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Player pathway proving productive as U20s add two

With the squad being trimmed recently, Lok 20s have been able to add two more faces in the last few weeks – both coming in from the Pollok FC youth pathway. They are Kieran Davis, an 18 year old defender, and Miguel Kamgna Junior, a 17 year old midfielder. Best of luck to both players in their future Lok careers!

Catch Miguel, above, making a scoring debut in the Gartcairn cup tie here! Three deft left-footed touches and goal!

Meet Bonnyton Thistle

Pollok started the league campaign with a great 5-1 home win against Blantyre Victoria on Saturday. How good was it to have Pollok back in your life? It was a long time coming after missing out on any action last season.

We don’t have long to wait as the action comes quick and fast as we travel to Kilmarnock to play Bonnyton Thistle on Wednesday night. This will be the first competitive match between the clubs. Bonnyton made the move from the South of Scotland League to the West of Scotland League for the start of last season.

Although last season was declared null and void, with only 7 games taking place, Thistle recorded a 2-1 win at local rivals and former Junior Scottish Cup winners Hurlford in their last game before the season was curtailed, as well as beating Clydebank on the way.

Bonnyton kicked off this campaign on Saturday with another local game as they travelled to Darvel, things didn’t quite go to plan as they suffered a 3-0  defeat. This was the start of a tough run of games for Thistle, with Pollok, Hurlford, Kilwinning Rangers and Talbot all to be played in the opening weeks of the season.

The club are managed by former Kilmarnock player Alan Robertson, with Killie Scottish Cup scoring hero Paul Wright assisting. The club were formed in 1912 and have been an amateur and youth team for most of their existence. The club estimate 80% of the first team squad are former youth players with the club. Most of the current crop have been together since last year, with Dylan Stevenson and Gordon Young having SPFL experience.

Thistle moved to The Synergy Arena in the Townholm area of Kilmarnock to coincide with moving to the senior ranks in 2017. Current St Johnstone and former Scotland player Craig Conway is a former player as is former Kilmarnock midfielder Alan Mahood. The 2018-19 season has been Thistle’s most successful season as they picked up three trophies including the South Challenge Cup.

The match takes place at The Synergy Arena, Harriet Road, Kilmarnock, KA3 1BB with a 7.30 pm kick off.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Harriet+Road%2C+Townholm%2C+Kilmarnock%2C+East+Ayrshire%2C+Scotland%2C+KA3+1BB%2C+United+Kingdom/@55.61661298788958,-4

News round-up

As Pollok’s pre-season continues and new players arrive, it can be confirmed for those who didn’t know that Jordan McMillan has emigrated to Canada. All at the club wish him well.

The club remains a member of the Scottish Junior FA and were in the 1st and 2nd Round draws of the Scottish Junior Cup that took place at Lochee United on Saturday. Lok are drawn at home to Maybole on 21st August 2021 then the winners are away to Irvine Vics on 25th September 2021.

There will be further player updates in due course.

League Fixtures—Ticket Information

In advance of our first league fixtures, the club would like to communicate the arrangements that will be in place for the following home matches:

  • Blantyre Victoria (17th July)
  • Glenafton Athletic (24th July)
  • Beith Juniors (31st July).

Since ongoing restrictions related to the Covid 19 pandemic are still highly likely to be in place, we anticipate there being limited capacity for these matches.

Therefore the club intends to operate a pre-sale scheme for these tickets, similar to the arrangements for the home friendlies.

  • Members and supporters will be able to obtain tickets from Newlandsfield this Saturday, 10th July between 1200 midday and 1400.
  • The club will re-sell any unclaimed member tickets on match days.
  • Tickets cost £7 full price / £4 concessions for non-members.
  • Members do not require to pay for tickets, but must hold a ticket to gain access to the ground.
  • You must provide track and trace details when collecting your ticket.
  • The club politely requests that supporters wear a face covering when picking up tickets.

Clearly, the situation is fluid and the club may need to alter these plans should restrictions change.

We thank you once more for your understanding and patience.

Gordon Tait RIP

The club is sad to report the passing of Gordon Tait. Mr Tait died peacefully in the early hours of this morning (Sunday 9th May).

Mr Tait was a past president of both the football club and the social club, and a long serving member of the committee.

The Scottish Junior FA recognised his long-service to the club and to the junior grade with a presentation to him marking 40 years of service.

He remained active on the committee well into his advancing years. He would be recognisable to many as the club’s regular stand-in linesman, a role he carried out into his 80s.

When he finally retired from regular committee service, Gordon moved to Largs to be closer to his family. He remained a regular at Newlandsfield, making the journey from the Ayrshire coast whenever he was able.

Gordon was warmly regarded by those who knew him. He was warm and engaging in company and provided a welcoming face to all. He loved sharing his reminices of his career in the Post Office and of his military service in Germany, as well as many stories from the football world over the years.

Gordon was great friends with another departed Pollok stalwart, John Shaw, and it would true to say that one was seldom seen without the other. We hope that wherever they are, they are already enjoying a half together.

Pollok Football Club has lost a dear friend. The condolences and best wishes of the club are with Gordon’s family.

Ground Improvements

The playing side of operations at Newlandsfield may have been suspended this winter, but the club has certainly not been placed into cold storage.

