Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Season Review - David Shaw

Saturday 1st of August was a day that most Killie fans will want to forget. Our opening fixture against Dundee was utterly diabolical. Two goals down at half-time (it honestly could have been 22 if it hadn’t been for Jamie MacDonald), 3 half-time substitutions and a healthy home support already heading for the exits as Harkins added a 3rd at the start of the second half, the message wasn’t just written on the wall for Killie fans – it was tattooed all over our faces – “THIS DOESN’T LOOK GOOD!” A fourth goal rammed this message further down our throats as loyal fans already contemplated finding something better to do on a Saturday afternoon.

Former Killie stalwarts, Pascali and Eremenko, had long sailed into the sunset during the close season and the d├ębutantes brought in by Gary Locke looked strangely out of their depth. Indeed, Locke’s new defensive midfield partnership of Hamill and Robinson only lasted about as long as the attack on Pearl Harbour, albeit the battering they took from the Dundee strike force was far worse than anything the Japanese Navy could ever muster.

A further 2-0 defeat by Aberdeen at Pittodrie kept Killie at the foot of the table as Celtic came calling on a delightful Wednesday evening, fully expecting to hammer a Killie side low on confidence. However, from somewhere, Ayrshire’s finest finally found their feet. Magennis steered home his first of the season and new signing, Higginbotham, coolly chipped in a penalty to give us a deserved point.
Three days later, Boydie rescued a point at Firhill with a late equaliser and you started to feel that the tide was maybe turning our way. Then, Ross County came calling, and the rest is history.

I remember being excited about doing my first match report, pen and paper on hand, wondering if I would find anything useful to write about in the first few minutes. Alas, my pen never left the paper as four goals were smashed into the Killie net in a first half that sent shudders through every home fan. Assistant manager, Lee McCulloch, had made his debut in this match at the age of 38, and left the field after 41 terrifying minutes to try and find a darkened room to hide in. If we thought our form had improved recently then this match sent us a grim warning that we hadn’t. In actual fact – we stank worse than the toilets at Somerset Park!

Incredibly, things then picked up a bit. Wins over Berwick in the League Cup, Dundee Utd and St Johnston in the league, and a narrow defeat to Motherwell, suggested that a wee bit of confidence may have returned. However, subsequent home defeats to Hearts in the next round of the cup and then Hamilton at home kept us within touching distance of the bottom of the league.

As October came calling, Locke signed defender, Conrad Balatoni, and decided to partner him with Stuart Findlay in central defence. It seemed a huge gamble but mercifully they both instantly gelled as Killie finally went on a decent run. An excellent draw at Tynecastle was followed up by victories over Inverness at home and a revenge win at Dens Park. Suddenly, the optimists in our support began touting Killie as a potential top 6 side, especially as lowly Motherwell were next to visit Rugby Park. Killie began the match positively and absolutely battered the 'Well defence but just couldn’t find the net. And, as so often happens, Motherwell stole the 3 points near the end. The wheels all but fell off our bus at that very point as the season began to descend into chaos. An unexpected draw at Parkhead was about all that we could show for the next two months as we were constantly torn apart – especially by Thistle and Aberdeen on the plastic-fantastic.

At the turn of the year, Killie were lying second bottom of the league, with only Dundee Utd worse off. A slight turn of form saw us begin 2016 with victories over St Johnstone and Inverness and hope was renewed as we faced basement boys, Dundee Utd, at Tannadice, knowing victory here would almost certainly cut them free at the foot of the table. However, a humiliating 5-1 defeat brought us back down to earth with a bang. We were now in deep trouble and Locke was starting to feel the pressure. At the end of January, Accies came calling and won 1-0. Gary Locke was sacked soon after and Lee McCulloch took over as caretaker manager. Immediately, we began to improve with a hard-fought draw at Ibrox in the Scottish Cup and an excellent 2-0 victory at Fir Park.

Various names were mentioned to take over the hot-seat but McCulloch ruled himself out from the start. Former Newcastle midfielder, Lee Clark, was eventually named as our saviour, but after losing to Rangers in the cup replay, his first 6 league games yielded just 2 points. As we prepared to face St Johnstone at the beginning of April, Clark knew that something had to happen or we were doomed. Fortunately, we won 3-0 and a further 4-0 win away to Hamilton gave us hope of avoiding the play-off spot. Then, the spoilers from Maryhill arrived and left Rugby Park with a 2-0 win, thus ensuring their own survival, whilst also condemning Killie to a play-off with a side from the Championship.

On Thursday 19th of May, Killie travelled to Falkirk for the first leg of the play-off. They fought like tigers from the start but just couldn’t break down the Bairns’ stubborn defence. A late Falkirk goal gave our opponents an undeserved victory and a great opportunity to relegate us in the second leg at The Theatre of Pies. Three days later, however, well, let’s just say…sometimes it’s good to be alive…
The mass clear-out that followed our 4-0 play-off win certainly hinted that Lee Clark means business. Next season will have to be much more appealing for everyone as crowds are dwindling faster than the Greek economy. We really need something worth watching on the plastic-fantastic – and I don’t mean Rod Stewart or Glasgow Warriors!

Killie fans everywhere – enjoy the break and see you next season.

David Shaw

Dutch Courage

Our old friend from the Dutch Killie Supporters Club, Peter Nederlof, is going to Peru to walk the Inca trail all the way to Machu Picchu to raise funds on behalf of the Ajax Foundation, who we would like to tell you more about but to be honest our Dutch is not all it should be!

