Wednesday, 31 May 2017
The season is well and truly over for us but the football continues with cup finals at all levels and internationals on the horizon.
I may or may not continue the season diary until such times as it is due back in the Scotsman, but if I miss a few here and there I don’t think anyone will mind…be warned, no 140-word restriction on rambling!
I was in to purchase my new season ticket the other day and the ladies in the shop tell me that they are going like proverbial hotcakes with many ‘new’ purchasers and many whom have returned from their self-imposed exile.
That’s great news, but it will take a long time to undo what has been done to our club and let’s not kid ourselves on that we will start getting massive crowds any time soon.
A manager would be nice though, and a chairman.
We do however have a new CEO as ex-club secretary Kirsten Callaghan steps into the breach once more…a great Killie fan and I wish her all the best.
Looking at the board room situation I can’t help but think that we could be doing with a Director of Football type person in there, quickly, so we can be on our toes for next season.
What we need is leadership and someone with some gravitas and football knowledge that can help the directors and the fans during this transitional period.
John Kiltie has intimated to the KFCSA that there could possibly be another appointment announced in the near future, but not who it is or what they are doing, I really hope they have nailed it because getting the right person on board is crucial.
Go get your season tickets if you haven’t already, and join the Trust and subscribe to the Trust in Killie initiative…I’m in!
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
The Committee of KFCSA and the Board of the Killie Trust were surprised to learn of the resignation of former Club Chairman Michael Johnston as both the Company Secretary and a Director of the Club.
Whilst many supporters did not agree with some of his actions and statements it is appropriate to acknowledge Mr Johnston's many years of service to the football club.
Having secured our top-flight status for the 25th consecutive season it is to be hoped that all supporters and the Club Board can now pull together to assist in backing the team and the Club.
There are plenty of ways to show support for the Club and the team – particularly buying season tickets, player sponsorship, advertising etc.
The Trust in Killie initiative is now more important than ever as it will guarantee a supporter representative at full board level who can convey the fans’ viewpoints to the Directors and be part of the decision-making process.
You can sign up to Trust in Killie HERE
With everyone working together and the imminent appointment of a new manager it is time for OUR club to move forward once again.
Monday, 22 May 2017
What an end to the season, I don’t know where to start!
We lost midweek at Motherwell, we hammered them in the first half despite losing an early goal and the full back up against Jones was subbed before he burst into tears, but they made changes and we failed to react.
We lost at home, again, this time to Ross County so we finished the season in eighth place just behind them.
I’d have taken that at the start of the season so well done all concerned.
There was terrible news on the injury front as top talent Greg Kiltie was stretchered off at half time and we await the results of scans to see just how long he will be out this time, get well soon wee man.
Gary Dicker won the KillieFC.com player of the year award - just for most appearances in the match report and season diary adverts! Exciting stuff as J2 nearly caught him on the last day but lost out by just a point.
Four Killie players were named in Scott Gemmill's squad for the Toulon Tournament, yes FOUR, only Celtic had as many which, along with being the only club from the UK in the top 100 lowest (#28) average age first teams in Europe, makes Gordon Parks' article about us at the start of the season laughable.
The KFCSA/Killie Trust/Young Kilmarnock dance in the Grand Hall to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of our Scottish Cup win was a sell out and attended by most of the team including manager Bobby Williamson, who flew in from Kenya.
Top night, well organised, enjoyed by all.
Last but not least we had the resignation of Michael Johnston.
It is sad how it transpired, but I hope we can all eventually look forward to happier times.
Now get out there and buy your season tickets…I want to see you all back next season!
Monday, 15 May 2017
This is one of the quickest appearances as "Boss" ever as we don't normally have time to cover midweek games...so apologies to Calum McGhee for his brief stint in the hot seat! The pressure of securing our place in the top division (again, twenty five times on the trot) is over so will the new Boss decide to blood some youngsters?
After an excellent result and performance at the weekend against Inverness securing our position in the league for 25th season in a row, a fantastic achievement, I have chosen my team for Motherwell. Having played so well on Saturday I am going to stick with mostly the same team that played, but making two changes at centre forward and defensive midfield. I'd quite like to take the last two games seriously and push on and cement our place in seventh. Therefore...
Jamie MacDonald - A good keeper and glad to see him back in goals after an undeserving amount of time out of the team. Jamie has been utterly professional throughout the whole Goalkeeper saga. However, Woodman was a fantastic prospect, and will have great career in football.
