11th place finish for Arbroath Vics in Juniors North Division

The junior football season came to a close on Saturday with the annual general meeting of the SJFA at the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline.

For Arbroath Vics, the first season of the newly expanded North Division proved to be a disappointment for the most part, and they eventually had to settle for an 11th place finish, the first time they had finished outwith the top six for seven seasons.

Inconsistency was the main reason for finishing in 11th place. There were impressive wins against Newburgh, Luncarty and Blairgowrie at home, which all but ended each of these clubs chances of promotion, but defeats to Scone Thistle and a draw with Lochee Harp, who both finished below them didn’t help.

Goalscoring didn’t appear to be a problem with 71 for, but when Vics did lose they tended to do so heavily as the final tally of 76 against would testify.

Probably Vics’ best result of the season was in the D J Laing East of Scotland Cup when they won away at Premier League, Jeanfield Swifts who were to finish the season fourth in their division.

It was the cup competitions where Vics turned in some of their best displays, but the draws weren’t kind to them as they were paired against teams from the Super League for the most part. In the GA Cup they were unlucky to lose 3-2 away to Lochee United who went on to win the competition, while in the second round of the East of Scotland they went down 2-1 away to Tayport. Arguably their hardest task was in the Scottish Junior Cup against Beith, but they put up a creditable show before going down 2-1 late in the game.

The North Division was won by Dundee North End who never looked like losing the title once they got in front and they eventually finished 14 points ahead of the team in second place. For most of the season it looked as if Kennoway Star Hearts, Downfield, Luncarty, Blairgowrie or Newburgh would join them in the Premier League as they all looked like they could claim second place, but a remarkable run by Forfar West End in the second half of the season saw them go 13 matches unbeaten to claim second whilst those mentioned all began to drop points.

At the foot of the table, Coupar Angus finished rock bottom without a single point from their 30 matches, conceding 192 goals in the process. Indeed it was remarkable they managed to keep going right up to the last day.

But at the SJFA AGM on Saturday they asked to be allowed to go into abeyance for a season.

Here’s hoping they are back in the fold the season after next.

Two clubs from the East Region, who were in abeyance last season, have intimated they won’t be returning as Bankfoot Athletic and Steelend Vics weren’t represented at the meeting and submitted letters of their intentions.

Three new clubs were admitted to the Association in the North Region, namely Aberdeen University, Spey Valley and Grantown, both the latter being based in Grantown-on-Spey.

Despite the season just having officially ended, Vics began pre-season training on Saturday as manager Jake Ferrier and assistant Derek Lawson began preparations for assembling a squad for 2014-15.