The longest day of the year brought Charlie Brown and Jamie McGowan to Seafield Park Grantown, for their first visit in their new capacity as manager and assistant manager of Strathspey Thistle, on what was a glorious summer evening. During the evening they viewed a very lush looking playing surface, posed for their official photographs including the ubiquitous scarf aloft pic, and finished the evening being introduced to some of the committee.
Thistle chairman Donly Mcleod said in an interview with the Press & Journal ( from our Twitter feed ) that he believes Charlie is a good fit as manager and his experience as a player and a coach in the Highland League will serve the Jags well and The Club is really looking forward to working with Charlie and Jamie.
The fixtures have been released from the Breedon Highland Football League for season 2021-2022.
Our first game is an away fixture with Huntly FC on the 24 July followed by our first home league match the following Saturday 31 July against Wick Academy FC. There will be a cup game on Wednesday 28 July – the draw has yet to be made.
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May 4 After all the stalling, visits to the lawyers and binding arbitration, the SPFL Pyramid Play Off first leg was played this evening at Dudgeon Park, Brora. Kelty Hearts ran out worthy winners and take a 2-0 lead back to New Central Park on Saturday May 8. Brora were not at their best and had Kelty not missed two penalties it could have been worse. I enjoyed the live streaming together with interesting commentary and summing up. Let’s hope Brora turn up and play as we know they can and give it their best shot.
May 5 Reports that the Scottish Lowland Football League (SLFL) have issued an invitation to Rangers B and Celtic Bteams to play in the league next season for one season to see how it works out.
May 9 Although Brora took a deserved lead on 26 minutes in the second leg of their play-off game at New Central Park, against Kelty Hearts, the home side ran out deserved winners over the two legs by 6 -1. Kelty will present a real challenge to team 42, Brechin City. For Brora the task now will be to retain their Highland League crown in the upcoming season and have another go at joining the SPFL.
May 10 The SLFL confirmed that they had voted to invite Rangers B and Celtic B teams to play for one season only in the league. Neither of the two teams can win promotion so it is going to make the experiment interesting.
At a club meeting this evening the Management Committee agreed that the club lottery would resume with the first draw on Sunday May 30 at 1900.
May 13 Work has been taking place on the maintenance of the grass surface at Seafield Park by RM Welch & Son of Monifieth.
May 14 The club confirms that it has reluctantly accepted the resignation of Team Manager Gordon Nicolson. Gordy has been with us for a total of five years – about a year as youth and first team coach, a season and a bit as assistant manager and the rest as first team manager. Everyone sends him our best wishes and a big thank you for all that he has done for STFC.
May 18 At an emergency meeting of the club committee Ian brought us up to date on the manager situation and it was agreed to begin the search for a new team manager. Tommy Wilson, assistant to Gordon Nicolson, informed the club that he also would be leaving the club with immediate effect. Tommy had been with us for two and a half years and we also wish him well in the future and thank him for all of his efforts.
May 23 Kelty Hearts won 1-0 at Brechin City to confirm their place in the SPFL league 2. Brechin City will play in the Highland League taking that league back to eighteen clubs. The defeat for Brechin ended a 98-year association with league football.
May 27 The Scottish Lowland Football League confirmed at their AGM tonight that the majority of member clubs have voted in favour of admitting Rangers and Celtic ‘B’ teams into the league next season – for one year only. The new SLFL will start on July 17. Under the agreement neither ‘B’ team can be promoted so this is an area that needs clarity for the other teams. It is thought that Bonnyrigg Rose, Civil Service Strollers, Bo’ness United, Dalbeattie Star and Edinburgh University voted against this plan. It has certainly split opinion.
May 31 What I thought would be a quiet month for news was quite the opposite. The departure of Gordy and Tommy was a blow but the club is in the process of interviewing candidates for the two positions. Kelty joining the SPFL will bring a new vigour to League 2 and also kept the integrity of the pyramid system. With confirmation that they will become the 18th member of the Highland League next season, we look forward to welcoming Brechin City to Seafield Park.
