The Spartans F.C.

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The Spartans Football Club are a Scottish football club based in Edinburgh. They were formed in 1951 by ex-players of Edinburgh University and the original intention was to field a team of graduates of the university. However, they have players from elsewhere as well. They play at Ainslie Park and wear white shirts, red shorts and white socks.[1]

The Spartans
The Spartans FC Logo.png
Full nameThe Spartans Football Club
Founded1951; 70 years ago (1951)
GroundAinslie Park, Edinburgh
Capacity3,612 (534 seated)
ChairmanCraig Graham
ManagerDouglas Samuel
LeagueLowland League
2019–20Lowland League, 5th of 16
WebsiteClub website

The senior team plays in the Lowland League, and are managed by Dougie Samuel.. They joined the new league in 2013 after playing in the East of Scotland Football League, where they became one of its most successful clubs from the 1970s onwards. They have been allowed to play in the qualifying rounds of the Scottish Cup since 1978 and have qualified for the cup proper on several occasions.

Spartans entered their top amateur side into the SJFA East Region junior setup in 2009, however they withdrew in 2013. Spartans also have an Under 20 squad in the Lowlands U20s Development League, who are managed by Les Atkinson.

As well as the Lowland League team, Spartans also have a Saturday amateur side, a Sunday amateur side and several women's teams, including The Spartans W.F.C, and, from the 2017 season, Hibernian Ladies who both play in the Scottish Women's Premier League.

Spartans chairman Craig Graham was appointed MBE in 2017 for his service to the community of North Edinburgh.[2]

HistoryEdit

Scottish CupEdit

The Spartans' most successful Scottish Cup run was in 2003–04, when they defeated Buckie Thistle 6–1 in front of a crowd of 450 in Edinburgh in the first round, before defeating Alloa Athletic 5–3 in a replay (the first game had been drawn 3–3) in Edinburgh in the second round. They then defeated Arbroath (who had been in the SFL First Division only the year before) 4–1 at Gayfield Park in the third round, before being beaten 4–0 at home by Scottish Premier League team Livingston in front of a full house of 3,000 fans at City Park.

Two seasons later in 2005–06, Spartans defeated Berwick Rangers, Lossiemouth and Queen's Park in the first three rounds of the Scottish Cup. They drew 0–0 with First Division side St Mirren in the last sixteen in front of 3,326 fans at City Park, earning a replay at Love Street, where they lost 3–0.

In the 2008–09 Scottish Cup, Spartans' cup run sent them to Pollok, winning through a replay, they then beat Annan Athletic 2–1. In the next round they beat Elgin City 2–1, before being knocked out by Airdrie United in the fourth round.

Spartans, along with four other clubs, submitted an application for entry into the Scottish Football League following Gretna relinquishing their league status on 3 June 2008.[3] Spartans lost out to Annan Athletic.

In November 2008, Spartans moved to a new purpose-built home at Ainslie Park, situated 500 yards from City Park in the Crewe Toll district of Edinburgh. The new facility includes a 504-seater stand and floodlights surrounding the main stadium pitch and an adjacent, full size artificial pitch with floodlights. Ainslie Park is now used daily by youth and adult Spartans teams, along with the general public. The club also won the league title this season.

In the 2009–10 season, Spartans won the quadruple, consisting of the East of Scotland Premier Division, the SFA South Challenge Cup, the King Cup and the League Cup. The 2009–10 league title gave Spartans back to back title wins for the first time since 2005.

During the 2010–11 season, Spartans won their third league title in a row. The next season they lost the league title on goal difference to Stirling University. While, in the 2012–13 season, they finished third in the league.

Lowland LeagueEdit

Spartans joined the newly formed Lowland Football League for the 2013–14 season, winning the inaugural title. They finished as runners-up in 2015–16 and won the League Cup a year later, before becoming Lowland League champions for a second time in 2017–18. This allowed Spartans to take part in the Pyramid play-off, however they lost 5–2 on aggregate to Cove Rangers.

