Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.
Published at 01:07 on 24 June 2015
Cumbernauld Colts will play in the upcoming season. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.
THE Cumbernauld Colts called the press to their Broadwood Stadium home earlier this month, as they sought to welcome Craig McKinlay and James Orr to their team’s management team.
The former Dunipace Junior Football Club management duo left their previous positions at the Westfield Park club to take up the task of steering the Cumbernauld Colts through their upcoming debut season in the Scottish Lowland League.
Craig McKinlay and James Orr said farewell to players at Dunipace on June 8th, after the club defeated Wishaw 5-1.
For McKinlay the move ends his near 11-year association with Dunipace as a player, coach and latterly, a manager.
Commenting on the move, he said: “It was an emotional evening for me. I have been at the club for a long time as a player, as a coach and latterly as manager.
“I believe James and I are leaving the club with a great deal of stability and in a strong position going forward.
“The decision to leave and join Cumbernauld Colts was not an easy one but it is a fantastic opportunity and one we are looking forward to,” he added.
Craig McKinlay and James Orr. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.
Stewart McKenzie, the Chairman of Cumbernauld Colts was on hand on June 11th, when McKinlay and Orr were officially welcomed to the club by officials.
"We are absolutely delighted to have secured the services of Craig McKinlay and James Orr as our new Scottish Lowland Football League management team, both bring extensive senior and junior experience to the club which will be very important assets for our new challenge,” Mr McKenzie explained.
“We are confident they will drive the club forward as we seek to establish ourselves in the senior game,” he commented.
The Cumbernauld Colts FC were founded in 1969 becoming the town’s first youth football club; rapidly growing throughout the 70s and 80s, becoming part of Cumbernauld’s rich heritage and producing players who made the jump to professional flourished, with names such as Derek Whyte and Jackie McNamara amongst them.
Growing from strength to strength, lately, the Cumbernauld Colts were awarded Quality Mark Legacy status - the highest award available through the Scottish FA Quality Mark accreditation scheme – in 2013, with the club now boasting 22 teams among its ranks.
Chairman McKenzie added: “The clubs Amateur side and football academy teams will be natural feeders for the senior team giving all the young players at the club an opportunity to progress to the top level.
“Forming the towns own senior club is an exciting development and we are confident the town will embrace the club as its own.”
Confirmation that the Colts would join the Lowland League for the 2015/16 season came earlier this month, after it was announced that one of the five clubs who initially applied had withdrawn during the application process.
The upcoming season will see 15 teams compete for the Lowland League title and a shot at promotion to Scottish League Two.
Commenting on the addition of the Cumbernauld Colts to the Lowland League, the Lowland League’s chairman, Andrew Waddell said: “The Board looked carefully at all the applications and decided that Cumbernauld Colts should be admitted to the league.
“It was a tough decision for the Board and each applicant was assessed on its own merit.
“It’s very encouraging that so many clubs are aspiring to play in our league and have all started to take steps to achieve club licensing."
East Kilbride Football Club will be one of the clubs that the Cumbernauld Colts will play against in the upcoming season.
Craig McKinlay and James Orr will manage the Colts Lowland League section. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.
East Kilbride secretary, Dave McKenna has welcomed the addition of the Colts to the league, explaining: "we are happy to see the league expand.”
Mr McKenna added: "Fifteen teams makes it a wee bit awkward for next season in terms of fixtures. Sixteen would have been more practical but we will work round that.”
"I know the Colts quite well from my work with grassroots football. They are a very well-established and well-run club. They tick all the boxes in terms of Quality Mark Awards and their SFA licence, so I'm sure they will be a great addition to the league.
"They are similar to East Kilbride FC in the sense they have a big community involvement and run various teams with a girls' section and disability section as well as their men's team.
"Another bonus for us is The Colts are a team we won't have to travel very far to play, so we look forward to facing them next season."
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