Top half finish.
Media Prediction: 12th.

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After a reasonably good January in the league, Maryhill hit a little bit of a wobble on the run in to the end of the league campaign. They were excellent sometimes - 7-1 against Glasgow Perthshire - and abysmal at others, losing 3 matches to teams much further down the league. That 7-1 win confirmed promotion on 2nd March 2019, but Jim Taggart still wanted to nail top spot. The team missed a prime moment when they drew 2-2 with leaders E.K. Thistle, and just weren't able to catch them. 2nd spot it was, but still enough to see the club promoted to the SJFA West League Championship, much to the delight of the supporters.


West of Scotland Cup
Maryhill's journey in this minor cup continued with a 3rd Round tie at Kirkintilloch Rob Roy. The press gave them no chance. Even Jim Taggart had prepared himself to shake hands with a victorious Rob Roy manager at full time. Maryhill hadn't won their last two matches, but that didn't show at all. 2 goals in both halves gave them a resounding 4-0 victory. Rob Roy's division rivals Beith didn't pose much threat in the Quarter Final as they were swept aside 4-0 in almost a carbon copy of the Rob Roy match.

Jim Taggart was thanking his lucky stars when the Semi Final draw paired Maryhill up with Johnstone Burgh, a team one division below. But it very nearly turned sour as Burgh lead 1-0 after 8 minutes, and Maryhill showed little passion. Top goalscorer, Craig MacMillan levelled the match on 31 minutes, and the teams went in all square at the interval. Taggart chose his words carefully in the dressing room, and the belief returned to his team. MacMillan completed his hat-trick, and 16 year old Peter Dalglish scored his first ever goal for the club to make it 4-1 at full time.

The Final drew Maryhill against Girvan, from the division above. This was the first West of Scotland Cup Final for both teams.  The match did not start well for Maryhill, and they were 2-0 down after 18 minutes. Taggart was furious and shouted at the players to buck their ideas up. This had an almost explosive effect - 2 goals on 18 and 19 minutes, and Maryhill had levelled the tie, and the fans dared to dream. With renewed fervour, Maryhill popped in another 2 goals to go in 4-2 up at the break. Girvan had nothing to bring to the second half, conceding a further 2 goals. The final whistle blew. Maryhill's 133 travelling fans went wild. The cup was theirs for the first time in the club's history, and Maryhill had done a cup double.

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Scottish Junior Cup
The end of January saw Maryhill face Largs Thistle in the 4th round. The team knew this wouldn't be an easy match, and did well to hold Largs to a 0-0 result, and set up the daunting task of a replay away. Then the unimaginable happened. The score at half-time was 0-0. Maryhill had been slightly better than Largs, but just couldn't find the net. Taggart used a few choice words to spur the players on. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. 4 goals in 42 minutes. 4-0. An unbelievable result! Maryhill were through to the Quarter Finals.

Lochee United provided a good test, but Maryhill turned them over 3-1 to set up a Semi Final meeting with Forfar Albion over 2 legs. Yet again, despite being the better team on paper, we knocked them out 6-1 on aggregate. The prize of a Final against Broughty Athletic of the SJFA East Superleague.

Maryhill were in their first Junior Cup final since 1940, which is when they last won the trophy. 131 fans travelled to Whitton Park in Dundee for the Final on the 1st June 2019. The weather was perfect for football. The press had written Maryhill off completely, giving them 9-1 odds for a win as opposed to Broughty Athletic's 1-4. But not one to listen to the papers, Jim Taggart played his hand perfectly.

Broughty Athletic started sharp, but soon fell apart. They gave away a cheap penalty on 8 minutes, which was duly converted. 11 minutes on the clock, Broughty were 2-0 down. Maryhill were dominating. Craig MacMillan scored a second before the break. 3-0, and firmly in control. Maryhill pounded the Broughty goal all match, chalking up 17 shots with 9 on target compared to Broughty's 8 shots with only 3 on target. Craig MacMillan completed his hat-trick 4 minutes from time. 4-0. 4-0! The ref blew the final whistle. The Maryhill fans were jubilant, the club board were jubilant. They were dancing in the streets of Maryhill. Jim Taggart had just bagged them an amazing cup treble.

