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Six of the seven councillors have teamed up to call for the Fort William FC chairman to quit over a row over the maintenance of Claggan Park. - Lochaber News

Edited by CityDave

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From Fort site

Fort William Councilor Bill Clark

This week's edition of the Lochaber News has a headline and three pages dedicated to six of the local Councillors opinion of members of the Football Club and a local hard working Councilor, who has done nothing wrong other than speaking out in favour of FWFC. Councillor Clark's submission to the LN was edited and therefore failed to have the desired impact in response to what could be seen as a personal attack. The football club has therefore decided to publish his comments in full

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Can anyone tell us if this game will go ahead next week?? ? HEard that pitch has been uplayable for 6 weeks and already a major doubt for next week!

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Can anyone tell us if this game will go ahead next week?? ? HEard that pitch has been uplayable for 6 weeks and already a major doubt for next week!

Depends on the weather, They have not played at home since the 27 August against us but have already had one game called off for a waterlogged pitch this season and had they had a home game last week that would have been off as well. If It stays dry all week/most days you should be ok but if it keeps raining a couple of days before the game- to the day then there could be a problem.

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It's not a great forecast for the area with a lot of rain expected (how unusual for Fort William :D ) I know that some Bo'ness fans plan to travel up on the Friday so I hope it is not a wasted journey!

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It's not a great forecast for the area with a lot of rain expected (how unusual for Fort William :D ) I know that some Bo'ness fans plan to travel up on the Friday so I hope it is not a wasted journey!

Hope u lads have a great day. We had happy memories of our trip to Bo'Ness last season. They have a vocal support but your team should put at least 6-10 goals past them if you have the same quality of player fae last season

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Hope u lads have a great day. We had happy memories of our trip to Bo'Ness last season. They have a vocal support but your team should put at least 6-10 goals past them if you have the same quality of player fae last season

My memories of this game wasn't that happy sad.gif

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From the Lochaber News -

Published: 24/05/2012 02:00 - Updated: 24/05/2012 02:00

Crisis time - Fort FC need you!

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FORT FC chiefs are making a last-gasp plea to locals through the Lochaber News to help save the club from almost certainly folding.

Last week's annual general meeting saw no-one on the committee able to fill the vital roles of chairman and secretary and now an annual general meeting next Wednesday could lead to either death or a revival for Fort FC.

Current chairman and secretary John Watssman and manager Danny Conlon fear that Fort could fold unless more folk offer their time and support to help share the workload.

Watssman has stepped down, though he will continue in the combined role until the EGM, which will be held at 7.30pm on Wednesday, May 30, in the social club at Claggan Park.

Conlon's involvement in the club stretches beyond 30 years. As well as being head coach for the third time in his career, he is head of youth development, having also played and captained the club, to name just a few of the jobs he's carried out with vigour.

He explained that the consequences of having no senior team will have a far wide impact for the Claggan Park club.

In a no-nonsense interview, he told the LN: "I genuinely believe that if Fort William FC folds then football here as a whole will never recover.

"Not only do we run courses from primary pupils, we cater for youth teams right through to under-19 level. What would happen to young footballers in this area? In terms of kids alone, around 120 children rely on us to be there providing coaching for them.

"What we need more than ever is people to help us - otherwise the future is bleak for next week's meeting. We need anyone and everyone.

"On Saturday, myself and John travelled to Skye to watch a game and look at players - even although we don't know if the club will be here next season. We need people to help us with a variety of workloads.

"I don't think people appreciate just how much work is involved in running a club.

"We have good people involved here, but not enough and that's the critical factor right now. If this club did close, then a year down the line people would then realise how important Fort FC was to this area."

He added: "We have an excellent youth system here. You can see that when you look at our first-team. Although they lack experience, a few years from now we'll see their true potential and that's thanks to the many excellent coaches we have here."

Fort FC has always struggled to attract players, plus folk to fill the crucial roles behind the scenes.

As well as competing with strong shinty clubs, for manpower, players and sponsorships, the lack of facilities have also hindered Fort FC, who consistenly finish at the foot of the Highland League.

Meanwhile, Watssman told the LN he was hoping for the best but fearing the worst and urged the Fort William and wider Lochaber community to rally to the club's cause.

He warned: "We're at the precipice again. Apart from the people associated with the club we had no new faces at last week's AGM.

"We're in the position that we must fill the chairman and secretary positions in order for the club to continue operating. No-one can commit to anything at the moment until we resolve matters at the EGM on the 30th. There are a lot of big challenges facing our football club such as finance, club licensing and, of course, the Claggan Park pitch.

"There is an apathy in Fort William about the club but we have to be optimistic and hope that the situation can be sorted. I would appeal to people with an interest in the club's future to come on board and help us."

