McGlynn “very happy” to be back managing Raith Rovers

John Menzies - RRFC

Stark’s Park, where John McGlynn manages Raith Rovers (credit: Colin Pine)

John McGlynn is back in charge at Raith Rovers, six years after leaving the club, and is targeting promotion back into the second tier of Scottish football.

The 56-year-old returned to Stark’s Park four weeks ago, replacing Barry Smith, who resigned his post at the beginning of September. And McGlynn revealed that the chance to take the reigns again at the Fife side was too good to turn down.

“It was the lure of Raith Rovers that I left Celtic for. When the opportunity arose, I felt like I was the right man for the job. I had a successful spell here before and I hope to repeat that this time around.”

McGlynn was previously at Raith between 2006 and 2012, and guided the club to promotion from the Second Division in the 2008-09 season. Two years later, he led the club to second place in the First Division, narrowly missing out on promotion to the SPL to rivals Dunfermline. He left in 2012 to join Heart of Midlothian, where he had previously been First Team Coach.

McGlynn was most recently manager at Livingston, who he left by mutual consent in December 2014. But despite being out of the managerial game for almost four years, he feels like it’s taken no time to adjust back.

“No, not at all. There’s so much to do that you can’t really do anything other than think about what’s right in front of you.

“Taking training, preparing for matches and so on: there’s so much work to get done here, you’re thrown right back into the mix.

“You just have to roll up your sleeves and get on with it.”

Joining McGlynn back at Raith is assistant Paul Smith. Smith was McGlynn’s number 2 during his previous spell at the club, and he revealed that one of the main attractions of re-joining the Rovers was reuniting with Smith.

“To work with Paul again was a key factor for me. We’ve both had a successful time here together previously, we know each other well and we know how to get the best out of the players.

“The partnership we have has worked in the past, it’s working now and it will work well in the future.”

McGlynn’s second tenure has seen the club pick up seven points out of a possible nine, and they will be looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, when they travel to Station Park to face Forfar Athletic.

New Stadium could give Edinburgh a Fortress to Defend

 

A new stadium planned to be built next to the Scottish national Stadium, Murrayfield, has been given the go-ahead by Edinburgh council.

It is hoped that the new build will be completed next year in time for Edinburgh Rugby to make it their new home.

With just under 8,000 seats it is hoped that sell-out crowds will gather to watch a revitalised capital side. With significantly less seats to fill than Murrayfield’s 67,000.

Less seats mean a more intense atmosphere can be achieved making Edinburgh a more daunting opponent, allowing them to build a club identity and creating a closer connection with fans.

Edinburgh forward, Rory Sutherland said:

“We would like somewhere we can call a home.

“It’s going to be important for creating an atmosphere, getting the support in … it can make a big difference.”

Head Coach Richard Cockerel added:

“It’s great to have your own home. we had over 7,000 here at the weekend and with the new stadium holding 7,800, we can start to get sell-out crowds like they have at Scotstoun.

“It then becomes our own atmosphere, our own pitch, our own stadium, our own branding, all those things. We can build our own identity and move forward.

“Edinburgh will have a permanent home that we can build a team and a club around.”

 

Griffiths rules himself out of Scotland squad

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Griffiths wants to focus on his fitness. Photo Credit: Wikipedia.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has withdrawn from Alex McLeish’s Scotland squad in a bid to improve his fitness.

The forward, who has scored four times for his country, was named in the initial squad that will face Israel on Thursday on the UEFA Nations League.

There had been reports that the 28-year-old striker had fallen out with McLeish after he was left on the bench in last month’s contest against Albania, but the Scotland manager insists the decision to withdraw was entirely down to Griffiths.

In a statement released by the Scottish Football Association, Griffiths declared he’d love to play for Scotland again should he be selected.

He said: “I had a good discussion with the manager to explain my decision. It’s not one that I’ve made lightly.

“It means a lot to me to play for Scotland and I hope to be part of Alex’s plans again in future, if selected.”

Scotland will play Portugal at Hampden Park on Sunday following their away trip to Israel. The side sit top of Group One in the UEFA Nations League courtesy of a 2-0 win over Albania in September, a game in which Griffiths was dropped to the bench.

Meadowbank Centre in funding crisis

Meadowbank - no credit

Concerns arise amid council vote.

Councillors are set to decide whom to award the contract for building the new state of art sports centre in Edinburgh. However, questions are raised over where the money for the project will come from.

The Edinburgh City Council Finance Committee is being asked to approve a £39 million contract to build the new centre but the Save Meadowbank campaign has exposed the pitfalls in the council’s plan.

Executive Director of Communities and Families within the Council, Alistair Gaw, submitted a paper to the finance committee for discussion on 11 October with the comment that the capital funding for the project will mainly come from the sale of 300 homes due to be built on one half of the site.

“This is completely inaccurate because his report is based on a previous Council plan which was thrown out by the planning committee when it met in June,” said Save Meadowbank spokesperson Heather Peacock in an official statement.

Campaigners claim the inaccuracy is due to the council maintaining their plan for the new homes while claiming to have started from a “clean state.” They are committed to preserving the Meadowbank’s green space and have cast doubts over the council’s plans and whether the project will commence.

Save Meadowbank’s representative, Russell McLarty, was particularly critical of the council’s approach to the situation:

“If they had had a more measured approach and looked at different options for the overall development of the site and funding – including borrowing – then they may have come up with something better. However, they are pushing ahead and are constrained by the desire to produce a sports centre – the council seem to have gone about this the wrong way.”

The council, when prompted, refused to comment on the situation.

