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Maryhill magic … Hill are on the rise

By on May 2, 2013
Maryhill FC, Lochburn Park

Partick Thistle aren’t the only club  lifting West End fans’ spirits this season, writes Ginny Clark, as a new chapter begins at the other end of Maryhill Road at Lochburn Park.

Maryhill didn’t manage to grab the Second Division crown, as the 1-1 draw against Vale of Clyde on May 1 left the junior side second to Cambuslang. But promotion had already been secured 11 days before and Brian Heron, who took over a struggling side in 2009, is now looking forward to the next step in Maryhill’s revival.

The Maryhill manager is immensely proud of what his side have achieved but admits: “It’s been a tough season. In fact, it’s been a long and hard three years. We really have been three years getting here. We’re just looking ahead now.

“What’s made the difference this term is we’ve had a settled squad for the first time and some consistency. A few contracts are up now so we’ll see what happens to the squad. The summer will take care of itself in terms of what some of our players decide.”

Heron and his No.2 George Wall might be disappointed they will not start their new campaign in the Central District First Division as promoted champions. But promotion is enough – and they can be proud of a job well done for a side that has endured a difficult start to this century.

Formed in 1884, Maryhill is proud of a history with Danny McGrain, Tommy Burns and Jim Duffy just a few of the famous names who have helped to write it. Central League Premier Division champions for two seasons running until 1998, the Hill have dropped and bounced since.

Some might argue the success of First Division champions Thistle, their very near neighbours, can’t have helped.

But Heron dismisses this. He said: “What happens with Thistle doesn’t really affect us in a negative way. In fact, the opposite is true. They have been very supportive of us, sometimes helping us out with young players. We have a very good relationship and we hope that continues next season.”

In the social club, the talk is all about next season, about their hopes for more success, bigger crowds – like Maryhill had in the Premier Division days. After the summer, Heron’s hard work begins all over again.

Right now, in this corner of the city, the kids with footballs at their feet don’t have too far to look for heroes.

 

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