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Ayr United In IRN-BRU Cup

Shire have been drawn to face SPFL League 1 side Ayr United at home in the first round of the 2017/18 IRN-BRU Cup.

The draw was made on Tuesday in Coatbridge and the tie will be played at Ochilview on Wednesday 16th August and will have a 7:45pm kick-off. Admission prices have been set at £10.00 for adults and £5.00 for concessions.

The match will be the fourth time the teams will have met in the competition which began life in 1990 as the Centenary Cup, with Shire currently 2-1 up in the series.

The Honest Men won the first clash of the side in 1994/95 on penalties after the match at Firs Park had ended in a 1-1 draw.

The next meeting in the competition was Shire’s first-ever home game at Ochilview at the start of the 2008/09 season and it looked as though Ayr United were heading through until Dean Richardson levelled the scores with four minutes left.

Just as everyone was settling down and preparing for extra-time, though, Andy Rodgers hit an injury-time winner for Shire.

The two sides were drawn again in the Challenge Cup at the start of the 2011/12 season in what was John Coughlin’s first match as Shire’s head coach.

His new-look Shire team performed brilliantly and defeated Ayr 3-1 thanks to strikes from Kevin Turner and a Michael Herd double.

Although Shire and Ayr United have not met in league action since 1987/88 we have become familiar cup opponents and this match will be the fifth competitive cup meeting in 10 years – the two Challenge Cup meetings coming close to two more matches in the League Cup.

It should be a game for Shire head coach John Sludden to look forward to. He scored almost 80 goals for the Somerset Park club as a player during a five season spell there in the 1980s helping them win the SFL Second Division title in 1987/88 season.

Shire striker Andy Rodgers also had a season at Ayr United and he, along with club captain Derek Ure, both played in the 2008/09 victory and will be looking forward to what should be another exciting cup-tie.

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Highland Friendly Announced

The club has announced another pre-season friendly date prior to the Lowland League action starting.

Shire will travel to face Highland League Cove Rangers on Saturday 22nd July with a 3:00pm kick-off.

The friendly encounter will be played at Links Park in Montrose as Cove Rangers still have not moved into their new home stadium in Aberdeen. It will be the first time the two teams have met since a couple of epic Scottish Cup games in the early 1990s.

The match is the third pre-season match fixed up so far – Shire will face East of Scotland League Tynecastle at Little Kerse on Tuesday 11th July and will travel to take on West of Scotland Junior Superleague Club Arthurlie in Barrhead on Saturday 15th July.

The Cove Rangers match will be open to the public and admission prices will be announced as soon as we have them.

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Shire Welcome Back Tapping

Former Shire defender Jordan Tapping has re-joined the club after a two-and-a-half year break.

The 20 year-old central defender made 20 SPFL appearances over the course of the 2013/14 and 2014/15 seasons, scoring one goal in a 3-1 away defeat at East Fife in August 2014.

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He left the club at the end of his second season and joined Sauchie Juniors after a trial spell there and he has spent two full seasons at Beechwood Park, helping the Clackmannanshire team win the East Region Premier League title in 2016/17 and promotion back to the Superleague.

Coach John Sludden set strengthening the central defensive positions a priority following the end of Michael Oliver’s loan spell from Clyde at the conclusion of last season and Jordan should be able to fit the bill.

He was a very popular player during his first spell with the club, after originally joining from Larbert Athletic and making his way into the senior side at just 17 years of age, and we are sure his return to Shire will be a very popular move.

Welcome back, Jordan.

East Stirlings Andy Rodgers in second half action..East Stirling v Cumbernauld Colts, Lowland League, September 10th 2016. (c) Paul Cram | Johnstone Press

IRN-BRU Cup Draw

Shire will find out the identity of our IRN-BRU Cup first round opponents next week.

The draw for the opening set of fixtures will be made on Tuesday (27th June) at 1pm and you can watch it live on the SPFL Facebook page. The opening round games are scheduled to be played on Tuesday 15th August and Wednesday 16th August.

The draw will be regionalised and Shire will be in the South Section. Changes to the overall format of the IRN-BRU Cup mean there will be 48 teams entering at this point split evenly between the South Section and the North Section.

The teams we can potentially face will come from the SPFL Championship, League 1, League 2, the Lowland League and the SPFL Development League.

SPFL CHAMPIONSHIP : Dumbarton, Morton, Livingston, Queen of the South, St. Mirren.

LEAGUE 1 : Airdrieonians, Albion Rovers, Ayr United, Queen’s Park, Stranraer.

LEAGUE 2 : Annan Athletic, Berwick Rangers, Clyde, Edinburgh City.

SPFL DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE : Celtic, Hamilton Academical, Kilmarnock, Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Rangers.

LOWLAND LEAGUE : East Kilbride, Spartans, Stirling University.

The 24 winners of the first round ties will go into the second round where they could end up playing one of the six overseas teams from the Irish League, The League of Ireland and the Welsh Premier League. The teams from Northern Ireland are Crusaders and Linfield, from the Republic of Ireland Bray Wanderers and Sligo Rovers and the two Welsh teams, The New Saints and Gap Connah’s Quay.

Be sure to look out on Tuesday for full details of Shire’s first round opponents.

