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Picture of new Saint Anthony's Manager Jonny Fallon

Johnny Fallon appointed new Ants Manager

The club are delighted to announce that former Thorniewood, Shettleston and Newmains United manager Johnny Fallon has been appointed as the successor to Danny Taylor and become the new Saint Anthony’s Manager.

The 42 year old comes with a wealth of experience both as a player where he played for Motherwell, Stranraer Bellshill and Linlithgow Rose before retiring at 29 with his home town team Thorniewood United. Upon retiring he took up the reins at Robertson Park and led them into the SJFA West Region SuperLeague First Division for the first time in the clubs history before leaving the club stable position in the league as he started a family. He returned for short spells to help rebuild at St Rochs and Shettleston and also led Newmains to their highest league finish ever.

Johnny stepped away from the game for a few years through work and family commitments but has stayed in touch with the game and has helped out recently at Bellshill Athletic with their under 20’s and some help with recruitment.

He is no stranger to the Ants having made his competitive debut in mens football at just 15 when he came on for the Ants as a sub against ironically Thorniewood as a trialist and has always had a soft spot for the club.

Having applied on the Sunday night, the executive committee invited Johnny for a chat yesterday afternoon and by the end of that conversation it was unanimous that we approach Johnny and offer him the job. We were delighted when he accepted and he will meet the players for the first time tomorrow night ahead of our pre season friendly in the Mark Ritchie Memorial match v St Roch’s at McKenna Park.

Speaking to the Ants website the new gaffer said “I am absolutely delighted to be back in the game at St Anthony’s, a club I’ve always had a good relationship with and one who is forward thinking and progressing forward to continue to add to the already sound infrastructure” I can only thank Martin, Felix and the committee for the opportunity to continue the good work done by Danny Taylor who has punched above his weight in what they have achieved over the last 4 years . The timing is not great with only a week before the league starts but we will hopefully hit the ground running Mon the Ants 🐜!”

Ants Club Secretary Martin McKenna is delighted to bring Johnny on board. “Having spoken to Johnny at length on Sunday night and hearing his passion and philosophy on how he wants the game to be played I am excited to see how the team turns out this season. The executive committee were of the same opinion when they invited Johnny over for a chat yesterday and by the end of that meeting we were unanimous that Johnny ticked all the boxes and a couple of extra ones as well. We can’t wait to see him in the dugout”

We will confirm the backroom team over the next couple of days.

We would also like to thank Graeme Crawford and Njabulo Ndlovu for stepping up as the interim coaching team. The boys will take the team on Wednesday night and also for the opening league game of the season away to Kilsyth Rangers to give Johnny time to meet the boys whilst maintaining a bit of continuity given the upheaval of the last couple of days.

Here’s to a new era at McKenna Park.

A graphic showing The Kirkhill bar in the background announcing it as Halfway St. Anthony's new home shirt sponsor

Halfway St. Anthony’s toasting new partnership with The Kirkhill Bar

Our new amateur side Halfway St. Anthony’s have negotiated a deal with local pub The Kirkhill Bar to be their new home strip sponsor for their inaugural season. The friendly local is a popular venue in Cadoc Street in Cambuslang and is under new management after Emma Barnes took over the license. Emma and the team are delighted to be Halfway St. Anthony’s first ever sponsor. “It’s a Great opportunity to support a local team and to be their first ever sponsor is something we are proud of”. Wishing the team well Emma is looking forward to showing you some Kirkhill Bar hospitality in the coming weeks and month “Good luck for the season & I look forward to welcoming you all Into The Kirkhill Bar”.

Halfway Ants manager James Cairney thanked Emma for agreeing to partner with the team as he looks to build a good squad for his first season under the Ants umbrella. “I spoke to Emma about what it is we are trying to do with Halfway Ants and she was as excited with the plans as I was when we first spoke about the team being set up midway thru last year. It’s a great wee pub and we hope that the partnership is beneficial for both of us” James then turned his attention to the coming season “I’m really looking forward to getting started with the Halfway Ants and we are hopefully building a squad that can compete, and also provide players for the 1st team in the West of Scotland Football League”.

