Month: May 2017

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Choose Our New Away Kit

Shire fans are getting the chance to decide on next season’s new Joma away kit thanks to a special poll on the club’s Twitter home page.

The final options have been narrowed down to just two. The first is a variant on our current home strip, only this time in red and black, and, if chosen, would mean both the home and away jerseys would feature a hooped design.

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The second option updates Shire’s current second choice combo of yellow and blue with a Boavista-style design on the front.

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The Twitter poll will be open for the next seven days and the club will put into production whichever of the two options proves to be the most popular. So get voting and have your say.

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Lewis And Simon Stay On

Shire youngsters Lewis Peddie and Simon White are the latest players to put pen to paper on new deals for the 2017/18 season.

The teenage midfielders have made considerable improvement over the course of the last season and coach John Sludden was keen for them both to stay and continue that football education.

“They have both done really well in the season just finished,” said John. “I’m looking forward to seeing them again next season and we want to see them continue to make progress towards their ultimate aim of regular first team football.”

Simon made his Shire debut last term at just 17 years of age and featured in a number of Lowland League matches. Lewis, who made his first Shire appearance during the 2016/16 campaign, was a regular on the bench during our first-ever Lowland League season.

Simon White
Simon White
Lewis Peddie
Lewis Peddie
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Brisbane Back For More

Midfielder Steven Brisbane is the latest player to put pen to paper for Shire’s 2017/18 Lowland League season.

The former Falkirk and Clyde man has signed a one year contract extension which will keep him at the club until May 2018. Steven had signed a short-term deal earlier in the campaign until the end of the season but coach John Sludden has been impressed enough to offer him a new deal.

The 22 year-old had been without a club after his release by Clyde in the summer of 2016 after making 14 appearances for the Bully Wee in 2015/16 until re-joining Shire in the middle of the season just finished.

He had left Shire at the end of 2014/15 season for Clyde after making 30 league and cup appearances during Craig Tully’s first season as Shire head coach.

Steven joins a growing band of players who will be returning to the club for another campaign once the summer break is over and we are delighted that he has accepted new terms and extended his stay with Shire.

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Player Of The Year Awards

The annual club Player of the Year awards will be handed out at special ceremony on Thursday (11th May).

The event will go ahead at the Ochilview Bar and will have a 7:30pm start. All supporters are encouraged to come along and find out for themselves who this year’s prize guys will be.

Supporters have been voting for a number of different awards with the main event being the fans’ Player of the Year.

For the first time there will also be a Goal of the Season with the first winner receiving the new Tommy Greenaway trophy. It promises to be a lively evening with coaches and players in attendance, so please make the effort to come along.

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Spartans Preview

Achieving a first victory of the season over Spartans may be Shire’s key motivation ahead of this weekend’s Lowland League Cup second round match at Ainslie Park.

The Edinburgh club won both league encounters this season, a factor in Shire’s inability to sustain a challenge to eventual champions East Kilbride, and coach John Sludden admitted in the run-up to this week’s game those failures were more than a minor disappointment to the Shire players.

With Sludden likely to have something close to a full-strength squad available this week, there could be a very keen edge to the encounter beyond simply extending the season by one more match and moving a step closer to reaching the League Cup final.

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

“I don’t think there will be a lot between the two teams and we are looking forward to a good cup-tie,” said the Shire coach. “The boys have been hurt by the question marks that were raised when we have played the teams at the top of the league.

“We failed to beat them in the two league games and that disappointed the players, so we have a chance to change that on Saturday and prove that we can beat Spartans.”

The team passed a similar challenge with flying colours two weeks ago when Shire at last scored victory over East Kilbride in the final league match of the season. Sludden says this weekend’s trip to Edinburgh presents the same kind of scenario which, he hopes, will lead to the same kind of outcome.

“It provided a wee incentive in that game,” he said of the 3-2 league victory over the table-toppers. “And we hope that will be the same again on Saturday.”

Shire still feel aggrieved at the 1-0 defeat at Spartans on their last trip to Ainslie Park in September. The outcome was decided by a disputed penalty kick goal in injury-time at the end of the match.

“There wasn’t much between the two teams that day,” said the Shire coach. “We had a couple of chances, as they did, and it was a penalty kick that decided it.”

The Ochilview reverse fixture ended in a more decisive 4-1 victory for Spartans, on the back of a second half display which was perhaps the best performance any team has managed against Shire this season, something John recognised.

“In the second half we let ourselves down but they deserved to win the game,” he observed.

Shire had a depleted squad to thank for getting the club into this weekend’s second round of the League Cup. They took just 12 players to Selkirk in last week’s first round and found themselves 2-0 down at the interval only for an Andy Rodgers double and a Jamie Glasgow strike in the second period to turn things around.

“At half-time we told them they had 45 minutes to change things and, fair play to them, they did that,” said John. “The first 30 minutes was really disappointing but we showed a lot of positive things in the second half which we hope to take on into this Saturday’s game.”

Club captain Derek Ure and defender Michael Oliver will be added to the squad after missing the Selkirk trip due to suspension and there are hopes as well that injured duo Kris Faulds and Liam Allison will be fit enough to be added.

