The Gaffer's Diary

On this page, The Vikings manager will keep you up to date with any new signings, injury and suspension news plus his thoughts on up and coming matches and reflecting on the previous matches.

Thurso FC Manager Stevie Reid

Thursday 17th January 2013

A good start to the new year was had last saturday down at Golspie with the team pulling off a great 4-2 win against our closest rivals Golspie Sutherland ! In what was always going to be a close contest I thought the lads did themselves proud ( not that they dont most weeks ) but to go down there and play not only a good solid game but some off the football they showed was excellent and myself and Ross couldn't have asked for more from them . Alan Sinclair who was struggling with an on going back problem fought through the pain barrier and yet again showed what a big big player he is for us he was as commanding as usual and along with the rest of the defence always allowing the boys in front off them too go and play . Captain Kyle Ross is another big player for us and he leads and shows by example with his energy and overall play how important he is for us and without a doubt he allows Graham McNab to go on and play the kind of game he is enjoying right now because he has been top drawer so far for us and torrmented Golspie especially in the second half off saturday`s game where he ran the show but again thats down to all the players pulling together and showing what a strong and good honest bunch they are with that will to win.

We are under no illusions though because there is still a fair bit to go and a lot of hard games coming up and that is definitly the case this coming Saturday when weather permitting we entertain Muir Of Ord who are another top team who are always tough to play against they are well organised and have their fair share of players who can hurt you on the day, also they always seem to get that bit stronger in the second half of season so the lads will know they are in a game thats for sure but we are playing with a lot off confidence and at home we will be looking to continue the good run we are enjoying right now.

p.s. - Would also like to thank the Caithness 7s league for giving us a game on the 5th when we had a free week and that aloud the lads to stretch their legs and get rid of some turkey and no doubt a vino or 2


Stevie Reid

Wednesday 12th of December of October 2012

Well yet another great performance from the team on saturday with a 9-0 win against Inverness Clach at the Dammies with goals coming from Graham 3 Sandy 2 Sean 1 Davy 1 Lee 1 & off course Alan ( Baba ) which has been coming and most definitely deserved and of course the fact we now kept a clean sheet in the league since end of September is also very pleasing ( touch wood ). All the lads are enjoying themselves right now and playing a really good standard of football and I couldn`t be happier with them. We have a big strong squad and everyone is contributing towards the position we find ourselves in at the moment which is pleasing.

With the pitches now becoming very heavy going all the training we do on the grass, well grass and mud seems to be paying off because even though it might not be a nice thought coming out of your nice warm house on a windy, raining night it is certianly helping come match day on a saturday so again all credit to the lads and Iain MacDonald for putting the work in through the week.

Weather permitting we will be away to invergordon this coming Saturday and again we have to make sure we are well prepared and up for the task which I am sure the lads will be.

Anyone wishing to come down on team bus for a day out at Invergordon and of course showing your support for the team and possibly a wee refreshment at the back of it. you are more than welcome the bus will be leaving the Dammies at 9.00am. cheers & hopefully see you there.


Stevie Reid

Monday 3rd of December of October 2012

Following our best performance by a mile against Alness the other week in which all the lads were excellent through their work rate & level of play we could nt ask for anymore from them , it was good to just stand back & watch them enjoy themselves & play the football we know they can produce .

Saturday`s game against Halkirk was played in tough conditions but fair play to Halkirk & officials for giving the game the go ahead . The game its self was not one for the purist with under foot conditions playing its part in certianly not allowing for both teams to be able to get into any sort of passing game , in the first 20-25 mins even though we took the lead with an excellent goal from Sean Stewart in which he started & finished , Halkirk probaly got more shots on our goal than we did their`s but without really testing Graeme , we then had the chance to double our lead with a penalty in which the normaly realible Colin Sinclair had his effort saved .

The second half got under & was scrappy non event as far we were concerned , it took our second goal from James Murray to settle us down & we only then started to string some good moves together & the introduction of Stuart Florence added much needed energy into our play & indeed Stuart was probaly involved in everything we did well after that & with further goals from Sandy , another from James a pen then Graham Mcnab finishing off another good bit of play from us finished the scoring for the day but Lee Elder after coming on should have had a penalty after some good strong direct play from himself but referee Bob Gunn waved away the shouts then with the game just about done that same man Lee found himself totally unmarked with a free header & somehow missed the target from a couple of yards out .

