The Week In Scotland – The Cowdenbeath to Caribbean Edition
The Brothers Of The Saints
Paul McGinn has won a contract with St Mirren, following in the footsteps of brothers Stephen and John.It’s fairly rare to see three brothers playing professional football at the same time, so for three to play for the same club must be some sort of record?
It’s a fantastic signing for the Saints by all accounts. Paul can play at right back and in midfield, and was linked with moves to Aberdeen and Dundee Utd after leaving Third Division team Queen’s Park in the summer. Paul has become the third McGinn brother to sign for St Mirren, after older brother Stephen (who now plys his trade in the English Championship with Watford) and 17 year old John, who only joined in the summer.
Manager Danny Lennon has already stated he wants to give youth a chance for St Mirren, and after choosing to sign 19 year old Graeme McGregor over ex-Saint Franco Miranda a couple of weeks ago, he said:
“We could have signed Franco Miranda, but by the time he was fully fit, it would have been almost Christmas before we could have got the best out of him, so he is now away back home.We made a conscious decision to bring in a few kids, including Graeme MacGregor, who is showing some signs of very good potential. Investing in youth is the kind of club that we are, so I used the money there and hopefully that will come to fruition, but only time will tell.
Graeme shows great energy, handles the ball well, has good character and he has fitted in well which is very important.He was in the Bolton youth system, where he had that wee knock back of rejection, but he has bounced back well and he has been given a wonderful opportunity here, which I’m sure he’ll grab with both hands.”
With coach Tommy Craig having developed several contacts over his years coaching at teams like Newcastle and Charleroi, Lennon’s outlook can only benefit the Saints.
From La Liga to the Highland League
Former Seville and Malaga player Alberto Garcia was expected to play for Inverness Clachnacuddin on Saturday against Brora Rangers in a Highland League match. The 23-year-old Spaniard is in Scotland trying to win a move to one of the top senior clubs, but was reported as willing to play for Clach at Brora if the necessary international clearance is in place.
I haven’t been able to find out if he actually did play or not, but I’d love it if he did! Despite it being a good story, I fail to really see the point. If Alberto is trying to get a move to a SPL club, they regularly play friendlies against each other during the week, and trialists often take part. With his pedigree, he wouldn’t have much hassle getting an invite to a trial at least. SPL clubs rarely pay attention to the Highland League, so he isn’t going to get his name in the shop window up there.
Of course, he might not be very good. In which case, the Highland League is probably his level! If anyone finds out how he got on(if he even played) please let me know.
Noel Makomba-Emoba – Remember The Name
The young Frenchman is currently playing for Second Division Alloa. But he won’t be there much longer. The youngster is only 16 years old yet has already seen first team action for the Wasps, admittedly in a pre-season tournament. On his début for the u-19s, he scored SIX goals! He currently sits on eight goals, scoring in their last u-19 game also.
Not long signed from French Ligue Un strugglers Sochaux, the talented striker has been scouted by Arsene Wenger for Arsenal, and we all know his penchant for young French boys…wait, that came out wrong.
Manager Paul Hartley is expected to hand Noel his senior début soon, and I hope the fans at Recreation Park enjoy watching his talents while they can.
Hearts Fined £4000…And Didn’t Pay Their Wages Again
Are the two events related? Probably not.
Hearts were fined £4,000 by UEFA after several supporters spilled onto the pitch to celebrate David Templeton’s memorable goal at Liverpool last month. With only five minutes to go, Pepe Reina spilled Templeton’s fierce shot into the back of the net, leading the visiting fans to go mental and invade the pitch to celebrate, before Liverpool’s Luis Suarez scored a few minutes later to settle the match.
Whilst it was probably one of the smallest invasions I’ve ever seen, Hearts need to take this one on the chin. And to be fair, they haven’t shown any signs of appealing the decision.
It also transpired six first players, manager John McGlynn and a coach never got paid on Monday, although the wages have since been paid. As regular readers know, this isn’t the first time Hearts have been late with wages, and McGlynn doesn’t believe it’ll be the last time:
“No-one said there’s going to be ongoing issues with the wages, but you cannot be daft and think these things are not going to come up.You hope they’re not going to come up, obviously, because it is a distraction that you could do without.
It has risen up and you have to deal with it, play the cards that you’re dealt.
The players have been here before, done it before and they’ve always been paid. It’s maybe not been on time, but they’ve always been paid. They’re more comfortable with the situation right now. Like anyone they’d have preferred to have been paid on time and not had this issue, but they’ve dealt with it very, very well so far.”
So surely chairman and friend of the site Vladimir Romanov rode to the rescue?
No. Turns out he’s a little bit busy…
Vladimir Romanov Runs For President
News of Hearts’ latest wage drama came just hours after Romanov declared a personal wealth of £42million as he prepares to run for President of Lithuania. Last season’s Groundhopper Liam Pennington is a bit of a politics buff, so read on Liam!
He launched his own political party — Lithuanian People’s Party — last year and has put himself down as No 1 candidate on the list for the Lithuanian Parliament and he intends running for the presidency if he gets elected. As part of the process, all candidates must declare their personal wealth in assets to Lithuania’s Central Election Commission, and Romanov’s personal wealth of £42m dwarves any other politician on the list, including current President Dalia Grybauskaite.
This will only end well.
Scottish Clubs Want A European League…Again
This age-old debate never seems to go away.
Scotland’s top clubs want to discuss the possibility of being part of a new regional European league setup. It’s believed clubs on the continent are already discussing similar proposals, and the Scottish clubs don’t want to left behind. The idea of regional leagues involving neighbouring countries and so-called Supra National Cup Tournaments has already been discussed at a recent European Club Association meeting in Switzerland, and UEFA are said to be interested in hearing more about the ideas.
Aberdeen, Celtic, Hearts and Rangers are all part of the association and will be part of the domestic discussions next week along with the Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League.
Ross County Finally Lose
After a run of 40 games, going over a calendar year, Ross County finally lost a league game. They lost 2-1 to St Johnstone at Dingwall, finally ending that fantastic run. County dominated the match and played against 10 men for most of the match, but the lads from Perth’s dogged determination got them a valuable three points.
Derek Adams has told the team they should be proud of what they’ve achieved during the run, and considering the size of the club and the opposition they’ve faced during that time, the Staggies really should be proud of themselves.
I stated on the SPL Podcast pre-season previews that County would stay up with ease, and fans will hope this loss is just a blip and they will continue their form for the remainder of the season.
Cowdenbeath striker Zephaniah Thomas has been called up to represent St Kitts and Nevis in next month’s Caribbean Cup. Zep will go from here:
***Did I miss anything? Got something for me to add in next week? Any comments to either please me or destroy my soul? Post below or find me on Twitter @Manky365***