Peter, who has been coming to see Killie for years and is now a well known face around the Theatre of (as yet unknown quality) Pies, has already reached his target of €1000 on his Just Giving page but it would be great if a few more of our fans could chip in with a shekel or two.

Be The Boss - Peter Nederlof

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Season Diary - Week 43

This is an extra season diary as the Scotsman column has finished for the season but it didn’t quite include our dramatic end to the season which I am still trying to work out is an insult or what we deserve for being mince all season. One bonus is that I am not restricted to 150(ish) words, secondly I will be still contributing to the Premiership Fanzone next season and lastly I can say what I like with no danger of it being edited out! Last Thursday was a real kick in the gonads in terms of possession over result. The fans were immense and we missed some glaring chances, only to defend like big girls’ blouses in injury time and concede a goal. All was not lost of course as it was only half time in the tie with 90 minutes still to play at the Theatre of Sighs. Why did that not fill me full of hope?

As we now know we had little to worry about as the fans of both teams got right behind the players from the get go and the home crowd were stunned but delighted as we reversed the deficit within seven minutes of kick off. Was anyone expecting that? It was good to see Lee Clark had opted to play Hodson in his favoured right back position and trusted young Taylor on the left. For me the crucial difference though was playing Kiltie (who was on fire, their defence was terrified) behind Boyd because, as anyone who reads this column every week will confirm, I have been saying since the last time Boyd was at the club that Greg playing off the striker was a combination that would bear goals…and the goals were forthcoming. Magennis on the right was also instrumental in the result, which is worth remembering when he comes back from the Euros.

Big Josh it would appear will be one of the few who are actually coming back next season as Clarkie swung the axe this week in true Game of Thrones style. We’d be lucky to pull together a fives or sevens side if the season started next week, so we can expect to see a host of new faces come the League Cup fixtures in July. I would hope that two of said faces would be Tank Addison and possibly Hodson what with his parent club being relegated, but that will be down to the persuasiveness of the gaffer as I can’t imagine many would like to go through another season like this one! In the end there were mass celebrations and unbridled joy…but it was relief more than anything and we should have never been in that position in the first place had we changed manager sooner.

The board witnessed one of the stormiest AGM’s since the bad old days and it must surely be clear to the majority of them now that if they want thing to ever turn around they have to get Michael Johnston to step down and stay clear of the club. Any good he may have ever done is tarnished by the sheer length of the ‘naughty list’ that has been doing the rounds on the forums and social media for the last couple of years and his very presence is toxic and keeping fans and sponsors/investors away. Shareholders are calling for an EGM to have him removed for the board but at the end of the day it is Billy Bowie who will have to decide what is more important, his working relationship with his partner in the hotel the club used to own or the very future of the club itself.

Here's to next season then #WeAreKillie

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Save The Date - Scottish Cup 20th Anniversary Dance

Following another memorable afternoon on Sunday it is great to recall that on 24th May 1997 the supporters, the community, the players and the club joined together to celebrate defeating Falkirk 1-0 in the final of the Tennent's Scottish Cup at Ibrox thanks to a wonder sclaff from prolific striker Paul Wright.

The Killie Trust, KFCSA and Young Kilmarnock are delighted to announce that plans are already well under way to properly celebrate the 20th anniversary of that Cup Winning success in May 2017.

It’s hoped that as many of the players and the management team from 1997 as possible will be attending what promises to be another fantastic evening for Killie fans in the Grand Hall Kilmarnock on Saturday 20th May 2017.

Please 'save the date' now and we'll bring you more information about the event in the coming months.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Senior Ladies Match Report

Kilmarnock 7 Spartans reserves 0

Scorers - Clare Docherty (3)
                  Abby Robinson
                  Cara Mailey
                   Nicole Telford
                  Claire Law

Kilmarnock welcomed Spartans to Grange Academy hoping to claim successive league victories for the first time this season.
  The three points were all but confirmed 35 minutes into the game as Clare Docherty followed on from last weeks hat-trick against Glasgow City with a first half treble against Spartans. Docherty capitalised on a keeper error for her first and prodded home from four yards. Her second was a neat finish beyond the keeper from 10 yards but her best goal was her last. Excellent play down the left side saw Sara Paterson striding into the box and a perfectly weighted pass allowed Docherty to finish first time from 12 yards to make the score 3-0 at half time.

Although 3-0 ahead more than was asked of Kilmarnock in the second half as it was felt a lot more could be done. Killie answered this call by scoring four more goals and creating a plethora of chances without being troubled at the opposite end.
  Abby Robinson scored the fourth after winning possession and forcing her way into the box to strike low across the keeper into the corner.
  Killie continued to force the pace and Cara Mailey was next on the scoresheet. Alana Black sidestepped a defender 25 yards from goal and struck a sweet shot that was well saved but Mailey was quickly onto this and beat a defender inside the box before smashing the ball home off the underside of the bar.
  The sixth came from Nicole Telford from a corner kick. A ball played to the back post was forced home by the striker for her first goal of the season.
  The scoring was completed when a Black corner was met by the head of Claire Law on the 6 yard line and ended in the corner of the net.

A 7-0 score line didn't flatter the home side and they could be disappointed not to have bettered their goal difference but three points was the aim and this sets them up nicely for their visit to Hearts in two weeks time.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Be The Boss - Michael Park

In the last of this season's Be The Boss features, we asked site editor and enduring pessimist Michael Park to pick the team. Tope at right back? Maybe not...

Last night's game wasn't a disaster by any stretch of the imagination. A mistake was made in the last minute and Falkirk cracked lucky. These things happen. Admittedly they happen to us all too often but all we need is one last good performance, learning from the wee errors which cost us last night and this game is ours for the taking.