So a scrappy 1st half & a good bit better 2nd half where i thought the lads fitness levels were good which is required now with the parks all going to be heavy going from now on in so thats down to the lads training hard as they do & off course Iain Macdonald with his excellent training he gives them every week

So another final to look forward to & with the other semi-final Muir of Ord v Golspie having not been played due to a frozen park we will have to wait & see who we are up against . one thing for sure they are both strong quality teams so very tough but if the lads keep going the way they are and I quote Ross Sutherland here "TERRIFIC" its a game we can go out and have a right good go cause the lads are showing their quality & how tough a nut they are to crack.

Next up a home game against Inverness Clach which as with the rest of the games is another tough game especially if we dont prepare & have the right attitude , so fingers crossed the weather is favourable & we can continue our good run.

Stevie Reid

Thursday 15th of November of October 2012

Saturdays win against a strong Golspie side was a big result for us and a result we probably deserved , our 1st half performance was very pleasing with the lads all playing their part in a srtong start i thought we shifted the ball well & worked hard off the ball to gain back possession , we got a bit of luck with the goal but it came from some good play finishing off with a early driven cross from Darryn Mackay which came off the top of their defender over the keeper and Graham did what all good forwards do and took a chance following the flight of the ball and probably scored one of his easiest goals so far . As i said Golspie traveled up with a strong squad and both teams were contributing to a descent close game.

Our good start to the season continues and to be three points clear with a game in hand is all down to the lads bonding (but not in the way that Bo would maybe like lol ) all training well and having a good criac along the way which is way it should be but we all know that if we let our performance`s drop it can be difficult to regain the standard they have set themselves.

This weekend we are on our travels to Invergordon on cup duty with the added incentive of the possibility of another local derby in the semi final with Halkirk , Invergordon will be a tough game as they all are , we do have a few bodies missing with Alan Sinclair ( baba) work , Kyle Ross , Greg Shearer , Graeme Williamson & Birthday boy Graham Mcnab all heading down the road to star in Geordie Shore.

Stevie Reid

5th of November of October 2012

After last weeks disapointment of loosing the final against Muir we managed to bounce back with a win in the local derby against Halkirk thanks to a goal from Graham.

First the final where we were slow to get started & never really got a grip of the game & after going down a goal on 20 minutes we seemed to get a wee kick up the backside and started to get on the ball but without really causing a well organised Muir defence, which really continued throughout the game ! we put on Lee Macdougall to see if we could get that extra bit of quality from wide areas and when he delivered an inch perfect cross to James in the last 10 you would have put your money on James scoring but he scuffed it passed the keepers left hand post , we managed one last attack in a second half in which we dominated possesion but just couldnt find a way through when Lee found himself unmarked at the back post but his header went wide & that was that just not ment to be our day.

I cant fault anyone for their second half performance & effort & on another day we might have had that cutting edge in the final 3rd.

The derby last saturday was a bit of a dull affair not like previous encounters over the years when it was always a good dust up as well as an entertaining game but we got the win & probaly edged it with a bit more possession but saying that they rattled one off the inside of Spec`s post & then Michael Bremner hit one from the edge of our box to which Spec was up to and tipped it over the bar but yet again we had plenty of the ball but never really hurt Halkirk where it matters in the final 3rd which is something we are going to have to sort out especially when Golspie come calling this weekend , i am sure with the quality of players we have at the club it will all come good and bloody soon i hope lol

Golspie next up and i have no doubt that will be a fiery encounter it always is , the two teams are very evenly matched & it could go anyway its a game we are looking forward to & all things good we can manage a win to maintain our good start to the league.


Stevie Reid

Monday 22nd of October 2012

Another good result for us on saturday with a 7-0 win at home to invergordon which puts us top of league goals coming from Graham Mcnab 2 , Lee Elder 2 , Stuart Florence 1 , Darren Banks 1 & James Murray 1. With Sandy Sutherland calling off on friday after an xray result showing that he has actually broken 3 fingers after a clash with a clach player a couple of weeks back so he could be missing for our up & coming final against Muir Of Ord this saturday ! Michael Petrie continues his come back after his injury in the summer & played the last 25 mins on sat also we have Chris Wann returning to training & maybe a new face starting training with us this week so we will see if he shines in training & take it from there in a whole we now have a really strong squad & good competion for places it gives myself & Ross a wee headache but the team is looking very healthy.

