IT'S hard not to think 2017 will forever be remembered as the Year of the Glens in the annals of Junior football.

And with good reason after Glenafton from deep in the Ayrshire heartlands came to the fore by pulling off the remarkable trophy treble of Scottish Junior Cup Super Premier Division Championship and Evening Times Champions Cup.

Years spent living in the shadow of near neighbours Auchinleck Talbot were all but forgotten as Craig McEwan’s men took the Holy Grail honours for only the second time in their history with a 2-1 defeat of their great foes in a showpiece Rugby Park finale.

And the Glens duly rubbed salt in the wounds by taking the title of a Talbot side that had won it for the past three seasons before becoming only the third Ayrshire name to be etched on the Evening Times trophy with a 2-0 victory over Glasgow Perthshire.

The Possil outfit were one of three city clubs to lift silverware prizes, Petershill (Central League Cup ) and Pollok (New Coin Holdings West of Scotland Cup) were the others while only the passage of time will tell whether 2017 will also go down as the year when the glory days returned for supporters of Cambuslang Rangers.

So here goes with a review of the first six month’s events …


Speculation is rife at Clydebank where the shock resignation of long standing team boss Budgie McGhie has the names of former players Alan Jack , Tommy Bryce and Gordon Moffat mooted as replacements.

Budgie is linked with a move to Shettleston where co-bosses Peter Weatherson and Ryan McStay have been sacked and their departures spark a dressing room exodus ;led by skipper Greg McDonald ,Josh Horne , Jordan Morton and Stevie Logan.

Making transfer news are Cumbernauld United snapping up their former player Scott Murphu (Gartcairn) and Jamie Watson (Clyde) while Shotts Bon Accord full back Paul Burns moves to Lanark United and Gartcairn sign Lee McShane and Colin Marshall.

Rob Roy lead the Super Premier standings despite a 1-1 draw with Hurlford United and Pollok go third top on the back of a 2-0 Newlandsfield victory over reigning champions Auchinleck who bounce back with a Stevie Wilson penalty kick goal earning a 1-0 Junior Cup win away to Beith while Glenafton run out 4-0 winners over East Kilbride Thistle and Petershill thrash Haddington Athletic by a 7-1 scoreline.

Cambuslang Rangers land striker Craig Hastings from East Kilbride Lowland League, Ian Gold is transfer- listed by Kilbirnie Ladeside, Pollok boost their midfield by fixing up ex-Shettleston co-manager McStay whose former Greenfield Park playing charges Jordan Halsman and Stevie Logan move to St Rochs.

A dismal run of 2 wins in 10 games capped by a 3-2 Junior Cup defeat by minnows Luncarty leads to Cumbernauld United parting company with manager George Shaw whose hopes of landing a currently vacant post are stymied as Clydebank instal Kieron McAnespie at their helm and Shettleston appoint the father and son management team of John Fallon senior and junior.

Glasgow District Council host the Scottish Junior Cup fifth-round draw in the City Chambers and there’s sad news from Auchinleck where legendary five-time Scottish Cup winner Sam McCulloch passes away from the vascular dementia illness.


Andy Frame steps down as Thorniewood United boss to take over at Cumbernauld United and he is replaced at Robertson Park by former Gartcairn gaffer Gerry Bonham while Arthurlie appoint interim boss Chris Mackie as their permanent manager.

Petershill winger Liam Finnigan picks up a season-ending knee ligament injury in a game against Shettleston and he is posted missing as the Peasy lose 2-0 to Bonnyrigg Rose in the Cup where Rob Roy are rewarded with a 2-1 triumph for playing their three-time postponed tie with Musselburgh Athletic under New Tinto Park’s floodlights and with an innovative 4.45 kick-off time.

Kilwinning Rangers, with former Kilbirnie manager Stevie Swift playing in their defence ,knock out bookmaker’s trophy favourites and big East Region hopes Kelty Hearts and Glenafton win 1-0 away to Dunbar United to earn their places in the quarter-final draw along with other West Region hopefuls ,Auchinleck , Gartcairn and Rob Roy.

Pollok make it into the West of Scotland Cup last eight with a 1-0 defeat of Irvine Meadow and Cumnock hammer six goals without reply against Kilbirnie however there’s a major shock in Glasgow where St Rochs stun Petershill 4-0.

Seasoned striker John Gemmell signs for Cambuslang Rangers and Maryhill bring back their former scoring ace Willie Wells from Irvine Meadow.


Auchinleck centre-back Danny Boyle’s transfer listing at his own request sparks a race for his signature which appears to be won by Cumbernauld United after they agree terms with the Ayrshire club however a last-gasp swoop by his erstwhile club Rob Roy persuades the stopper to stay in the Super Premier Division.

Guys Meadow boss Frame moves instead to land his former Thorniewood central defensive pairing of Terry Hewitt and David Hamilton along with the Lanarkshire club’s highly rated winger Chris Lennon even though word is out that he has already agreed an end of season move to Arthurlie.