I believe that. Honest.

GK: Jamie MacDonald
It's hard to imagine where we'd be if it wasn't for Jamie MacDonald. Although his form has dipped slightly in recent weeks, I've seen a few people giving him a bit of a hard time for Will Vaulks' goal last night but it took a couple of wee deflections and beat him.

If we go down, I have a horrible feeling he'll be the man Hearts look to to solve their newfound goalkeeping problem. Let's hope his reflexes can keep us in it.

RB: Mark O'Hara
Had a bit of a ropey first half against Falkirk but given that (as has been said numerous times before) right back isn't his natural position, I like him there. He's able to push forward and seems very comfortable on the ball.

CB: Miles Addison
Miles by name, Miles by circumference, Addison has been a rock since he's come into the Killie defence. He communicates fantastically and while he isn't exactly the world's most electrifying centre back, he does what he does well. No nonsense, no frills, no mercy.

CB: Conrad Balatoni
I never thought I would be torn between picking Lee Ashcroft and picking Conrad Balatoni. Ashcroft had a really good game last night and had the snot beaten out of him for his troubles. Balatoni has had a good season (barring a few hairy moments) and I think he'll offer us more options to play out from the back. Not to mention the fact that I'm not sure Ashcroft has stopped bleeding yet.

Sorry Peggy.

LB: Lee Hodson
For a right back, Lee Hodson makes a pretty solid left back. Coming forward he's quite one dimensional - so would you be if you were playing on the wrong side - but he overlaps well and has 'big game' experience.

CM: Craig Slater
Slater was everywhere in the first leg and since rumour has it that Julien Faubert's contract has expired, we don't really have another deep-lying creative option. Craig has the ability to be a match winner, let's just hope Sunday is 'his day'.

CM: Gary Dicker
Gary, Gary, Gary. He made a few mistakes in possession in the first leg but still looks a more solid option than anyone we were running with in the early stages of the season. We need someone to keep Blair Alston from drifting into space on the edge of the box and Dicker could well be that man.

LW: Greg Kiltie
He had a quiet game in the first leg but I'm keeping the faith with Official Kiltie. He's had a few incredible moments this season and he never gives up the fight. If he can have a good game, so can we.

CAM: Kallum Higginbotham
This was a bit of a tough choice. Rory McKenzie had a tough game last night and hasn't really looked 100% since coming back from injury. Higgy has all the potential to pick the big McCracken shaped padlock in the Falkirk defence, the only question is if it's him or the haircut who turns up.

RW: Josh Magennis
After last night I'm making deals with every minor deity I can think of (including some Roman ones) that Josh will be fit for Sunday. Overnight I've come to terms with the fact that Tope Obadeyi had one of his better games for the club at The Falkirk Stadium but I remain wholly unconvinced that he's going to keep us up. Josh offers so much beyond just his ability and pace on the ball and it goes without saying that our task gets a whole lot tougher without him.

ST: Kris Boyd
Boomer had a couple of decent chances last night and would have scored a fantastic goal were it not for Craig Sibbald's weird line-work. We need to take the chances which come our way on Sunday which is why I've gone for some of our more clinical players behind him, if he can at least work the 'keeper when he gets into the 6 yard box, we may have some luck on the rebound.

Of course, I still believe he's going to set himself up for an overhead kick to win it for us.

You can follow Michael on Twitter: @GreatCollapso and 'enjoy' his stress-induced meltdown on the KillieFC social media on Sunday.

Show Your Colours On Sunday

On Sunday afternoon Kilmarnock FC face their biggest, and most important, league match since 14th May 1994 when a Tommy Burns inspired Killie side bravely drew 0-0 at Easter Road to retain their top flight status.

Football can be cruel and unfair at times and that was certainly the case last night at the Falkirk Stadium when the Bairns snatched a 1-0 lead with a 91st minute goal.

Our club and the team needs all the support it can get on Sunday.

Fans need to turn out in numbers and support the side throughout the game just as the magnificent away support did last night.

The team created lots of chances last night and with a loud, vocal home support we have hope and belief that the lads can overcome the deficit.

Kilmarnock deserves a top flight football side – PLEASE give us every chance to retain our place in the top tier by buying a ticket, turning out in your Killie colours and cheering loudly!

We can do this.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

The weekend preview matchday 8

This weekend we have a full round of fixtures, with all our teams involved across Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Friday night sees our u13 Whites travel to Irvine to face Clark Drive. We have seen improvement week on week with this young team and we have no doubt they will continue this tomorrow night.  They face a tough game against Clark Drive but they will be hoping to turn in another good, battling and energetic performance.

On Saturday morning, the u13 Blues play Rutherglen in the League Cup Final. Both teams have been in excellent form during the early season. This has the potential to be an absolutely cracking game of football. Kick off is 10:30am at Kilwinning Sports Club.

The u15s welcome Kilwinning to the Grange in a re-scheduled game. The young team have been impressive during the start of the season and are looking to stay in the hunt for top spot in the league.

Following a free week last weekend, the 17s welcome Celtic to the Grange. It's been a stop-start season for the 17s so far with games being few and far between but they will be looking to build some momentum before the mid season break.

Our seniors are also in action as Spartans Reserves visit the Grange. The seniors go into the game on the back of a confidence boosting 3-0 win over Glasgow City Reserves. Much like the 17s they will be looking to start picking up points and building momentum.

Good luck to all teams involved - enjoy your game!!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Annual Awards

KFCSA were pleased to be able to recently present their Player of The Year Awards.