Ants club secretary Martin McKenna echo’d James’ thoughts on the partnership and added that it’s partnerships like this that are vital to clubs and helping them grow “We felt that with the community spirit we are trying to build at the club and Emma looking to do the same with the pub that it was a great fit for us as a partnership. Investment in our clubs from local businesses is vital to seeing the team grow and hopefully bring some success to the local community be it on or off the park”. Speaking about the inaugural Halfway Ants season Martin continued “We’ve never had an amateur team before and it’s something that we felt could plug the gaps between the 20s and the first team as well as give us a wider catchment area for players that we can bring through the pathway. I’ve known Jim a long time and his passion for the game and his desire to see his players make the step up to the first team is second to none. Hopefully we will see a Halfway Ant or two pushing for the first team this season, that would be ideal”

End of an era as Ronnie McDonald leaves the Club

For the past 20 years, Ants legend Ronnie McDonald has been an almost constant feature around McKenna Park be it as a player, manager or coach but pre season 2024/25 will have a slightly different feel to it with Ronnie deciding that due to other commitments he would have to step away from the backroom team.

Ronnie was signed by James McKenna back in 2003 as a young midfielder who found it hard at first to break into a strong Ants side but he bided his time and when the chance came to cement a starting place he took it with both hands and made himself a first pick for several Ants managers over the next 12 years before taking over the reins himself with Tony Kane for season 2016/17. Despite that not going as well as hoped he stayed on at the club working with John Doyle after Tony had stepped away at the end of that season. Ronnie’s commitment to the club saw him remain as one of the backroom team as a coach after John Doyle left, helping out John Kelly before his current role as Assistant Manager to current boss Danny Taylor.

A popular character around McKenna Park, Ronnie’s coaching, work ethic, determination, sense of humour and his experience at this level will be missed but we wish him all the best with his future endeavours.

Speaking to the Ants website Club Secretary Martin McKenna said “Ronnie has been a great servant to the club over the past 20 years and we are sad that he has chosen to step away as we look to continue to grow the club but having spoken to Ronnie, I totally understand his reasons for stepping away. He’ll be a big miss in and around the place although We expect we’ll still see him around McKenna Park from time to time. We would like to wish him well in his future endeavours and as the saying goes Once an Ants man always an Ants Man”

Thanks for everything over the past two decades Ronnie and good luck

 

The picture shows a Saint Anthony's FC logo and a Sported logo with a handshake icon between them inidicating a new partnership

Ants sign up to Sported

The club are delighted to announce that we have become members of Sported, a UK wide charity promoting fairness and equity for young people through grassroots sport and physical activity. They deliver support and resources that will help us thrive as a club and we are looking forward to working with them to help us reach both our short and long term goals.

We will be looking to re-organise our club structure and put in place a plan that will hopefully help us continue to grow in a sustainable structured manner as well as access funding streams through Sported that will help us with our planned growth over the next few years.

It’s an exciting time for the club as we move into a new era and with Sported behind us the future looks increasingly brighter.

Ants Club Secretary Martin McKenna said “I’m excited to sign the club up to Sported membership. Their army of volunteers can help us get to where we want to be as an organisation and the Sported team have been really helpful since we made contact with them. I can’t wait to get started on a new chapter for the club and see where it takes us”

We Can’t wait to see how this partnership helps shape our future and look forward to working with the team at Sported and their amazing network of volunteers.

For more information on Sported, Visit their website at www.sported.org.uk

Ants Ladies receive Lottery Award from local MP

The Ants Ladies team were recently successful in our application for funding from the National Lottery Community Fund to help assist us with the creation of not only the Ladies first team but also to help kick start our age group girls teams as well, giving us much needed support for Coach Education, training lets, kit and equipment. We are delighted that the fund have seen what benefits of the ladies and girls section of the club can give to the local community and we can’t wait to see how the project grows over the coming weeks and months.

Ants Ladies Club Secretary Martin McKenna was delighted to receive the news of the award. “The Ants ladies set up is a big part of how we see the future of the club and we want to attract local girls to the club to help improve

overall fitness and to help them grow as footballers as well as young people. We are delighted to receive this much needed funding to help us get started on building the ladies and girls section of the club”.

Local MP Chris Stephens came along to McKenna Park yesterday where the Queen Ants were showing off their new McKenna Digital Media sponsored home and away kits, to hand over a presentation cheque to the club. Speaking to the Ants website Chris said “It was a pleasure to visit McKenna Park and present the Women’s Team with a cheque from the Lottery for kit,

training let’s, coach education and other costs to help establish the team. Womens football is growing rapidly and I am delighted that St.Anthonys are putting a team together. Going forward I am looking forward to working with St.Anthonys and assisting their work with the wider community”

The future looks bright for the Queen Ants and its a big thank you to the National Lottery Awards for All for the award

Ants support Football v Homophobia campaign

The Club have signed up as a supporter of Football v Homophobia’s month of action that will see us designate our match v Vale of Clyde this Saturday as our Match V Homophobia to encourage LGBTQ+ involvement in Football, highlighting the fact that Football should be for all regardless of sexuality. This is something that the club strongly believes should be the case and McKenna Park is proud to welcome supporters of all sexualities. Our club chairman is an openly gay man and has written about his feelings on the campaign in the past which he welcomes massively having to have had to hide his sexuality for fear of it being held against him for many years in what wasn’t always the most open of environments for gay and trans people.