The coach is adamant that everyone at the club wants to end the season on a high note and, for them, the objective is to do their best to get to the final on 20th May.

“Our aim is to get to the final stages of the cups. It will be another difficult hurdle on Saturday but we have to go there and show the kind of confidence that can get us a result and into the next round.”

The coach and the players would love to see another big away contingent at Ainslie Park. There was an encouraging travelling support at Selkirk last Saturday and it’s hoped there could be a big turn out this weekend to help the team. The Supporters Club will be organising transport and details can be obtained from Sandy Nimmo on 07803 708119.

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Will To Win Is Strong – Coach

Coach John Sludden has identified a desire to achieve a first victory this season over Spartans as one of the main motivators for Saturday’s Lowland League Cup second round match at Ainslie Park.

Two defeats in the league meetings of the teams harmed Shire’s chances of overtaking eventual champions East Kilbride – accounting for six lost points out of a gap of seven between the league winners and Shire, who ended the campaign as runners-up.

And the coach says no-one should underestimate that as a reason for his team seeking to advance to the semi-final stage of the end-of-season cup competition.

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“What has hurt the boys his season has been the question marks that have been raised when we have played the teams at the top of the league,” said John. “We failed to beat them in the league this season and that’s something that disappointed the players. So, we have a wee chance of changing that on Saturday which gives us an opportunity to show that we are capable of beating the likes of Spartans.”

The coach will be encouraged by the response his players gave to the same kind of motivational message ahead of the final league game of the season when Shire eventually managed to beat East Kilbride at Ochilview.

There may have been nothing much at stake but the Shire players’ pride shone through to record a morale-boosting 3-2 victory and he would like to think the same sort of approach applies to this weekend’s match.

“We had a wee incentive [to beat East Kilbride] and it worked for them that day,” said John. “And we are certainly looking for the same again on Saturday. ”

Just as important to the coach and his thinking prior to the Spartans encounter is the need to keep the season going and extend the possibility of ending it with some silverware.

The loser at Ainslie Park will have played their final game of the season, while the victor will progress to a semi-final against either Stirling University or Gretna 2008.

“We have said before that we want to get to the final stages of the cups,” said John. “It will be another difficult hurdle on Saturday but we do have the confidence that can get us the result and get us into the next round.”

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

Shire will be boosted by the return of skipper Derek Ure and defender Michael Oliver from suspension and the coach is also hoping Kris Faulds and Liam Allison will have recovered from injury problems to participate.

“Hopefully Kris will get the all-clear and we will see how Liam is. But Derek and big Michael will come back into the set-up this Saturday and we will have a bigger squad this weekend,” said John.

Shire’s last visit to Ainslie Park ended in a controversial 1-0 defeat for Shire with Spartans claiming all three points by virtue of a hotly-disputed injury-time penalty. The return game at Ochilview in January was just as tight in the first period, but an outstanding display in the second half allowed Spartans to claim all three points.

“There wasn’t a lot in the first match,” said the Shire coach. “The same was true in the first half at Ochilview although we let ourselves down badly in the second half that day and Spartans deserved the win.

“But we are looking forward to Saturday’s game and hopefully we can get the right result this time.”

The coach and the players are hoping as many Shire supporters as possible will be able to come and cheer the team on Saturday. The Supporters Club will be organising transport and details can be obtained from Sandy Nimmo on 07803 708119. Please make an effort, if you can, to get to the game and cheer on the team.

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

Goal Of The Season

The club is grateful to the Greenaway family who, this season, are putting up a trophy for the Shire Goal of the Season.

The new trophy will be in memory of lifelong Shire fan and sponsor of the club, Tommy Greenaway, who sadly died earlier this season.

The task of producing a shortlist for Goal of the Season is a tough one this term, with more than a hundred to choose from. Tommy’s son, Scott, and club historian, Drummond Calder, have sifted through them all and come up with ten for Shire fans to vote for.

Now that you’ve had a chance to browse the top ten, Shire fans are being asked to nominate their top three. Each submission will then have points allocated and the goal which gets the most points will be Goal of the Season, and the scorer will receive the new Tommy Greenaway Trophy.

The votes are being collected by Scott and his family. You can register by contacting Scott Greenaway or Gary English by direct message on Facebook or by text. You’ve got until midnight on Saturday 6th May to get in touch. May the best goal win.

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Spartans On Saturday

Shire’s season will continue this coming Saturday (6th May) when the team travels to Spartans in the second round of the Scottish Lowland League Cup.

The game will go ahead at Ainslie Park and will have the usual 3.00pm kick-off time.

It follows our exciting 3-2 victory in the first round at Selkirk at the weekend when two Andy Rodgers goals and a Jamie Glasgow strike completed a second half comeback against a Selkirk team who had held a 2-0 half-time lead.

At full-time on Saturday we still did not know who Shire’s second round opponents would be as East Kilbride’s home tie against Spartans had been held back 24 hours due to the champions’ participation in Saturday’s pyramid play-off semi-final.

However, Spartans emerged as 3-0 victors in Sunday’s delayed match to book a third clash with Shire this season.

We hope as many Shire fans as possible will be able to come along and cheer on the team as the players attempt to reach a second cup semi-final this season.

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