Category Archives: Posts

An image tells some stories

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Hello Folks.

A nice addition to the blog is some imagery, my dear and lovely friend Kelly, who is a freelance photographer, has kindly agreed to offer up some of her magnificent work for you to enjoy. At the moment she will supply us with stadium visits, perhaps expanding on this at some point.

Please head over to her twitter to get a further visual on her well documented work. Or have a look below.

We also did a Q&A with her a while back.


Historic Writing

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More source stuff, written all the way back when Lennon left.

Neil Lennon has moved, looking for something new and fresh following a hugely successful four years at the helm of celtic, a club very close to his heart.

The impression given by his behaviour was that the board were not willing to match his ambition to progress and add to the current celtic setup, and with his stock rising to the levels where he was linked with some premiership post’s it was time for him to move on.

It’s true within scottish football times have changed, no longer does any part of the old firm profile emanate the same excitement and pull. However, the debate continues to rage on who would take the currently vacant post.

Roy Keane was the first to establish contact, rumours suggest that celtic were unable to lure the Irishman to parkhead (with the pointless sidenote of him deciding to move to edinburgh if he did take it on)

Others linked to the opportunity is former Manchester United gaffer David Moyes, his reputation ruined after a destructive time at old trafford, it would prove to be an ideal opportunity for him to rebuild his shattered profile. Others suggested would be the celtic legend Henrik Larsson, which the fans would approve of, although his management style is currently unproven. Former West Brom manager Steve Clarke is the next man to be added to the hat, out of employment ever since his frankly ridiculous release, the saltcoats man possesses a vase source of experience and his well known no nonsense approach would keep the celtic squad in line. As tradition dictates the rumour mill produces its usual items, dan petrescu, willie mcstay, paul clement (of Real Madrid) even jackie mcnamara has been suggested.

Ultimately Parkhead will be full of interest to find out who will take over, but the days of the headline news are over.

Quality Control

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This is an important moment for football.

First of all I want to make a point, I don’t have an ego in terms of what I do. I do what I do because I love it, if the footballers that listen learn something from what I do then that’s even better, just means I’m doing what I love and people are benefiting from that. A few evenings ago I came across a training session, I like to observe as an important part of coaching is a continuation of learning, to perhaps steal some ideas and adapt them for myself. I was excited to see a coach kitted out in SFA level all weather jacket, tracksuit and the likes, my expectations were high so the notepad was out.

What followed was a shock.

18 players present he prepared two very short channels of cones for a warm up, this caused a back log of players including very little room for any player to perform the relevant stretches. subsequently the coach setup 3 massive rondo boxes, having far too much room allowed the players to relax and have time to move the ball without the pressure of a pressing player. He quietly approached each one the the boxes quietly presumably to explain the routine. During this time over 70% of the players were doing that routine without observation or a coordinated process, afterwards he merged the 3 into two rondos. Then afterwards he merges the 2 into one giant rondo box with two players pressing in the middle. This leaves numerous players non active in a typical Scottish weather environment and at risk of injury. Eventually the miserable session came to an end and he put the players together to start a game, he specifically set out each team having the players that “made an effort” in one team and the other team consisted of a group deemed lazy during the previous routines, and that was it. The session was done.

There was no point where the coach stopped the game to make a coaching point, there was no voice controlling and coordinating what was going on. Simply the players were left to their own devices.

Now going back to what I said originally, I don’t actively claim that I am better than anyone else, I make a point of remaining grounded in terms of my attitude, but in this case I was shocked as to the lack of enthusiasm and care put into the session. Of course I can’t name or shame, this would lack professionalism and put a bad light on a perfectly good club.

Morton Prospects

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We are seeing more and more prospects emerge from the fully reconstructed academies of Scotland, former full timer Derek Anderson leads the way as Head of Youth Academy, tasked with identifying suitable individuals to be added to the ever expanding ranks. In terms of qualified persons Anderson secured himself a UEFA “A” Licence and has playing experience with Hibs and Kilmarnock.

As part of the academies redevelopment Director Warren Hawke, who has a degree in business management, will handle all things finance related to allow all energy to be spent on the important subject of football.