The following is an extract from the excellent Football v Homophobia Website

Homophobia encompasses a range of negative attitudes and feelings toward people who are identified or perceived as being lesbian, gay or bisexual, whilst Transphobia is used to describe a range of negative attitudes or behaviours that a person may express towards transgender people or those perceived as being transgender.

The phrases ‘homophobia in football’ or ‘transphobia in football’ are often used without defining the nature of LGBTphobia.

The Football v Homophobia Campaign works from an understanding that homophobia and transphobia are not uniform phenomena experienced in the same way by all LGBT sports participants. We believe homophobia and transphobia can appear differently in different football contexts and cultures – on a continuum from lack of acceptance of LGBT participants to outright verbal and physical abuse.

Homophobia in sport is well documented. Research by Scotland’s Equality Network ‘Out for Sport’ (2011) shows that of more than 1,700 respondents, 79% thought that there was a problem of homophobia in sport, whilst 62% had witnessed or experienced homophobia or transphobia in sport. Amongst trans respondents the numbers of those having experienced or witnessed homophobia or transphobia in sport rose to 80%. These findings, whilst focused on Scotland, are widely seen as transferable to other UK contexts.

Research undertaken by the National Union of Students during 2012, which surveyed the opinions of 845 LGBT students, found that 46.8% of respondents experienced sport culture as ‘alienating or unwelcoming’.

Meanwhile, the Youth Chances Survey (2013) found a third of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual young people and 50% of young trans people aged 16-25 do not feel they can be open about their sexuality or gender identity in a sports club.

During 2016 research by Stonewall, the UK LGBT human rights charity found that:

  • 72 per cent of football fans have heard homophobic abuse
  • One in five 18 to 24 year-olds say they’d be embarrassed if their favourite player came out
  • Young people are twice as likely to say anti-LGBT language is harmless if it’s just meant as ‘banter’
  • The majority of people think that offensive language towards LGBT people in sport is a problem

Whilst it is clear attitudes are changing, there is still a widespread problem with homophobic and transphobic language in football and this affects the experience of LGBT people watching, playing, officiating and administrating the game. It impacts particularly on the experience of LGBT children and young people in football who may feel especially vulnerable and isolated if they hear negative comments at a time when they are discovering their own identities

We want fans, committee members, players and match officials to be truly themselves at McKenna Park and we will keep working to make sure that we do everything we can to make everyone feel welcome and free from any kind of abuse. Want to come along to the match on Saturday? You can buy tickets online using our Fanbase Ticket Portal

 

Ants Ladies lose but plenty of positives to take

The Ants Ladies lost 3-1 away to Cumbernauld Colts on Sunday at Broadwood but there were plenty of positives to take from the match against a side who currently play in the SWF West Division.

The first half saw us go on the offensive from the first whistle and efforts from Kayla Welsh and Mandy Richardson went wide of target, at the other end Talligh McArthur had to be quick off her line a couple of times to sweep up. The match was flowing from end to end and there was a great goal-line block from Channelle Munro to keep it at 0-0 but it was the home side who took the lead on the half hour mark when Lucy Foye opened the scoring before a fantastic save by Skelton kept the hosts in front with a full stretch dive to tip a shot round the post and out for a corner to the Ants.  In the 37th minute the hosts doubled their lead when Rachel Graham took advantage of McArthur being off her line to finish from distance to make it 2-0. Skelton then produced another fine save when it looked like Lauren Templeton’s shot was going in the top corner and the half finished with the home side 2 goals to the good.

The Ants made a few subs at half time and again started the half on the front foot with Mattison, Boyle, Templeton, Richardson and Rigamonti all linking up well going forward and with half an hour to go they all combined again to put Alice Rigamonti thru on Skelton and she made no mistake as she poked the ball past the keeper to reduce the deficit to 2-1. This gave the Queen Ants a lift but they just couldn’t put the ball in the net and as is always the case the home side took full advantage when Daniella Boyd grabbed a 3rd against the run of play.  Credit to the Ants they didn’t let their heads drop and kept pushing for another goal to get back into the match but it was to no avail and 3-1 Cumbernauld was how it finished.

A good workout and another step closer to full fitness as we gear up for our first ever league campaign.

