“Officially the sunniest club in Scotland”.

Lots of claims are made across the football world, normally those usually refer to clubs being bigger, more successful or having better players than their rivals.

The club we have chosen to cover today however, caught our attention because of the absolutely huge claim they have made on Twitter, “Officially the sunniest club in Scotland”and they are Dunbar United.

Founded in 1924 and competing for the vast majority of their history as a Junior football club, The Seasiders have a long and storied history that has seen them pick up many pieces of silverware, including the Scottish Junior Cup in 1960/61.

In recent years though the club withdrew from Junior football and took the step into the Scottish Football League Pyramid, joining the East of Scotland Conference A, a quick promotion followed the year after but season interruptions has seen the club remain in the East Of Scotland Premier Division until the present.

Everyone we have spoken too, regarding the people and the club itself at Dunbar speaks very highly of the club. Even from a quick look at there social media including visits from recent groundhoppers, tells you that the club is well run and definitely worth a visit.

Finally, we aren’t going to argue that they aren’t the sunniest club in Scotland or even who made it official, we will leave that to other teams, but we will definitely be travelling up to a game this year if possible, the shorts, sunnies and sandals already packed.

Getting to know: Newton Stewart FC

Today’s ‘Getting to Know’ is out and we are off to see ‘The Creesiders’ at Newton Stewart AFC.

Based out of Blairmount Park in Newton Stewart, the club has gone through a number of name changes prior to becoming Newton Stewart FC in 1902. The pitch at Blairmount was recently transformed into an all weather surface, meaning the vast majority of games that would have been cancelled just a few years ago will now be played. It also means that the club can host a variety of other clubs and games from their local community and further a field.

Originally founded as Newton Stewart Athletic in 1880, the club went through a further two name changes before becoming what they are in the present day, however just what these names were is hard to come by on records.

The Club’s nickname ‘The Creesiders’ came from the fact that Newton Stewart sits on the banks of the river Cree.

The club currently compete in the South of Scotland Football League, a league which they have competed in since 1946, they have won the league on three separate occasions and finished 2nd in the 2014–15 season. 

In 2014-15 the club won its first silverware in 13 years, the J.Haig Gordon Cup Final, before adding a second cup in the same season also lifting the Potts Cup. Just a few seasons later in 2016-17 the club lifted the south of Scotland League Cup, meaning that in recent years the club has had its best spell since the 1950’s.

The 1950’s was the most successful period in the club’s history, a time that saw ‘The Creesiders’ win the South of Scotland league for the first time quickly followed by the second, along with a host of Cups such as the Southern Counties Challenge Cup, The South Supplementary Cup and the Wigtownshire Cup.

From Everyone here at ‘Climbing The Ladder’ we’d just like to wish all the best to Netwon Stewart FC for next season and the future.

Getting to know: Gretna FC 2008

Today’s ‘Getting to know’ is Gretna FC 2008, a fairly new side founded in, you guessed it 2008, after the collapse of Gretna FC a club which had played in the town since 1946.

Casual fans would be forgiven for confusion between the two sides, as the club played at the same stadium, have similar badges and the same nicknames, either ‘The black and whites’ or ‘The Anvils’, however Gretna FC 2008 and Gretna FC are two completely different clubs.

Gretna’s Supporters’ Society used the supporters’ trust to found a new club called Gretna FC 2008, with Anton Hodge in the role of the chairman and strongly supported by the UK bingo website www.topratedbingosites.co.uk. The club is in a 100% ownership of the Supporters’ Society, and the board consists of the elected society members.

In 2013, the club became founder members of the Lowland League, having previously played in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division after promotion in 2010-11 from the East of Scotland Football League first Division.

Gretna have remained in the Lowland League ever since, fluctuating around the midtable area generally. The club did threaten promotion in the 2014-15 season finishing 3rd in the league, but were some distance behind eventual winners Edinburgh City FC.

Despite their short history the club does have some trophies in its cabinet, the club have won The East of Scotland City Cup, The East of Scotland Qualifying Cup on two occasions and the Alex Jack Cup.

The team played for most of the 2008–09 season at the Everholm Stadium in Annan. Late in the season, however, the new owners of Raydale Park allowed Gretna 2008 to move to the ground in their home town, meaning that once again Gretna had a team to get behind.

In May 2011, the Raydale Community Partnership, of which Gretna FC 2008 is a member, negotiated the purchase of the site. Meaning that Gretna FC 2008 owned their own stadium.

Everyone here at ‘ClimbingTheLadder’ would like to wish Gretna 2008 all the best for the coming season and the future.

Getting to know: Bonnyton Thistle FC

Best known as a very successful youth and amateur club, Bonnyton Thistle took a gamble in setting up a senior side in 2017-18. However, after a 6th place finish in their first season in the South of Scotland Senior League and a 2nd place finish this season, plus an Alba Cup in their cabinet. It seems that the gamble has paid off for the ‘Ton’.

In creating this new senior side, the club added an Under 20’s team to their already impressive youth set up, the includes one if not two teams at every age group from 5 upwards.

To coincide with the move to senior football, the club secured a new home ground, Synergy Park, an artificial surface with a 1000 person capacity. This allows for all teams to use the synthetic surface and means that it truly is a community development centre.

Founded in 1912 and prior to the clubs move to Senior football, Bonnyton have been an exceptional Youth and Amateur club, having frequent success across all age groups and featuring heavily in the Scottish FA Cup Youth Finals in recent years.

Credit: Daily Record

The Bonnyton constitutuion is ” To foster and develop the participation by youths in organized youth amateur association football in Scotland, also to provide the provision of facilities for the participation in youth football in the community”, something that the club takes very seriously and with its new facilities the club will for many years to come be a massive part of its local community and be able to live up to its constitution.

From everyone here at climbing the ladder, we’d just like to wish everyone all the best at Bonnyton FC and hopefully you can go one better and get promoted next year.

Getting to know: Pumpherston Juniors FC

Its not often that clubs win back to back league titles, but that’s exactly what’s happened in the McBookie.com East Premier League South, as Pumpherston Juniors FC, who won their first league title in the 2017-18 season, have claimed the 2018-19 title too.

The original Pumpherston formed in 1896, joined the Linlithgowshire Junior League for the 1911–12 season and success followed for the next three seasons with two East of Scotland Junior League titles, two Renton cup wins, two Leith Burgh Cup wins and a Dalmeny Cup. World War I intervened but they won the Renton Cup again in 1919 when football resumed.

However, at the end of 1927–28 season with league re-organisation and the amount of West Lothian clubs dwindling, they decided to turn amateur and leave the Juniors. It wasn’t until 26 years later than Pumpherston Juniors joined the Edinburgh & District League for season 1954–55, returning to Junior football.

They were a solid mid table side for many years after this, with only a couple of shock cup results to write home about. The early 1970s however saw erratic form, 1971–72 saw them finish third, the following season they were 15th and bottom, and the season after that, with the leagues re-organised into A and B Divisions they missed out on promotion by a single goal.

Things at this time happened to be erratic off the pitch also, with the financial situation at the club was deteriorating and midway through season 1976–77 they folded.

The club was re-formed and joined the East Region in 1990–91, once again bringing Junior football back to Recreation Park. The venue for football in Pumpherston since the club was originally brought to life in 1896.

From everyone here at ‘ClimbingTheLadder’ we’d like to wish everyone at Recreation Park all the best for next season and congratulations for the last two!