Some of the goals we scored on saturday were well worked & clinicaly finished but without sounding to harsh we could easily have taken a few more chances that came our way , young Darren Banks is continuing to improve & is starting to get a bit of confidence about him now .So this saturday the 1st final of the season & we find ourselves up against Muir who are always a hard outfit to play against so it wont be anything else but a well matched up & competitive game . I only hope Billy & Herchie bring a pound with them this time lol.

Finally i would like to thank the lads who turned out for Thurso the week before in a friendly against Orkney in which we won 3-2 thanks to goals from Graham Mcnab 2 & the winner coming from former captain Lee Macdougall who was one of many helping us out on a day when we were missing 7 regular starters so a good result & also gave us a chance to look at some good young players.

Monday 8th of October 2012

We are delighted to be in the final of the north caley cup after beating invergordon 2-0 another good 1st half performance with us scoring through 1st kyle with a good strike from the edge of their box , inside 5 mins then a short time later our 2nd from graham after good wing play from James Mackay , the 2nd half performance was not so good and I think we will leave it at that. We will certainly look forward to playing muir on the 27th its always a tight game and can go any way

Saturday's game against Inverness Clach was good for a number of reasons because not only with other results going our way we also had Michael Petrie back in about the squad after a lenghty absence through injury ! so delighted to have peacho back but eh not a pretty sight what he got up to on bus on the way home (I will leave it for peacho to explain)lol . Also James Murray back from suspension the silly man. Again very encouraging the way the lads got the ball down & played a good standard of football from the off we scored 2 good goals & then with 5 mins left to halftime we won a pen which graham struck well enough but their keeper pulled off a great save to keep it at 2 -0 which i dont know why but we seem to have a wee problem getting beyond 2 goals but we will keep cracking because we are certianly making enough chances which is the main thing, i am sure it will all be good in the games to come.

This weekend we entertain Orkney in a friendly at the dammies with a 12.30 kick off , we do have a number off the lads unavialable but we have a number off players who are due a game so they will get a chance too show us what they have so hopefully see a good crowd there for what will be a tough game for us against a strong Orkney side.


Stevie Reid

Friday 28th of September 2012

Sorry for late diary i have been lying ill for a few days.
Last Saturday was by far and away our best performance this season, everything seemed to click we have been asking for a good start in games & each & everyone of the lads gave us that against Alness who have strengthened their squad this season.

I can`t compliment the players enough in the way they went about their business as i said we were after a good start & they never let up throughout the game , Graham`s first goal was just a peach of a left foot strike from a tight angle , we continued to dominate the game with first Kyle Ross cracking a long range shot of the underside of their bar & then Graham shortly after shook their crossbar again with another cracking long range shot.

Into the 2nd half & the lads came flying out the blocks again forcing Alness onto the back foot to which they were struggling to get at us at all which again was down to the lads work & quality in possesion we were moving the ball well & cutting them open at will but we did manage to squander the good goal scoring chance we created which is always a bit off a concern when up against any team & Alness are a very descent team so it was a bit of relief when we won a penalty after a good run into their box by young Darren Banks & was felled , Graham obuvisly in the mood stepped up & fired an unstoppable pen into the keepers left hand post , we continued to press but with just under 15 left conceded a goal but managed to see the game out A great performance but & theirs always a but the lads have set a high standard for themselves now so myself & Ross ( havahardheadbutt) will be looking for more of the same this sat when we are on the road again this time a cup semi final down at Invergordon.


Stevie Reid

Monday 17th of September 2012

We managed to get a hold of James Mackay ( not the stumpy fella by the way ) on Friday from Wick Academy and what a debut from him in our North Caley Cup quarter final match against Golspie with the game looking like a draw all the way well in the 90 mins anyway we introduce James & what an impact he proved to be he looked sharp straight away causing golspie problems with his directness and then he unleashes a screamer into the top corner a goal worthy off winning any game.