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Posted (edited)

Best Players 2018 - 2019

Top Scorer: Craig MacMillan

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Joined us on a free transfer in August 2018. Took him until September to settle in and open his goal scoring account, but from that moment on there was almost no stopping him as he racked up 33 goals across all competitions.


Highest Avg: Keiran Dall

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Another player who came in on a free transfer in August 2018. Keiran could slot into midfield or sit up front. He bossed midfield, and could be deadly in front of goal. He frequently turned in very impressive performances, including a couple of 10s. He's in high demand by clubs in the Scottish Football League, and it's probably going to be impossible to hang onto him.



Club Finances
Looked pretty dire all through the second half of the season, up until the end of May. There was talk of players having to be sold as the club debt ran close to £25,000. But there was a ray of light in the form of revenue and prize money from our West of Scotland and Junior Cup wins. The books were back in the black - not by much - but the wolf was kept from the door.

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My Job
Offered a 1 year extension on my contact. I accept. There's talk of a club takeover though, so I may be ousted if it goes ahead. Can't think why though.

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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

Club Takeover

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Not too sure where the "thousands of fans" are when we play at home. Lucky if we 150 people attending.

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

Elsewhere in Europe

Scotland
SPL Winners: Celtic (x8).
SPL Runner Up: Aberdeen.
ECC Qualifiers: Celtic.
Europa Qualifiers: Aberdeen, Rangers (3rd), Motherwell (4th).

Scottish Cup Winners: Rangers.
BetFred Cup Winners: St Mirren.
IrnBru Cup Winners: Ayr Utd.


England
EPL Winners: Manchester City (x2)
EPL Runner Up: Liverpool.
ECC Qualifiers: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea (3rd), Arsenal (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Manchester United (5th), Tottenham Hotspur (6th), Brighton (Carabao Cup winner).
FA Cup Winners: Manchester City.
Carabao Cup Winners: Brighton.
Check-A-Trade Winners: Barnsley.


France
Ligue 1 Winners: PSG (x2)
Ligue 1 Runner Up: Olympique Lyonnais.
ECC Qualifiers: PSG, Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco (3rd).
Europa Qualifiers: O. Marseille (4th), LOSL Lille (5th), Toulouse FC (Coupe de la Ligue BKT winner).
French Cup Winners: Olympique Lyonnais.
Coupe de la Ligue BKT Winner: Toulouse.


Belgium
Pro-League A Winners: Club Brugge.
Pro-League A Runner Up: AA Gent.
EEC Qualifiers: Club Brugge, AA Gent.
Europa Qualifiers: KRC Genk (3rd), Zulte Waregem (Belgian Cup winners).
Belgian Cup Winners: Zulte Waregem.


Germany
Bundesliga Winners: Bayern Munich.
Bundersliga Runner Up: Borussia Dortmund.
ECC Qualifiers: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Bayer Leverkeusen (3rd), RB Leipzig (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Eintracht Frankfurt (5th), Vfl Wolfsburg (6th), Mainz 05 (7th).
German Cup Winners: RB Leipzig.


Holland
Eredivisie Winners: PSV.
Eredivisie Runner Up: Feyenoord.
ECC Qualifiers: PSV, Feyenoord.
Europa Qualifiers: Ajax (3rd), sc Heerenveen (4th), FC Utrecht (playoff winner).
Dutch Cup Winners: Ajax.


Italy
Serie A Winners: Napoli.
Serie A Runner Up: Inter Milan.
ECC Qualifiers: Inter Milan, Juventus (3rd), AC Milan (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Roma (5th), Torino (6th), Lazio (7th).
Italian Cup Winners: AC Milan.


Spain
La Liga Winners: Barcelona (x2).
La Liga Runner Up: Real Madrid.
EEC Qualifiers: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Athletico Madrid (3rd), Valencia (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Athletic Bilbao (5th), Real Sociedad (6th), Villarreal (7th).
Spanish Cup Winners: Barcelona (x5).

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

Champions League

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So Liverpool clashed with Spurs in this one too, in a match that looked as exciting as the real life CL Final!



Europa League

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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2019 - 2020 Season Build-Up

So, Sky Sports News have released the odds for the Scottish Junior Football Association West Championship. Why Sky were interested is still a mystery, but here we are:

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And hot on Sky's heels, our new Chairman made his expectations quite clear:

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You know that feeling when you suspect the Chairman really wanted to get rid of you when he arrived, but needed an excuse? Oh well, maybe there'll be a small miracle in the league.

