Month: January 2017

Shire Charity Challenge

Former Shire defender David King will be our guest at this weekend’s game against Spartans at Ochilview and will be taking part in the half-time Shire Chaity Challenge.

His aim will be to raise as much money as possible for our nominated good cause, The Holly Taylor Fund, which is aiming to raise cash to help a local girl with a rare form of cancer.

Already Shire striker Andy Rodgers has taken part in a skydive to raise funds and he has nominated the Fund along with Supporters’ Club secretary, Trudy Wilson.

At half-time on Sunday “Kingy” and some of the young players from our East Stirlingshire Galaxy community teams will be taking part in the skills challenge, trying to find the back of the net through a special target posted across the face of the goal posts.

We are sure you will want to offer David and the others taking part every encouragement to raise as much money for this worthwhile cause.

Coach Sludden Seeks Fan Support

Coach John Sludden’s hoping as many Shire fans as possible can make it to Sunday’s important Lowland League clash against Spartans at Ochilview to give the team the help they will need to get the right result.

After last week’s 1-0 win against Edinburgh University the coach was quick to praise the travelling supporters who, despite the slim margin of victory, gave the team a rousing ovation at full-time.

“They understand that we’ve not going to win every game 4-0 or 5-0,” he said. “I thought they were terrific the way they applauded the team at the end and gave us encouragement.

“The fans knew what an important win that was and they knew that , in the end, winning was all that mattered,” he said.


Now John, and the Shire players, would love to see a big turn out of supporters for the battle of second against third in the current Lowland League table.

“The fans have been terrific all season,” said John. “This game will be difficult. Spartans are a good, experienced team who have players who have been at a higher level.

“But I don’t think we should attach any more importance on this game than on all the others we still have to play. Every game is important and we need to try and win them.”

Spartans have won nine in a row, while Shire are unbeaten in eleven and the coach and the players know that this weekend’s opponents were the last to beat them in the league, although the 1-0 win was courtesy of an injury-time penalty kick.

The Shire coach is looking for better this time round.

“We had a chance just before the penalty incident,” he said. “It was a close game and maybe a draw would have been a fairer result . We know it will be tough again this week but we are in good form, winning games and keeping clean sheets so we should be looking forward to it.”


Rae Heads To Shire

Former Dundee and Rangers star Alex Rae will be the club’s special guest at Sunday’s Lowland League match against Spartans at Ochilview.

Alex, who also has had managerial spells at Dundee and St. Mirren, will be helping our forty young guests from East Stirlingshire Galaxy get the most out of their day by bringing along the four SPFL divisional championship trophies.

The youngsters will enjoy a pre-game meal and will also be mascots for the game. Each will receive a replica Shire top and there’ll be the chance to mingle with the first team squad after the game.

And, of course, they’ll get the chance to meet a top former player in Alex Rae and have their photos taken with the trophies.

The event is part of the club’s partnership with this season’s major sponsor, Ladbrokes, who have been a great help in organising the appearance of the SPFL  trophies and other aspects of the day.

We’re hoping Alex and the forty young community team players have a great time.

The club will be repeating the event on two more occasions throughout the remainder of the season, which means 120 kids will have had the full hospitality experience at a first team game and will have their own replica Shire top.


Kingy Set For Shire Return

Popular former Shire defender David King’s set for a return when the team takes on Spartans at Ochilview this weekend.

But he won’t be getting a call-up to John Sludden’s squad. Instead, David will be hoping to hit the back of the net to win cash for good causes as he leads the latest Charity Challenge taking place during half-time in Sunday’s game.

David will be helped out by four young East Stirlingshire Galaxy players who will be aiming to fire balls through a special target in the goalposts.

For every shot that manages to find the back of the net we’ll be giving a sum to a good cause which, this time round, will be the choice of one of the club’s loyal supporters.

We are sure everyone who remembers David’s time with Shire fondly will give him a big welcome back on Sunday and all the encouragement he needs to raise money for a worthwhile good cause.

Hawick KO Switch

The Lowland League has moved forward the kick-off time of Shire’s trip to face Hawick Royal Albert on Saturday 25th March.

The game at Albert Park will now start at 7:00pm and NOT 8:00pm are originally scheduled.

This change has been made due to several alterations to the Groundhopping Weekend event, which is the reason why the match is not taking place in its traditional three o’clock slot.

The weekend is organised by an events company and gives fans, primarily from England, the chance to experience non-league football over an entire weekend, with teams staggering kick-off times to allow a bigger attendance than normal.

Shire’s match at Albert Park forms part of the tour’s itinerary, although this year the focus is on the East of Scotland League, with Preston Athletic versus Cumbernauld Colts the only other Lowland League game included.


Sunday Roast Lunch

The club is inviting fans for a Sunday roast lunch ahead of next weekend’s Lowland League match against Spartans at Ochilview.

