Getting to Know: Saint Anthony’s FC

Our first journey north of the border in our getting to know series is Saint Anthony’s FC otherwise known as ‘The Ants”.

“The Ants” are by club constitution a non-political, non-sectarian, anti-racist club, and welcome anyone regardless of sexual orientation, colour or creed.

Based out of McKenna Park in Govan, Glasgow, The Ants are a club with a long and rich history having been founded in 1902, adopting and maintaing their ‘Junior’ status since 1905.

Saint Anthony’s currently operate in the Scottish Junior Football Association, West Region Central District Division One of the Scottish Junior Football Association.

Prior to the outbreak of World War Two, the club was descibed as “one of the foremost clubs in Scotland”, however since having their ground flattened during the war the club fell upon hard times and for a few years didn’t have a ground to call home, it wasn’t until 2003 that the club finally found a new home at McKenna Park. Which really is a testamant to everyone involved with ‘The Ants’ that they kept this club going.

Saint Anthony’s play in a strip that will be very familiar to all football fans, green and white hoops. It isnt just the strip that ‘The ants’ share with Celtic FC however, 60 players at this moment in time have represented both Saint Anthony’s and Celtic, the most notable of these probably being Bobby Evans who went on to make 535 appearences for Celtic, get 48 caps for Scotland and inducted into the Scottish Football hall of fame in 2008.

Credit: Gerry Lafferty & SaintAnthony’s FC

Through social media, the club currently has upwards of 8500 followers on Twitter and has received well wishes from clubs as big as Italian giants Roma FC. Through their vast Twitter audience the club has since formed a charitable partnership between themselves and American amateur club Motorik FC Alexandria, who are based in Alexandria, North Virginia in the United States of America.

Next up for ‘The Ants” is a home league fixture against Forth Wanderers and I’d just like to take a moment to say good luck and thanks for letting us write about you, oh and also #ForzaAnts #MonTheAnts

Match Report: Burneside FC vs Penrith Academy (Westmorland League Division Three)

Hollis Lane was the venue for this crucial game between two title challengers in Division Three of the Westmorland League.

Credit: Burneside FC

With Penrith sat top of the league on goal difference and Burneside sat in third but with games in hand, the game was all about setting a marker for the run in to the end of the season. The game also saw the divisions two top scorers going head to head, with Tom Graham playing for the Academy sat on 32 goals and Jay Hayton on 28 goals for Burneside.

The home side started the better of the two teams and for the opening twenty minutes were on top, without producing a great deal of opportunities. After the Academy settled into the game and soon took their chances, the opener coming from Jack Rossi after a great turn and cross from Nathan Kerr on the left wing and Rossi finished the chance with a header at the back post.

The next two goals before half time came from Luke Hunter, who placed the ball in the bottom corner from the edge of the box and Nathan Kerr after some more great work down the left hand side.

With the score 0-3 at half time the game was still far from over with both teams knowing the next goal was crucial and all was still to play for.

The second half again saw the home team start the better creating some chances and gave returning Academy keeper Macauley Musgrave some work to do. Burneside’s best chance came from a volley from the edge of the box after a corner was swung in, but Musgrave was equal to it, stopping the ball hitting the top corner.

The game was eventually tied up by the Academy with another goal from man of the match Jack Rossi and the game finished 0-4 to the Academy, who stretch their winning run to 8 games and are now clear at the top of the league by 3 points and have a game in hand on second place Kirkoswald Reserves.

The Academy’s next fixture is a cup semi final against Staveley United reserves at Frenchfields on the 20th April.

Getting to know: Old Centralians AFC

One of Leeds oldest clubs going in a brand new direction?

Old Centralians AFC one of the oldest clubs in Leeds and the club based out of West Park is set to go in a completely new direction.

The appointment of a new young dynamic committee, has seen the club attempt to establish links to junior football. Gaining players taking steps into adult football may reveal a gem or two to help Centralians achieve their ultimate goal of the first team getting promoted.

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Thanks to the new committee Centralians are set to reveal plans to run a u21/Academy team in the 2019/20 season, this new team alongside the three teams that the club already runs is vital to what the club prides itself on and that is “offering football for all abilities and people of all backgrounds”.

A new receipient of FA’s Charter Standard award, the club now boasts a full roster of FA qualified coaches at all of their teams and will training sessions currently being free as the club look for new players.

Having two players make roughly 1000 appearences for a club at any level in football is something that you dont really see, however Old Centralians have two such players in Brian Peel and record appearence maker Kev Knowles. As a club very proud of their history, maybe a new veterans team is on the horizon?

 

Getting to know: Wakefield United

Newly Formed Wakefield United are a team with a big difference.

As a member of the media team, it only seems fair that the first club I post about on my new website is the newly formed Wakefield United.

Which is the biggest city in the UK to have never had a football league club? The answer, Wakefield. Historically a ‘rugby town’, Wakefield has never had much success with the round ball compared to the egg-shaped one.

Formed in December of 2018, Wakefield United is a team with a difference compared to your usual football club. The ethos that the club is built around is that it aims to “provide free football to all refugees, asylum seekers and migrants to Wakefield”, with British players also welcomed, the club aims to bring a real sense of community to the area and have integration of people from all walks of life.

Perhaps what has really brought this club into the spotlight currently, is that Wakefield band ‘The Cribs’ are now key sponsors of the kit. This has seen the club yet to kick a ball garner attention from national news outlets.

Perhaps the biggest challenge for the club so far has been to find a suitable venue to train and play, with a lot of hope being placed in the proposed Wakefield Community Stadium.

The formation of the club has been complicated for founder Matt Thomas, however, a strong social media presence has brought together volunteers from across the country to help in the project.

 

The State of Non-League.

Just how is ‘The Beautiful Game’ getting on outside of the football league?

It’s 5pm on a Saturday evening, your multiple pints down and the napkin from your half time burger is still in your pocket, in walks the captain of your local team who walkes straight up to the bar for a drink and you begin chatting about the game you’ve just spent your Saturday afternoon watching. This is non-league football. The complete opposite of the pro game.

The state of Non-League football as with everything will depend entirely on who you speak too, but one point everyone will agree on is that the ‘beautiful game’ outside the Football League needs more funding.

In an age where transfer fee’s are constantly rising, how is it that clubs even at the highest level of non-league are going bust or into administration over debt’s that the pro players earn in less than a week.

An example of this is Gateshead, who have been put up for sale for the massive fee of £1, this because their owner cant afford to pay off debts of £20,000. A club currently in the play-offs in the National League struggling to exist.

Despite clubs needing more funding, its not all negative news, attendances are rising across the board in amateur/semi-pro football as more and more people are becoming disenchanted by the big money game.

This ‘State of the Game’ piece is the first of many articles, club profiles and match reports that will be put on this blog, we look forward to sharing our journey with you all.