Luke Hendrie - Mr. Consistent himself, a smashing player and hopefully a guy we could make a move for at the end of the season as his contract is up with Burnley. Seven out of ten most weeks, a good solid player and has been an excellent signing. Not many wingers have gotten the better of him this season.
Gary Dicker - Player of the season certainly . Not only versatile but a real leader . Next years captain for me no questions. Great professional and glad he has triggered an extra year in his deal . A role model for the rest of youngsters in the squad . Im keeping him in defence because he's been immense in there and to hopefully keep Moult for Motherwell quiet.
Kristoffer Ajer - A breath of fresh air since joining us in January. Tall and athletic and completely composed on the ball. The complete package, he has a great understanding with Dicker in defence, both complimenting each other's game well. I reckon he is the best centre half in the Premier League outside of Celtic. He will have a massive future in the game. Pleasure to watch him in the stripes on his storming runs. The Beckenbauer of Kilmarnock!
Greg Taylor - Another who has been excellent all season. Came on so much since his debut just under a year ago. A young Garry Hay style of left back and an exciting prospect to have. I think with a little more confidence in himself he will be a top player for us. A real tidy player with lots to offer next season. Straight back into the team at expense of young Wilson unfortunately.
Steven Smith - Not always his biggest fan but in this position he breaks up play well and can give it to the more creative players in the team the ball. I would like him to get in around Scott McDonald and stop him being on the ball in the final third. He will be used solely to anchor the midfield and fill in for either full back. This then allowing the four in front of him to support further up the pitch without worrying about being exploited on the break.
Greg Kiltie - Our Lord and saviour. Great to see Greg back in action and hopefully he will be back to his best soon. Exciting prospect and arguably our best player on his day. I would like him to play on the right hand side of my four in midfield. Greg can provide goals and assists from this position, in what I think is an exciting midfield who can all interchange across the park.
Sean Longstaff - A player I think will become an excellent midfielder, he ghosts into great positions and, as you witnessed last weekend, he gets shots away and gets goals. Still only a teenager he would be a player I'd welcome back next season. He has great energy and can spot a pass. Sean will be given the freedom with Frizzell to push on and support our lone striker from midfield. He hopefully will add another goal to his tally on Tuesday.
Adam Frizzell - Adam was excellent at Firhill earlier in the season and hasn't featured much since due to loan signings. I was delighted he played so well and assisted the second goal on Saturday. Hopefully a new start for him in the team from now on. Excellent ability on the ball and always looking to receive it under pressure. My man of the match last week against Inverness. Next season will be a big season for him I think in that advanced midfield position he is dangerous. Makes good decisions and is willing to get stuck in. Frizz and Longstaff work well together, both pressing while Smith anchors the midfield behind them.
Jordan Jones - JJ was extremely frustrating at the start of the season in and out of the team but he has came on so much and an extended run in the team and a few goals has helped his confidence. He is probably our most dangerous player at the moment. His pace and trickery is frightening at times and the way he skinned the boy against Inverness and finished for his goal was excellent. I'd like Jordan to get at the right back on Tuesday and give him hell for the entire game. Come inside and get shots away and get to by line for cut backs.
Innes Cameron - The young boy has had rave reviews, and with Boyd potentially missing out I'd give him his chance with something to prove at centre forward, at the expense of Sammon. He has done well recently away with Scotland U17s, scoring in the Euros for them, and is a big lad. It would be a good learning curve for him in this game against a player like McManus at Motherwell. As a lone striker I'd like him to exploit Motherwell along the channels and get centre backs turning and facing own goals. No more launching it up the park. Playing into space down the side of centre backs and supporting from midfield would be my tactics.
I'd like to keep it tight at the back and express ourselves in the forward areas of the pitch. With no big target man I want little triangles in midfield and the ball given wide to players such as Jones and Kiltie to commit defenders and slip balls in to Cameron and supporting players from midfield. Exploiting Motherwell's lack of pace at the back especially on the counter attack as it may be key. I would like to cement seventh place and that's why I have gone with such a strong eleven instead of possibly dropping a few players. I'd love to see Will Graham get some game time on the pitch at some point, as he's unlucky not to be included in my first eleven. Heard good things about him and his attitude and that he is one of our own makes it even better.
It has been a while since we have been able to do that, especially with games still to go at the end of the season.
It is probably not a good sign that the only thing we have to celebrate these days are getting meaningless end of season fixtures, which we are repeatedly told we hate!
