Socrates MacSporran

Socrates MacSporran
No I am not Chick Young, but I can remember when Scottish football was good

Sunday, 29 October 2017

So Much To Discuss, Let's Start With Real Fitba

WHERE to begin today, with so much to discuss: Celtic's 61-in-a-row and counting; Who's next for the poisoned chalice at Ibrox; Scott Brown – in or out against the Netherlands; Stevie Clarke's start with Kilmarnock – two points gained, or four dropped? There are no end of subjects for the dedicated blogger on Scottish football to get his teeth into.

 The Scottish Junior Cup - We've got it and we intend keeping it here

So, forgive me, dear reader, if I turn my back on Scottish Football, to begin today's dissertation with a look at REAL SCOTTISH FITBA – and the Scottish Junior Cup. Here in Nirvana, on the East Ayrshire/Dumfries and Galloway border, we are still in heaven, as we reflect on the fact, the Holy Grail, the Scottish Junior Cup, currently resides in our dear home village of New Cumnock, at Loch Park, home of GLENAFTON ATHLETIC.

It is not lonely there having the West of Scotland Superleague and the Evening Times Champion of Champions trophies for company, after the 2017-2018 season mirabalus. The Glen were not in action in yesterday's second round ties, their scheduled clash with Dalry Thistle being postponed due to a flooded Merksworth Park, Dalry.

But, there were other interesting matches among the 63 fixtures played. These games produced 381 goals, an average of 6 goals per tie, so, the fans were not short-changed. There were, it has to be admitted, the usual number of mis-matches, which were embarrassingly one-sided.

Top-scorers were SHOTTS BON ACCORD, who stuck 13 on MUIRKIRK, their visitors from Ayrshire; this was one goal more than cup contenders and 2016 winners, BEITH, who scored 12 without reply at home to INVERNESS CITY. RUTHERGLEN GLENCAIRN were the other team in double figures, 11-0 home winners against GLENTANAR.

GARTCAIRN scored nine without response at home to WHITEHILLS, while the mighty AUCHINLECK TALBOT, as expected put visitors FORRES to the sword at Fortress Beechwood, winning 8-0. Some so-called experts will tell, the team from the old Central League most-likely to end that former stronghold's lengthy wait for Scottish Cup winners is KIRKINTILLOCH ROB ROY, and the Rabs certainly began well, thumping Carluke 6-0.

There were encouraging cup wins too for a couple of new bosses of previously struggling powerhouses. Peter Leonard's reign at Townhead Park could not had a much-worse start than a defeat to ten man Talbot in his first match, but, Saturday's 5-0 Scottish Cup win at CRAIGMARK, was a much-better outcome for the new CUMNOCK gaffer.

 New Irvine Meadow boss Brian McGinty

Brian McGinty, who I first met as a young striker, out to rebuild his career at St Mirren, following his release by boyhood heroes Rangers, is the latest boss charged with bringing back the glory days to IRVINE MEADOW. A 5-2 win over Broxburn is just the start big Brian would have hoped for, I wish him well at Meadow Park. And finally, in this quick run round the Juniors, hard luck but well done to my own favourite junior side, the once-mighty LUGAR BOSWELL THISTLE. A 3-1 home loss to LINLITHGOW ROSE was a better outcome than many feared.

I HAVE long held, indeed, I discussed this very subject two or three posts ago, Scotland should have a 100,000-capacity genuine National Stadium, to be used for show-piece games by our national football and rugby teams, and this should be built on a green field or brown field site, somewhere central, with good road and rail communications.

Of course, this state of the art arena, complete with G surface, and a roof, will only be built after Scotland wins its Independence. Sadly, it will probably have to wait until the independent Scottish Government has sorted-out the nation's Health Service (even though this is in much-better shape than its Unionist critics would try to have us believe), its transport infrastructure, its housing stock, land reform, its broken industrial and manufacturing sectors and, the key to doing all this, seen us finally get some money out of all that oil we are floating in.

So, what do we do for the 100-years or so it will take our politicians to get around to building this super stadium? Well, there is, of course, a lot of posturing and jostling for advantageous positions going on, but, while I think - “It's aye been” being the default position of Scotland's football rulers – will prevail and we will stick with Hampden, what is wrong with football at Murrayfield?

 The SRU's Dominic McKay, if anyone can "sell" Murrayfield to the SFA for games, it's him

Are the SFA so well-insulated against reality they can turn down the possibility of an additional 15,000 bums on seats for sell-out matches and turn down the chance to play at Murrayfield? Money talks, and, if the canny Dominic McKay can strike the right deal, and he has a great track record on this, Scotland's football team may yet be running-out at Murrayfield sometime soon.

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