To blog or not to blog, that is the question.
Well I’ve decided to follow the precedent of Mr Alan S. Hutchison and continue the President’s Blog into the 2018/19 season to attempt to keep supporters, members and other interested ‘football people’ on matters within the Football Club, and the wider area of Scottish Football and beyond.
Queen’s Park has recruited from junior leagues over the past few years to augment players which our youth division develop under the guidance of Gardner Spiers and our youth development coaches, to add to what remains from the squad the previous year. Not many remaining this year!
Large changes have taken place just below the Lowland League with many former junior clubs ‘crossing the divide’ from East of Scotland juniors to the East of Scotland league. What has taken the game in Scotland by surprise is the large number of clubs who took the jump and with what seems very little notice.
The format of the East of Scotland league has been re-organised now featuring three distinct ‘conferences’ with play offs arranged at the season end to decide who competes to enter the Lowland League. What is intriguing, is what will happen in the West, will it follow suit, and will there be the creation of a West of Scotland league, which takes in junior clubs and provides a pathway to the senior leagues.
What is clear is that there is potential for a ‘log-jam’ at East of Scotland level, where progressive ex-junior clubs such as Boness United, Bonnyrigg Rose and Linlithgow Rose attempt to navigate their way through to the senior leagues via an increasingly competitive Lowland League. That being said the Lowland & Highland league winners have found it tough to beat the club residing in last place in the ‘Top 4 divisions’.
I’ve had the personal view for a number of years that Scottish Football should be a meritocracy, where the best performing clubs find their level, whilst ensuring that the clubs infrastructure is of an acceptable licensed standard and that there is transparency around what players are receiving as payment.
The task for Queen’s Park is clear, attempt to create a plan which means we consistently achieve the highest league place we can and aim to pass the clubs ahead of us in the pyramid rather than concern ourselves below us, however interesting the football and the politics of the football below us is.
Enjoy the football!
It’s that time of the year for all Scottish League clubs. The frenetic activity for all clubs around the league, securing existing players, recruiting new, hopefully better players and attempting to improve on the year gone before and challenge for play offs.
For managers and coaches it’s a time of phone calls to players, managers and coaches to attempt to create the building blocks, the right players, to build a successful team. For committees and football club boards, it can be a nervy time. Will the players coming in help us to get to the play offs or better, or will we fighting to avoid the play offs at the ‘wrong’ end.
For Queen’s Park, it’s a little different, we have the same activity but have to be a little more patient, to gauge who will elect to stay at the club, who will move to pastures new and on to the professional game, at a higher level, or sometimes below! For football players coming up through our youth system it may be the culmination of many years playing development football aiming to play first team football and then coping with increased demands, physically and mentally that league football and pre-season training brings. For players new to the club, they have decided to play at Queen’s Park, instead of playing lowland league or junior football for money in an attempt to prove to themselves and to their peers that they are good enough to compete and thrive in senior football.
For players, and particularly Queen’s Park players, it’s a time of preparation and hard fitness work. At the top level of the game it would be correct to say, that players returning from the close season will be just as fit as when they finished the preceeding season. Well at our level it can be a little different.
Whether players are remaining or returning to the club, then the physical demands are clear, we need to be fit to be able to play at the home of football every second week. So apart from those playing the ‘my partner booked the holiday gaffer I didn’t know she was doing it’ card, then the first couple of weeks training will be physically and mentally demanding. For the former under 20s moving up to first team football, the preparation for demands and expectation of men’s football are different to development football.
It is well known that Queen’s Park have recruited from the junior ranks over the last seasons. With the Scottish Football pyramid yet to be fully shaped, this influx of players have been playing in a highly competitive grade of football, but games predominantly played with a few exceptions on football pitches a quarter smaller, by area than Hampden Pitch. It becomes clear that the distances having to be run will be way in excess of what they have been used to.
In addition, generally the level of player they will come up against, in the main, will be of a higher technical standard than those at […]