Dunblane SC Amateurs were formed in 2016. Saturday 4 June 2016 to be precise, at the India Gate restaurant. The night was intended to be a reunion of the ’96/97s team, a year after our last match, a 3-2 triumph to win the cup at the Recs, Alloa. It ended up alot more than that.
I had started to help coach the ’97s lads in 2004 and coached them through their primary school years, from fun fours to 7-a-side. Saturday mornings taking a carload of 8 year olds to Sunnyside in Camelon and Park Primary in Alloa. Once the lads reached high school many of them signed for Stirling Albion or Stenhousemuir but most returned within two years.
In August 2012, we took the lads to St Andrews and had a great 2 days which set us up for a tremendous season (under 16s in Forth Valley league). Despite being 11 points behind with 8 games left that season we won all our games in May to set up an amazing finale. First on Sat 1 June 2013, we won the cup final at Alloa on penalties v Cowie after a 0-0 draw. Two days later we travelled to Kilsyth needing one point to win the league. Seafar were the opposition, the team we had trailed by 11 points. We won 5-1 and were presented with the trophy after the final whistle amid jubilant scenes.
The next season was barren and in our final season we merged with the ’96s. In the league, we chased Sauchie Juniors all the way, beating them on their own patch but we finished 2nd. We did however win 2 cups and in our final ever match in May 2015 we came from 0-2 to win the cup v Riverside. It was a great way to finish youth football.
So, our reunion was intended to be just that, a reunion. However after a few beers and chatting to the lads it was obvious most of them had fallen out the game. We asked the lads on the night if they would be interested in starting an amateur team. The reply was a resounding yes.
We were admitted to the Stirling and District League and after some friendly matches we played our first competitive match on Saturday 13 August 2016. Our opponents were Laurieston Lions who had recently achieved notoriety in the Daily Record for losing 37-0. We were 1 down in 30 seconds, a bad start to our journey to say the least. We recovered to win 14-1.
That first season was a big learning curve as we had an average age of 19 whilst our opponents were all hardened amateurs. One match in particular our lads had a quiet laugh at the opposing centre forward: he was a big lad. Well, the big lad scored a hat trick as we couldn’t handle him. Another lesson.
In our first season (2016/17), we finished fourth in the league but our journey as an amateur team had begun. More was to come in 2017/18 (to be continued)….