Brothers Graeme and Stevie Wilson are on target as Auchinleck beat Kilwinning Rangers 2-0 in their Scottish quarter final and Tommy Sloan’s men are joined in the semi-finals by near neighbours Glenafton as well as East Region pair Bonnyrigg Rose and a Linlithgow Rose side that hammers Gartcairn 7-1 in their last eight contest

Kieran O'Heare scores as Shettleston go atop the Super First Division with a 1-0 success over Rutherglen Glencairn and there’s further transfer activity as Rossvale land striker Graeme Hearton from Petershill, Kilwinning Rangers strengthen their backline with the acquisition of Mikey Morris and new Thorniewood gaffer Bonham raids former club Gartcairn to lure away Lee Pettigrew, Ally Morgan and Stewart Eastone.


The first league title winners of the season are known as long standing team boss Billy Adams steers Glasgow Perthshire to the Central Second Division crown but by way of contrast, another long in the tooth gaffer Ian Currie of Vale of Clyde , announces his intention to resign his post take up a committee position once the Tollcross club’s relegation fate is confirmed.

Auchinleck whose seasoned pair James Latta and Bryan Young are making their seventh Scottish semi-final appearance, overcome Linblithgow 1-0 in their close fought two legged clash .

Young nets the decisive goal that sets up a Cup Final date with Glenafton for whom Daniel Orsi scores the only goal in their 180 minutes tussle with Bonnyrigg Rose.

A sickening clash of heads in a game against Rob Roy leaves Pollok midfielder Liam Rowan with head injuries that end his season and there is word of further managerial changes aftter Greenock duo Stevie and Stevie Dallas announcing they will be stepping down once their club’s season is over is followed by Irvine Meadow’s backroom team of Gareth Turner , Michael Wardrope and Neil McGowan tendering their resignations..

Petershill goalkeeper Stevie McNeil returns from cruciate ligament surgery to make his first appearance in 13 months and vying for the comeback headlines is ex-Ashfield striker Paul Maxwell who plays and scores for Rossvale in a 3-0 victory over Greenock.

Irvine Vics figurehead Bert Loach passes away after a short illness.


Rob Roy skipper Gary McMenamin’s season is ended by a fractured shoulder injury and his club are rocked further as word breaks of Kevin Green, Chris Duff and Luke Whelan agreeing to join Queens Park who also land David Green (Kilbirnie) and Ryan Docherty (Rutherglen Glencairn).

Clydebank secure promotion from the Super First Division while Cambulang Rangers beat Neilston 4-3 to take the Central First Division title and also promoted are Larkhall Thistle on the back of a memorable 2-1 victory over rivals St Rochs

The Evening Times Champions Cup gets underway with Glasgow Perthshire besting Darvel 1-0 at Keppoch Park with a Fraser Malcolm score while Ross Gillan scores the goal that clinches promotion for East Kilbride Thistle whose delight is put in the shade by popular manager Billy Campbell resigning while his players are still on the pitch celebrating their 1-0 victory over Newmains United .

Budgie McGhie returns to the Junior ranks as Kilbirnie Ladeside boss in the wake of Mark Bradley returning to former club Linlithgow Rose and there’s a surprise at Shettleston where the Fallons are sacked and not least of all at Irvine Meadow where club officials opt to hand their reins to relatively inexperienced gaffer Ross Dickson of Kello Rovers.

Glenafton win the Super Premier title while Pollok lose 2-1 in their Central League Cup semi-final against Petershill but more than adequate compensation arrives from getting their hands on the West of Scotland Cup for the first time in 17 years with a dramatic penalty kicks shoot out win over Cumnock.


Full back Alan Cairns fires home a 25 yard winning goal as Glenafton come from behind to beat Auchinleck 2-1 in a superb Scottish Junior Cup finale and the Glens return to action to beat Girvan in an Evening Times last four clash to earn a New Tinto Park Final date against Glasgow Perthshire, 4-2 victors against Cambuslang the other semi-final.

And the curtain comes down on the season as Auchinleck beat arch foes Cumnock 5-1 in the Ayrshire Cup final.

Close season transfers gather pace with Hurlford United snapping up Alan Jenkins(ex-Morton), Kilbirnie fixing up Corey Hughes (Greenock), John Sweeney (St Rochs) and Gavin Stokes (Maryhill) while Cumbernauld United sign Sweeney’s erstwhile team mate Rab McGuire as well as Renfrew front man Chris Zok.

Arthurlie land Colin Spence (Troon) as well as released Pollok duo Kieran McAleenan and Chris Walker while Lok boss Tony McInally raises eyebrows with the acquisitions of Talbot pair Young and Martin McGoldrick, Ross Brash (Hurlford) Adam Forde (Kilbirnie ), Nikky Prentice (Kilsyth Rangers) and Nikky Little (Clydebank) however he misses out on Bankies ace Mark Burbridge who joins Stirling Albion.

Shettleston appoint a new management team in James McKenna and Keith Docherty while East Kilbride Thistle bring in former player Alan Patterson and Paul Maxwell returns to Ashfield in a player/coach capacity.