You can enjoy a traditional Sunday roast along with tea or coffee or soft drinks before settling down to watch the main event of the day as second place Shire host third top Spartans in the league’s top weekend encounter.

The cost is £21 for adults and £10 for children which includes entry to the game. Season ticket holders can take advantage of this offer for the special price of just £13. Lunch will be served at Ochilview from 1:30pm.

There are a very limited number of spaces available so they are likely to go very quickly. To reserve your seat at the lunch table e-mail us at



We Did Our Job – MacGregor

The thought did run through Graeme MacGregor’s mind that getting back into the Shire starting eleven might not be easy.

Especially given the form they were in during his spell on the sidelines which coincided with a brilliant run with goals flying into the opposition net from all angles.

But now he has been restored to the side he’s feeling great, and he’s happy even if, since his return, winning rather than entertaining has become the top priority for everyone.


“It’s good waking up on a Saturday morning knowing you’ve got a chance of playing,” said Graeme, who was injured late in October’s Scottish Cup replay against Annan Athletic and then had to wait until Hogmanay’s win over BSC Glasgow to get his place back.

“It’s natural that you wonder if you’ll get back in when the team win all those matches. You can’t complain and you just have to get on with it and try and wait for your time and when you get a chance you’ve got to try and take it.”

Since his return Shire’s performances have been more workmanlike but Graeme understands that, right now, getting wins is all that matters. Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Edinburgh University at East Peffermill may not have been one for the purist but few were in any mood to complain, and certainly not Shire’s attack-minded right-back.

“When you come to a place like this it’s difficult,” said Graeme. “It’s important we all do our bit, and our job was to keep them out and that’s what we did.”

And he also is quick to point out that Shire will not have everything all their own way every week. The opposition will always influence what a game looks like and how it’s played and the defender says Edinburgh University did that.

“They are a stuffy team and play in two solid banks and we just had to stay patient and try to break them down. Sometimes we played the hard ball but we just needed to stay patient, keep the ball and play it behind them.

“They are a good side who know what they want to do so it was good to get the three points. That was the most important thing.”


And he also thinks that in the remaining weeks of the season the defence might have a bit more to do in making sure Shire win games. Graeme isn’t the only one from inside the dressing room to believe that opposing teams will try the kind of approach Shire have faced from Edinburgh University.

“We’ve played well and scored a lot of goals so teams will know that if they open out against us they could get punished so they will just sit behind the ball and frustrate us.”

You can listen to Graeme’s full post-game thoughts by clicking on the link below :

You can read a full match report on the Edinburgh University game and watch video highlights here .

A Win Was Everything – John

Despite Shire recording their lowest scoring victory of the season, coach John Sludden was dishing out praise to everyone after the team secured a 1-0 Lowland League win against Edinburgh University at East Peffermill on Saturday.

The coach knew it was never going to be easy and, in the end, David Grant’s 12th minute goal, his 27th of the season, was the difference against the students who, over two games, have been formidable opponents.

After the 1-1 draw at Ochilview a fortnight ago the coach accepted the first, and perhaps only, priority was to make sure Shire won the match. The free-scoring days are getting fewer and far between and he’s pleased even the club’s fans are recognising the value of winning as the number one priority.

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

“They know,” he said of the travelling supporters who gave the team a deserved ovation at full-time. “They know what we are facing. The reception at the end was fantastic and it shows they realise we are going to get games like that and that we are not going to score four and five every week.

“They have been patient with us and they know the most important thing is getting three points. Yes, we would like to keep on playing the way we have been but today was about grinding out a result.”

The supporters weren’t the only ones getting a pat on the back. The coach said the team’s performance, while not providing another bucket load of goals, was praiseworthy and when Shire did find the back of the net it was well-executed.

“It was a great goal,” said John. “The link-up play was great and it was a fine finish from Granty, something he has done all season for us. And we had another few chances which on another day would have gone in for us, but that wasn’t to be. ”

And while the Shire coach was dishing out plaudits he was careful not to leave out Edinburgh University goalkeeper Mark Tait, who defied Shire with some superb second half stops.

“Their keeper had three great saves in the second half and I congratulated him after the game because he kept his team in it.”

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

For all that, though, John knows there were some things in the game that will need to be worked on at the training ground during the week. It’s a sign that he will not stop the bid for constant improvement.

“In the final third we made the wrong decisions at times which was frustrating,” he said. “But we will work on that in training. That’s one thing about the boys – they want to learn and they want to improve and we will speak about that, but we can’t be too critical of them.”

You can listen to John’s full post-match thoughts by clicking on the link below :

You can read a full match report and watch video highlights of the game here .

Edinburgh University Preview

Shire travel to Edinburgh University this week for a re-arranged Lowland League match hoping to do better against the students than the 1-1 draw in the return game just two weeks ago.