Edited by psychonaut

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Wonderful season! Keep it up! I will be following your progress :)

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14 hours ago, Carambau said:

Wonderful season! Keep it up! I will be following your progress :)

Thanks :) It went better than expected, especially in the cups. I'll see what the new season brings - hopefully not the sack :D 

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2019 - 2020  -  Maryhill F.C.  -  Scottish Junior Football Association West Championship

The start of this season couldn't come soon enough. There were, of course, the usual friendlies to play in order to get the squad in shape for the months ahead.

Friendly Fixtures
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Took the lads a little while to get out of holiday mode, but they did well from the 4th fixture onward. The highlight had to be the 4-1 win over East Stirlingshire. Little did the team know that this would be a "practice match" for something to come in the next couple of months.


Transfer Activity (July - November)
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Having gained promotion last season, I had hoped to keep the team together, but four of my key players decided to move on to pastures new.  Losing Kieran Dall in particular was a big blow, as he had been magnificent both in midfield and up front. Shane Jamieson was a solid defender, with John Ross able to slot between defence and midfield. A number of trialists were taken on, with some being offered a contract. Hardwick (DC), Park (ST), Paterson (MC), Ingram (MC) and Cavanagh (M/AM) have certainly proved themselves worthy of the Maryhill team colours since signing.

Just when I thought the upheaval was over, our veteran striker - and last season's top scorer - Craig MacMillan, moved on to join Auchinlek Talbot. The squad and fans alike were sad to see him go.


Competitions

Scottish Junior Football Association West Championship
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Due to a lot of cup fixtures there were only 4 league matches for Maryhill in August and September. We started well with a win, but then took only 1 point from our next 3 matches. I thought this may have been the way of things and we would be in for a season of league disappointment. However, the new signings were gelling well, and some tweaks to team tactics, and hiring 6 new backroom staff helped turn things around. A good run in November meant we rose to 2nd in the division.


Scottish Cup
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I'm sure the fans thought they would never see the day Maryhill F.C. played in the senior Scottish Cup. Well, that day dawned, thanks to winning the Scottish Junior Cup last season. It was a great experience for the lads, and we did ourselves proud - especially when we put out East Stirlingshire. However, League Two side Stirling Albion were just too strong for us.


Scottish Junior Cup
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As holders of the cup, and with the prospect of playing in the Scottish Cup again next season, the plan was to try and win the thing again. The team struggled through the first round, and only just forced a replay with Irvine Meadow in the second round, scoring with the last kick of the ball. Home advantage showed in the replay, and we kept the cup dream alive. An easy win in the third round set up a New Year meeting with Glenafton, from the division above us.


West of Scotland Cup
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Only one fixture so far in this half of the season. A win set up a meeting with Carluke Rovers in the next round.


West Sectional League Cup
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Retained! A great little cup run, and another piece of silverware for the club steward to polish. We didn't concede a single goal during regular play, which was testament to the team. We met Cumnock in the Semi-Final, and they were eager for revenge for last season's defeat in the Final of this cup. Like that encounter, we fought hard and held the 0-0 stalemate for 120 minutes, before winning 7-6 on penalties.

In the Final, we would've liked to score more goals against Lesmahagow (who are 2 divisions below us), but a 2-0 win was enough to see us lift the trophy.

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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

December 1st 2019 - News Flash

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Looks like Jim Taggart has been getting noticed for his cup winning and managerial exploits! Buckie Thistle of the Highland League and Irvine Meadow of the Scottish Junior FA West Premiership offer job interviews.

With the SJFA West setup, the Premiership is the highest division Maryhill can go to as there's no promotion from there. Buckie Thistle are close to the bottom of the Highland League, but I'm sure I can get them further up the table, and the future prospect of a playoff and possible entry into the Scottish League is very tempting indeed.

After considering the options available, the invite from Irvine Meadow is turned down. But the invite from Buckie Thistle is accepted...

Edited by psychonaut

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December 2nd 2019 - News Flash

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Decisions... Decisions...

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Posted (edited)

We beg you to stay!!*

Btw is it possible to be promoted to the Scottish Football League with this file?