The club progressed to the fifth round (last 16) of the 2014–15 Scottish Cup, defeating Clyde and Morton en route.[4]

In the fifth round of the competition, Spartans forced a replay with Berwick Rangers on 7 February 2015, thanks to an injury time equaliser from Ally MacKinnon to level the tie at 1–1, the game being played in front of 2504 supporters at Ainslie Park.[5][6]

StadiumEdit

Ainslie Park on Pilton Drive in north Edinburgh is the home ground of Spartans. The stadium has a capacity of 3,000 (504 seated). Ainslie Park is only part of the new project that Spartans have invested into their new ground. It is part of a wider development of the Spartans Community Football Academy. The new facility incorporates a fully enclosed stadium which meets SFA and SPFL criteria, with an artificial pitch, floodlights, seating for 504 spectators and an overall capacity of 3,000. Another full size, floodlit artificial pitch sits adjacent to the main playing area and the accommodation incorporates six changing rooms, a club room, committee room and a physio room. The Club ground holds a P.A system and a bar for spectators.

In March 2017, Edinburgh City reached an agreement with Spartans to use Ainslie Park ground for three seasons while Meadowbank Stadium is being redeveloped.[7]

Senior squadEdit

As of 2 April 2021[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 Blair Carswell
GK   SCO Matt Baines
GK   SCO Chris Peden
DF   SCO Michael Bolochoweckyj
DF   SCO Mikey Allan
DF   SCO Daniel Baur
DF   SCO Jordan Caddow
MF   SCO John Grant
MF   SCO Scott Maxwell
No. Pos. Nation Player
MF   SCO Alan Brown
MF   SCO Ian McFarland
MF   SCO Sam Jones
MF   SCO Scott McCrory-Irving
MF   SCO Gregor Woods
MF   SCO Joe Tait
FW   SCO Cameron Dawson
FW   SCO Aaron Murrell
FW   SCO Blair Atkinson

Club officialsEdit

ManagementEdit

Position Name
Manager Douglas Samuel
First Team Coach Darren Cameron
Goalkeeping Coach Steve Ellison
First Aider Craig Samuel
Physio Mairi Shaw
Kit Man Ralph Buchanan

HonoursEdit

LeagueEdit

Lowland Football League

East of Scotland Football League

  • Winners (9): 1971–72, 1983–84, 1996–97, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2004–05, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11
  • Runners-up (7): 1977–78, 1984–85, 1992–93, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2006–07, 2011–12

CupEdit

SFA South Region Challenge Cup

  • Winners (3): 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11

Lowland League Cup

  • Winners: 2016–17

East of Scotland Qualifying Cup

  • Winners (10): 1983–84, 1989–90, 1995–96, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2010–11, 2016–17, 2018-19[9]

East of Scotland City Cup

  • Winners (3): 2004–05, 2005–06, 2006–07

East of Scotland League Cup

  • Winners (5): 2003–04, 2004–05, 2009–10, 2010–11[10]

King Cup

  • Winners (12): 1973–74, 1977–78, 1987–88, 2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13

Notable playersEdit

The former Scotland international Eamonn Bannon had a spell playing for Spartans in the 1990s.

Women's FootballEdit

Spartans Football Club Women's and Girls is a women's football team that plays in the Scottish Women's Premier League, the top division of women's football in Scotland. Spartans F.C. Women is part of Spartans F.C. in North Edinburgh and play and train at the club's training facilities.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Club history page, "spartansfc.com"
  2. ^ "Spartans Chairman awarded an MBE". www.spartanscfa.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  3. ^ Gretna relinquish league status, BBC Sports. Retrieved on 3 June 2008
  4. ^ "Spartans FC 2–1 Morton". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  5. ^ "Spartans 1-1 Berwick Rangers". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Ally Ally Ally oohhh… MacKinnon's late strike secures Scottish Cup replay - The Spartans FC Official Website – Live together. Play together. Win together". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  7. ^ Pilcher, Ross (29 March 2017). "Edinburgh City and Spartans confirm three-season groundshare". Edinburgh Evening News. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Lowland League Squad | The Spartans FC Official Website – Live together. Play together. Win together". www.spartansfc.com. Retrieved 27 November 2018.
  9. ^ "Spartans take down Camelon to lift Footbal Nation Cup Qualifying Cup once again". Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  10. ^ "Previous East of Scotland League Cup finals". Retrieved 12 May 2019.

External linksEdit