The deserved winners were Greg Kiltie, who received the David Sneddon Award for Young Player of The Year and the Player of The Year was obviously Jamie MacDonald, who was presented with the Frank Beattie Trophy and a personalised salver.

Grateful thanks to Sandy Ferguson for kindly supplying the picture of the two lads proudly showing off their trophies.

Be The Boss - Craig Benson

It's the games we refused to plan for and we never penciled anyone in to cover them so the sad duty of taking over the team for Thursday and Sunday are site staff and long time member Craig Benson and the newest co-publisher of KillieFC.com, Michael Park.

First up is CB, dubbed the Forum Fuhrer for his diligence in enforcing the now redundant ten page rule, he is a hero of the masses as the moderator who finally put Brianstorm back in his box (we miss him really). Craig has helped out with the website since back in the day and has also done a lot of work for the Killie Trust on social media, can he pick a team though?

First legs are always boring pieces of garbage & mine will be no different. Containment is the name of the game. Keep it tight, perhaps snatch a goal, bring them back home & give them a good old fashioned horsing.

You can't not pick Jamie Mac.  The best keeper in the league, he's certainly had plenty of practice. Roundly rubbished by the Falkirk fans, he'll be looking to get it up them by keeping a clean sheet.

Right (Wing) Back
 Can I pick Super Gus? [eh...no] I better take Dylan Kerr out from LB too then! It's Lee Hodson for me. No mucking about. A right back at right back. We've spent years crying out for a half decent one; and I'm not wasting him by sticking him on the left. Not feart of getting up the park to help us going forward, without neglecting his defensive duties.

Centre Back
And there will be 3 of them: Miles Addison. A tank. Will keep Lee Miller's gas at a peep. The irresistible force versus the immovable object. Lee 'Peggy' Ashcroft (ask your granny), I know what you're thinking, but in a back three I think he'll shine, and, he has been known to pitch in with the odd goal. Not had one for a bit, so he's well overdue [this is getting popular]. Conrad Balatoni, with Captain Fantastic still crocked, CB's CB 3 is CB (That sort of make sense in my head). Anyway, the third rock upon which the Falkirk attack will flounder. Hopefully Lee McCulloch has been prepping the defence like he did at Ibrox in the cup.

Left (Wing) Back

I'm going to have a punt on Greg Taylor. He will be buzzing after his exploits against the Arabs. One of the few to get pass marks. Granted, more attack minded, that's why it's wingbacks I'm going with. Should the chance present itself to get up and at them, Greg wont be backwards in coming forwards.

Defensive Midfield

Mark 'Scarlett' O'Hara [likes his nicknames does CB] The White Patrick Vieira will be just that. Break up Falkirk's play before it gets to the defence. With the added bonus of, if things start going pear shaped, of being a sixth body in defence.

Central Midfield

Gary Dicker, Julien Faubert & Craig Slater. It was tough leaving out the likes of Splaine, Higgy & Frizzell, but remember, we're going for containment here. Bore you to tears and take them back home with everything to play for.

That just leaves 1 space left, and Greg, I hope you've got your running shoes with you. Young Kiltie will have the thankless task of doing for us, what Vardy does for Leicester. Always be available for an out ball. And run like you stole it, when you get it. With the way I'd set about this first leg. He'll sleep well after this 90 minutes.

So, there you have it. Keep them out & keep it alive for the second leg, and with a bench full of Boyds, Splaines, Frizzells & Magennises, we'd still have the ability to go four sheets to the wind & go for it, if things go wrong. Which they won't. No. Never. Ever...

Comedy Night X

The Trust held their tenth Comedy Night at the Mauchline Club and were rewarded with a record attendance for the event. It was a cracking venue and with four comedians, a free bus and cheap drink it was cracking value as well.

Graham Mackie, Chris Forbes, Gary Meikle & Darren Connell

Host Graham Mackie introduced Gary Meikle, Darren Connell and headliner Chris Forbes and a lot of money was raised as well as the roof.

Watch out for Comedy Night XI which is scheduled for some time in September...and feel free to tag anyone in the Facebook album that you know!

Monday, 16 May 2016

Season Diary - Week 42

There was nothing really to play for at the weekend, and boy did that show in the second half! Some of our best players were not risked with the play-offs coming up and we went down a goal early doors from a simple Arabs move.

Surprisingly we didn’t capitulate at the point, we composed ourselves and pushed back and were rewarded with a Higgy goal from a shot that their ‘keeper could only parry.

We kept the pressure up and Tope was all over them for a ten-minute spell with Higgy turning provider as he slid the ball through to an onrushing Obadeyi on the left who deftly chipped the ball over the advancing goalie.

We had another two or three chances to finish the game at that point but then Michael Johnston appeared in the dugout to tell Lee that we had players on yellow cards (they never knew that before?) and when you’ve got Rory McKenzie on at right back and then McHattie making an appearance there, it was never going to end well, and it didn’t.

Thursday and Sunday will be tough, let’s do our bit and get behind the team. There have been massive queues at Rugby Park for tickets on Sunday and Monday so far which should mean that there will be a lively Killie crowd at both matches, fingers crossed that the players are as up for this as the fans are.