 

 

 

*do you what like of course ;)

 

Edited by Carambau

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Buckie Thistle would be quite the move, with the possibility of aiming for a place in the SFL. 

Good luck with whatever you opt to do! 

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16 hours ago, Carambau said:

We beg you to stay!!*

Btw is it possible to be promoted to the Scottish Football League with this file?

 

 

 

*do you what like of course ;)

 

Yes, promotion is possible. In Scotland there's the Senior league - which is the Scottish Premier, Championship, League 1 and League 2. Below League 2 there's the Highland League and the Lowland League. Since the 2014/15 season, the winners of the Highland League and the winners of the Lowland League have gone into a 2-leg promotion playoff, and the winner of that goes into a further 2-leg playoff with the team at the bottom of League 2. Buckie Thistle, being a Highland League team, have the chance to be promoted to the football league.

Now in Scotland, there's also what's called the Junior league - it's basically a non-league setup with it's own structure and split into 3 geographic regions. The champions of the top divisions in each of the 3 regions qualify for the Scottish Cup, as do the winners of the Scottish Junior Cup. At present, there is no promotion from top 3 divisions, so with Maryhill the highest division I could reach would be the West Premiership which is 1 level above where we are now.

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13 hours ago, kevhamster said:

Buckie Thistle would be quite the move, with the possibility of aiming for a place in the SFL. 

Good luck with whatever you opt to do! 

Cheers. I'm fairly certain on which move will be more beneficial. Just hope it works out :)

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December 2nd 2019 - News Flash

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So, it's official. Clearing out my desk in Maryhill, and leaving Glasgow for the North East of Scotland. With the club in 15th place in the division, the first thing I'll do is get the squad to buck(ie) up their ideas! :D

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In hindsight, a good and understandable move. The prospect of promotion to the Football league in the near future is surely very appealing.

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Posted (edited)

2019 - 2020 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - Press & journal Highland Football League

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So, with the road trip over, I arrived at the 5000 capacity Victoria Park in Buckie.
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No sooner had I locked my Ford Escort, The Chairman, Fraser Smith, was there to greet me, and we went into his office for a cup of tea and a Kit-Kat.
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Edited by psychonaut

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And then the Chairman filled me in on the club's history...

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Posted (edited)

Followed by the serious stuff...

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No real pressure then?

Eh? What do you mean the team is sitting 15th out of 18? I begin to hope there's enough time between now (December) and May 2020 to turn things around.

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2019 - 2020 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - Press & journal Highland Football League - End of Season Report

With half of the season gone, and the club lying in 15th place, I had my work cut out for me. Morale among the players was understandably low, and I hoped they weren't in too much of a rut. The most important thing would be to get their belief back. They had won only 2 of their last 14 matches, so something clearly hadn't been working.

Transfers
January was a month of change in terms of players - a case of out with the old and in with the new. With the club being in a dire financial situation, I had to convince clubs in the Scottish Football League to loan us players for free. The loanees brought in were certainly good enough for the first team, even though the fans weren't sold on the youth players taking preference over established senior players. They were livid when I decided to let fan favourite Sam Morrison leave for Arbroath, but he really needed the move to further his career.

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Competitions
Press & Journal Highland Football League
I got to work, looking at the team's strengths and weaknesses. Their tactical setup wasn't the best, and I brought in the Taggart Tactics used at Maryhill. Going into my first match in charge, I told the lads to believe in their abilities and they headed down the tunnel in an OK sort of mood.  It was clear to see in the team were still adapting to the new tactic, and I shouted words of encouragement from the touchline. 18 minutes gone, we scored, and this set us up for a 3-0 win against Clachnacuddin. The players were looking brighter by the end, and the fans certainly enjoyed themselves. The team continued with a 4-1 hammering of Turrif, but I feared the heads had dropped when Strathspey beat us 2-1. Itching to prove me wrong, the players gave Fort William an 8-0 hiding, ending the year on a high.

The division was close run for a while, and we had a real fight on our hands to try and get above 12th place. But the players clicked, put in performances on the pitch and up the table we went.

With 2 games left, we had a very slim chance of finishing 1st, but we would need to win both of our matches, and hope that the teams above us lost theirs. Whether it was nerves, I just don't know, but we finished the season with 2 draws, and so had to settle for 5th in the table. However, nobody was disappointed. I'd done my job and gone beyond the Board's expectations.