East Stirlings Andy Rodgers in second half action..East Stirling v Cumbernauld Colts, Lowland League, September 10th 2016. (c) Paul Cram | Johnstone Press

2017/18 Season Ticket Prices

The club has announced details of the 2017/18 season ticket prices, with rates again being set at a competitive rate for regulars coming to Shire’s 2017/18 season Lowland League games at Ochilview.

Adult season tickets will cost £80.00 this year with concession prices set at £40.00.

As has become customary over the years there will be special deals for children and young people with those aged 16-18 able to watch all our Lowland League matches for just £10.00.

Children younger than 16 are eligible for a free season ticket although these MUST be purchased in conjunction with either an adult or an adult concession season ticket.

Anyone buying an adult season ticket and who comes to all, or even the majority, of our Ochilview matches will end up making a significant saving on walk-up prices.

Season tickets are valid only for our 15 home Lowland League games and will not be valid for any matches played in the various cup competitions which may be played at Ochilview over the course of the season.

 
Season Tickets Buy Online

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Hollie Taylor

Everyone at the club was saddened to learn of the death last week of five year-old local girl, Hollie Taylor.

Over the past season Shire players and officials had been helping raise cash for a fund set up for Hollie, who had cancer, to enable further research into the treatment of Malignant Rhabdoid Tumours, the rare condition Hollie was diagnosed with.

Shire striker Andy Rodgers was already involved with the fund-raising efforts when the club staged one of its Half-Time Charity Skills Challenges at an Ochilview match during last season.

That particular effort raised £1,000 for the Hollie Taylor fund, and Hollie herself came along to a game in April, along with her family, as the club’s guest to accept a cheque.

Sadly, Hollie died on Wednesday. Her funeral takes place at the Leapark Hotel in Grangemouth on Friday.

Our thoughts are with Hollie’s family at this sad time.

Donations can still be made to the Hollie Taylor Fund via the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group here .

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Kevin Kelbie Joins Shire

Coach John Sludden has made former Stirling Albion and Camelon Juniors striker Kevin Kelbie the first new addition to the Shire squad for the 2017/18 season.

The 32 year-old has spent the last three seasons with East Region Junior Superleague side Linlithgow Rose but will join Shire when his contract with the Prestonfield club expires later in the summer.

Stirling-born Kevin is a well-known figure in local football circles after his time at Camelon, where he played for two seasons before joining Linlithgow Rose in the summer of 2014.

The bulk of his playing career was spent, however, in the Irish League which covered seven seasons playing for Glentoran, Ballymena United, and Glenavon. He also has played in the Scottish League with Alloa Athletic and Morton as well

We all would like to welcome Kevin to the club.

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East Stirlings Andy Rodgers in second half action..East Stirling v Cumbernauld Colts, Lowland League, September 10th 2016. (c) Paul Cram | Johnstone Press

Cup Draw Made

Shire’s 2017/18 SFA South Region Challenge Cup campaign will begin with a home tie against South of Scotland League side Nithsdale Wanderers.

A date has not yet been released for this First Round match but last season’s fixtures in the opening stage of the competition took place in the middle of September.

The winners of this game will travel in round two take take on either Gala Fairydean Rovers or last season’s South of Scotland League runners-up, Wigtown & Bladnoch.

The game against Nithsdale Wanderers will be the first competitive meeting of the two teams since the 1920s – both were members of the Scottish Football League’s Third Division in 1923/24 season with Shire recording a home win and an away draw against the Sanquhar-based club.

Last season Shire reached the semi-final of the competition, losing to eventual runners-up, Cumbernauld Colts.

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Pre-Season Friendly Games

The first pre-season friendly games of the 2017/18 campaign have been announced.

Shire will face East of Scotland League side, Tynecastle FC, on Tuesday 11th July. The match will go ahead at the club’s training HQ at Little Kerse in Grangemouth.

They will then take on West Junior Superleague side Arthurlie in Barrhead on Saturday 15th July.

The Tynecastle match will have a 7:15pm kick-off and fans are welcome to come along and watch the game free of charge.

It will be a re-match of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup quarter-final between the teams last season, a game Shire won 3-2.

The trip to the southside of Glasgow the following Saturday will take Shire to Dunterlie Park for the first time in a number of years. The game against the former Junior Cup winners will kick-off at 2:30pm and admission is £4.00 for adults and £2.00 concessions.

Coach John Sludden is looking to fix a few more pre-season games and details of these will be announced in due course.

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FVFA Fundraising Auction

Our partners at the Forth Valley Football Academy are giving Shire fans the chance to bid to own some very collectible pieces of football memorabilia as part of a fundraising drive.

The Academy has opened the bidding for four framed, signed jerseys from top English Premier League stars Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Phillippe Coutinho, and Sergio Aguero.

If you want to stand a chance of being the successful bidder for any of these items them simply e-mail academy@forthvalleyfa.com between now and Sunday 11th June. The starting bid for each signed top is £200.00 and all proceeds will go directly to the Academy’s fundraising ventures.

Coutinho Hazard PogbaAguero

If you fancy having any of these four great items hanging on your wall at home then get bidding now and help the Academy at the same time.