East Kilbride F.C.

East Kilbride Football Club is a semi-professional football club based in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. They are members of the Lowland Football League, in the fifth tier of the Scottish football league system.

East Kilbride
East Kilbride F.C. crest.png
Full nameEast Kilbride Football Club
Nickname(s)The Kilby, EK
FoundedMay 2010; 11 years ago (2010-05)
GroundK-Park Training Academy, Calderglen Country Park, East Kilbride[1]
Capacity660 (400 seated)
ChairmanMark Horner[1]
ManagerStephen Aitken
LeagueLowland League
2020–21Lowland League, 2nd of 17
WebsiteClub website

Formed in 2010 with the intention of bringing senior football to one of Scotland's largest towns, the club initially competed in amateur football before becoming one of the founder members of the Lowland League in 2013. The club became a full member of the Scottish Football Association (SFA) in 2014, entitling them to automatic entry to the Scottish Cup.

HistoryEdit

The club was launched officially by two former Old Firm players, John Hartson and John Brown, once of Celtic and Rangers respectively.[2] The club was resurrected after folding in the 19th century, having been initially founded in 1871.

Original clubEdit

The original club was formed in 1871, making it one of the earliest formed clubs in Scotland.[3] The first office bearers included the quaintly titled Croupier, which today would be recognised as Treasurer.[3] The first recorded match was a 1–0 defeat by a Queen's Park second eleven in April 1872.[3] They drew 0–0 with the same team later that year.[3] During the 1870s the club folded and resurrected several times, which was a regular occurrence at that time for football clubs.[3] The original club colours were navy and gold according to evidence from the SFA Museum of Football.[3] The original club did not have a badge, which was customary at the time too.[3] The team played at Kirktonholme in 1876, winning three, losing nine and drawing three games.[3] The team played at Show Park in 1877 and had a better season, winning six, losing six and drawing six.[3] The club participated in some of the earliest editions of the Scottish Cup in seasons 1878–79 and 1879–80, going out in the first round in both seasons.[3]

2010sEdit

The modern club was formed in May 2010 after the merger of Jackton Boys Club and Stewartfield FC.[4] Later local clubs EK Diamonds and EK Wanderers were incorporated into the structure.[5] As yet they have no permanent home so they use the facilities at the training base, K-Park, until a site is found for a new stadium.[1] They played in the inaugural season of the Lowland League,[6] although they had previously been elected to the South of Scotland League at the end of the 2012–13 season.[7] Two men, tycoon James Kean and Iain King, who is a sports journalist, spent many years in the hope that East Kilbride Thistle (the town's former highest ranked football team) would become a senior sports team so much that they officially launched their youth development programme from under-21s right down to the under-5s. The dream never materialised and they had to admit defeat, and so their vision was to form a new club. John Hartson, the former Celtic striker, was appointed honorary president of the new club.[4][8] On 10 September 2010, the club held their inaugural fundraising dinner which was attended by around 250 people and raised about £9500.[9]

The team played in the Scottish Amateur Football League until their election into the senior leagues in June 2013. They won the Division 2 title in 2011–12 and were crowned Division 1 champions in 2012–13.[10] On 31 May 2013, East Kilbride were given a place in the South of Scotland League for season 2013–14.[7] On 17 June 2013, East Kilbride were elected to play in the newly formed Lowland League, without playing a game in the South of Scotland League.[6] Their first league fixtures were a 2–1 defeat at Stirling University (10th) and a 1–0 home win over Whitehill Welfare (13th) in August 2013.[11] The Kilby completed a debut season as a senior team with a Lowland League mid-table finish, winning the South Region Challenge Cup[12] and reaching the Lowland League Cup semi finals.[13] They claimed their maiden trophy as a senior team with a 2–0 Final victory over Dalbeattie Star at Palmerston on 24 May 2014.[14] They were granted full SFA membership in April 2014 and therefore could enter the Scottish Cup from season 2014–15.[15] Their first Scottish Cup tie was a 1–0 first round win at Lothian Thistle on 13 September 2014.[16] After a draw at Spartans in the next round, East Kilbride suffered a heavy home defeat in the replay.[17] In only their second season in the Lowland League, East Kilbride secured a second-place finish with two games left, with a defeat of Edinburgh University in their final home game.[18] A 3–1 defeat of Gretna 2008 in the Lowland League Cup final on 17 May 2015, delivered a second cup success in as many seasons.[19]