Match Report by Jim Mann

Sunday, 15 May 2016

SWF U15 ladies Scottish Cup Report

SWF U15 Scottish Cup 2nd Round

FC Kilmarnock Ladies 5-1 Murieston United

A comfortable victory for our U15's at The Grange Campus yesterday sees them into the draw for the third round.
A good start to the first half saw Holly Hart net after a lovely crossfield pass from Abigail Eadie found her with acres of room on the right flank. Two further goals saw the Killie youngsters on easy street, one from outside the box from Amy Murdoch and another from Hart, who skipped along the bye line before finishing between the keeper and the near post.
A Kari Stewart effort sent Killie in at the break 4-0 to the good and was the pinnacle of a fine overall performance from her on the day.
Second half saw Murieston come out with a lot more purpose, aggression and direction. Their efforts paid off when a good cross-cum-shot from the left caught Laura Thomson off her line, the ball ending up just inside the far post, giving the visitors a sniff of a chance of getting back into the game.
Killie weathered the storm though, and had the chance of extending their lead from the penalty spot after Danielle Mullen was fouled in the box. Eadie's spot kick, however, was well stopped by the Murieston 'keeper, who was having a good day between the sticks.
Eadie then was able to forget about her spot kick, as she danced into the box before finishing clinically, restoring Killies' four goal advantage,
No more scoring, but the youngsters safely into the pot for the 3rd round draw and a good response after the disappointment of the previous week....what a difference a week makes!!

Ladies Match Report

Glasgow City Dev 0 v 3 Kilmarnock

A scorcher at Petershill is one way to describe the weather as well as Kilmarnock's performance today.

Killie started brightly from the kick off, immediately pressing City deep in their own half and within minutes took the lead. Abby Robinson gained possession and released Mailley down the right, who in turn delivered into the danger area. Docherty being alive to the situation, nipped in front of the defender to poke past the City keeper.
1-0 Kilmarnock.

Kilmarnock then dominated the proceedings keeping City penned in their own half and limiting the home side any possession to get into any sort of flow. Chances were coming Killie's way and they were unlucky not to add to their tally with McCluskey and Law hitting the bar. Docherty again coming close in a 1v1 just shooting wide on this occasion.

The 2nd goal came 35mins in and it was an absolute cracker, a true team goal all worked down the left flank. Murphy the fullback playing a touch line pass to Law who worked a 1-2 with Robinson who dropped a neat pass into Docherty wide on the left. With plenty to do, she stepped inside 2 players, cut across the box and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
HT 2-0 Kilmarnock

The 2nd half and Kilmarnock expected City to come out and go for it, which they did but just not creating clear chances or troubling McAuley in the Killie goal. The Kilmarnock defensive unit held firm with their midfield working extremely hard to limit the flow heading towards goal. Again the clearer chances were falling to Killie, with the coaches thinking missed chances could come back to haunt them. It was not to be ,Docherty again got on the end of a neatly whipped in corner to nod Killie further in front and complete her hatrick.
3-0 Kilmarnock.

With the job done, the away team headed back down the M77 happy. It was a good all round team performance. A good day at the office for Kilmarnock Seniors. Well done ladies and coaches.


Saturday, 14 May 2016

KFCSA Player of the Year Awards

KFCSA were pleased to be able to recently present their Player of The Year Awards. Deserved winners were Greg Kiltie who received the David Sneddon Award for Young Player of The Year and the Player of The Year was obviously Jamie MacDonald who was presented with the Frank Beattie Trophy and a personalised salver. Grateful thanks to Sandy Ferguson for kindly supplying the picture of the two lads proudly showing off their trophies.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Be The Boss - Paul Montgomery

A turnover in boss this week as Kaz signs off with a draw, and a correct prediction that Balatoni was going to score. The final scheduled league fixture of the season goes to Paul Montgomery who is one of Killie's many music type blokes (ex Redhouse) and currently hails himself as a "Dancer with Rogues Gallery" but he may be underplaying his role there a just a wee bit!

Disclaimer - This is a real struggle because of the play off. I’d rest a few ahead of that game and try one or two different things that might present some much needed options. Faubert, McKenzie, Kiltie, Higgy, Magennis and MacDonald would all be there or thereabouts for the big games ahead.

Formation: 4-3-3

GK: Conor Brennan
I’d be wrapping Mr MacDonald in cotton wool for the playoff. He’s absolutely key to our chances of surviving. Brennan has done fine when called upon too.

RB: Mark O’Hara/Julian Faubert
I’d love to be able to try something different at the back but I’m clinging to the hope that they get better the more they play together. Mark is a good prospect, fit and brave. BREAKING NEWS Just found out about O'Hara being suspended so I'm bringing Faubert in there where he has played before to give him another 90 minutes.

CB: Miles Addison
Great in the air and I reckon could be a big player for us with a good pre-season. Due a goal. Should save it for next week though.

CB: Conrad Balatoni
Not the worst but like most of the team this year he’s hit and miss. Can’t fault his effort in a struggling team. Connolly and Addison would be my  pairing if and when.

LB: Lee Hodson
Looks a decent player and has done okay in what has become a problem position for us at fullback. Much prefer him on the right hand side but needs must.

CM: Craig Slater
Good passer and dangerous from set pieces. Hopefully he keeps progressing with us. I fear he could be offski - relegation or not.

CM: Gary Dicker
Decent physical presence. Much like Addison he has the potential to be a good player for us if we can get out of this quagmire.

AM: Adam Frizzell
Busy wee player. Probably an ideal game for him to get on the ball and express himself given the circumstances. Good shout for young player of the year in the championship next year sadly.

LF: Tope Obadeyi
Frustrating big guy. Has loads of pace but works so much better instinctively than if he has time to stop and think. Might not be seeing him in the stripes again is my feeling. I’d let him run about on the hallowed 4G one last time. Will miss seeing him and his nice trainers in Morrisons.

RF: Alex Henshall
Why not? Might turn in a great performance which leads to 4 goals over the two play-off matches. Keeps us up single handed, signs a 3 year deal and becomes a club legend.