In addition to the normal ongoing maintenance work that takes place at the ground, the opportunity has been used to give the place a thorough refurbishment and to upgrade facilities and decor.

This work is still ongoing and will continue at least until the football restarts, but here are some details of the improvements that have been made so far inside the Pollok pavilion.

Heating

40 years on from the first gas central heating installation at Newlandsfield, and after a couple of years when we were constantly coaxing and cajoling the hot water boiler to keep going, we finally got a new heating and hot water system installed. The two old boilers were replaced with a single, smaller very efficient boiler.

Two new 220L hot water tanks (to make sure that the players’ showers always have enough hot water) were fitted along with new mixer taps and shower heads in all the home, away and ref’s dressing room.

The project went out to competitive tender and was won by:

Run by our very own Ryan McGregor…

Away Dressing Room

When Lok’s Bar and Kitchen were designing their new enterprise, they commissioned a photographer to take some artful photos of our beloved Newlandsfield. These were duly installed on the walls of the Trophy Bar.

When they were refurbing, they decided on a change of style and down came the photos. These were donated to the club by Lok’s Bar and Kitchen.

The away dressing room has just been painted and the Lok’s photos now take pride of place there.

Away Dressing room resplendent

Painting the Physio’s Room

The last time we painted in here we used a pale green shade (the BBC used this shade in their studios as it supposedly had a calming and soothing effect on people).

Time moves on. Now repainted white to blend in with the dressing rooms & looks much cleaner.

No longer calm or soothing! The Pollok physio’s room.

Miles of Tiles

Tim the Tiler is a Liverpudlian who lives in the high flats overlooking the ground.

While he admits he is not a diehard Pollok Fan, Tim is a real football lover who wants to help out his local club when he can.

Initially he laid tiles on the kitchen floor and over the summer and has now laid quarry tiles in the manager’s office, gents’ and ladies’ toilets.

What a difference he made, the floors are so much better and easier to keep clean.

If you need a great tiler then give us a shout and we will pass Tim’s details to you.

Gordon Peebles RIP

We are sorry to report the passing of stalwart Pollok fan Gordon Peebles.

Gordon was well-known and respected among our community; as a vociferous supporter of the players on the field and as a dedicated and determined supporter of the club off the field.

He was a regular volunteer around Newlandsfield, bringing a great deal of expertise from his professional life maintaining golf courses, as well as a huge amount of physical graft.

Gordon travelled the length of the country following Pollok over many years, and will be badly missed by those who knew him.

Our deepest sympathies go to Mr Peebles’ family at this difficult time.

Our thanks to Mark Donnelly for providing the image below of Gordon Peebles, taken on the occasion of Pollok’s first senior Scottish Cup tie against St. Cuthbert Wanderers in 2007.

Lok withdraw from Challenge Cup / U20s news

It can be confirmed that Pollok have withdrawn, without penalty, from the South Regional Challenge Cup for season 20-21. The match Lok were due to play was against Tranent Juniors on 24th October. The East Lothian side now have a bye to Round 2 where they will face Ardeer Thistle.

In more positive news, Stephen McKenna confirmed to the website today that the U20 Development side plan to continue with their season. Sponsors are wanted for a number of players still (you can see who is sponsorless by clicking on their profiles here) and if you would like to give the Young Lok your backing for 20-21, please get in touch via their Twitter page:

Club Statement on Season 2020-21

Pollok Football Club has contacted the West of Scotland Football League stating that the club intends to withdraw from football for season 2020-21.

Yesterday morning (Saturday 10th October), the WoSFL released the results of a survey of clubs in which a narrow majority of clubs voted for football to recommence on 24th October.

Clubs who wished to withdraw were given a deadline of 17:00 today (Sunday 11th October) to confirm whether they wish to take part, or not.

After consultation with committee, members, supporters, management and players, the overwhelming belief of all stakeholders is that it is inappropriate for Pollok to be involved in football while present pandemic restrictions are in place.

As with many matters at present, the issue is complex and multi-faceted.

That said, the overarching concerns of all involved were:

  • Guaranteeing the safety of volunteers and players on matchdays.
  • The financial impact on the club of pursuing a campaign with no matchday income.

While we are all keen to return to our usual Saturday routine after months of restrictions, it would be quixotic for us to jeopardise the physical health of members of our community, or the long-term fiscal health of our club to simply play football for the sake of playing football.

We would like to place it on record that the club’s preferred option was for the league to consider other possibilities, including suspending football until pandemic restrictions were eased.

Should it become the case that other possibilities are considered, Pollok would be more than happy to engage.

However, given the present choice that has been put to us, the only reasonable decision we can take is to withdraw.

Red kit day for Lok

The 2020/21 Pollok away shirt is now available to PRE ORDER online or in store from Only Sport.

The now familiar all red away kit is sponsored by GMB Scotland and in tribute to Pollok stalwart Frannie McNeill who sadly passed away earlier this year, features the inscription ‘Frannie McNeill 1949-2020’ under the Pollok badge.

The Kappa shirt has a slim fit design so it is recommended that you purchase a size larger than usual. As with the home shirt, adult and kids sizes are available.