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You are in: Scottish Junior Football Association > News and Events > SJFA News

Whitletts Vics : News & Match Report

Monday, 14 January 2019


Ayr Junior side Whitletts Victoria have begun the search for a new manager after George Grierson stepped down from the role due to health reasons.

Grierson took over at the Dam Park club a year ago with Vics sitting in the bottom half of the Ayrshire District League but he turned the Clubs’ fortunes around, leading them to promotion to the Championship where the Club have consolidated their position in the second tier of junior football.

However with Grierson set to go into hospital for a second hip operation at the end of the month, the Vics ‘Gaffer’ has decided to call time on his time in the dugout.

“I had a hip replacement operation in October and I’m due to go back into hospital on the 28th of this month for an operation to replace my other hip. My body just can’t take the rigours of coaching and managing a junior football side anymore” said George.

“I told the Chairman before Saturday’s match of my decision and I said to the players after the game that I was stepping down. This was not an easy decision for me to make. I’ve been involved in the game since I was a 16 year old on a YTS contract at Ayr United and Whitletts is a fantastic club to work at. My time here has probably been the most I have enjoyed as a manager. There is so much potential here to build a successful junior club and there are exciting times ahead with the possibility of a new ground in the near future, so to have to walk away because of my health was a very difficult decision to make.”

And Grierson confirmed that his days in football management are over.

“I’m gutted that I have had to step down but I just couldn’t take anymore. I always maintained that Whitletts would be my last managerial job in football and that is the case. Sadly it’s just a good bit earlier that I had anticipated. Whitletts is a fantastic club with a great bunch of players who have given me everything as a manager and who can be proud of what they have achieved. I’m proud of every one of them and I’m sure they’ll give the new manager the same effort and respect that they have given me.”

Whitletts Victoria Chairman John Dalton was ‘devastated’ at the news but understood Grierson’s reasons for stepping down.

“What George Grierson has achieved at Whitletts over the past year has been remarkable and he has left a solid foundation for a new manager to build on. When he told me of his decision it was a devasting blow but I fully understand his reasons. He is still a young man and his health has got to come first. He has indicated that he is open to remaining involved with the Club, possibly in a committee role or similar and that is something we will discuss in the near future but whatever happens I would like to place on record my and the Clubs’ thanks to George for what he has achieved for Whitletts Victoria in his all too brief time at the Club.”

Scott Clelland, a coach under Grierson, will take charge of the Club until the Vics Committee determine the way ahead for the future.

“Scott will take charge of the team in the interim” added John. “Mark Ferris, who was George’s assistant, is also leaving the Club. He was due to leave the Club at the end of the season due to family commitments but will help out as and when required meantime until a new manager is in place.”

“Scott has experience as a manager with Darvel and Girvan and will take charge of the team until the Committee determine the direction that it wishes to take to find a new manager who will hopefully take the Club forward on the next stage of its journey.”


It was the team from Irvine who took the spoils in this clash of the Vics at Dam Park, courtesy of a late Ross McKenzie goal.

With the match looking set to end in a draw, a Raymond Buchanan slip allowed Hamish McKinlay to race clear and as Marty Fraser raced off his line, the Irvine striker squared the ball for McKenzie, who had only been on the park for a couple of minutes, to fire high into the empty net.

It was a disappointing end to the game for Whitletts who had started the match well and took the lead in the 11th minute when Buchanan rose to head home a Bobby Colligan corner.

Both sides pushed forward at every opportunity but other than a Callum Ogston shot that drifted just past, clear cut chances were at a premium. But on the half hour mark, Irvine equalised with a well worked move down the right that was finished off from close range by Ryan Morrow.

Whitletts almost made an instant response when Adam Forsyth got on the end of a low Sean Ewart cross but Martin McDonald in the visitors goal made a fine save at full stretch to deny the striker. At the other end only a desperate Isaac Kerr challenge denied Ewan Farrell from giving Irvine the lead while just before the interval McDonald again denied the home side turning aside a Colligan shot at full stretch.

The game was end to end and the second period proved no different. Isaac Kerr tested McDonald again with a thumping 40 yard drive that the big keeper parried away while moments later Fraser had to do likewise to keep out a Morrow effort from a similar distance.

Kerr headed over another Colligan corner in the 63rd minute but sixty seconds later Irvine took the lead. After the home side struggled to clear a cross ball into the box, the ball broke to trialist full back Lee Davidson whose shot from 20 yards squirmed through Fraser’s grasp into the net.

Midway through the half, Kerr headed a free kick into the path of Colligan who was quickly closed down by McDonald and the Whitletts midfielder fired over the bar.

Davidson went close to grabbing his second goal of the afternoon with an ambitious free kick from the corner of the box that flew just past the angle while Paul Millar was pleased to see his attempted headed clearance slip wide of his own goal with Fraser committed.

But with twelve minutes remaining Whitletts were back on level terms. In a similar move to Irvine’s first goal, a sweeping move down the right saw Jordan Baird release Ogston whose first time cross was netted by Forsyth from close range.

Both sides looked for the winner but it was Irvine who claimed the points with that late goal from McKenzie.

Whitletts Victoria
1. Fraser 2. Ogston 3. Ewart 4. Brown 5. I.Kerr (Baird 68) 6. Buchanan 7. Millar 8. Boyd 9. Forsyth 10. Colligan 11. Donovan
Subs (not used) 12. A.Kerr 14. Mathieson 15. L.Kerr 21. Dorigo

Irvine Victoria
1 McDonald 2. Ashe 3. Davidson 4. Holden 5. Donnelly 6. Craig 7. Morrow 8. Farrell (McKenzie 84) 9. McKinlay 10. Loughlin 11. Skeoch
Subs (not used) 12. Chesney 14. Singleton 17. McCann 19. Adam

Referee: Paul Timmons

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Whitletts Vics - George Grierson



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