Saturday’s game has been slotted into an otherwise blank fixture round for the Lowland League – it should have been the very first of the league season for both teams on 30th July.

But Shire’s Betfred Cup participation meant an Ochilview clash against Annan Athletic took precedence with the Peffermill visit shelved until a later date. As is often the case, that has meant the two teams facing each other twice over a very short space of time.

Since the first meeting of the two teams at Ochilview on 7th January both have played one additional fixture – against the same opposition, Stirling University.

Shire saw off a strong challenge last Friday evening at the Falkirk Stadium with two first half goals from David Grant giving the team a 2-0 victory, to make it eleven Lowland League matches without defeat.

However, Edinburgh University did not fair so well against the men from the Airthrey campus, losing 3-1 on the back of a Chris Geddes hat-trick. They should have been in action last weekend but the students’ planned home game against BSC Glasgow fell victim to the snow and icy temperatures at the tail end of the week.

Shire have now gone ten matches unbeaten since the 2-1 Scottish Cup replay defeat against Annan Athletic on 29th October, and the team is now on an eleven game unbeaten run in Lowland League action which stretches back to September.

Coach John Sludden will have to make one change to the team and it’s potentially a significant one, with club captain Derek Ure serving a one match suspension.

It’s the consequence of picking up six yellow cards in league games this season, which is the Scottish FA’s threshold for a ban.

However, the coach does have other options to fill the midfield role and it’s not the first time this season the team has had to make do without the skipper in the line-up.

The last time Derek was forced to sit out a game was the home Lowland League encounter with Preston Athletic in November, a game the Ure-less Shire still managed to win 6-2.

Apart from the skipper’s absence the coach should have an otherwise full squad to choose from.

Assistant coach Martin Mooney gave his views of the game earlier this week and is warning of another tough encounter with the university team.

To listen to Martin’s full interview then click on the link below :

Paul Sludden’s had a good week for Shire – playing a prominent role in last week’s 2-0 win over one of his old teams, Stirling University, as well as picking up his award for being voted December’s Player of the Month.

He spoke about the challenge of this week’s match and the pressures now facing the players as opposition teams aim to stop Shire’s record-breaking strike force in its tracks.

To listen to Paul’s pre-game thoughts click on the link below :

Shire will wear their usual black and white hoops while Edinburgh University will be in their change all-red strip despite being the home team. The match referee is Simon MacLean. The Shire Supporters Club is running a bus to the game and if you want to book your seat then give Sandy Nimmo a call on 07803 708119. If you are making your own way to the game then the location of the Peffermill Playing Fields in Edinburgh is here .

Everyone at the club has been really impressed with the travelling support this season and we would love to see as many of you as possible at the game. If you can then please make the effort to come along and support the team. It would be appreciated especially by the players and coaches.


It’ll Be A Tough Game – Mooney

Assistant coach Martin Mooney’s hoping that Shire’s first game against Edinburgh University this season a fortnight ago will help the team’s preparations for the return match at Peffermill this weekend.

Even though Shire were disappointed by the outcome of the 1-1 draw, on a day when they had hoped to move closer to the top of the Lowland League table, Martin believes the Ochilview game will have been a valuable learning lesson and will be used in the team’s planning for Saturday.

The coach anticipates the team with the third best defence in the league won’t alter things too much and that Shire will have to be more adept at countering the tactics seen two weeks ago.


“They were a bit of an enigma the first time round,” said Martin. “We know more about them now going into this game but it will be a tough game. They’ll get people behind the ball and we will be working on things in training this week.

“We will have to be a lot brighter than we were at Ochilview.”

Martin accepts that the team grew frustrated at their inability to break down a solid and well-disciplined Edinburgh University defence at Ochilview and the indications are clearly that doing so will have been one of the main focus points at the team’s Little Kerse training sessions this week.

He is hoping there will be no repeat of the anxious, nervous display when the teams met just two weeks ago. Martin was first to concede that the display that day was very untypical of the team’s performances this season.

“Losing the goal in the last match, just at the start of the second half, meant frustration kicked in really early, which is unusual for us. We’ve got a lot of good experience and good, calm players out there but maybe it was just one of those games where we could have been playing for another hour and we might never have scored.”

There were encouraging signs that the team had learned how to cope with opponents prepared to defend in depth with last week’s 2–0 victory over Stirling University. Martin says it was a pleasing response to disappointment and setback.

“There was a wee bit of frustration at the start but then they calmed down and we got the two goals. We deserved to win on Friday.”

There will be one enforced change with club captain Derek Ure missing this week’s game due to suspension. The coach says it gives someone else in the squad a chance to stake a claim for a regular place.

“There are a few champing at the bit to get a game, so it gives one of them the chance,” he said.

Martin and the players would really welcome as big a travelling support as possible at Saturday’s game. The away support this season has been fantastic and we would encourage you to come along if you can and get right behind the team.