CF:Kris Boyd
I’d give Boydie a half and Josh the other just to keep them sharp before squeaky bum time.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Be The Boss - Karen Steel

In what is our first female appointment, we're once again proving that we're ahead of the modern game (as if we hadn't proved our credentials with 'Tope at right back'). Karen Steel from sunny Hurlford has probably been to more Killie games in her time than most and if there is a game on home or away she will do her best to be there.

We've had quite a few from the Howard Arms SC this season, with varying success, and the schedule is full apart from the play-off games which we hoped to avoid... so if you want to be the Boss next season, just drop us a line and let us know - you may make the cut!

Play-offs it is then. I was going to stick with the same outfield team that started the Hamilton game as it was a great team performance, however after Saturday, I would make a couple of changes. For a game that meant so much I am disappointed at the way the game went, resorting to long balls. It's important to use the next two games to get some confidence back. It's not over yet.

GK: Jamie MacDonald
Easy pick this one. My Player of the Year. Our season could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for this guy and I think he would be the first name on the team sheet for most.

LB: Lee Hodson
With Smith out for the season and McHattie posted missing, Lee has done a decent job since moving to left back and doesn't look out of place. Not afraid to go forward either.

CB: Conrad Balatoni
Had a decent season so far.  He's had a few partners over the season but has paired up well with Addison since he's arrived. Must be due a goal.

CB: Miles Addison
Been a great addition to the squad. Good to have a big physical presence in defence. Talks those round about him through the whole game.

RB: Mark O'Hara
Another player, playing out of position. Not that you would know it on recent performances. Always gives 100%.

CM: Gary Dicker
Done well since arriving. Just the type of player we needed to add a bit of dig in midfield.  Reads the game well.

CM: Julien Faubert
Was close between picking Slater or Faubert here. I think Slater is a cracking player who I hope can get a contract sorted, which will probably depend if we stay up or not. Got loads of ability, and not bad at a free kick either but I have went for Faubert. I am hoping his experience can get us through what is a massive few weeks.

LM: Alex Henshall
I have picked Henshall only because I want to see what he can do. Got 8 minutes on Saturday but looks like he can give us some pace down the left wing.

CAM: Greg Kiltie
Glad he signed a new deal. I see he got the young player of the year award at the weekend, which is thoroughly deserved. Always looks confident going forward. I have put him in just behind Boyd. If anyone is going to pop up with a goal to get us out this mess, it's Greg.

RM: Josh Magennis
I think Josh has been one of our better players this season. I just hope he hasn't got one eye on the Euros cause he'll be an important player of us in the coming weeks.

ST: Kris Boyd
I'd always start with Boyd. Give him some decent service and I believe he still has goals in him.

See you in Dundee.


Season Diary - Week 41

The only change we made to the team who pummelled Accies was to bring in our player of the season. How did that result in us blowing the game and the chance to get out of the play-off spot?

Granted, had we been given the penalty that Dallas waved away for the blatant shirt tugging on Boyd things may have turned out differently, but truth be told we were just mince.

So much for #RockRugbyPark, it seems that when we try anything to increase the attendance the players get stage fright and we get cuffed.

We’ll need to make the final play-off game £50 a head, or volunteer to play both legs away from home!


McDonald is a star player but I don’t like goalies as captain so the campaign to give Boomer the arm band starts here.

There is another campaign on the go after a stormy AGM as hundreds of shareholders call for an EGM to remove Michael Johnston from the board, sounds like a plan, or at least the start of one.

Friday, 6 May 2016

Ladies Weekend Preview

This weekend, we have a full round of fixtures with every team in action.

Saturday sees both of our u13 teams and our u15s take to the field.

The u13 whites travel to face Ayr United and are looking to turn in yet another good, battling performance.

The u13 Blues are also on their travels as they make the short journey to Irvine to play Clark Drive. The girls have been in sparkling form so far this season and will look to continue this tomorrow.

It's cup action for our u15s as they welcome Glasgow Girls in the quarter final of the League Cup. This has the potential to be a cracker with a place in the semi final at stake! Kick off is 1 o'clock (Saturday) Grange Campus.

On Sunday, our 17s and seniors take to the field.

The u17s have an away game against Kilwinning where they will be looking to further extend their unbeaten start to the league campaign. The game will be played at Kilwinning Sports Club (1pm on Sunday).

Finally, the seniors will make the journey to Edinburgh where they face Boroughmuir in the Scottish Cup first round. Last time out, it was the opposition who prevailed with a win but the team are hoping to bounce back and progress to the next round of the Scottish Cup. (Sunday - 1pm at Meggatland).

Good luck to all teams involved, enjoy your football as always.

Watch this space over the weekend for results and reports from all the games! But, if you can why not get along to the games and give our players your support!


Thursday, 5 May 2016

Be The Boss - James Fowler

Lee Clark made some big calls last week in his starting line up with Faubert and Higgingbotham dropping down to the bench and Slater and Magennis coming in to start. Both starters played key roles in the 4-0 victory and I felt the manager was spot on with his changes and tactics. Starting with a high tempo and playing on the front foot helped to get a fully deserved early lead, this set them up to be able to manage the match and play on the counter with the pace of Magennis, Kiltie and McKenzie causing Hamilton problems every time Killie attacked.

It was especially pleasing to see six players who have worked with Alan Robertson now appearing in the starting line-up.

Partick Thistle will have a similar style of play to Hamilton, they will try to dominate possession and pass through the thirds but I feel they have better players in the attacking third than Hamilton so it's going to take another solid display defensively from the team to keep a clean sheet. With the 4 attackers I have selected plus Slater hopefully they will create and score the opportunities to win the game and collect the vitally important 3 points.

