Category: supporter information

Season to kick off on 24th October

The West of Scotland Football League have published the results of their survey that asked clubs if they wished to delay the start of the season. The vote was close, but YES to starting was carried 36 to 31. 14 clubs indicated they did not wish to participate in season 20-21 and they have until 5pm tomorrow (11/10/20) to confirm.

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Player news: Larkin departs

Pollok FC this week can confirm that Dominic Larkin has been released from his Lok contract due to a change in work circumstances. Speaking to the website about pre-season, manager Murdo MacKinnon said:

“Unfortunately he’s not been involved much due to his work commitments. His new career will take up most of his time.

“This situation is something that has come up and it’s an opportunity that Dom can’t turn down. I wish him well with his career and the future – he’s a terrific lad.”

All the best Dom from all at the club.

In terms of Lok’s three games so far, and pre-season in general, Murdie added:

“The games have gone well – there have mainly been positives.

“There are still a few things to work on and get up to speed with, so very happy with the players overall. The new signings have fitted in well and the squad as a whole is strong.”

The new season is still very much an uncertainty. Clubs met last night over Zoom to discuss a number of issues and a vote will take place on Friday to determine when and how the season starts. There is increasing concern over the lack of fans being allowed into matches alongside a rise in covid-19 cases. National clinical director Jason Leitch told the BBC this week that discussions have not even been held with football authorities to permit smaller clubs to allow supporters into grounds as the focus is on the rise in cases.

Elsewhere in the pyramid, the following dates are being worked to (subject to any future Scottish Government restrictions):

Highland League – no earlier than November 28th
Lowland League – 10th October
South of Scotland League: 10th October
East of Scotland League: 10th October

Edit: The SJFA announced on 8/10 that their own regions would delay until 21st November.

Pollok’s next official fixture is 24th October vs. Tranent, but there will likely be closed doors friendlies in the interim. News of them will appear here and on Lok social media.

Proposed Premier Division group section confirmed

The effects of covid-19 continue to haunt Scottish football, and the 20 team West of Scotland Football League Premier Division will run as two groups for 2020-21. Pollok will be in Group B .

Lok’s full group, confirmed by secretary Kennie Young and later the WoSFL, is to be:

  • Beith Juniors
  • Cumbernauld United
  • Cumnock Juniors
  • Darvel
  • Hurlford United
  • Kilwinning Rangers
  • Pollok
  • Rossvale
  • Rutherglen Glencairn
  • Troon

The exact format of the new set-up to be confirmed in due course but what is proposed is to play everyone in each club’s own group twice with another 10 fixtures to follow. The West of Scotland Football League however are consulting with all clubs about how we restart and one proposal is to delay the season kick off until October 31st 2020. There are, as it stands, no plans to move the Tranent game from 24th October.

murdie coaching

Cup draw reaction from the manager

Following Pollok’s cup draws yesterday in the Soccer Shop Challenge Cup, Lok boss Murdo MacKinnon gave his reaction to the official website.

Murdie said: “We are absolutely delighted to be a part of our first Soccer Shop Challenge Cup draw. We look forward to the new challenges we will face and look forward to our future as a senior club.”

Looking at the 1st Round pairing with Tranent Juniors, he said: “We didn’t have to wait long to hear our name, being the first club out in the draw. Tranent are a very good side and this will be a tough tie for both sides.

“It promises to be an excellent tie, potentially the tie of the first round. I’m delighted to be drawn at home.”

“Newlandsfield is looking tremendous and it will be a fitting venue. Myself and Tranent manager Johnny Harvey have crossed swords before in the Scottish Junior Cup when we were at Irvine Meadow and Penicuik respectively.

“I know his teams are always well organised and he likes to play an attacking style so they will obviously get our full attention and respect in the build up to this tie. We are an excellent team ourselves so I am sure that Johnny and his staff will do likewise.

“We will obviously look to go out and win the game at home, we have added further quality to our squad and improved from last season so it makes for a great game.”

Pollok were also pulled out of the hat for the 2nd Round – with 128 teams and 64 ties it was the biggest Senior Cup draw since the 1st Qualifier of the Scottish Cup in 1893-94! The winner of the Lok v Tranent tie will be away to Ardeer Thistle. Of that tie, Murdie said:

“It’s definitely not one to be taken for granted – potentially a dangerous game for either ourselves or Tranent as Ardeer will be extremely difficult opponents. They will be a young side with a sprinkling of experience throughout.”

“I am sure they will be full of energy and running which will make them extremely competitive and as I say a dangerous opponent.”

“Overall, I am very excited about the draw and looking forward to participating in the competition for the first time!”

The ties are due 24th October and 21st November, subject to the return to football going ahead as planned. From a footballing perspective, Murdie has loved having the players back together again. “It’s great to be back out on the pitch with all the lads. It’s been brilliant so far,” he added.

Two Soccer Shop Challenge Cup ties for Lok

Pollok were given two potential Soccer Shop Challenge Cup ties in Saturday’s lunchtime draw hosted on Zoom by Kenny McLean of the Lowland and East of Scotland Leagues.

