February 2. The club were pleased to announce that midfielder Kieran Chalmers had agreed a contract extension until June 30 2022. Kieran joined us from Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
February 3. Message was received from Ian Maxwell, Chief Executive of the SFA making it clear how important in the current situation is accurate temperature testing for everyone entering a ground.
February 7. A meeting of the Highland League Management Committee via Teams at 7pm on Thursday 11th February 2021 has been called. The reason for calling this meeting is that the SHFL/SLFL group meeting with the Scottish FA has been recalled for Tuesday February 9. The Scottish FA is due to make an announcement on the suspension of football on Tuesday February 9.
February 9. SFA released a statement that the Scottish Government has decided that the suspension of football will remain suspended until a review is carried out o March 1.The Management Committee of the Highland League had planned to meet on Thursday 11th via Teams but decided to put back the next meeting after it was confirmed to the Highland and Leagues that the drive for continued suspension had come from the Scottish Government. These remain uncertain times will remain with us until indications at the end of the month.
February 12. In today’s Press and Journal Paul Lawson manager of Formartine United wonders if the season will be completed as all football below the Championship remains suspended until March 1 at the earliest. The Highland League started on November 28. He appreciates all the hardwork that has been undertaken by everyone behind the scenes to have got games on. With the current suspension he thinks it is going to be increasingly difficult to see how The Scottish Cup could be completed.
February 17. The club were pleased to announce that 20 year old defender Ashley Ballam had agreed a contract extension until June 30 2022. Ashley joined us from Elgin City on August 11 2020.
February 19. The Highland League have called a League Management Committee meeting for Monday March 1st to discuss the Scottish Government ‘route map’ out of the current lockdown which are due week commencing February 22. Also in today’s Press and Journal interviews with our Team Manager Gordie Nicolson and Highland League Secretary Rod Houston.
February 27. Update from donate-a-ticket.com that the current total raised from 131 clubs is £309,343.
NB: At the meeting of the Highland League Management Committee on the evening of March 1 it was reported that there was still no news from the Scottish Government on the return of football for the leagues below the Championship.
After a difficult 2020 we hoped to finally start the 2020/2021 season with a home game with Lossiemouth on January 2 but after some heavy snow falls together with freezing temperatures the game was called off the night before.
January 9 saw the club complete the signing of midfielder Struan McArthur on a non-contact basis. That date also saw our scheduled game at Deveronvale called off at 8.30am due to a frozen pitch.
The Scottish Football Association announced on Monday January 11 that the Highland League was to be suspended until January 31 when the position would be reviewed. This suspension applied to all leagues below the Championship and Premiership. That evening the Highland League management committee met and discussed the playing suspension.
The club also decided that because of the new lockdown criteria the lottery was to be suspended until further notice.
It was decided on January 12 to put the players back onto furlough for the foreseeable future until a clearer indication was given as to when training, and then matches, could resume.
An email received from Donate A Ticket reminding everyone that they were still processing donations for those clubs signed up.
On January 21 it was announced that Michael MacCallum had agreed a contract extension until July 30, 2022.
On January 23 the Scottish Government announced an extension of the current lockdown until February 13/14.
The club website had 621 views and 279 visitors during January which is a reflection of the improvements made. Twitter has 1170 followers and Facebook 1554 followers… and we received two enquiries during the month, from Liverpool and Dumfries, for club lapel badges. Thank you!
The Club travel to the Princess Royal Park in Banff for Saturday’s Breedon Highland League encounter with Deveronvale.
Good luck to the boys and the management team in what will be our first competitive match since our Scottish Cup tie with Buckie Thistle on the 12 December, and our first competitive league game since 7 March 2020.
Again in adherence with the Scottish Government and Highland League CoVid 19 restrictions, no supporters from either club will be allowed to spectate.
When the passing of football legend Tommy Docherty was was announced last week, local club historian Rob A Clark got in touch with the following photograph and text featuring Mr Docherty’s visit to Grantown’s Waterford Hotel in 1995 as a guest of the then Strathspey Thistle Junior Football Club’s annual fundraising Sportsman’s Dinner. Rob’s two memories of that night are of Tommy Docherty being on top form and was very willing to speak with everyone and secondly, Bill McAllister’s high praise of how far STJFC had came in such a short time.
Pic shows l to r : M.C. for the night former Grade One Referee and current General Manager of Peterhead FC Martin Johnston, Strathspey Thistle Chairman at the time Graeme Mackie, the late Tommy Docherty, Strathspey Thistle Player / Manager at the time Donly McLeod, Highland football journalist Bill McAllister and then Secretary of Strathspey Thistle JFC and match day reporter for the local newspaper, local author Rob A Clark.
Someone has commented that Mr Docherty must have been on top form when you see current chairman Donly’s reaction…..
This Saturday we welcome to Seafield Park, Lossiemouth FC – but unfortunately we cannot welcome any supporters from either clubs – as per the guidelines of the Highland League Management Committee.
Obviously, the players will miss the supporters as it is a bit surreal playing League or Cup games in an empty stadium – hopefully fans will be allowed back in before the end of the season but as a club we must stick to the guidelines.
As ever please check with the STFC Facebook page and Twitter feed for up-to-date information about the game on Saturday and any other bits of news.
We hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas, or at least as enjoyable as circumstances demanded.
However as we now enter another lockdown we have decided that based on current Scottish Government advice, the Strathspey Thistle FC Lottery is suspended. The weekly draws will resume when it is safe to do so – the jackpot will be £3,200 on resumption. Please check with our Facebook and Twitter pages for up-to-date information on all aspects of the club.