On 5 November 2016, East Kilbride defeated BSC Glasgow 3–1 for a 27th consecutive victory and surpassed Ajax's record of 26 consecutive wins. On 19 November 2016, East Kilbride lost 0–1 to Spartans to end their winning streak at 30 games. East Kilbride won the 2016–17 Lowland League, and progressed to a promotion/relegation playoff with Scottish League Two club Cowdenbeath. They missed out on promotion to the SPFL after losing a penalty shootout.[20] In that period, defender Craig Howie became the first player to make 100 appearances for the club, having made his debut aged 17 in 2013.[21]

East Kilbride would go on to win their second Lowland League title during the 2018–19 season, beating defending champions Spartans at K Park to clinch the trophy.[22] They lost to Cove Rangers in the SPFL promotion playoffs.[23]

Current squadEdit

As of 10 June 2021[24]

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   NIR Conor Brennan
GK   SCO Jacob Kean
DF   SCO Gregg Wylde
DF   SCO Jordan Armstrong
DF   NZL Steven Old
DF   SCO Steven Saunders
MF   SCO Jamie Stevenson
MF   SCO Anton Brady
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   SCO Chris Erskine
MF   SCO Chris Millar
MF   SCO Greg Stewart
FW   SCO Neil McLaughlin
FW   SCO Craig Malcolm
FW   POR Joao Victoria
FW   SCO Cameron Elliott
FW   SCO Lee Miller

Coaching staffEdit

Position Name
Manager Stephen Aitken
Assistant Managers Chris Aitken & Ian Durrant
Goalkeeping Coach Hugh O'Neill
Club Doctor Dr Sam Millar
Physio Ryan Wilkie
Kit Manager Martin Fellowes & Joe Bulman

BadgeEdit

The badge for the new club features the oystercatcher bird and also the colour red, symbols of St Bridgit, after whom East Kilbride is named, cill being the Gaelic word for a religious cell, which was the common form of ancient Celtic religious organisation, thus Kilbride being the religious cell associated with St Bridgit/St Bride; East to distinguish from West Kilbride in Ayrshire.[3]

John Hartson Foundation TrophyEdit

The John Hartson Foundation Trophy is annual pre-season match at the K-Park between East Kilbride and another side, with all proceeds going towards Hartson's testicular cancer charity.[25] The first match between East Kilbride and Fort William was supposed to take place on 20 July 2013, but Fort William cancelled the day before due to a shortage of players.[25] The match did take place for the first time on 19 July 2014, with a strong Celtic under-20 team defeating East Kilbride 5–1.[26]

Season-by-season recordEdit

Lowland LeagueEdit

Season Division Tier League Scottish Cup Playoffs
Finish Played Wins Draws Losses Points
East Kilbride F.C.
2013–14 Lowland League 5 8th 22 8 4 10 28 Did Not Participate
2014–15 Lowland League 5 2nd 26 15 5 6 50 2nd Round, losing in replay to Spartans
2015–16 Lowland League 5 5th 28 14 7 7 49 5th round, losing to Celtic
2016–17 Lowland League 5 1st 30 24 3 3 75 3rd Round, losing to Stranraer League Two play-off final, losing to Cowdenbeath
2017–18 Lowland League 5 2nd 30 22 5 3 71 3rd Round, losing to Albion Rovers
2018–19 Lowland League 5 1st 28 23 3 2 72 4th Round, losing to Inverness Caledonian Thistle Pyramid play-off, losing to Cove Rangers
2019–20 Lowland League 5 7th† 23 11 4 8 37 4th Round, losing to BSC Glasgow
2020–21 Lowland League 5 2nd† 12 9 2 1 29 Preliminary Round Two, losing to Spartans

† Season curtailed due to coronavirus pandemic.

HonoursEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "EKFC Announce Plans To Bring Senior Football To East Kilbride". k-parktrainingacademy.co.uk. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  2. ^ "Old Firm stars herald new dawn for town". East Kilbride News. 19 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k EKFC – Club History EKFC. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  4. ^ a b "John Hartson backs East Kilbride bid for big time". BBC Sport Website. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 31 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions". East Kilbride FC website. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Lowland League clubs confirmed by Scottish FA". bbc.co.uk. BBC Sport Website. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 17 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b "BEAUTIFUL SOUTH FOR EKFC!". Club Website. East Kilbride F.C. 31 May 2013. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
  8. ^ "EKFC 2003 Blue". Club Website. East Kilbride F.C. 15 August 2010. Retrieved 15 August 2009.
  9. ^ http://www.eastkilbridemail.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1165&Itemid=1[bare URL]
  10. ^ Clyde not worried above as EKFC join Lowland League STV News. 18-06-2013. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  11. ^ Lowland League – 2013/14 Information Archived 3 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine SLFL. Retrieved 12-05-2012.
  12. ^ A RUSH AND A PUSH AND THE LAND IS OURS Tell Him He's Pele. 29-07-2014. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  13. ^ Kilby Bow Out in Semi Final East Kilbride FC. 15-04-2014. Retrieved 24-04-2014.
  14. ^ East Kilbride FC claim maiden trophy triumph Daily Record. 26-05-2014. Retrieved 12-05-2015.
  15. ^ EAST KILBRIDE FC GRANTED FULL SFA STATUS East Kilbride FC. 30-04-2014. Retrieved 19-05-2014.
  16. ^ East Kilbride sneak past nervy Lothian Thistle HV in Scottish Cup Daily Record. 18-09-2014. Retrieved 12-05-2015.
  17. ^ East Kilbride 1–5 Spartans BBC Sport. 11-10-2015. Retrieved 12-05-2015.
  18. ^ East Kilbride FC: Lowland League runners-up spot secured after win over Edinburgh Uni Daily Record. 23-04-2015. Retrieved 09-05-2015.
  19. ^ Gretna FC 2008 1–3 East Kilbride FC Gretna FC 2008. 17-05-2015. Retrieved 17-05-2015.
  20. ^ McLauchlin, Brian (20 May 2017). "Cowdenbeath 1–1 East Kilbride". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  21. ^ East Kilbride FC star Craig Howie hits 100 games, aged 20, Daily Record, 2 March 2017
  22. ^ "East Kilbride clinch Lowland League title with win over Spartans". www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com. 26 March 2019. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  23. ^ Cove 3 East Kilbride 0 (Agg:5-1): Cove cruise past Kilby into play-off final, Daily Record, 4 May 2019
  24. ^ FC, East Kilbride. "Team". eastkilbridefootballclub.co.uk. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  25. ^ a b EKFC rage at late call off Daily Record. 24-07-2013. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  26. ^ Celtic put Kilby under pressure Daily Record. 24-07-2014. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  27. ^ Division 1 League Table 2012/13 SAFL. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  28. ^ Division 2 League Table 2011/12 SAFL. Retrieved 13-05-2015.
  29. ^ "SPOT-ON KILBY LIFT LOWLAND LEAGUE CUP!". EKFC. 15 May 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  30. ^ "CUP COME BACK ENSURES BOSS BOWS OUT ON A HIGH". EKFC. 21 March 2016. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  31. ^ "Berwick Rangers 0–2 East Kilbride – East of Scotland Cup Final". Berwick Rangers FC. Retrieved 22 May 2016.
  32. ^ Coronation Cup 2013 SAFL. Retrieved 13-05-2015.

External linksEdit