Formartine Utd lost their promotion playoff fixtures against Lowland League side East Kilbride, and so will play in the Highland Football League again next season.

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Cup Competitions
Knocked out of both before I had arrived.

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My Job
The board were delighted with my performance this season, and decided to reward me. 
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I also won Manager of the Month for February and March 2020.
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Club Finances
Very worrying. Deep in debt. I'd say things can only get better - but we need a miracle to overturn this debt in a season.
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Future Plans
To take the club a step further, and push for the top spot, and the chance to enter a playoff to become a member of the Scottish Professional Football League. I've already got 3 new signings lined up to join us for next season. Some of the fans aren't happy, but then they weren't happy with one of my loan signings who turned out to be a bit of a gem.

Edited by psychonaut

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Elsewhere In Europe

Scotland
SPL Winners: Celtic (x9).
SPL Runner Up: Aberdeen.
ECC Qualifiers: Celtic.
Europa Qualifiers: Aberdeen, St Mirren (3rd), Rangers (4th).
Relegated: Motherwell.

Scottish Cup Winners: Celtic.
BetFred Cup Winners: Celtic.
IrnBru Cup Winners: Falkirk.


England
EPL Winners: Manchester City (x3)
EPL Runner Up: Manchester United.
ECC Qualifiers: Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool (3rd), Tottenham Hotspur (4th), Chelsea (6th).
Europa Qualifiers: Arsenal (5th), Everton (7th).
Relegated: Brighton, Leeds United, Stoke City.

FA Cup Winners: Tottenham Hotspur.
Carabao Cup Winners: Chelsea.
Check-A-Trade Winners: Blackpool.


France
Ligue 1 Winners: PSG (x3)
Ligue 1 Runner Up: Olympique Lyonnais.
ECC Qualifiers: PSG, Olympique Lyonnais, AS Monaco (3rd).
Europa Qualifiers: O. Marseille (4th), LOSC Lille (5th), Rennes (6th).
Relegated: AC Ajaccio, FC Metz, AJ Auxerre.

French Cup Winners: PSG.
Coupe de la Ligue BKT Winner: Olympique Lyonnais.


Belgium
Pro-League A Winners: Club Brugge (x2).
Pro-League A Runner Up: KRC Genk.
EEC Qualifiers: Club Brugge, AA Gent.
Europa Qualifiers: KRC Genk, Standard Liege (4th), Anderlecht (5th).
Relegated: Westerlo.

Belgian Cup Winners: Anderlecht.


Germany
Bundesliga Winners: Bayern Munich (x2).
Bundersliga Runner Up: Borussia Dortmund.
ECC Qualifiers: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig (3rd), Bayer Leverkeusen (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Schalke (5th), Vfl Wolfsburg (6th), Mainz 05 (7th).
Relegated: Hannover 96, VfB Stuttgart.

German Cup Winners: Borussia Dortmund.


Holland
Eredivisie Winners: PSV (x2).
Eredivisie Runner Up: Ajax.
ECC Qualifiers: PSV, Ajax.
Europa Qualifiers: Feyenoord (3rd), Vitesse (4th), Heracles Almelo (Dutch Cup winners).
Relegated: De Graafschap.

Dutch Cup Winners: Heracles Almelo.


Italy
Serie A Winners: Napoli (x2).
Serie A Runner Up: Juventus.
ECC Qualifiers: Napoli, Juventus, Inter Milan (3rd), AC Milan (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Roma (5th), Torino (6th), Lazio (Cup winners).
Relegated: Parma, Chievo, Cosenza.

Italian Cup Winners: Lazio.


Spain
La Liga Winners: Barcelona (x3).
La Liga Runner Up: Athletico Madrid.
EEC Qualifiers: Barcelona, Athletico Madrid (2nd), Real Madrid (3rd), Sevilla (4th).
Europa Qualifiers: Valencia (5th), Real Betis (6th), Real Sociedad (7th).
Relegated: Granada, Zaragoza, Girona.

Spanish Cup Winners: Athletico Madrid.

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Posted (edited)

Champions League 2019 - 2020
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Europa League 2019 - 2020
4icVM6w.png

 

Edited by psychonaut

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EURO 2020

Group Stage Exits
Italy, North Macedonia, Sweden, Russia, Romania, Czech Republic, Spain, Bosnia & Herzegovina.


