With the 20-21 season below the Scottish Professional Football League disrupted and currently paused until further notice, the decision has been taken by the Scottish Junior FA to cancel the 19-20 Macron Scottish Junior Cup. Pollok were of course semi finalists following their quarter final win at Neilston back in February 2020, highlights below.
Pollok FC’s first team might have been placed into hibernation while the worst of the pandemic (hopefully) but a TV crew from the BBC popped into Newlandsfield in recent weeks and the result of their filming and conversations with supporters was aired on A View From The Terrace on 29/1/20 and then nationwide across the UK as part of Football Focus on the following Saturday lunchtime.
You can catch the clip here.
Happy New Year to all Lok fans! It almost goes without saying that all at the club hope for a far better 2021 than 2020 and even though we all begin in difficult circumstances, there is hope of better times ahead.
With the first team in ‘stand by’ mode as we sit out the inaugural West of Scotland League season, it is the choice of players to look elsewhere for game time. It can be confirmed that Gerry McLauchlan has been released by Pollok FC and has now subsequently signed for SPFL League 2 side Brechin City, a team he previously played for between 2010 and 2015. Gerry, whose Newlandsfield deal was due to expire at the end of the season, made his Lok debut in the Sectional Cup versus Rossvale in July 2019 and went on to make 20 appearances for the club. All the best Gerry in the return to Glebe Park.
The vast majority of the Lok squad signed extended contracts a few months back so supporters can be assured of seeing many familiar names once we resume playing.
If you’re looking for a last minute gift or just want to treat yourself, our kit partners over at Only Sport have added some great new Pollok kit and merch to the range.
As well as the new Kappa Pollok kits, the range now includes jackets, gilet’s and bobble hats. An ideal time of year to keep warm and wear the Pollok badge with pride.
Visit Only Sport’s online shop to order now!
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.
Click below for the full story:
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.
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
- Hurlford United
- Kilwinning Rangers
- Rutherglen Glencairn
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.
All manner of jobs need done in the close season to keep Newlandsfield looking great on and off the pitch. Mark Donnelly caught up with John Hickey from the Lok committee to see what has been happening.
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.
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:
Carluke Rovers or Kilbirnie Ladeside
Sauchie Juniors v Kilwinning Rangers
Thornton Hibs or Rutherglen Glencairn
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