It’s back – and the Jackpot stands at £3200 – maybe not quite enough for a vintage car but a large amount of money for your next staycation, house improvements or even an excellent night out – or two!!
TICKETS ARE £1 EACH
Tickets are available from the following outlets:
GRANTOWN NEWS, BEN MHOR HOTEL, CLAYMORE BAR, ROYAL BRITISH LEGION STRATHSPEY, GRANTOWN DINER, CARRBRIDGE SPAR, NETHY BRIDGE SPAR, BEST-ONE AVIEMORE and Local Contacts.
Consolation prize of £100 if jackpot not won – Jackpot rolls over and increases by £100p.w. until won.
The Club welcomes all regular and new players – your support is very much appreciated.
April 1. In todays Strathspey and Badenoch Herald, team manager Gordy Nicolson welcomed the clarity that ending the season has brought. The Jags didn’t get to play a league game with their only competitive game being the mid December defeat to Buckie Thistle in the Scottish Cup. He thought it was the right decision as everyone now knows where they stand and planning for season 2021/2022 can start.
April 2. Relegation play-offs look set to be introduced to the Highland League next season. Talks have been ongoing between the Highland League and the Scottish Junior FA to create a formal link between tiers five and six of the Scottish football pyramid. From next season the team finishing bottom of the Highland League could find themselves on a play-off against the champions of either the North Super League or the North Caledonian League. For one of the teams in tier six to play in the play-offs they would have to meet the criteria for membership of the Highland League. They would have to have a full licence of the SFA and with all that entails. At present the only clubs meet the criteria are Golspie Sutherland and Banks o’ Dee.
April 3. Congratulations to Brora who came within two minutes of pulling off another shock in the cup tie with Stranraer which then went to extra time but the Cattachs then conceded two more goals as they tired. Well done to Formartine United and Fraserburgh for also carrying the Highland League flag in the Scottish Cup.
April 5. The league announced that next season should start on Saturday 24th July 2021, government regulations permitting.
April 9. The SPFL were unable to announce the dates of Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts play-off games due to ‘several issues’. It had been expected that a draw would have been made to see who played at home on April 24. The second leg was allocated to May 1.
April 15. The club are pleased to announce that Kieron Chalmers has signed a contract extension.
“I am really excited to get Kieran tied to an extended contract. Unfortunately because of COVID he has hardly played any competitive games but I know he is eager to get out on the pitch as soon as we can get back playing. He has great vision and is a very clever footballer. He is an important part of the squad and I think he will quickly become a fans favourite.” said manager Gordy Nicolson.
April 19. No statement from the SPFL about play-off dates for Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts.
Charlie Macdonald informed the club that he would be standing down from the management committee. We appreciate what he has done for the club over the years.
April 21. Sad day for Rothes Football Club with the demolition at Mackessack Park of a building where supporters used to buy raffle tickets in exchange for cans of beer. The club discovered water had come in during the recent shut down and were left with no option but to demolish. The club are planning to build on the site a hospitality suite, first aid room and secretary’s room.
April 26. After the fiasco of the European Super League it was disappointing that the SPFL who were very forthright in denouncing the breakaway were busy taking legal advice on whether Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts should be allowed to play off for the right to face club 42, Brechin City, for the chance to play in their league next season. You wonder if the SPFL really believe in the pyramid system.
April 27. First issue of our pre-season fixtures. June 19 away New Elgin ko 1500, June 24 away Burghead ko 1900, June 27 Rothes FC at Aviemore Sports Centre ko midday, July 1 away Forres Thistle ko TBC and Dufftown away ko 1930. More games are under discussion and when confirmed we will let everyone know via the website and social media channels.
April 29. At last the SPFL have agreed that Brora and Kelty will meet over two legs for the right to play Brechin City. It is most unfair that both clubs have been put through these extra hoops and considerable expense. See BBC Sport article below,