That said, I don’t want to say anything which could be construed as negative as that could send some über fans off the deep end.
Instead I will congratulate both Lees and the sixty odd players who have pulled off what almost every pundit predicted at the start of the season we wouldn’t do…and avoid relegation for the 25th year in a row.
Shame on them.
Do they know who we are?
Given we do not have our troubles to seek its high fives all round to the management and players…well the hell done…and that’s not a prediction for Tuesday’s match hopefully!
Tuesday, 9 May 2017
This week's "Boss" is Irvine Beat FM's Wednesday Night Sessions presenter Ben Grant. Ben is a life-long Killie fan and long time member of KillieFC.com. Ben and wife Lauren are members of the Killie Trust and he's never been backwards in coming forwards as they say...
With a possible play-off place mathematically just about out of reach its time to get over that line and allow the rest of the 'Bosses' a bit of creative freedom in the remaining articles. Coming off a loss against Sky Sports Pundit Neil McCann's Dundee I've made two changes in midfield that will freshen things up and hopefully be enough to find the win at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Jamie McDonald - Our only option now, I was completely against dropping him when Woodman arrived but Freddie put in some great performances and any reservations I had were quickly put to bed. Jamie is a great keeper and will be a safe pair of hands in nets.
Luke Hendrie - Right back has been a bit of a problem area for quite some time but Luke has made this position his own and is probably one for first names on the team sheet.
Stevie Smith - Never thought I would find myself wanting Stevie Smith in any Killie team. Identified as a complete journeyman who looked average at both his times at Rangers. It surprises me how well he's played for us. Leads the team well and a great influence on the younger players in the squad. Would have been at defensive midfield was it not for Greg Taylor's suspension.
Karleigh Osborne - My first choice here was Gary Dicker but again the Taylor suspension has forced me to move him back into midfield, where I prefer him anyway to be fair. Osborne's had a few scary moments but with Addison (who also had more than a few scary moments) gone, we are short in this department - and surely he can't be all bad or we'd never have signed him in the first place? May as well get something for the wages we're paying, who knows, maybe he'll have settled in by now.
Kristoffer Ajer - Looks the absolute part in our defence since arriving in January. An absolute cert for me and I reckon he will be a player we will see Celtic sell on in the future for a great fee.
Gary Dicker - I was in two minds where to include Gary, and I had opted for centre back until, again, I heard that Taylor was out. Dicker has been remarkably versatile and deputised well in defence, but we do seem to lack a certain something when he's not in the midfield so maybe its not such a bad thing that he's going to have move back in there. Solid and dependable, he brings the best out of Ajer in defence, so hopefully he will have the same calming influence in the midfield and we'll stop lumping long balls forward.
Jordan Jones - One of the few signings made by Clark that actually looks a decent player. Able to supply balls into Sammon and Boyd up front from the wings
Greg Kiltie - The best talent we have in our squad, a player who will go far I'm sure. Can make things happen in attack causes defenders problems all game and now with his injury problems behind him should be back in the starting XI.
Cal Roberts - Used more as impact sub since arriving, after Saturday's performance I would mix things up and replace Longstaff with Roberts here. Looked decent against Celtic earlier this season and a good time to freshen things up and give him another chance.
Conor Sammon - Great to see The Fish return was a big fan and followed his progress everywhere he went. Links well with Boydie and allows him to stick to being in around the penalty box to score the goals.
Kris Boyd - No brainer, experience + goals = must start for me. Boyd has taken a bit of stick as he has got older but you can't fault him. Knows where the goal is and that's what we need.
Monday, 8 May 2017
If there is a hard way to do anything, Killie will find it! All we needed was one goal on Saturday and that would have given us a point that would see us out of reach from the play-off spot…but no, it wasn’t to be.
As it now stands there is a 26% chance that we could still have to go through the same nerve-racking end we endured last season. I hate statistics, especially when there are negative connotations.
Dundee just looked more up for the game from the outset and despite a high number of shots on goal as we tried to get back into the game, we were woeful in midfield and toothless up front.
Some of our most consistent players were having an off day and nothing big Lee changed seemed to make any difference. Woodman is now offski but a note to the rest of the players…there are three games to go…you are not on holiday yet.
The club AGM is this Wednesday and despite it being massively late yet again, we are still not safe, we still have no manager and we still have no Chairman. Despite this, as circumstance would have it, I see the ‘board’ getting an easy ride as per usual.
