Weir’s Way Forward On Glasgow’s South Side

By Chief Reporter Tom Scott

TWO former Weir Recreation players are aiming to re-energise the fortunes of the famous old Glasgow South Side amateur club, writes Tom Scott.

Founded 97 years ago, their first team operates in the highly competitive Caledonian League (Division 1A), with a second squad in the Greater Glasgow A.F.L.

It is all change off the park for the Caley set-up after the recent appointments of manager Gary Hamilton and assistant Jim Pollock. 

Four warm-up games have been organised prior to their first competitive League Cup section clash against hosts Giffnock North on Saturday, August 13 (2pm).

Pre-season training commenced on Wednesday, July 6, with the pair running the rule over last season’s players and several potential new signings at Albert Park, Kintore Road.

Gary Hamilton, who had spells in the junior ranks at St Roch’s and Ashfield under Davie Greig and John Conlin respectively, comes from a recent background of a two-year stint as assistant manager with the Scottish Amateur Football Association squad.

He revealed to the juniors.info site: “That entailed covering 70-80 games in our search for players.

“We only had two annual fixtures at national level. Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed what was a fantastic experience, but the urge to become involved again at club level was always there.

“As former Weir players, Jim and I are excited about the season ahead. We want to try and get the local community more involved in following and supporting Weir Recreation.  Those aspects have been allowed to drop in recent years.

“I have also built up relationships with three top Under-21 clubs who will alert us to players who become over-age for their grade of football. That source has already paid off because we have signed around six players prior to the start of pre-season.

“I am also delighted to confirm that Weir have taken on eight Hampden Boys’ Club teams who will use our name. We have a fantastic facility at Albert Park, and in future I would like to think players will emerge from them as they come through the feeder system.

 “Closer to home, a lot of hard work requires to be done before we open the season at Giffnock. Our section is tough and also includes Thorn Athletic, who step up to the Caley Premier Division following a title-winning campaign, and much-respected Gartcosh United, whose new manager John Hughes enjoyed previous success at Postal United, and did a great job with the Fosters Central Scottish Amateur League select team last season.”

Gary’s playing and coaching background has featured Knockentiber and Newmilns, where he reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Amateur Cup.

The impressive C.V. makes reference to a remarkable change in fortunes at Darvel Juniors, where he was part of a new-look coaching staff seven years ago.

He said:  “The club had gone 12 league games without a win. I turned to contacts I had established within East Kilbride where I live, and we brought in better players. Over the next 15 matches we only lost five – and four of them finished in 1-0 scorelines, so you could say it was something of a transformation.”

For the record, Weir Recreation will play the following pre-season fixtures – July 23 – Claremont Amateurs (away), July 27 – Stewarton United (home), July 30 – Electric A.F.C. Motherwell (away), August 6 – Drumchapel Amateurs Colts (Scotstoun).

 

* Weir Recreation A.F.C. Player of the Year trophy was won by Paul Graham.

 

The Players’ Player of the Year vote was jointly won by Stevie Lee and Scott McDougall.

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