Knockout Phase


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On 10/06/2019 at 20:23, kevhamster said:

Excellent start! 

Thanks. I think I've found the right club in Buckie. Should be an interesting challenge to see where I can take them.

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - Press & journal Highland Football League - Pre Season Report
(with a little bit of August thrown in).

So my first full season in charge of Buckie Thistle F.C. begins. The team are in pretty good shape when they return from their holidays.

No sooner had I welcomed the players back, the Chairman waltzed onto the training ground to deliver his plans for the season.

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OK, that's me told. No pressure then, lads...


Transfers
Looking at the squad, I've got a good set of first team players, but after speaking to my Director of Football there are concerns about having enough depth for rotation - particularly along the back line. In truth, though, I needed to look at strengthening the first team too if we were to mount any kind of title-winning campaign.

With the help of my Director of Football, Graeme Tallis, I set about looking at targets to sign. Graeme used his knowledge to make suggestions, and I offered trials to the lucky few who I selected from his list.

Players In
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The free transfers were OK, but it was really only Ryan Strachan who managed to cement a regular first team place.

Michael McGee (GK) was an investment for the future. At 19 years old, he looks like he has a bright future ahead of him if he sticks in at training. 

To help us reach the next level, I knew we would need more than free signings, we would need players capable of playing at a higher level, and I tasked Graeme and our scouts with finding them. I was delighted when young striker Grant McCunnie joined us from Premier League side Queen of the South on a season-long loan. Jamie McDonald from Partick Thistle and Lukas Jakaitis from League 2 side (and our rivals) Elgin City agreed to join us until the end of the season too.


Players Out
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Looks like a lot of players departed, but all but 3 went out on loan for the season. Losing Igor Spuryk and Josh Robertson got the fans backs up and a couple of the first team squad were unhappy too - but the players had to move on to further their careers at a higher level and I wasn't going to get in the way of that.


Back in my office, as I prepared to book some pre-season friendlies, the Chairman knocked on the door. Seems he's eager to ensure I'm onboard with his plans.

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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021   PRE-SEASON FRIENDLIES

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A very satisfying set of friendlies. Took a couple of matches for my new signings to start making an impact, but they seemed to gel fairly swiftly after that.

I was surprised when Aberdeen, PSG Reserves and Basel U21s all accepted friendly invitations, and we certainly didn't disgrace ourselves. Against PSG Reserves, the total value of our starting XI was £15300 and theirs £7.3 million. I think we did very well. A win against Basel U21s set us up for the season ahead, and the team were itching to get going.

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - Press & journal Highland Football League - Mid Season Report

Everything was ready. At a team meeting I discussed the expectations for the season, and the players were fired up by the prospect of claiming the league title. The next few months would be our judge and jury.

Competitions

Highland Football League

As the season began, we were still aware that we had been unbeaten in the league since 22nd February 2020. The fans were talking about a dream team, and wondering just how long we could go on undefeated. Overall, I was extremely pleased with our form, especially as we had played 14 cup matches between July and January. 33 matches in total, which is more than some teams in the world play in a whole season!

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We romped through August, September and October, dropping only 1 point. Of course, nothing lasts forever. Against Clachnacuddin, on 18th November, I decided to hand our young GK, Michael McGee, a start. I wanted to keep my first choice goalie fresh for an important Scottish Cup match taking place 3 days later. It turned out to be a horror show for our fans, with our back line just not performing well at all...

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The lads bounced back though, the defence in particular as we only conceded 1 league goal in our 5 remaining league matches in 2020. Going into the second half of the season, we're in a very good position at the top of the table.

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Scottish Cup
The Board asked me to guide the club to the 3rd Round of the cup.

We entered at the 1st Round stage, although we struggled against Gala Fairydean Rovers. We had a very favourable draw for the 2nd Round. A 4-2 win, and I had delivered what the Board wanted.  The 3rd Round saw us travel to Scottish League 2 side Stenhousemuir. Nobody gave us a chance, but 2 great goals set up a 4th Round home tie against Championship side, Dundee in January.

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North of Scotland Cup
A very minor cup, and not one the club Board were interested in. Apart from a tricky tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle's Under 18s, it was pretty plain sailing and the first trophy of the season was in the cabinet.

