Category: News

Publication1

Watch Cove Rangers Game For Free

Cove Rangers and Shire have agreed to give free entry to everyone coming along to watch Saturday’s pre-season friendly which is being played at Links Park in Montrose.

The clubs have decided on the gesture after recognising the cost involved for both sets of supporters in travelling to the game at a neutral venue. Saturday’sencounter will have a 3:00pm kick-off and will be coach John Sludden’s final chance to get his formula right ahead of the start of the Lowland League season.

The coach says the choice of Highland League opposition for the final pre-season friendly was deliberate.

“We wanted a team that would be similar of the best of the sides in our own league,” he said. “We planned it that way when we were fixing up our pre-season games. Cove Rangers will be a very tough set of opponents and it’s a game we are all looking forward to.”

It will be the first meeting of the two clubs since a couple of very hard-fought Scottish Cup-ties in the early 1990s.

Publication1

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 





Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 






East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 






East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

Bairns Game, “A Good Test.”

Coach John Sludden has described Tuesday’s latest friendly outing, a 3-2 defeat against Falkirk’s under-20 team, as “a good test” for the Shire squad with the start of the Lowland League season little more than a week away.

Shire trailed 2-0 at the interval but goals from Paul Sludden and Andy Rodgers levelled things off before Falkirk struck with two minutes left to win the match.

“Falkirk have a good crop of young players and it was a good test for us,” said John.”We are using these games to get everyone some game fitness and also to try things tactically.

“We started with three at the back and that took time to adjust to before we switched to a four,” he said. Shire also continued to play some squad members in unfamiliar positions as the coaching team looks for the right blend ahead of the opening competitive fixture against BSC Glasgow at Ochilview on Saturday 29th July.

There will be one final warm-up game prior to that this coming Saturday (22nd July) against Highland League Cove Rangers at Links Park in Montrose.

Falkirk took the lead after just ten minutes when Mark Stowe was set up for a tap-in from close range and they almost went 2-0 up a minute later as Stowe hit a shot off the crossbar.

The second for the visitors came after 17 minutes from Connor Langton but it took a great save from the Bairns keeper to keep out a great Andy Rodgers effort just after the half hour.

Two minutes after the break Sludden had an effort ruled out for offside but with 15 minutes to go the Shire striker took advantage of a poor defensive clearance to go round the keeper and put the ball into the empty net to reduce the leeway.

Keeper Robbie Mutch brought Rodgers down inside the box with five minutes left and the Shire man levelled the scores with the resulting penalty kick but with two minutes left Jamie Barclay saved a shot which he could not hold and Connor McBride hit the loose ball high into the roof of the net for Falkirk’s third goal.

FALKIRK : Mutch, K.Mitchell, Henderson, J.Mitchell, Finlayson, Peggie, Langton, Blues, Shepherd, Girdwood, Stowe.

SHIRE : Barclay, Greene, Ramsay, Faulds, Tapping, A.Grant, Rodgers, Ure, Kelbie, Sludden, McCormack.

logocropp

Shire Win See-Saw Freindly

Shire won a see-saw pre-season friendly against West Region Junior Superleague side Arthurlie at Dunterlie Park on Saturday, emerging with a 4-3 victory.

Coach John Sludden sent out a strong side but they fell behind to a goal just 70 seconds after kick-off, but Connor Greene’s 18th minute header brought Shire level and an own goal after 26 minutes had the visitors in front.

Two minutes before the break Paul Sludden had the ball in the back of the Arthurlie net but his effort was ruled out for offside and seconds later the game swung the other way as Arthurlie brought the scores level.

Five minutes after the break the home team engineered themselves a 3-2 lead but the advantage was to last only four minutes and it was Greene again, with another header, who brought the scores level at 3-3.

The stalemate was broken again on 68 minutes when Andy Grant sent a long-range effort through a forest of legs and into the net for the game’s winning goal.

SHIRE : Barclay, Greene, Ramsay, Tapping, A.Grant, Ure, Kelbie, Sludden, Brisbane, McGregor, McCormack.

logocropp

Friendlies Start With Defeat

Shire’s programme of pre-season friendly matches got underway with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of East of Scotland League side Tynecastle at Little Kerse on Tuesday night.

John Sludden’s men were limbering up for the first time ahead of the season opener on 29th July against BSC Glasgow, just ten days and five training sessions after returning from their summer break.

Their visitors were much more advanced in their preparations for the new campaign and they started the stronger and scored the opening goal through a trialist after just eight minutes play.

Tynecastle were in the groove and scored a second goal after just 17 minutes through Robbie McIntyre. Shire came more into things but there was no further scoring in the first half.

Shire pulled one back with a spectacular Andy Rodgers 20 yard free kick into the back of the net after 51 minutes but the visitors restored their two goal advantage through Antonio Brkić ten minutes later.

A flurry of substitutions disrupted the flow of the match and there were no further goals.

SHIRE : Barclay, McCormack, Ramsay, Tapping, Greene, Ure, Brisbane, Allison, Rodgers, Kelbie, Sludden.