Lok were the first orange ball out the fish bowl and were given a home tie against Tranent Juniors of the East of Scotland League Premier Division in the 1st Round. In all, there were 14 ties drawn for it and the provisional date will be Saturday 24th October 2020.

In Round 2’s last 128 (64 ties), it’s a slightly more familiar opponent in the shape of Ardeer Thistle. Lok faced them twice in 2014-15 when we were in the West Super First Division (3-0 and 3-2 wins respectively). We had previously played them in the West of Scotland Cup in 1998-99 (4-1 to Lok). The 2nd Round is due to take place on Saturday 21st November 2020.

Tranent were in 4th place when the East of Scotland Premier League was brought to a sudden stop in March, and while promotion was in the hands of Bo’ness United, they were on track for a top six finish. They ended their season on a bit of a down, with cup defeats to Penicuik Athletic (Football Nation Qualifying Cup) and Hill of Beath Hawthorn (South Regional Challenge Cup).

2019-20 was forgettable for Ardeer Thistle as they failed to win a game in 25 attempts. The real lows included some very heavy defeats and they will be hoping the new start leads to something a bit more positive down Stevenston way.

Some of the more interesting ties from a Lok perspective include:

1st Round
Carluke Rovers or Kilbirnie Ladeside
Sauchie Juniors v Kilwinning Rangers
Thornton Hibs or Rutherglen Glencairn

2nd Round
Beith Juniors v Clydebank
Broxburn Athletic or Creetown v Irvine Meadow XI
Cumnock Juniors v Wishaw
Dundonald Bluebell v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy
Gala Fairydean Rovers v Sauchie Juniors v Kilwinning Rangers
Glenafton Athletic v Neilston
Hurlford United v Civil Service Strollers
Kelty Hearts v Auchinleck Talbot
Largs Thistle v Dalbeattie Star
Musselburgh Athletic v Benburb
Thornton Hibs or Rutherglen Glencairn v Nithsdale Wanderers
Troon v Preston Athletic
Whitehill Welfare v Carluke Rovers or Kilbirnie Ladeside

Soccer Shop Challenge Cup draw news

As the hope of a new season dawning draws closer, the South Regional knockout cup will be drawn live on Zoom on Saturday 5th September from 12 noon. The draw will see all 142 clubs (Cumbernauld Colts are excluded this year due to a rulebreak in 2019-20) given a tie as both the 1st and 2nd rounds will be made.

Round One, due 24th October 2020, will consist of 14 ties (and therefore 114 byes), with Round Two having 64 matches, the equivalent of the Scottish Junior Cup’s 2nd Round in terms of number. Pollok are number 108 so keep an eye out for it as the draw streams live on the Lowland League’s @OfficialCatchup

or watch live here!

McDevitt arrival gives Murdo midfield boost as one departs

Pollok FC are delighted to announce the signing of highly experienced central midfielder Stephen McDevitt from Darvel. Stephen, 36, is a player that has spent the majority of his career at the top end of the amateurs, representing Scotland and captaining clubs like Wellhouse and Colville Park. He also has has brief Junior stints with Cumbernauld United and Vale of Clyde.

Manager Murdo MacKinnon had the following to say about McDevitt’s arrival: “I’m absolutely delighted to secure the signing of Stephen. He joins us after picking up the West Region Championship, where he captained Darvel to league success last season.

“Stephen previously captained Collvile Park and Wellhouse amateurs during many trophy laden years in the amateur game before moving to Darvel last year. He also represented Scotland at amateur level on many occasions.”

Looking at what he will bring to the Lok engine room, Murdo added: “Stephen is a highly competitive midfielder who’s never say die attitude, aggression and leadership on and off the pitch made him a highly sought after player. He is an out and out winner. I am delighted to have agreed a deal to bring him to Pollok for the first WOSFL campaign.”

“My negotiations with Stephen were totally based around football. His ambition, hunger and determination to bring success to Pollok shone through. He is a professional of the highest standards.”

“I am again delighted to welcome Stephen to Pollok FC and look forward to watching him compete in the Pollok shirt this season.”

Welcome to Pollok, Stephen!

Meanwhile it is farewell to Jamie Henry as he moves to England. He has signed up with Wimborne Town of the Southern League Premier Division South. Good luck for the future Jamie.

New kit supplier for the Lok

Pollok FC are delighted to confirm that Italian sportswear giants Kappa will be the clubs new kit manufacturer. Kappa famously designed the classic Juventus and Barcelona kits of the 80’s and 90’s and the Southside Bianconeri (Black and Whites) are proud to join the Kappa family. Napoli, Aston Villa and Panathinaikos are just some of the other European sides currently under the Kappa banner.

The official 2020/21 kit will be launched later this week alongside a new shirt sponsor as we embark on our first season in the West of Scotland Football League.

Notice of AGM

This year’s AGM will take place on Monday August 31st at 7pm. The meeting will take place online via Zoom.

Members are requested to use their full name as their Zoom screen name in order to gain timely entry to the meeting. The link to the meeting is below;

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85806843693

Meeting ID: 858 0684 3693

The meeting is scheduled to run until 8:30pm. If members would like further information or are unable to attend, please email [email protected]