To be fair to Billy Bowie and John Kiltie, things seem to have improved since Johnston has taken a back seat in recent months, surely though that is an indication for them as to the direction the club could be going in if the company secretary were to depart the board completely?
The club and the fans have been sleepwalking through the latter part of this season and complacency on both fronts could spell trouble for the mighty. We have to waken from this stupor and start making hard decisions which will hopefully build on any opportunities we can create for ourselves.
Join the Trust, contribute to the ‘Trust In Killie’ initiative if you can…the club can’t do this alone.
Friday, 5 May 2017
Cathy has served as both the local Member of Parliament at Westminster and Member of Scottish Parliament at Holyrood for 16 years. During that time she held Ministerial positions in both parliaments. Cathy is now Chief Executive of a Children's Services organisation in the UK and Ireland and serves as a voluntary Director of Scotwest Credit Union
Being passionate about supporter involvement and ownership, Cathy joined the Killie Trust at the outset in 2003. She is on the Board of the Scottish Football Supporters Association and keen that Scottish football can learn from what is happening elsewhere in Europe to give fans a greater voice in the game.
The Killie Trust launched the Trust in Killie (TiK) initiative in April. TiK aims to raise £100,000 for the purchase of shares to secure a Supporter-Director on the board of Kilmarnock Football Club and provide funding for the club on an ongoing basis thereafter. The Trust will outline TiK in a presentation at the Kilmarnock Football Club AGM on Wednesday 10th May.
Jim Thomson, Chairman of Killie Trust said, ‘Cathy’s drive, knowledge and network will complement and enhance those of the existing Trust board members to ensure that the TiK vision becomes a reality as quickly as possible. She is an exceptional talent to have with us at this exciting time.’
Tuesday, 2 May 2017
This week's "Boss" is Robert Scott who was recruited from the ranks of the "killie fc 1869" Facebook group for Killie fans. All we can say is according to young Robert there are a lot of no-brainer selections in the team...that was handy! 😆
Freddie Woodman - Speaks for it's self this one after last week's performance. Two outstanding saves from that wee cretin Imrie. Getting better with every game.
Luke Hendrie - As with Woodman this is a no-brainer as he has made the spot his own and with the talk of the other 90 right backs being released then he has to be in there.
Gary Dicker - Formed a budding partnership with Ajer. Once again Dicker was outstanding against Hamilton with a couple of vital blocks and is for me the player of the season. A leader from the back and a model pro to the young boys.
Kristoffer Ajer - Ajer has been great since coming in and there is a future international in there for me. Great in the air and not scared to put in a challenge.
Greg Taylor - No-brainer this one, young player of the year for me and his maturity is well beyond his years. Solid defensively and can attack as well.
Sean Longstaff - Longstaff again has been great since coming and has great vision for a pass as well as chipping in with a goal or two.
Steven Smith - Stevie is in there as the more defensive of the two central midfielders, and that wand of a left foot speaks for itself.
Conor Sammon - His pace out wide can cause problems to most full backs and although he is not the best at crosses, he seems to be in the right areas to pick up scraps as proved last week for his goal.
Jordan Jones - My man crush if I'm honest. He has finally shown his potential in the last two or three games and he is grabbing goals as well - which was the part of his game he was missing. A nightmare for full backs too, and he will only get better.
Greg Kiltie - Need the wee man on from the start to show his outstanding talent. Unfortunate with injury this season but the one player for me who can change a game in a flash and if given the nod he can be the match winner.
Kris Boyd - Boomer for me here as he is always going to be a goal threat and a nuisance for centre halves with his power and grit. Should link well with Kiltie and for me the only man for this role.
Saturday isn't a must win. I reckon a point should be about enough but none the less let's go out and get the win and put in a performance!
Monday, 1 May 2017
I don’t know exactly how often we hear in the media about how ‘bad’ our support is, but it is all too frequent.
Hamilton reported that we had just under half of the 2,482 attendance, but in all honesty, when you consider that there were many Killie fans in the main stand as well, there were probably more of us than them; which merited not one mention.
The fantastic support was rewarded with a goal from a cool corner, the fish putting another one in the net, and notice was posted that we now have the ability to win ugly…possibly for the first time since Stevie Fulton retired.
Dicker was outstanding in a resolute defence as both he and Freddie Fingers pulled out all the stops to ensure a clean sheet, leaving us a whisker from guaranteed safety.
We should really try and clone the Irishman, because he’s sorely missed in the midfield when he’s deputising at the back! I'm delighted to see him extend his contract.