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Fort William 2021-22 Thread


Aqy
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10 minutes ago, DGW9 said:

Groundshare at the shinty club not an alternative?

Again, licensing will need to come into play.  Fort William Shinty Club's ground is fenced but I don't think it has turnstyles and it isn't well lit, think it only has streetlights next to it and I'm not sure they light the pitch (can't remember the other requirements needed).  Kilmallie's is just a public field basically.

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There seems to be some people that think giving the pitch some time will make it better. They probably weren't paying much attention at the end of the 2019-20 season when they ended up in almost the exact same situation of playing all games away due to the backlog.

 

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Going down to the NCL could be a blessing in disguise for them as licensing won't be an issue any longer. So if their pitch isn't good enough, they have more choice in where to play instead.

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There's no conspiracy. Their pitch is shit and has been for some time. That's the size of it. Between March 2020 and now they've had sixteen months, two summers and a winter without the grass being needed at all to get that pitch playable, and they haven't. How are they going to sort it in three months?

Unfortunately Fort's online support are a squad of rubes what's never been near Claggan Park or never noticed the club never plays a homer for four months of the season. Now some clownshoe has involved an MP in this.  

The Highland League very rarely throws the rulebook at a club about anything. Someone upstairs has had a word. 

Edited by Jimmy Shaker
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6 minutes ago, Marten said:

Going down to the NCL could be a blessing in disguise for them as licensing won't be an issue any longer. So if their pitch isn't good enough, they have more choice in where to play instead.

They might choose the Midland League, all clubs have to decide by the end of the month, entirely their choice I think. Distance wise there's not much difference.

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29 minutes ago, welshbairn said:

They might choose the Midland League, all clubs have to decide by the end of the month, entirely their choice I think. Distance wise there's not much difference.

True, I automatically assumed the NCL though as that's where they came from and were rumoured to return to. We'll see what they choose.

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1 hour ago, Jimmy Shaker said:

There's no conspiracy. Their pitch is shit and has been for some time. That's the size of it. Between March 2020 and now they've had sixteen months, two summers and a winter without the grass being needed at all to get that pitch playable, and they haven't. How are they going to sort it in three months?

Unfortunately Fort's online support are a squad of rubes what's never been near Claggan Park or never noticed the club never plays a homer for four months of the season. Now some clownshoe has involved an MP in this.  

The Highland League very rarely throws the rulebook at a club about anything. Someone upstairs has had a word. 

Probably why this has reached the turning point?

Guess the club has until the end of the season to show that it has turned things around and  can, thereafter, keep things in satisfactory order on and off the pitch. Loss of the SFA Licence is likely to be the crunch point as the club couldn't stay in the Highland League without that.

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As I mentioned earlier, there's still some assumption the Highland League is a mates league and we're all just enjoying the football and rivalries dating back to the 1800's in some cases. The relegation playoff means that's as dead as disco and we're on the clock every season, at both ends of the table. 

If Fort were, say, mid-table and in possession of a completely useless pitch, like Forres and Formartine were for a while, I doubt anyone would have cared. Cove got away with their antics due to Alan McRae working the lobbies and boardrooms as he went around the country sporting the right blazer and tie, whereas Fort haven't that kind of influence. Cove deliberately ran their ground down trying to force a decision and screwed up. Fort are just divs. 

Like when Strathspey (and Locos) entered the league without the facilities required, so long as a plan exists to get said facilities in place in a certain timeframe, the league will work with clubs. Fort are just winging this now. Some boys claiming to be from the club reckoning they can have it fixed in 4-8 weeks. Mate, you've have sixteen months. :lol:

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By the way this was supposed to be the opening home fixture at Fort William for 2020-21 against Strathspey Thistle.

Image

Write up by KeithB on FitbaNorth

"Shambolic, embarrassing & amateur from Fort today I'm afraid. Strathspey squad turned up to find that changing rooms weren't even open, & when they did get in discovered that nothing had been set out as per 2m protocols etc so had to do it themselves.

Boggy areas on pitch for ref's initial 2.30pm inspection & he instructed that he had concerns & needed sorting out before he'd give a formal pre-match yay or neh. Cue Fort volunteers piling barrowloads of sand onto the offending areas whilst team warm up around. Teams back into changing rooms & ref out to pitch, with ref trying to get a ball to bounce in the offending areas, & when it didn't, not surprisingly calling off proceedings.

My visit to the Gents discovered no handsoap, handtowels or sanitiser, & looked like they hadn't been cleaned since March!