Again the wind played a factor in both teams struggling to get a right grip of the game also i thought the two sending offs were a bit harsh 1st ex thurso player John Smith (Buff) for a soft 2nd yellow & then just before half time James Murray got his marching orders for what looked like a good solid tackle all day long but the ref saw it differently and that was the sides leveled up again.

As i said the game it self wasn`t about silky football but more off trying to grind out a result & thankfully it went our way and we can look forward to a semi-final away to Invergordon on the 29th. Next up Alness United who by all accounts have stengthened again this year so it won`t be anything else but another really tough game


Stevie Reid

Friday 14th of September 2012

Last saturday saw us suffer our 1st defeat of season and to be honest we can have no real complaints over the 3-1 result , after yet another terrible start we found ourselves a goal down in under 2 minutes , Darren Banks managed to get us back in the game for a brief spell but we were caught napping again but our lads were not to happy with the officials waving away their shouts for what looked like a stonewall offside goal

The second half was a non event really both teams not managing to get a good grip of the game but we have a crack at Golspie again tommorow in a cup game , we have a couple of players back & we will be looking for a much improved performance & being at home will hopefully help us


Stevie Reid

Wednesday 5th of September 2012

Well, our good start of season continued on Saturday with a 3-2 win over Halkirk but it could have been a bit different it has to be said due the fact that again, I thought we started rather slowly but to be fair to Halkirk they came at us from the start and on another day Grant Macnab could have and maybe should have scored a couple of goals. We then found ourselves one down to a penalty. After the set back of going a goal down we started to get on the ball a bit more and thats when we got going and pushing Halkirk back. We deservedly scored the equaliser through James Murray. It was a well worked goal and soon after taking lead through another good finish from James, courtesy of a inch perfect cross from Darryn Mackay at that time we really were`nt wanting half time because I thought we were in command of the game and looking like possibly scoring another.

The 2nd half was a bit scrappy and both sides struggling a bit. Then that man James Murray goes and hits a screamer for his hat-trick as good a goal to win any game , again the game simmered out a bit and then at the death a goal for Halkirk.

In the end I would say a deserved win for us in which was another tough encounter. This Saturday we are away to Golspie Sutherland who personally judge as the bench mark for the league , they are always a tough street wise team who have their fair share off top players so we can expect yet another really tough game and certianly can`t afford to start as slow as we have the last 2 games but the lads know the score so am sure will be more than up for it. Again we will be missing Graham Macnab through suspension and also Alan Sinclair through work commitments but hoping that Graeme Williamson has shaken off an ankle injury.

Thursday 30th of August 2012

We entertain Halkirk United this saturday so it should an entertaining game for supporters . We have a number of players out for Halkirk's visit, with Michael Petrie still sidelined for a bit yet but on a positive note he will be starting light training this week so he is thankfully on the road to recovery. Chris Wann is a different matter as he is a longer concern for us and indeed himself. Sandy Sutherland is also unavailable this week after suffering a heavy knock last Saturday, but is hopefully fit for the following Saturday and finally goalkeeper Graeme Williamson is a major doubt after going over his ankle at training on Tuesday night. To be fair to Graeme he is wanting to leave it to the last minute cause its the same with all the players they dont want miss out on any game never mind the local derby

On a positive note, we welcome back Alan "Baba" Sinclair who has returned from his honeymoon who we all know will be a big player for us not only with his overall playing ability but his experience as well and along with the rest of the lads is I am sure raring to go on Saturday, Graham Macnab is also making a return from a one game ban which is great news for us as well because Graham showed in our North of Scotland cup tie against Brora that on his day he is more than a match for anyone.He certianly knows where the goal is and see`s an early pass so its good to welcome him back as well.

Halkirk will be another tough game even though they have lost a clutch of their long standing players. They still have a decent squad to pick from and I am sure Michael ,Nigel and Gavin will be making sure they make life as tough as possible for us on the day.

We are all looking forward to Saturday and hopefully getting a result that allows us to continue our good start to the season.

Hopefully see you all there

Stevie Reid

Monday 27th of August 2012

Well, we were after a good start to the season and we managed just that against Muir of Ord yesterday which was always going to be a tough game! Muir are a much changed outfit from last year a wee bit like ourselves and I would say it looked that way from our 1st half performance, which was very scrappy in that we didnt look after the ball nearly good enough and we never pressed the ball quick enough which allowed muir to come at us a bit to easily for myself and Ross`s liking.

