The 2021-22 Season may have just finished, but we already know our first 4 fixtures of Season 2022-23
The Premier Sports Cup draw took on Wednesday and we were drawn in Group B alongside Kilmarnock, Partick Thistle, Montrose and Fraserburgh. We will host Partick Thistle and Fraserburgh at Ochilview and we’ll release ticket and hospitality details in the coming weeks. We will also visit Kilmarnock as they prepare for life in the Premiership as well as a very underrated Montrose side from League One.
Kilmarnock Football Club, commonly known as Killie, are currently managed by Derek McInnes, who was appointed in January 2022. The club has achieved several honours since its formation in 1869, most recently the 2011–12 Scottish League Cup after a 1–0 win over Celtic at Hampden Park and the Scottish Championship title in 2022.
Kilmarnock Football Club is currently the oldest football club in the Scottish Premiership, and also the second oldest professional club in Scotland. Home matches are played at Rugby Park, a 17,889 capacity all seater stadium situated in the town itself. Kilmarnock took part in the first-ever official match in the Scottish Cup against the now-defunct Renton in 1873. The club have qualified for European competitions on nine occasions, their best performance coming in the 1966–67 Fairs Cup when they progressed to the semi-finals, eventually being eliminated by Leeds United. The club is also one of only a few Scottish clubs to have played in all three European competitions (European Cup, Cup Winners’ Cup and the UEFA Cup).
Kilmarnock have a long-standing football rivalry with fellow Ayrshire side Ayr United, with both teams playing frequently in the Ayrshire derby in which both sides first met in September 1910. Kilmarnock have long been the most successful side in the Ayrshire derby, winning 189 times in 256 meetings. The club nickname, Killie, is the Scottish term for the town of Kilmarnock.
We will visit Rugby Park on our final Group game on Saturday 23rd July with a 3pm kick off.
Partick Thistle Football Club are currently managed by Ian McCall. Despite their name, the club are based at Firhill Stadium in the Maryhill area of the city, and have not played in Partick since 1908. In the 2020–21 season, Thistle won Scottish League One, the third tier of the SPFL structure, and returned to the Scottish Championship, having been relegated from there in 2019–20.
Since 1936, Thistle have played in their distinctive red-and-yellow jerseys of varying designs, with hoops, stripes and predominantly yellow tops with red trims having been used, although in 2009 a centenary kit was launched in the original navy-blue style to commemorate 100 years at Firhill. Since 1908 the club have won the Scottish Second Division (third tier, now Scottish League One) twice and the Scottish First Division (second tier, now the Scottish Championship) six times, most recently in 2013. Thistle have won the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup in 1921 and 1971 respectively.
The club are currently managed by Ian McCall in his second spell in charge. Under Alan Archibald’s management, the club achieved promotion to the newly formed Scottish Premiership in 2013, and remained there for five consecutive seasons. During this spell Thistle secured major investment and in 2017 finished in the top six of Scottish football for the first time in over three decades. Key players such as Kris Doolan broke numerous records and became one of the club’s top goal scorers. Despite relegation in the 2017–18 Scottish Premiership season, Archibald remained as Thistle’s manager. However, after a poor start to the 2018–19 Scottish Championship campaign Archibald’s 5-year tenure came to an end. He returned to the club as McCall’s assistant in 2019.
We open our Premier Sports Cup campaign against the Jags who visit us at this stage for the 2nd consecutive year. The game is our first of the Season and is on Saturday 9th July with a 3pm kick off.
Montrose Football Club are currently managed by Stewart Petrie. The club was founded in 1879. They are members of the Scottish Professional Football League and currently play in Scottish League One, the third tier of football in Scotland.
The club was founded in 1879 and play at Links Park. They joined the Scottish Football League in 1923, along with near-neighbours Brechin City, in the newly founded Third Division. In 1923–24 they achieved a creditable fourth-placed finish. However, the following season Montrose finished at the bottom of the table, and despite signs of a recovery in 1925–26, lost their league place when the Third Division was scrapped owing to the financial difficulties experienced by many of the member clubs. Montrose are one of only three sides from that Third Division who are still competing today in the SPFL. The club was re-admitted to the Second Division in 1929–30. In the 1930s, the first few league seasons after re-admission were difficult, with the club regularly finishing in the bottom four of the table. Perhaps the best result of that difficult decade came in the Scottish Cup in season 1938–39, when, in the first round, Montrose sensationally knocked out holders East Fife by a 2–1 scoreline at Bayview Park, Methil.
At the end of the 2014–15 season, Montrose came last in League Two, but maintained their status in the SPFL after a 3–2 aggregate win in a play-off against Highland Football League champions Brora Rangers. The 2017/18 season was more notable for altogether happier reasons. They were promoted as League Two champions finishing one point ahead of Peterhead, who had pushed them all the way to the last game. This saw Montrose end 22 consecutive seasons in Scotland’s basement division.
We make the trip north to Montrose in our only midweek game of the Group stages. The game will be played on Tuesday 19th July with a 7.45pm kick off.
Fraserburgh Football Club are managed by Mark Cowie. The fishing port is known locally as ‘The Broch’ hence the club nickname. They currently play in the Highland Football League.
The club were formed in 1910 and play at Bellslea Park. Prior to 1910, they played as a select side made up of the best players from the local amateur league. The club’s colours (consisting of black and white stripes) were acquired from a local fish merchant who had links with Newcastle United, and the tradition has since been kept, with the traditional away kit consisting of a sky blue shirt, white shorts and sky blue socks. Fraserburgh’s first ever match was an away tie in the Scottish Qualifying Cup against rivals Peterhead, which Fraserburgh won 3–1. In their very first season they went on to win the Aberdeenshire Cup, defeating Buckie Thistle at Pittodrie Stadium.
They were granted admission into the Highland Football League in 1921 and up until that time they competed in the Aberdeenshire Cup and Scottish Cup.
Fraserburgh’s most famous victory was in the Scottish Cup on 31 January 1959, where they defeated Dundee, one of the top clubs in Scotland at the time, 1–0 at Bellslea Park.
Fraserburgh are now the permanent holders of the Qualifying Cup (North), as they won the last competition at Princess Royal Park, Banff when they beat Keith 2–1 in November 2006, with goals from Marc Dickson and Michael Stephen.
The club has progressed to the fourth round (last 32) of the Scottish Cup twice, in 2013–14 when they lost 3–0 away to The Warriors and in 2017–18 at home to Rangers where they also lost 3–0.
Last Season, Fraserburgh secured their fourth Highland League title, their first for 20 years. They lost out to Bonnyrigg Rose for a chance to be promoted to cinch League Two.
Our first meeting since that Scottish Cup victory back in 2013 will take place at Ochilview on Saturday 16th July at 3pm.