Super League 1st Division
Sat 27th August Merksworth Park, Dalry KO 2pm
DALRY THISTLE v GLENAFTON ATHLETIC
The Glens travel to Dalry on Saturday in the third week-end of the league campaign. Inevitably, the return of the former Thistle management team of Darren Henderson, John Garroch and Sammy Conn to their old stomping ground, where they enjoyed great success last season, creates some added interest to the match at Merksworth. Of course, it is worth noting that the Loch Park side’s management team also includes Stevie Kerrigan who played a major role in Glenafton’s late push for promotion last season.
Equally, Dalry have moved on and their new management team of co-managers Dougie McGuire and Drew Walsh (both former Dalry players) and their assistants Martin Doak (another former player) and Stephen Watson have built their own team and got off to a decent start. Although there were heavy defeats to Premier sides Kilbirnie Ladeside (2-7) and Largs Thistle (1-4) in the Ardagh Sectional League cup there was a memorable 4-3 home win over the mighty Beith with 18 year old David McKenna scoring an injury time winner, after the visitors had been reduced to 8 men – including the dismissal of former Glens defender Gerry Joyce. An opening day league defeat at home to East Kilbride was followed by fine point in a lively game away at Girvan.
Four former Dalry players – Andy Bell, Craig Menzies, Cammy McKinnell and Craig Potter – will be in the Glens squad but missing is suspended striker Gareth Campbell, while the club await progress reports on injuries to captain Robbie Henderson and Lewis Sloan sustained against Whitletts at the week-end.
Other League Fixtures:
Ardrossan Winton Rovers host joint table toppers East Kilbride Thistle while Hurlford United the other side with a 100% record travel to promoted side Kilsyth Rangers. Last season’s relegated sides Lanark United and Rutherglen Glencairn meet at Moor Park, while Renfrew host Shotts Bon Accord, both sides tied on three points. New boys Thorniewood are looking for their first points with the visit of Girvan, who have drawn both their games. Whitletts, another side with 2 points from 2 games host Cumbernauld United, another side looking for their first points.
Former Afton Lad
The only FAL in the current Dalry squad is 22 year old striker Graeme Barbour who made the move to Merksworth in the summer from Troon. Barrhead boy Graeme joined the Glens towards the end of the 2009/10 season and made 2 starts and 3 sub appearances. He scored his only goal for the club in a 2010/11 pre-season game against Irvine Meadow but two days later suffered severe ligament damage in a friendly away to Newcastle Benfield. Credit to the young man his spirits remained high but he only made two appearances from the bench in 2010/11 and was loaned out to Troon before making a permanent move to the Portland Park side. He received a warm welcome to Loch Park when playing for Troon in this summer’s pre-season Joe Meldrum tournament. Graeme has made a great start at Dalry scoring a brace in the 2-2 draw at Girvan last week, although he also collected a brace of yellow cards.
Did You Know?
Young Graeme’s in good company. Arguably the most successful player to pull on the colours of Dalry and Glenafton was Tom Brown. Bruno won a Scottish Junior Cup medal with the Glens in 1993 and Tommy Burns signed him for Kilmarnock in the close season. He scored the only goal of the game on his debut in a home win over Dundee in the first game of the season on Killie’s return to the Premier Division. Tom went on to make 126 appearances for Kilmarnock, finding the net 17 times and was honoured with two Scotland B international caps while at the club. His last game for Kilmarnock was in the Scottish Cup Final victory over Falkirk on the 24th May 1997 – four years + 1 day after he had lifted the Scottish Junior Cup with Glenafton Athletic.