Glenafton Athletic are delighted to announce that Tommy Bryce has been appointed as manager. Joining Tommy at Loch Park is goal-keeping coach Mark ‘Cherk’ Howie.
Welcome to Loch Park, Tommy and Mark.
Johnstone born Tommy stepped up from Irvine Meadow to the seniors with Kilmarnock. He made his Killie debut on St. Valentine’s Day 1981 in a Scottish Cup game against Clydebank and the following week made his Premier Division debut in a draw at Partick Thistle. In season 1982/83 he moved onto Stranraer and then joined Queen of the South (three spells), Clydebank (two spells), Ayr United, Partick Thistle (as player /manager) and Arbroath before returning to the Stair Park side some 18 years later.
It was from Stranraer that Tommy was signed by Glenafton manager John McStay and in June 2001 he moved to Loch Park as player/ coach. He made his debut in a 3-2 win over Cumnock Juniors at Townhead in the Kerr & Smith Sectional Cup season opener and played in the last league game of the season when the Glens defeated Auchinleck at Loch Park to be crowned the ‘Last Champions of Ayrshire’, as the newly formed West Region beckoned.
Tommy took over the reins at Loch Park the following season and the Glens finished 3rd in the Premier Division, three points behind champions Pollok and second placed Neilston. Despite the disappointment of ‘so near but yet so far’, Tommy made club history in that season of 2002/03 , leading Glenafton to their first ever success in the West of Scotland Cup, after defeating Bellshill Athletic 4-2 in the final at Meadow Park. The East Ayrshire Cup was also claimed after a penalty shoot-out win over Hurlford United at Townhead Park.
In season 2003/04 the Glens finished in fifth place in the league and at the start of the following season Tommy and Glenafton parted company and Gordon Dalziel appointed as manager.
Tommy moved to Troon as player /manager before taking over the hot-seat at Kilbirnie Ladeside, the Valefield side having dropped into the Ayrshire District League at the end of season 2006/07. The club made a speedy return to the Super League 1st Division as unbeaten champions of the Ayrshire District League and the season after that he repeated his feat at Glenafton, by leading Kilbirnie to their first ever West of Scotland Cup success with a stunning 5-1 victory over Premier Division champions elect Pollok, and on their own turf to boot! Further success followed with Ladeside’s return to the Premier Division as runners-up to champions Largs Thistle, while ironically Glenafton lost their ever-present Premier status, under Gordon Dalziel in his second spell with the club, after losing out in the play-off. Kilbirnie enjoyed 6th and 8th place finishes in their first two seasons back in the Premier Division but found themselves stranded in bottom place the following season and Tommy ended his successful stewardship of the club in March 2012, with Ladeside relegated two months later.
We would like to wish Tommy all the best in his return to Loch Park.