The 26 staff members are there now to support this development, so the key in terms of pointing these players in the right direction is dedication. Work behind the scenes has resulted in the full development of a player pathway, which meets the SFA demanded criteria.

The fruits of their labour consist of Ben Armour, who the next best thing to come out of Cappielow, following his signing for the club September 2016 from Queens Park he made his first appearance for the current development team the subsequent April time against Dumfermline, the 19 year old striker recently signed a 6 months extension to his existing deal with Greenock Morton to turn professional and keep him an active member until January 2018. Armour he known for his instinctive finishing and being in the right place at the right time, such attributes present a nightmare for the most talented of defenders.

Another prospect Jamie Mcgowan signed on full time along with striker Armour, the 20 year old paisley born shot stopper impressed during his handful of appearances for the first team earning himself a full time spot. McGowan was rewarded with an additional year on top of his existing deal, breaking into the first team 2016 against Spartans after the first team goalkeeper suffering a nasty case of concussion.

First team manager was questioned on the keeping the players onboard

“In pre-season they’ll come with me and be with my group, as will Jai Quitongo, and then it’s really up to them after that in terms of how far they push themselves and how much they want it.”

So the clubs recent reshaping have offered up some talented individuals, so the prospects of a new generation of players coming through the newly established pathway created is an exciting one.

Breathing Space

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Small note,

Delighted to announce that the blog has linked up with the recently advertised Breathing Space which is a charity actively supporting those that perhaps are not feeling so great in their own mind. Breathing space offers an opportunity to speak to someone, have a conversation about how you are feeling at that time and maybe finding a way to deal with that at the time, or to simply get something off your chest. Such an opportunity is invaluable.

A small image has been added showing a contact number 🙂

Remember guys and girls, you are never alone.


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Took some existing text from the web site and made it better (i think)

Naturally the idea was rejected of course.

Welcome to the only official website for the Strathclyde Saturday Morning Amateur Football League sponsored by STAX TRADE CENTERS

Stax Trade Centres SSMAFL announce major project

The league structure and cup competitions have had major changes approved by its member clubs for 2016-17 onwards.

League Division Structure.

The Premier Division will be increased from 12 to 14 clubs. Instead of a first and second division there will now be a division 1A and 1B. This means that clubs could only play one full season before getting into the Premier Division. The bottom two clubs in the Premier Division and the end of the season will be relegated, replaced by the champions of 1A and 1B.

The clubs that finished second and third in 1A and 1B would then enter a play-off competition, the winners of which would face third from bottom in the premier league to determine who would complete the league for the following season.

The league feel that this will add additional excitement at the end of a season and some major fixtures being played with a lot at stake, increasing the challenge for clubs involved.

Cup Competitions.

No changes will be made to The Strathclyde Cup and Tommy Marshall Trophy.

Radical changes will be made to all other competitions, All clubs will be randomly drawn in 8 different sections. The section teams will then play against each other once in a league format, once these fixtures are complete the teams will be split accordingly. The winner of each section will then progress to the Champions Cup. These eight teams will compete in one legged cup ties up to and including the cup final.

The second and third placed teams from each section will enter into the Presidents Cup. These 16 clubs will again play in one legged ties up to and including the final.

The remaining teams in the sections will then proceed into the Challenge Cup, which will again be a one legged cup competition.

The league feel that this major restructuring and extra cup competitions will give clubs of equal standing more of an opportunity to achieve success. We also feel that this will made the  league a more attractive prospect to new and existing clubs.


After a lot of consideration, the league are also now open to starting an afternoon section or divisions. The benefits would be that clubs can join a progressive and strong league set-up, well run league with good management, and therefore forming an all round amateur league regardless of playing time. This could result in a type of super league, with costs being reduced for clubs by having larger leagues.

Anyone interested in applying to join us should contact League Secretary

Andy Bryant on 07403 019219 or at

Please take some time to visit our Business Partners section.

We are actively seeking Cup Finals Match Ball sponsors, and Program advertisers

Our local rules pages have been amended and I strongly urge you to read them, along with the standard constitution of the SAFA to ensure you stay within the rules of competition.


Clubs applying to join us who are currently playing in another league, are reminded that their application must be approved by the SAFA no later than 28 February, as per rule 5

Please contact our membership secretary for an application form. His details are on the League Executive page of this website.

