Annan Athletic Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Annan, Dumfries and Galloway. The club was founded in 1942 and competes in Scottish League One as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Annan Athletic
Full nameAnnan Athletic Football Club
Nickname(s)Black and Golds[1]
Galabankies[2]
Founded1942; 82 years ago (1942)
GroundGalabank, Annan
Capacity2,504 (500 seated)
ChairmanRussell Brown
ManagerWillie Gibson
LeagueScottish League One
2023–24Scottish League One, 8th of 10
WebsiteClub website

The club competed in Scottish junior football and English regional leagues before becoming a member of the Scottish Football Association in 1978 which made the club eligible to compete in the Scottish Cup for the first time. Annan Athletic won the South of Scotland League twice and the East of Scotland League four times before successfully applying to join the Scottish Football League (SFL) in 2008.[3]

Annan Athletic's best finish in the SPFL was second in League Two in 2013–14 whilst its best result in the Scottish Cup is reaching the fifth round in 2021–22. The club plays its home games at Galabank in the north of Annan.[2]

History edit

Founded in December 1942 as Annan Air Training Corps, the club changed their name to Annan Athletic the following April. They entered the Dumfries and District Youth League, but this competition lasted only throughout the war years, and in 1945 they joined the Dumfries and District Junior League instead. They had a fairly successful time as a junior club, reaching the fifth round of the Scottish Junior Cup on one occasion (losing 2–1 to Perth side Jeanfield Swifts).

In 1950–51 the Dumfries and District Junior League had to be wound up due to lack of officials, and the following season (1951–52) the club had to go into abeyance as the Junior Association would not release them from their membership. For the following season (1952–1953) Annan Athletic joined the Carlisle and District League and the Cumberland Football Association. This proved an astute move when Annan Athletic won every competition they entered bar one in their first season in membership.

Annan remained members of the Carlisle and District League until they moved back to Scottish football in the 1977–78 season when they joined the South of Scotland Football League. This switch, along with some upgrade work to their Galabank ground also allowed the club to compete in the qualifying stages of the Scottish Cup as well.

The club proved very successful in the South League, winning every competition that was available to them. In an attempt to get more competitive football, they joined the East of Scotland Football League in season 1987–88, although they maintained their commitment to the South League by running a reserve side. They won promotion in their first season in the East League, and two years later won the Premier Division. They became one of the league's top sides and qualified for the Scottish Cup's early rounds on various occasions.

Scottish Football League edit

Annan applied to join the Scottish Football League in 2000, when two new clubs were admitted, but lost out to Peterhead and Elgin City. Following the demise of local rivals Gretna in 2008, Annan applied along with four other clubs to replace them in the Third Division. They were the successful candidate, being chosen due to the standard of their facilities, ahead of Cove Rangers, Spartans, Preston Athletic and Edinburgh City.[4]

Their first league match as a professional team ended in a 4–1 win over Cowdenbeath in the 2008–09 season. They finished 7th that season and 8th in the next season (however, they reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup). They were challenging for promotion to the Second Division in the 2010–11 season, their 3rd season in Scottish senior football. They finished 4th and qualified for the play-off final after a win over Alloa Athletic in play-off semi-finals (2–1, 0–0). They played Albion Rovers in the two-legged final, however, they lost the tie 4–3 on aggregate (1–3, 2–1), meaning that they missed out on promotion to the Second Division.

After the first quarter of the 2011–12 season, Annan sat top of the league, three points clear. Also, for the second time since becoming SFL members in 2008, they reached the semi-finals of the 2011–12 Scottish Challenge Cup. Later as the season progressed Annan dropped points and fell into mid table; they would then finish the season in 6th place, 8 points off the play-off places and 28 points off first position. A 3–0 defeat to First Division Falkirk ended their hopes of a first Challenge Cup Final.

During the 2012–13 season, Annan secured a 0–0 draw at home to Rangers on 15 September 2012, in what was the first-ever league meeting between the two sides.[5] In the same season, on 9 March, Annan beat Rangers 2–1 at Ibrox, the first win for the club after the appointment of Jim Chapman as manager in January.

A second-place finish in the newly named SPFL League Two the following season included the clubs record points tally and saw them face Stirling Albion in the play-offs. After losing the first leg 3–1 the return leg at Galabank was an 8-goal thriller, Annan eventually losing 8–4 on aggregate.

In 2014–15 Annan produced an upset with a 3–2 win over Championship side Livingston in the Scottish Cup.