TYNECASTLE : McMullen, Grant, McIntyre, Ferguson, Page, Crabbe, Greig, Trialist, Brkić, Mayer, Hutchison.

Publication1

Tynecastle Preview

Shire’s opening pre-season friendly prior to the 2017/18 big kick-off was a while in the making.

The idea of a warm-up game against East of Scotland League Tynecastle FC  was first floated back in March after the two clubs met in the quarter-final of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup.

In the immediate aftermath of Shire’s 3-2 win at the Falkirk Stadium, head coach John Sludden and opposite number Steven Vinter promised to explore the possibility of a game prior to the club’s respective league seasons.

Now they will clash on Tuesday evening (11th July) at Little Kerse in Grangemouth in a match which kicks-off at 7:15pm. Although the game’s being held at Shire’s training HQ supporters are welcome to come along and watch the team’s first run-out ahead of the new campaign.

Publication1

“We have built up a good relationship with Tynecastle since that game,” said John. “I kept in touch with Steven and it was always in the plans to arrange a pre-season game and we have done that.

“I will continue to keep in touch with them and that could work to the benefit of both clubs during the course of the season.”

The game comes just ten days after Shire returned to pre-season training. For many that may seem a bit early but the coach is not a fan of stretching out the hard work ahead of the first competitive game of this season, which follows on Saturday 29th July with our Lowland League opener against BSC Glasgow at Ochilview.

And neither is John a great believer in a long slog of fitness sessions. He says he would much rather use practice games as the main way of getting in prime shape for the start of the season and they are about to come thick and fast.

Publication1

After the Tynecastle game Shire travel to Arthurlie on Saturday, followed by a Tuesday evening visit to Falkirk and then a Saturday trip to Montrose to take on Cove Rangers on 22nd July. There is also the possibility of another friendly before the BSC Glasgow game.

“The most important thing is to get match fitness,” said John. “I like to try and fit in as many games as I can because I think playing matches is where players get their real fitness. We’ve done our preparation work for seven days before Tuesday night.

“We are looking good. The fitness is improving with every session and the quality of the work they have been doing has been excellent.”

The match will give new boys Kevin Kelbie, Jamie McCormack, and Jordan Tapping the chance to fit into their new surroundings and alongside the nucleus of the squad from last season.

It’s also expected a number of trialists will feature in the squad and take part at some stage.

Coach Sludden spoke about Shire’s pre-season regime ahead of the opening game against Tynecastle. You can listen to the full interview by clicking on the link below.

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 





Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 






East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 






East Stirlingshire v Annan Athletic Betfred Cup; 30/07/2016; Ochilview, Gladstone Road, FK5 4QL; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

Open Training

Coach John Sludden and his backroom team are extending an invitation to all Shire fans to an open training session on Saturday (8th July).

The event will start at 10:30am at Little Kerse with the first session ending at 12 noon and a further afternoon work out between 1:00pm and 2:00pm.

Between those times all Shire fans will be welcome to pop down and observe the sessions and meet the players, including the new signings.

It will be the fans’ first chance to see how the squad is shaping up for the new season ahead of the pre-season friendly matches which start next week.

The first game will be this coming Tuesday (11th July) when East of Scotland League side Tynecastle FC  will be Shire’s opponents at Little Kerse. The game has a 7:15pm start and admission is free.

Publication1

logocropp

Programme Subscriptions

The club will once again be running its successful programme subscription service for the 2017/18 season.

Subscribers to the service are guaranteed a programme from each of Shire’s home and away competitive matches, including cup matches, across the whole campaign.

Given that a number of games saw the issues sold out on the day this is one way of making sure you receive a match programme from every game the team plays.

The total cost for the season is £125.00 which includes first class postage. You will receive your programmes in deliveries of three.

If you want to take out a programme subscription please send a cheque payable to Charles McLaughlin to :

Charles McLaughlin, 9 Broomhall Gardens, Edinburgh, EH12 7QA.

East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland; 

Shire manager John Sludden


Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 






East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 

East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk 






East Stirlingshire v Hawick Royal Albert; 20/08/2016; Ochilview Stadium; Falkirk District; Scotland; 




Pic by Alan Murray
Contact - mob   07511 123 919
                 home 01877 331266                       www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk

Door Still Open For Signings

Shire coach John Sludden will take his time before making his next move to strengthen his  squad for the 2017/18 Lowland League season but he has not closed the book on things and says there will be more new faces to look forward to.

Many of the berths on the roster were taken months ago as the mainstays of last season opted for continuity and penned contract extensions long before the summer holidays.

But the coach was just as clear that there was still room for improvement and finding the players to build on what he had last year would be his main priority.

So far striker Kevin Kelbie, central defender Jordan Tapping and utility man Jamie McCormack are the only three players signed who were not with Shire last season. But the coach says he is still very much on the lookout to add to that tally.