Make sure you are kept up to date with Fixtures, Results & News via Facebook by clicking the Like button at the left hand side of the page.

League Fixtures, Results & Tables can be found at the top of the page, with Cup Fixtures and Referee Contacts having their own page. League History and past Trophy winners can be found on the Roll Of HonourHall of Fame and Awards pages.

Downloadable Team lines, referee reports and Registration Forms are available on the Forms page.

There are several newer pages also, so have a good look through our site.

The League is happy to hear from Companies and Businesses who can assist us promote amateur football amongst our circa 1,000 players across Strathclyde.

The Standard Constitution is available in full to download from the SAFA website, but will have been distributed to all clubs via e-mail. Our own local rules will also appear on the constitution page of our websites. I have also added a copy of the SAFA Suspensions for Standard Offences under Disciplinary. Suspensions due to Standard Offences are also now on the website.

There is a full section on all clubs and their information including kit colours and contacts.

There is also a links section for Clubs and Association/Leagues external site. If you want your club to be on it please email myself an image (ideally square or round) and the website address.

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you need any assistance please contact the executive relevant to your club.

The Last Confederations Cup

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So evolution has taken it’s toll, the scalp has been claimed, the fear factor lost.

The Confederations Cup proved to be an impressive warm up to next years spectacle in Rio, the much feared tika taka was proven not to be so frightening if you turn up armed with nearly 80,000 fans singing their lungs out for the Brazilian cause, searing heat, a few extraordinarily talented players and an endless supply of energy. The record breaking Spanish side appears to be coming to an end, to start with a short examination as to how all those records were smashed up.

To begin with we have the extraordinary Xavier Hernández i Creus, or Xavi as we know him. His passing ability has earned him the nickname The Puppet Master, for any neutral fan his inconveivably accurate passing is a mouth watering experience, Andrés Iniesta Luján expressing his ballon d’or category talents alongside, and the obvious Xavi Alonso dictating the pace in which these happenings are happening.

As we all know football exists in cyles, so who is to appear to start a new one.

Step in Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez, or Isco. Much seen as the man to fill the iniesta shaped hole in the Spanish team he is armed with a vision and passing ability reminiscent of the great Zinedane Zidane, sold to Real Madrid for a cool 30 million euro’s, the eye watering price tag arguably suited to his proven talent. Next on the supply line is Thiago Alcântara do Nascimento, freshly of Bayern Munich status Thiago commanded the worlds attention following his connoisseur’s hat-trick’ at the U21 Euro’s. Beautifully precise passing coupled with a calm and composed approach he is seen to be a photocopy of the seasoned Xavi. Lastly we have Asier Illarramendi Andonegi, the defensive midfielder offers an almost expert like technical ability, providing protection for the defence coupled with the connecting link to the midfield.

So with just these 3 technicians stepping into the limelight the golden era of Spanish football has the potential to continue for a long time to come. Complaining? Not me.

Blochairn Match Report Again

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The Classic Match report, was never any good at it but I thought to keep hold of it anyways.

The Glasgow wind was providing its typical spring bite as Blochairn hosted their final game against the soon to be folded Whitefield who will go through a restructuring including the scrapping of the name which has been in existence for the past 6 years, rising from bottom of the strathclyde saturday morning leagues to become a formidable rival to long term

Historically each fixture has been considered a high stakes affair and this one was no different. The match began with each team showing the expected determination that has given each club so much silverware in the past.

The opening phase proved an unfortunate one for the home side, ball landed at right back, who launched a long and hopeful ball towards the visitors number 11, picked up and he surged towards the box and hit a low hard shot which deflected in off one of the central defensive pairing, 1-0 to Whitefield.

The Blochairn players took the event personally, their 3 forwards players clearly displaying their attacking intent and pacey striker Garry Carmicheal proved to be a constant threat for the Whitefield defence, although the referee came to the rescue on a number of occasions ruling him offside, the home dugout making their feelings heard about the referees decisions.

A frustrating afternoon for blochairn, poor finishing and a on form opposition goalkeeper proved to be a stumbling block for the players in green. Long range effort parried by the block goalkeeper

Craig fellows was one of the players who took interest in increasing his teams lead, a long range effort scuffed wide. Not to be discouraged he found space in beetween the lines and had another go, struck 20 yards out made i 2-0 to whitefield.