Formation 4 -2-3-1

GK: Jamie MacDonald
Conor Brennan can feel a tad unlucky missing out after an assured performance and clean sheet last week but I feel Jamie MacDonald has been Killie's Player of the Season, experienced and consistently a high performer so he starts in goal.

RB: Mark O'Hara 
Mark's still only 19 as seems like he has been around the 1st team for ages. Still learning the game and has been shuffled around positions but has all the attributes to be a top player. Right back is probably his least favourite position (I know the feeling) but he’s a real team player and will give his all where ever he is asked to play.

LB: Lee Hodson 
A full back who can play either side, he will have Lawless’ trickery and Amoo’s pace to deal in the wide areas on Saturday but from what I have seen of him he will up to matching them and also supporting the Killie attack with his forward runs.

CB: Conrad Balatoni
It shows how much the manager rates him when he started against Hamilton after making a couple of mistakes against Inverness. He’s a footballing centre back who does look to play but its important he does that at he right times as Killie cannot afford to be giving away any cheap goals at this crucial time of the season. Showed great self belief to bounce back against Hamilton with a solid performance to help his team to a clean sheet and 3 points.

CB: Miles Addison
I was very impressed with Miles, clearly a man mountain and a physical presence in both boxes - he also looks like a defender that enjoys keeping clean sheets. Was a leader with his talking and organisation on the pitch, will need to be wary of Doolan's clever movement and close control to gain another clean sheet.

DCM: Gary Dicker
Another player who impressed me last week, did the ‘dirty’ side of the game very well and kept his game simple and broke up Hamilton attacks time and time again to win the ball back for his teammates. He positioned himself well to allow Slater more freedom in his play who in turn was crucial in setting up Killie attacks.

CM: Craig Slater 
A good foil for his midfield partner, likes to get on the ball and start attacks. Has a great range of passing and excellent delivery from set plays which can be vital when games are close and he is going to be a key player for the remaining games.

3 Supporting Attackers

Josh Magennis 
With his pace and power is a real handful for any defender, although he will play wide he has the desire to get in the box to become a second striker as showed last week with a cross from the left hand side and him getting in at the back post.

Greg Kiltie
A player who I have coached and managed and has a very bright future in the game. What he lacks in stature he more than makes up with his technical ability; tactically he is really strong in the types of runs he makes and where to receive in space and clearly understands the game. Like all creative players wants to play ‘no10’ but on the left he can drift inside onto his stronger side and score goals.

Rory McKenzie
A real team player who I’m sure would prefer to be playing as a main striker, but he makes great forward runs from a deeper position that can be hard to pick up for opposition defenders. Has a real determination to win and always gives 100%. His energy and work rate creates space and opportunities for teammates but he can also score goals.

These 3 players will provide good support to the main striker as they are quick and move well with the ball for counter attack opportunities, comfortable when they rotate and find themselves wide or central and will also do an excellent job defensively for the team.

ST:  Kris Boyd
Led by example last week wearing the captain's armband he was applauding the excellent travelling away support before the game to talking and organising others while defending set plays to keep Hamilton out. To achieve anything in football you need goals in your team and that’s what Boydie has and always will bring but it was his leadership on the pitch that really impressed me last week. It’s going to take all players maximum effort to win on Saturday and that begins from the front with Boydie and the other attackers.

Hopefully a big crowd and a vocal support backing the team to 3 more crucial points.


Alan Robertson Presentation

KFCSA are delighted to announce that on Saturday the Honorary President of the Association and Scottish Cup Winning Captain, Raymond Montgomerie, will be making a presentation on behalf of the supporters to Alan Robertson who has served the club for almost 45 years, first as a player and most recently as Development Squad Coach.

Alan is certainly a Killie legend and has shown outstanding loyalty to the club he played for a record 607 times .

It is fitting that two of the 'products' of his years of coaching will be assisting with the presentation - local lad Garry Hay and the League Cup Winning Captain from 2012 James Fowler who are also both Killie legends!

League winning legend David Sneddon will also be there as one of Alan's former managers.

We hope as many fans as possible will be at the game to support the team and also to say a massive 'thank you' to Alan for his terrific service to the club in various roles.

Read more about Alan's life and career on his KillieFC.com Profile!

Get down early, bring your pals, workmates, kids, lapsed fans and anyone you can convince on the way to the stadium and let's #ROCKRUGBYPARK!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Be The Boss - David Ross

We are going a bit ‘off reservation’ this week and bringing in a fan of a different team to give things a new perspective. It’s not like all of our gaffers have been Killie fans, not when they joined us at least, and as this guy originates from Glasgow he has got an excuse for not following the mighty.

That said, author David Ross, not to be mistaken with the other David Ross who is a Killie fan and writes historical tomes about football, has resided in Ayrshire’s finest town for many years and two of his best selling books (The Last Days of Disco and its follow up The Rise and Fall of the Miraculous Vespas) are based in and around a Kilmarnock that we all know and love. We can thoroughly recommend both titles as both hilarious and at the same time poignant and we were delighted that David agreed to take over the mantle from last week's Boss Ali Calder who may have called Obadeyi wrong but certainly gave us a bit of luck…

There are times when I think I was born to do a certain job - Hugh Hefner's stunt double or an Ayrshire 'Tarzan' spring to mind - but I'm not sure Boss of Kilmarnock FC falls easily into that category. Unless, of course, it's the brand that involves ordering around minimum-waged youngsters wandering around with too much time and fried chicken on their hands. But enough of the club's youth policy... I've been handed the reins of the big team for their most crucial game since Kris Boyd was a size 30 in stretch jogging trousers.