Outgoing chairman Watssman added: "As manager Danny Conlon has warned recently, if the club was to close its doors it would create huge problems, not least for the up to 180 children and young adults attached to the club at all levels.

"Do we want to see them have nothing to do but be out on the streets at weekends involved in drinking and other unhealthy pursuits?"

He said the prospect of Fort William stepping out of the Highland League and into another set-up such as the North Caledonian League had not been on the table at the AGM. As a town, I think we should be proud that we have a club in the Highland League," he said.

"Our location does hinder us in terms of attracting players from outwith the area and in terms of training facilities.

"But we have got a really good core of talented young players and no-one can fault the commitment of them and the coaches.

"We definitely could do with having two or three older heads to come in and help the young players."

* If anyone can help the club in any way, email [email protected] or call 01397 698003 and leave a message.

Edited by CityDave

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Very worrying that no-one wanted to help-out come AGM as it'd been fairly high-profile in the weeks leading-up to it IIRC that they needed new people to help. Hopefully this (last) last-gasp appeal gets a response.

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Good news for Fort after last nights EGM.

Fort looking forward with optimism as McGillivary and MacLean step in. There has been good news for Fort William, with the Lochaber side making the necessary changes required at tonight's Extraordinary General Meeting allowing them to continue to run. Ex-Fort committee member Derek McGillivary has returned to the club in the role of chairman, while Ronnie MacLean has taken on the job of secretary. With John Wattsman stepping down from his roles as both chairman and secretary of the Lochaber side at the club's AGM two weeks ago, Fort have been actively looking for replacements to come forward.

However, tonight's EGM was the last opportunity for them to come on board in order that the club could be saved. With approximately 30 people in attendance, Fort were successful in filling both key positions, McGillivary and MacLean coming to the Claggan Park side's rescue.

Meanwhile Wattsman will be staying on the committee, and he along with John Corbett senior will be dealing with all aspects of Fort's club licensing arrangements.

Fort William are now looking ahead with renewed optimism, with ground developments underway in building a new stand as well as refurbishing the old stand. In addition, the work on the pitch has been finished with new drainage work being carried out, as Fort look to ease the long-term issues they have had with getting games played at Claggan Park during the winter months.

Edited by CityDave

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I hope the Fort can survive and are still playing Highland league next season.

Surely the laying of a 3G pitch has to be the way forward for the Fort. I know they are expensive but surely they could a few grants together to cover the costs and let the community get full use of the facilities to help generate interest in the club.

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I hope the Fort can survive and are still playing Highland league next season.

Surely the laying of a 3G pitch has to be the way forward for the Fort. I know they are expensive but surely they could a few grants together to cover the costs and let the community get full use of the facilities to help generate interest in the club.

Badly needed, the logistics of trying to organise buses etc to rearranged fixtures must be a nightmare to some clubs.

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2 big problems for Fort (I used to live and work nearby)

1) Shinty is seen as much more attractive by the young lads they need to build up a squad. Lots of successful local shinty teams, vs a (percieved) joke football team.

2) The pitch. It's in a dreadful location as reagrds flooding/waterlogging and they need to move. If only they could share An Aird, especially with shinty now being a summer sport. Don't know the logistics of this, maybe a good reason why this can't happen, but they could even use the shinty pitch at Ballachulish, it's not a bad surface (if I remember from my shinty days)

I appreciate that the Fort is a damn awkward place to get to, especially if you have to go up Loch Lomond-side(!) but it would be a sad day to see the club fold.

Best of luck to all involved!

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The report mentions a new stand, is the pitch being moved cloer to the existing one and a further new stand being built?

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Am heading to Claggan Park on Saturday (don't really know why but thought it was a good idea at the time) to see Fort v Preston Athletic.

Couple of questions someone here can help with.

What sort of facilities are there?

Programme?

Pie stall?

Social Club?

Entrance fee?

Will it be on? (Weather looks wet and from memory Fort William is one of the wettest places in the UK)

Cheers

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Am heading to Claggan Park on Saturday (don't really know why but thought it was a good idea at the time) to see Fort v Preston Athletic.

Couple of questions someone here can help with.

What sort of facilities are there?

Programme?

Pie stall?

Social Club?

Entrance fee?

Will it be on? (Weather looks wet and from memory Fort William is one of the wettest places in the UK)

Cheers

did you make it?

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I have noticed over the last few weeks that the Fort have been running teams pretty close. They got a draw with Buckie yesterday and are not conceding a ridiculous amount of goals this season, have the team improved much or are the others getting worse?

Anyway credit to the Fort for the Away draw yesterday biggrin.gif Hopefully i can get up to a game soon.

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