God knows what the supposed drainage work did, as it doesn't seem to have improved the offending area that saw the game called off by the ref when I last visited Fort 12 months back, & there also now seem to be two more bad areas. And if after all this time you can't get a pitch playable & Covid basics like sanitation & distancing right, then I seriously wonder whether there will be a game played at Claggan Park this season. I'd reverse all the fixtures now if I were Mr Houston."

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Joke club, really. Would anyone other than Godfrey from Trowbridge miss them if they withdrew from the league? No one local to the place gives a shit other than the staff and hugely beleagured committee. Amusing to see Mr Blackford describe them as "entwined with the community" when he hasn't shown the slightest bit of interest, for years. In saying that he's just the same as 99.7% of his constituents.

Assuming they last the season off the park this will be Fort's last season at this level for some time, I think. Will be comprehensively eviscerated by any of the likely play off opponents (BOD / Lochee U / Broughty). Better for everyone that they go to the NCL if the club can be kept afloat for that long.

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I would miss them if they weren't here - I think most SHFL types would - it's a fine day out and Lossie games down there are usually a hoot. There's been something go wrong behind the scenes tho. In years gone by Fort were as hardworking as any other club, hamstrung by location but willingly plodding along, occasionally turning in a season/result/cup run that justified their efforts. Now there's a whole lot of conspiracy theory bullshit about how everyone's out to get them.

I still can't fathom how that town can't do better with a football club than this, even marginally.

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Agree with a lot of what's been said here - someone upstairs has had a word with the league now that the relegation play-offs are in place. Without an injection of cash and the locals actually giving a shit about the club, it'll either mothball/fold/or drop into the NCL. I don't imagine the Midland clubs will in any rush to trek across from Fife.

None of the other parks in the town are up to licensing snuff, so that either leaves a temporary move to Inverness, revelopment work at Claggan, or drop to NCL and don't worry about licensing.

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Another bit of nonsense is that domain registration for the club website expired ages ago, but they're still pointing to it in their Twitter bio. I DM'd them on Twitter donkeys ago to warn them it was about to expire and never got a reply.

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14 minutes ago, Jimmy Shaker said:

I would miss them if they weren't here - I think most SHFL types would - it's a fine day out and Lossie games down there are usually a hoot. There's been something go wrong behind the scenes tho. In years gone by Fort were as hardworking as any other club, hamstrung by location but willingly plodding along, occasionally turning in a season/result/cup run that justified their efforts. Now there's a whole lot of conspiracy theory bullshit about how everyone's out to get them.

I still can't fathom how that town can't do better with a football club than this, even marginally.

Fair play. I have admired their stubbornness in persisting against all the odds for years and have been at games where the only non-playing staff was the team bus driver (this was up at Fraserburgh a couple of seasons ago). They always did have one or two decent players, too.

It will be a new level of Lazarusness for Fort to survive these problems, though.

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Some of the LL non league types may be should have a look at themselves when slating the Highland with this decision. 

Its not like the LL looked to fondly on Selkirk when they tried to blag their way through a season. 

Edited by FairWeatherFan
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Some will say the SHFL should have busted Fort for this a while back. I believe Selkirk were given little grace to deal with their problems, whereas Fort have been at this for years, which is not a good look for the club, the league or the office bearers tasked with making sure we've a decent league from top to bottom. 

The town of Fort William really needs to take them on tho. 

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6 minutes ago, Jimmy Shaker said:

Some will say the SHFL should have busted Fort for this a while back. I believe Selkirk were given little grace to deal with their problems, whereas Fort have been at this for years, which is not a good look for the club, the league or the office bearers tasked with making sure we've a decent league from top to bottom. 

The town of Fort William really needs to take them on tho. 

Which will never happen. I know a few folk from Fort and they say they and no one they know care about the club. It’s never likely to change.

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57 minutes ago, Aqy said:

Agree with a lot of what's been said here - someone upstairs has had a word with the league now that the relegation play-offs are in place. Without an injection of cash and the locals actually giving a shit about the club, it'll either mothball/fold/or drop into the NCL. I don't imagine the Midland clubs will in any rush to trek across from Fife.

None of the other parks in the town are up to licensing snuff, so that either leaves a temporary move to Inverness, revelopment work at Claggan, or drop to NCL and don't worry about licensing.

There is only one Midlands League club based in Fife, Tayport. The others are in Dundee City, Angus and Perth & Kinross.

And part of the rules of the relegation is that HFL clubs decide where to go, so FW could nominate the ML. I don't know if they will, but we'll find out soon enough.

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