As the hosts began to tire Whitefield broke quickly and channeled the ball down the left hand side, the winger moved forward with intent and crossed low, collected by Craig Fellows who who left footed it beyond the reach of John “stark” Starky for his second of the game and to make it 3-0.

Blochairn pushed to to clawback their disadvantage but it was to no avail and the game finished 3 goals to the good for visitors.

The Racism Chat

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Unless you have spent the last few weeks on some remote island where there is no connection to the outside world, if so lucky you, you would more than likely learned of the frankly pain in the neck ferdinand terry lack of handshake affair.

What we will do today though is examine as to what the point of the handshake is, why it’s there and whether it should remain there.

The official description is as follows “In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality. If it is done to form an agreement the agreement only official until the hands are parted”

The handshake routine was introduced at the start of 2008 as part of the FA’s “respect” campaign, to promote the idea to respect your opponent whether it be a minnow or a giant. This ritual was derided by many fans at the time as the traditional time to congratulate or commiserate with your opponent has always been after the game as a show of respect for his performance.

One of the first to use the ritual to his advantage was Luis Suarez, who had been found guilty of racial abuse during the Man Utd/Liverpool game when he admitted calling Patrice Evra a “Negro” and was banned for eight games. In the return game at Old Trafford in February Suarez refused to shake Evra’s hand prompting further outrage and Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA made a strange comment at the time saying it was a shame that it couldn’t have all been sorted out with a handshake, which reinforced many people’s view that FIFA refuses to take the issue of racism seriously.

The John Terry/Anton Ferdinand situation is different to the Suarez incident in that an off duty police officer, who watched the match on TV and can lip read claims that Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand and called him an F****** black C***.

So in comparing the descriptions and the point of the actual handshake along with the events that transpired involving said sportsmen, would you consider Ferdinand right to use this opportunity to make a point, or should Ferdinand be much more a grown up and avoid moving issues to on the pitch and keeping the pitch involved in football instead of personal gripes?

Womens Football

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Today we look at some history, more specifically the history of women’s football. In 1920 a decision made by the Scottish Football Association to place a ban on the possibility of women’s football being played in any official sanctioned game, the result meaning no official grounds by SFA affiliated clubs could be used, the ban lasted much longer than the majority of European countries. Nevertheless some football teams toured the country to play on grounds available to them. In 1971 the ban of Women’s football was lifted after it was put to the vote by UEFA, it was a landslide victory with thirty one of the thirty two members voting to have the ban removed, the one being Scotland.

Subsequently the Scottish Women’s Football Association was founded and six clubs put their name forward for competitive football, Aberdeen, Edinburgh Dynamos, Westthorn United, Motherwell AEI, Dundee Strikers and Stewarton and Thistle. In 1972/73 Westthorn won the first ever league title. Having played their first official international match and two teams reaching the final of the English FA Women’s Cup in 1972 and ’73 the SFA eventually came to officially recognize the SWFA in August 1974. Over the years women’s football remained in existence in a similar form until 1999 when a reconstructing program was approved, renaming it Scottish Women’s Football, and Scottish Women’s Football League was established, 2002/03 saw a premier league breakaway to create what is now referred to as the SWPL or Scottish Womens Premier League. A number of years ago, the concept of girls being involved in football was laughed at and considered uncharted territory for women of any age. To date Glasgow City have been the dominating force, over the years enjoying an extended unbeaten record and several trebles to add to their already sizeable trophy cabinet, but recent times have saw competitors gradually mirror the infrastructure in place and subsequently become a realistic competitor to City, in turn improving competition.

2016 has presented us with a realistic possibility, the past few years the ladies side of football has enjoyed a meteoric rise. The national team present a real challenge, reaching a all time high of 19th in the FIFA rankings, Glasgow City reaching the quarter finals of the champions league, new age groups being created all the time and player development considered a priority within the majority of clubs. These facts and figures despite women’s football still being considered a purely amateur sport, if the right investment is in place, the continuation of the existing mind set and improvement of support from the relevant authorities, the question to be asked is there a possibility of the quality in women’s football eventually matching and overtaking the male equivalent.