2015–2016 saw Annan miss out on the play-offs on goal difference as a final day 1–0 win over Queens Park proved not enough, the visitors pipping them to the spot by one goal. The season highlight once again came in the Scottish Cup after the first in what was to become a series of cup wins over Premiership side Hamilton Accies.

Forfar Athletic defeated Annan 6–4 on aggregate the following season in the play-offs, which signalled the end of Jim Chapmans reign.

Irishman Peter Murphy became only the third manager of Annan Athletic whilst an SPFL club, his first managerial role.

On 19 May 2023, they defeated Clyde 2–1 to earn a 5–2 aggregate play-off victory and seal promotion to Scottish League One, the club's first promotion to the third tier.[6]

Rivalries edit

Annan Athletic's local derby rivals are Queen of the South. Meetings are rare with the teams being in different leagues, but it is an exciting fixture when they do play each other. It is often a familiar battle as many players played for both clubs; there are a lot of connections between the clubs and even people who support both teams. Two teams, Annan F.C. and Queen of the South Wanderers, played each other in the Scottish Cup in 1878 and 1879, although neither are connected to the current clubs.[7]

The rivalry with Stranraer is less local but this has become an increasingly more competitive DG/A75 derby with many red cards seen in recent matches as the sides frequently meet in Scotland's fourth tier. Despite both clubs being in the same county, the distance between the grounds is 88 miles. Due to both being in the same division for many seasons, games against Clyde have become a day to look forward to for Annan fans as the clubs built up a rivalry which was only intensified when Annan manager Jim Chapman left to take charge of the Bully Wee and a large portion of players followed him. However the Cumbernauld side are now in the league above after winning promotion against Annan in the play-offs. Berwick Rangers are a cross-border rival of Annan despite being 88 miles (again) in the other direction. The Wee Gers were relegated to the Lowland League and therefore the sides haven't met since. Gretna F.C. 2008 are maybe more of a friendly opponent of the Galabankies with the Black and Whites frequently inviting the Black and Golds to their annual Raydale Park Cup competition. Annan have also shown kindness by welcoming the phoenix club to Galabank when their pitch was getting resurfaced. Annan took the Scottish Football League place of the now defunct Gretna in 2008.

Stadium edit

 
Galabank in 2009

Annan played at Mafeking Park from 1946 to 1953, when they moved to their present ground at Galabank. The ground has a capacity of 2,504, including 500 seats.

Current squad edit

As of 16 May 2024[8]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
GK   SCO Greg Fleming
DF   ENG Matty Douglas
DF   SCO Willie Gibson
DF   SCO Scott Hooper
DF   SCO Ryan Muir
DF   ENG Steven Swinglehurst (captain)
DF   SCO Rico Quitongo
MF   SCO Kayn Cranston
MF   SCO Dylan Crawford
MF   ENG Josh Dixon
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   SCO Josh Galloway
MF   SCO Lewis Hunter
MF   SCO Adam Jamieson
MF   GLP Benjamin Luissint
MF   SCO Charlie Maxwell
FW   SCO Tommy Goss
FW   SCO Tommy Muir
FW   SCO Aidan Smith

Coaching staff edit

  • Manager: Willie Gibson
  • Assistant manager: vacant
  • Goalkeeping coach: vacant
  • Physio: Jack Messenger
  • Analyst and performance coach: Peter Watson
  • Kit coordinator: Karen Robertson

Source:[9]

Managers edit

Annan Athletic appointed their first manager in 1975; previously, the team was selected by the club's management committee.[10]

Honours edit

References edit

  1. ^ Club information Archived 8 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Annan Athletic F.C.. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Annan Athletic Football Club". Scottish Professional Football League. Retrieved 11 November 2013.
  3. ^ History of Annan Athletic FC 1942 -2007 Archived 27 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Annan Athletic F.C.. 10 October 2007. Retrieved 10 May 2013.
  4. ^ Annan voted in to SFL's Division 3, BBC Sport, 3 July 2008
  5. ^ Annan Athletic 0–0 Rangers, BBC Sport, 15 September 2012
  6. ^ "Clyde 1–2 Annan Athletic (2–5 agg): Galabank side earn first ever League 1 promotion". BBC Sport. 19 May 2023. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  7. ^ "Annan".
  8. ^ "Annan Athletic squad". Annan Athletic FC. Retrieved 1 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Club". Annan Athletic FC. Retrieved 2 June 2021.
  10. ^ "Managers". Annan Athletic Football Club website. 10 October 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 20 July 2008.

External links edit