A report to the council finance committee has warned that the figures may be unreliable and that the council may end up with a funding deficit of £24 million. It outlines a precautionary £7 million that should not be used until more accurate data is received.

 

Dundee United appoint Robbie Neilson

Photo credit to Benson85 via Wikipedia.

Dundee United have confirmed Robbie Neilson as the club’s new manager on an 18-month-deal.

The 38-year-old takes charge of the club ahead of their clash with Partick Thistle on Saturday with the club currently sitting fourth in the Championship.

He succeeds Csaba Laszlo who was sacked by the club after a heavy 5-1 home defeat to Ross County back in September.

Neilson was excited for the challenge ahead.

He said: “It is an exciting opportunity at a great club and I am confident I can lead Dundee United back to the Premiership. This is the perfect challenge for me at a club I know well and I am looking forward to meeting the coaching staff and players tomorrow and getting straight to work ahead of Saturday’s match at Partick Thistle.”

Neilson has been out of work since January after leaving MK Dons in the relegation zone of England’s League One.

The new United boss has Championship experience, having gained promotion to the Premiership with Hearts in the 2014/15 season.

“I am confident I can lead Dundee United back to the Premiership. This is the perfect challenge for me at a club I know well.”

Neilson’s also a former Dundee United player, spending a brief spell with the club in the 2011/12 season making 23 appearances.

Dundee United Chairman, Mike Martin spoke highly of the club’s new manager.

He said: “I am delighted Robbie has agreed to become Head Coach. From a long list of impressive applications, he was the outstanding candidate.”

Neilson had also spoken to opponents Thistle about a possible move to Glasgow after Alan Archibald was sacked on Saturday.

Back page newspaper discussion

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This Week in Football

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With Mauricio Pellegrino sacked as Southampton manager following a poor run of form, is Mark Hughes the man to save the 19th placed Saints from the Premier League’s trapped door?

Manchester United’s embarrassing defeat to Seville last night ends their Champions League run but will Chelsea join United and Tottenham at home with an exit in Barcelona tonight?

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‘We’ll never die’ Manchester United remembers the Munich air disaster 60 years on

Manchester United marked the 60th anniversary of the Munich air disaster with a service at Old Trafford in which around 4,500 people attended.

The crash took place on February 6th 1958 when a plane carrying the Manchester United team and members of the media failed to take off from the icy Munich runway for a third time, colliding into a nearby farm house. Twenty-three people lost their lives, including eight players.

Amongst those at the memorial service was Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, former boss Sir Alex Ferguson and United captain Michael Carrick. Yet, most poignant was the attendance of Sir Bobby Charlton and Harry Gregg, who were survivors of the crash.

Manchester United’s memorial service at Old Trafford. From Left to right: Captain Michael Carrick, Manager Jose Mourinho, Vice-chairman Ed Woodward, and former manager Sir Alex Ferguson | Photo Credit: Getty

It was a human tragedy over anything else with eight players local to the Manchester area losing their lives. The team known fondly as ‘The Busby Babes’ were flying back to England having won their European Cup quarter final against Red Star Belgrade. The team carried an average age of 22.

‘The Busby Babes’ line-up for what would be one of their last games together | Photo Credit: PA

The ceremony marks a week of events put on by the club to remember the disaster. With a minute’s silence at the weekend against Huddersfield, the United fans also unveiled a banner displaying ‘We’ll Never Die’.

Tributes have also been paid at the Partizan Stadium in Belgrade where the team played their final game before the tragedy as well as the crash site in Munich, where Bayern Munich Chief Executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was joined by a large contingent of travelling United supporters.

Clubs and footballers from across the world have shown their support on social media with messages of remembrance to those who lost their lives.

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Tottenham Hotspur host Arsenal this weekend for the latest instalment of the North London derby. The Gunners eased to a 2-0 win in their last encounter with Spurs at the Emirates, but what will happen in this weekends early kick-off?

What is going on at Chelsea Football Club? Their poor run of form has seen them lose by a three goal margin in back-to-back games for the first time in the Premier League since 1995.

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Our sports reporter Ewan Hawthorne is joined by Ryan Maher and our EN4 News Producer Cameron Storer to give their views and opinions.

Pressure and speculation surrounds the Chelsea Head Coach. Image : Sky Sports

 

Scottish golf courses at risk from rising sea levels new study reveals

 

One of Scotland’s oldest and most significant past times is now at risk according to a new study.

The Climate Commission released a report outlining a number of sports that are at risk if sea levels were to rise to predicted heights over the next 50 years. Whilst Cricket is suspected to be the sport most at risk, a number of high-profile golf and football venues are too including St Andrews and Royal Troon.

The report predicts that courses and pitches near the ocean are in danger of “crumbling into the sea” as thawing sea ice causes rising water levels to result in the severe loss of land around the coast.

Closer to home, Edinburgh’s Silverknowes golf course is one of the courses that may become submerged over the next few decades.

Silverknowes golf course may be at risk | Image Credit: Google

Moving away from the coast, the Scottish skiing industry could also be affected. The report predicts that warming temperatures will result in less snow fall and will cause any laying snow to thaw quicker, resulting in shorter snowy seasons.

Lastly the report highlights the increase in rainfall over the past 18 years as another key issue preventing outside sport. Six of the seven wettest years have occurred since the year 2000.

The report makes it clear that immediate action needs to be taken to lessen the potential impact climate change could have to our outdoor activities and with golf alone contributing almost £500 million to the Scottish economy each year, it looks like we’ll have to correct our course now to avoid some rough days ahead.

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