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Highland Cup
Another minor cup. A very fortunate penalty win in the 1st Round an a win in the Quarter Final set up a Semi Final match against Deveronvale, scheduled for mid March 2021.

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Aberdeenshire Shield
Wins in the 1st Rounds and QF set up a 20th January home tie with league rivals Formartine Utd.

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Aberdeenshire Cup
A very minor cup, but it would've been nice to win it. Sadly, Inverurie Locos had other plans.

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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

Wow! Dominating the league already :applause:

Fantastic win against Stenhousemuir- you look like you are already on league 2 Level :)

 

Edited by Carambau

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16 hours ago, Carambau said:

Wow! Dominating the league already :applause:

Fantastic win against Stenhousemuir- you look like you are already on league 2 Level :)

 

Yes it's good to have that cushion of points going into the second half of the season.

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2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - P & J Highland Football League - Mid Season Report

Top 10 Players

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Sean Rutherford leads the top 10, and has been great in defence so far this season.
When I took over the club last season, Niyah Joseph was on the fringes of the first team and I'll admit I overlooked him at first. I gave him a chance this season, and he's certainly proved a point as far as being in my starting eleven goes.
Grant McCunnie has proved his worth in front of goal too. At 19 years old, he's tipped as a future star which is going to make it difficult for us to sign him permanently, and I think Queen of the South will want him to loan him to a higher ranked club next season.

Team Stats
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Club Finances
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These are in a very precarious state, although we've not gone too much further into debt since the end of last season. Hopefully our Scottish Cup tie against Dundee will generate some extra cash. If we go up to Scottish League 2, it's going to be tricky to keep my best players paid, and to attract new talent.

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - P & J Highland Football League - Mid Season Report

The Board and Chairman seem quite happy with my progress so far this season.

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Personally, I'm enjoying my career at Buckie Thistle, and delighted that the players share my vision for where the club is headed. Through the first half of the season, I've been named Manager of the Month for August, September and December. So there was no doubt in my mind when this arrived in my Inbox: 
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The invite was turned down. Annan are currently in the Lowland League anyway, so it would only have been a sidestep if I had moved.



EU/BREXIT

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Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - P & J Highland Football League - End of Season Report

So the second half of the season gets underway, and we're in a really good place right now. But with the transfer window opening there are some comings and goings, a mixture of players wanting to move on, some being surplus to requirement, and new faces coming in to strengthen us for the push towards the title and hopefully promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League.

A couple of clubs tried to tempt me away

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No way was I going anywhere. I intended to see through this season with Buckie, just in case...



Transfers

Players In
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Players Out
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Disappointed to have to get rid of Weir, Bailey and Aitken after only 6 months, but they just didn't do enough to justify their places in the first team.


Competitions
So, let's do Cups first...:)

Scottish Cup
Only one tie in this half of the season.

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Didn't disgrace ourselves, and the revenue from the match wiped out a chunk of our debt.



Aberdeenshire Shield
Struggled past Formartine and left it very late in the Final vs Nairn County. However, another trophy for the cabinet!

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Highland League Cup
Oh, why not. Let's give the fans some more cheer this season!!

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Yes, the fans were definitely happy, according to social media:

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And next - The League...

Edited by psychonaut

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - P & J Highland Football League - End of Season Report

The Highland Football League

So the first half of the season went really well, and I was keen to keep this going. Sure, I brought in some new faces to the squad, but they seemed to settle in well. Knowing what was at stake, I was looking forward to our first clash of the New Year. This was against 2nd placed Cove Rangers, and I knew if we could win we would open up a 15 point lead over them. Cove had been on good form, but we got the win we needed and that set us on our way.

We only dropped 9 points in this half of the season. But the important date for us was 27 February 2021. We had a tricky away tie with Brora, and Cove Rangers were away to Lossiemouth. All we needed was a draw to secure the title, but only if Cove Rangers lost or drew their match. We were holding Brora to 0-0 at half time, but Cove were winning 2-0. However, there was a change of fortune in the 2nd half. We held Brora to a 1-1 and Cove Rangers conceded twice in the second half! No one could catch us now!