My qualifications for this task are slimmer than Michael Johnston's chances of the town being named after him. After all, I'm a Rangers fan... and, in an admission guaranteed to raise hackles, from way before the Annan Athletic 'trimmed privet hedge' era too. That said, I'm also really fond of Killie (the footballing entity AND the pie, as opposed to the ludicrous attempt to trademark the name) and I'd love nothing more than for them to prosper and develop in the top flight next season as part of a strong, people-orientated community which is very definitely on the rise.

So - armed with more taped episodes of Sportscene than is good for one man - here goes:

Goalkeeper: Jamie MacDonald
Tough on the lad Brennan after a clean sheet in the team's best performance of the season, but I'm dropping him for Jamie MacDonald, who's had a great season... besides which, I'm scared of Gordon Sawers!

LB: Lee Hodson
CB: Miles Addison
CB: Conrad Balatoni
RB: Mark O’Hara

Pretty tough to change a defensive structure that finally looks like it's playing with some positive momentum and organisational purpose... so I'm not going to. This is a vital game for Killie, and one which we (yes, WE...I'm all about the short-term commitment) absolutely must win. Therefore I'm expecting the full backs to work their socks off pressing forward, and also in keeping it tight at the back. Although I haven't watched every match - due to my essential scouting trips overseas - I was impressed by the two centre backs in last week's game at Hamilton.

DM: Julien Faubert
CM: Gary Dicker
RM: Kallum Higginbotham
LM: Greg Kiltie

Despite the team being a man down, I actually thought Faubert played well against ICT. He's composed on the ball as you would anticipate from someone who's played at a higher level in England. And even though he spent much of last week's game with Boyd's armband around his head, I thought Gary Dicker had a good game too. With Dicker operating slightly further forward, I think these two (along with young Kiltie) hold the key to winning the three points.

It's clear to see that Greg Kiltie has a big future ahead of him. He's a quick, confident kid and if the team start the way they finished in Hamilton, he'll be a real threat to the Thistle defence in what looks like being a crucial first thirty minutes or so.

Maybe a wee bit of a risk starting with Higginbotham out on the right of a four man diamond-shaped midfield, but he has been playing well and it strikes me that he is a bit more mobile and unpredictable than Rory McKenzie, but he'll need to work hard in this role and - like Kiltie and Hodson on the left - be tight with O’Hara to move the Thistle midfield around with some good movement and possession.

CF: Josh Magennis
CF: Kris Boyd

We're really going for it in the first half. Teams like ours (see... I'm really getting the hang of this now) operating on fragile levels of confidence need to capitalise on current positive vibes of a recent win and get ahead early in the game. Thistle are off the back of a bad loss and the two teams above Killie are going into the last three games with equal uncertainty.

So I've gone with Boyd and Magennis up front, supported by Kiltie and Higginbotham on either flank. I'm expecting a really fast-paced start and whilst that doesn't automatically suggest Kris Boyd's type of game, I'm relying on the ball being pressed early to keep it in the Thistle half. If Boyd and Magennis work hard and combine well, I'm hoping we go in ahead at the break and if we can keep a clean sheet at the back, Boyd might have done his job and could be withdrawn after an hour or so.

I hope I've done enough to see the team secure the win, and claw Thistle back into a fight which hopefully goes to the last day. I won't be in the Rugby Park dugout on Saturday. If I was, I'd surely get arrested since the Boss of Kilmarnock Football Club is a real job belonging to somebody else, and this is really just a bit of fun... but I'll be there in spirit, confident of success. And then straight round to MJ's office next week to pick up my substantial (imaginary) win bonus... just like Lee Clark.

Come on Killie!

Tuesday, 3 May 2016


The team needs all the support it can get on Saturday against Hamilton, and the following week against the Arabs for that matter.

The club have come up with a cheap ticket deal and the fans organisations are looking to help them #RockRugbyPark by launching our own campaign to get fans through the turnstiles and right behind the team.

If you are on social media and follow any of the KillieFC.com stable then please make sure you don't just 'like' any of the posters or graphics we put out, share them, retweet them, copy and paste them, print them out and stick them in your window - let's just get the word out there and use the #RockRugbyPark hashtag and let's see if we can get it trending locally at least.

Monday, 2 May 2016

Season Diary - Week 40

Saturday was one of those days that makes all the crap days bearable.

Killie horsed the Accies (we’re coming for you) and dragged them to within four points with nine still to play for; the Jags are actually within reach now as well and we can bring them to within three points if we beat them this week in a game which the club are allowing season ticket holders to bring a friend for a tenner and under 16’s free.

Boyd sported the captain’s arm band and led by example, which saw young Kiltie back to his best with a brace out of nothing.

We carried a bit of luck for a change but Hamilton deserved nada and the stadium announcer gave the man of the match award to no one; I’m giving it to our whole squad, fans included.

The support was vociferous, getting behind the team and slaughtering director Michael Johnston, and despite being told to concentrate on the football, it didn’t seem to do any harm…quite the opposite…the time for faint hearts and poor leadership is over.

YK @ New Douglas Park

Many thanks to the BURNS MALL in Kilmarnock for sponsoring Saturday's coach for the Young Kilmarnock to travel and support their team in the vital match against Hamilton.

Another big thanks to TOMMY ADAMS PROMOTIONS for arranging this too.

A great day was had by all and hopefully that form will continue into the last three matches - C'mon the Killie!!!!