Probably against he run of play we managed to take the lead from a Lee Elder corner. It was a great delivery from Lee and James Murray managed to steer his header in the goal. As I said probably against the run off play as we had a good few scares but managed to get through that spells of pressure from Muir . During the 1st half we suffered a double blow with first Chris Wann falling badly during a challenge with Tony Farquhar, leading to Chris needing hospital treatment and early signs are that he has suffered knee ligament damage so we wish him a full recovery. We made our 1st change putting on James Maclean and then 10-15mins from break Sandy Sutherland bravely went in on their keeper but unfortunately coming off 2nd best so we had to make our second change just before the break putting Darren Banks on .

The 2nd half - we were a bit slow out the blocks again at the start but once we found our feet and sharpened up we started to play a bit and our second goal was well worked and clinically finished off by James Murray for his 2nd the goal. This seemed to take a bit out of Muir of Ord and we continued to press and deserved our 3rd goal which came from Murray Macintosh, deservedly so, for his hard work and a good 2nd half showing. Muir of Ord then found themselves down a man after Ewan Dance kicked out at Graeme Williamson and was shown the red card. We kept pushing forward and James scored his hatrick and our final goal.

We then took our foot off the gas a wee bit after that and fell asleep allowing Muir to score in the end of the match. Overall a decent 2nd half display and already we can see what the new lads can bring to the club with a good solid display coming from Colin Sinclair who showed his excellent range off passing and awareness, Stuart Florence also showing his quality and versatility, Darren Banks for a young lad showed no fear and that he can certianly play a bit that's for sure, James Maclean also put in a good show with some telling passes and his strength on the deck and in the air plus last but by no means least Greg Shearer who everyone locally knows what he has been through, being the bravest off them all. It's great to see Greg up and running again at football and he made a telling difference when he came on in the 2nd half being the good player that he is .

It will be good now to get everyone settled in and training together throughout the months ahead . Next up a matter of a wee derby game so hopefully we will see you there supporting the team at The Dammies on Saturday. The match kicks off at 2.30 p.m


Stevie Reid

Thursday 23rd of August 2012

Well another season is here again and myself and Ross have been fairly busy during the summer building a squad to which we are now confident will hold Thurso FC in good stead for the season ahead and future seasons.

New additions to the squad as follows - Alan Sinclair (Baba) and his "quiet and reserved kind of guy", brother Colin, Graeme Williamson (goalkeeper), Darryn Mackay, Stuart Florence and also a couple of young lads, Darren Banks and Gary Farquhar, who showed up well in summer league with Thurso Pentlands, we also have the bonus of having Sandy "Bones" Sutherland back from his travels with no tan but a belter of a goatie beard well in his eyes it is ,So along with all the rest of the good players we have on board we are excited about the start of the season well maybe I should wait until after Saturday to say that on the down side of things we have lost Jamie Mackenzie to work commitments and also Gary (Ledley King) Macgregor who is having a break from football this winter. Not forgetting the Vikings record top goalscorer (189 goals) Mark Nichol who is working in Australia

So regarding this's game against Muir of Ord. We are missing Michael Petrie who suffered a nasty injury in summer league who will probably be out for a wee while yet also missing will be Baba who is off on honeymoon soaking up the rays cause he just loves the sun that lad!! another big player missing for us is Graham Macnab who showed the tail end of last season showed what a good player he is.

So, on to Muir of Ord Rovers. They are as tough an opponent as you can get. Billy and Herchie always have them well organised and they are just a strong and difficult team to play against no doubt they will have made a few changes themselves maybe a few from Dingwall Thistle who have unfortunatly folded and will be a big miss from the league as will Balintore.

To round off we are all looking forward to the start of new season and hopefully with a win which of course would be nice and we can all enjoy our tinnie afterwards ( of juice of course )

Last but most certainly not least I would like to mention the commitee who as usual have put a lot off hard work in throughout the summer getting The Dammies up to scratch for the season ahead also Donald and Jamie Macdonald who have done a great job off getting the pitch looking great.


Stevie Reid