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With the League title in the bag, I had to ensure my team didn't slack off. We still had a number of matches to play until the end of the season - and at the end of the season we would meet the winners of the Scottish Lowland League for a playoff - the winner of which would face the team at the bottom of SPFL League Two and have the chance of being promoted!

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Edited by psychonaut

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2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - Highland/Lowland Play-Off 

Gala Fairydean Rovers waited for us in the playoffs. We'd played them in the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup this season, and we'd won 1-0. I knew they would want revenge, and that it would be a close game.

1st Leg

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We had an important 2 goal advantage - and 2 away goals at that.



2nd Leg

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Thank the footballing gods for that 2 goal advantage from the first leg. I don't know what happened to my team here. Going down to 10 men left me thinking the worst. I began to get anxious when Gala equalised. But we battled and held on for the aggregate win, and a crack at the big prize!

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Yes!! Congratulations!

Let´s see what Buckie can achieve in the higher league :)

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Posted (edited)

2020 - 2021 - Buckie Thistle F.C. - Highland Promotion/Ladbrokes League 2 Relegation Playoff Final

So this was it. The prize was almost in sight. Just 2 more matches were between us and either glory or defeat. Our opponents: Queen's Park, the only amateur club in the Scottish Professional Football League, and nicknamed The Spiders. I hoped we weren't about to be flies in their football web.

1st Leg
I was without 3 of my first team, due to suspensions. The press had us down as clear winners.

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Ouch! That hurt - and at home too. And I wasn't impressed with the number of cards picked up either. I held on to the fact we had 1 goal, but knew Queen's Park having 3 away goals left us with almost no chance of promotion.


2nd Leg
I didn't even want to get on the bus to travel to Glasgow for the match. The mood was sombre, and the players were quiet. In the dressing room at Hampden, I told the lads just to go out, do their best and enjoy the game. 

With the 1st half almost over, and the scoreline at 0-0, I started thinking about whether to have another season in the Highland Football League, or check the managerial vacancies elsewhere. But Grant McCunnie scored on 44 minutes to give us a faint glimmer of hope.

My half time team talk was easy - keep playing the same way. We'd been matching Queen's Park and were showing signs of being the better side. The 2nd half minutes ticked away. With 15 minutes left of the match, we were still 3-2 down on aggregate. From the touchline I was encouraging my players, demanding more from them, and even praising them - anything to get them to move up a gear.

80 minutes - Goooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllll! We scored to level the tie at 3-3. But this still wouldn't be enough to see us over the line.

83 minutes - GOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL!!!!!!! We're 4-3 up, thanks to a beautiful goal from striker Niyah Joseph.

90 minutes - surely we're home and dry - and promoted?! But somehow there's to be an additional 6 minutes to play. 

90+5 minutes - Queen's Park hit us on the counter attack. They race up the pitch. The cross goes in. They score! It's 3-1 to us on the night, but 4-4 on aggregate and we both have 3 away goals.:eek:. The Full Time whistle blows.

I'm looking at my team, all my subs made, and I just don't know if they have the stamina for another 30 minutes. All I can do is encourage them as Extra Time begins.

We're nearing half time in ET. Queen's Park are pressing towards our goal, but winger Danny Galbraith makes a great tackle to win the ball. He boots it down the left side to Niyah Jospeh. Joseph spots Grant McCunnie over on the right, and unmarked. Joseph swings over a cross. McCunnie controls the ball with a brilliant first touch. He reaches the edge of the penalty box. Right-footed, he launches the ball like a rocket. GOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!

4-1 on the night, 5-4 on aggregate! 4 away goals to Queen's Park's 3 away goals. Now the tables are turned! They need to score twice to win.

Second half of ET begins. 15 minutes seem like 15 hours. Queen's Park try to find a response, but we're holding fast, sitting in a deep defensive pattern. With 90 seconds to go, they give away the ball, and we go on the counter. Foul! One of my players is sent sprawling. His team mates are in no hurry to take the free kick. It's played short to one of our strikers who boots it out for a goal kick to Queen's Park. Their keeper places the ball on the turf and launches it with a kick. 

The referee blows the final whistle!!! WE HAVE DONE IT!!! The Queen's Park players are in tears, they've lost their Scottish Professional Football League status and will be in the Lowland League next season. But WE ARE GOING UP!!!

MvPU5XF.pngZe1p2kl.png

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Edited by psychonaut

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