Photo : Alan Murray, Falkirk Herald
Photo : Alan Murray, Falkirk Herald

“Last season was a bit of a rush to get a squad together but this season we don’t have to rush into it,” he said. “We have a nucleus of a squad there and what we are now looking for is quality.

“We’ve got quantity but now it’s about finding someone who will add something to the team.”

The coach isn’t being leisurely in his approach to adding some more new faces but he says he wants to give things proper consideration. He says the club’s board of directors have to be given a vote of confidence for their assistance in trying to get the best possible squad available for the forthcoming season.

“The board of directors have given us their backing in terms of getting Tappy, and Jamie and Kevin,” he said. “And we are now in discussions with a couple of players who we think will add some quality to the squad.”

But he knows too that he has to have numbers as well. A long season can take its toll in terms of injury and suspension and the coach appreciates he will need everyone to play a part.

“The board deserves credit for making sure that by February we had ten or twelve players in who would be the nucleus this time round,” he said. “We have taken our time [when adding players}. So far we have been successful in bringing players into that area.”

Photo : Alan Murray, Falkirk Herald.
Photo : Alan Murray, Falkirk Herald.

Now the hard work starts and pre-season training resumed at the weekend. Before long the friendlies will be underway and the first competitive game, the Lowland League opener against BSC Glasgow at Ochilview on 29th July, is not far off.

The coach says everyone’s raring to go.

“The one thing we always talk about is the team spirit,” he said. “And, on the first day of pre-season, you can already see it. Everyone’s in and they are looking forward to it. ”

You can listen to John’s full interview on the start of pre-season training, his thoughts on the new signings, and views on more to come by clicking on the link below .

Publication1

Barclay Not Prepared To Wait

Jamie Barclay had had enough of the waiting game last season.

The 27 year-old goalkeeper is back with Shire for a second Lowland League campaign partly because he wanted to get his football future sorted out quickly. His deal with Shire expired in May, but rather then be left in limbo he kept talking to head coach John Sludden and the pair came to terms.

He signed on the dotted line on the first day of pre-season training perhaps a year older and a year wiser with the experience of last summer still on his mind.

Twelve months ago, after his release by Stenhousemuir, Jamie was looking for the offers. But they didn’t come. The new season began and he still had no club and it wasn’t until Dumbarton faced an injury crisis that he signed a short-term deal there.

When that ended he again searched around until Shire asked him to continue his career in the Lowland League. Some may have seen it as a step down but Jamie enjoyed it enough to agree to a return for a second season. And it also meant there was no second summer of uncertainty.

DSC00190

“I am delighted to be back and happy to get it sorted out early as well,” he said. “I didn’t want to be hanging about for another summer so when the gaffer called asking me to come for another year I was happy to get it done early.”

As well as the security there is also the personal satisfaction. Some perhaps would look for a return to the SPFL  but Jamie says his first experience of Lowland League football certainly tempted him back.

“Some of the places we went to last year were certainly a bit of an eye opener,” he said. “But I loved it. In fact it was the first time in a couple years where I have actually enjoyed my football.

“Also, I have always said that this is a club that I like playing for. I get on well with the people here so for me to come back again was a bit of a no-brainer.”

East Stirlings Andy Rodgers in second half action..East Stirling v Cumbernauld Colts, Lowland League, September 10th 2016. (c) Paul Cram | Johnstone Press

As well as enjoyment there is also a point to prove. As much as he got personal satisfaction playing at a club he likes Jamie, like everyone else at Shire, was disappointed to have missed out on the Lowland League crown, ending the season as runners-up to champions East Kilbride.

The teams will re-new battle once more this season and the Shire goalkeeper says the objective remains the same.

“I know last year the target was to get promoted but that will be what we are aiming for again,” he said. “Anything can happen in football and I suppose you could win the league and end up getting beat in the play-off.

“But you want to give yourself the best possible chance of being promoted and get the club back to where they were for so many years.”

You can listen to Jamie’s interview on his return to the club in full by clicking on the link below.

Publication1

2017/18 Lowland League Fixtures

Shire will open their 2017/18 Lowland League season with a home game against BSC Glasgow.

The game will go ahead at Ochilview on Saturday 29th July with a 3:00pm kick-off and will be the team’s first competitive match of the season.

The early season matches will come thick and fast for John Sludden’s team with our first away game of the season just four days later on Wednesday 2nd August and a trip to Rosewell to take on Whitehill Welfare. This game has a 7:15pm kick-off.

Shire’s first encounter with Lowland League new boys, Edusport Academy, will be at Ochilview on 18th November. Other games to look out for are meetings with last season’s champions, East Kilbride.

The team will travel to K Park on 23rd September and then will host East Kilbride in the return game at Ochilview on 16th December.

Our groundshare with Stenhousemuir means that there will be a couple of Sunday fixtures for Shire at Ochilview – on 20th August when Civil Service Strollers are the visitors and our first game of 2018 which will be on Sunday 7th January against Stirling University.

We will put a full list of Lowland League fixtures on the website when they become available.