Kilsyth Athletic had an excellent season last season, with victory in the Central Scotland FA League Cup and Knockout Cup, alongside an impressive fourth-place finish in the league. The North Lanarkshire club experienced disappointment in the Scottish and Central Region Cups however with their coach John Crainie saying that "in the games we went out we really didn’t play well at all and I just feel we could have gone further in these competitions".
Overall Crainie was delighted with last season stating that he was "very pleased with our first season at competitive 11 a-side" with a season highlight being the defeat of Cleland Boys Club in the league in March who Crainie says "up until that point had been unbeaten in the league."
With pre-season a non-event for Kilsyth due to an end-of-season fixture pile-up when they played four games a week, Crainie has given his squad a complete break over the summer. "We’ll start back on the first of August and try to get two to three friendlies per week before our first league game towards the end of the month," Crainie told Youth Football Scotland.
There is also a possibility of some new faces in the Kilsyth squad with the Athletic’s coach stating that "we’re in talks with a few boys with a view to signing, but we’re taking our time. As a club we feel it’s important that players feel at home and they enjoy the training, playing and the company of the other boys that they will be with for a full football season.
"We have re-signed all of our players from last season as the boys know what they are capable of following on from last season and they know what they have to do to improve on their impressive showing last season."
Looking forward to the forthcoming season outwith of Kilsyth themselves, Crainie has his sights set on the teams he feels will most likely challenge Athletic for the league, a competition that he has set as an ambitious target for the squad.
"Winning the league although difficult would be a fantastic achievement but a top three finish as a minimum is what we are after," he said. To do so, Kilsyth will have to get past last year’s league champions Wolves BC, newly promoted Craigpark, and Moorlands who impressed Crainie towards the end of the season.
Success in the league is the priority for Athletic and Crainie, with a top three finish a "minimum" for the club with winning the league an ambitious target for the club alongside what Crainie hopes will be continued success in the Cups, with a firm belief that "another cup win is not beyond us".
Good luck to Kilsyth Athletic 2002s for next season!