Photo’s in the gallery below provided by Patryk Rudnicki

The future looks Pixel Perfect for Ants as new Partnership announced

The club are delighted to announce that Pixel Glasgow have agreed a deal to become a Mens First Team official partner which will see their logo on the club website as well as on the clubs social media platforms. We look forward to working with Daniel and the team on a number of initiatives over initially the first 18 months and hopefully beyond.

Speaking to the Ants website after the deal was signed, Pixel Glasgow owner Daniel Clark said

Seeing the outstanding work St. Anthony’s do for the community it was an absolute no brainer when I seen their ad for paid sponsorship.

He continued “Having spoken with Martin and speaking over the visions of the club it just feels like the perfect fit.Football is a massive part in any community so to help St Anthonys push on over the next 18 months is a massive honour and I hope that together we can build on this already great partnership”.

Heres to the start of a wonderful relationship!

Caledonian Locomotives Match Preview

The Ants are back in league action to kick off 2024 with the short visit to first foot Caledonian Locomotives at Petershill Park in the PDM Huws Gray West of Scotland Football League Second Division.

Both teams come into this one with Caley Loco’s on a 6 game unbeaten run in the league, their last defeat coming at home to runaway league leaders Ardrossan Winton Rovers back in September although they did lose 3-2 to Hurlford in their last game before the festive period. The Ants last league defeat also came at the hands of Ardrossan back in November with a 3 game unbeaten run put together since then.

There’s already been a meeting of the sides this season back in August at McKenna Park where a Kamil Leszczynski double, along with goals for Jonny McKay, John O’Hagan and Jack MacMurray scored for the Ants with Tyler Wright netting for Loco’s in a 5-1 win for The Ants.

Caledonian Loco’s currently sit in 4th place in the league having amassed 26 points from 14 games, with 8 wins, 2 draws and 4 defeats and this see’s them 5 points ahead of The Ants with the same games played, The Ants having won 7, 3 draws and 4 defeats, but having being deducted 3 points, come into this one in 8th place.

It promises to be a New Year cracker at Petershill Park so why not come along and see who takes home the first 3 points of 2024

PREVIOUS MEETINGS

5 - 1
2015-16
Petershill Park

Rossvale vs Saint Anthony's

 

Second half showing rescues a point for Ants

A strong second half showing from the Ants brought us back into a match that few could have seen us take anything from at half time as we trailed Glasgow Uni 2-0 but goals from Craig Scott and Martin Mullaney saw us leave Airdrie with a point that on another day could have been all three.

Glasgow Uni got off to a flying start when Ewan McKinley capitalised on a poor pass from McGuire that was intercepted by a Glasgow Uni attacker and when the ball found McKinley he fired a shot off the underside of the bar and in from the edge of the box and with 18 minutes gone it was 1-0 to the home side. McKinley then doubled his and his teams tally 3 minutes later again capitalising on some sloppy passing and a bit of good fortune to make it 2-0 to the Students.

The Ants enjoyed a lot of the ball but couldn’t find the final pass or shot on target and the half finished at 2-0

Within 3 minutes of the start of the second half Craig Scott had reduced the deficit to a single goal when he made it 2-1 with a thunderbolt from a headed clearance from the edge of the box. The Ants totally dominated the second half but the Uni were still dangerous on the break and Bailey McGuire got down low to save on a couple of occasions. Just after the hour mark Martin Mullaney equalised for the Ants after good work by McKillop and Leszczynski down the right.

Carballo then had a fine effort saved and Mullaney also came close with a header just over the top. The Ants fans in the Excelsior thought we had taken all 3 points with a minute to go but Leszczynski’s effort went just the other side of the post and it finished 2-2

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Video

Details

Date Time League Season
August 23, 2023 8:00 pm WoSFL Division Two 2023-24

Ground

Excelsior Stadium
Penny Cars Stadium, Craigneuk Avenue, Islay, Craigneuk, Airdrie, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, ML6 8QZ, United Kingdom

Results

Club1st Half2nd HalfGoalsPens
Glasgow University2022
Saint Anthony’s FC0222

Saint Anthony’s FC

1Bailey McGuire Goalkeeper
2Mark McKillop Midfielder
3Rui Carballo Midfielder
4Craig Scott Defender 47'
5Findlay Provan Midfielder
6Johnny McKay Midfielder
7Ian Eadie 19 Midfielder
8Sam Muir Midfielder
9Martin Mullaney Forward 62'
10Jack MacMurray Midfielder
11Kamil Leszczynski Forward
12John O’Hagan Forward
14Trialist1 Midfielder
15Stephen McCulloch Forward
16Adam Gibbons Midfielder
17Craig Donaldson Midfielder
19Graeme Crawford 7 Defender
18Stephen Barnes Defender