Airdrie United: Wikis

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Airdrie United F.C.
Airdrieunited.PNG
Full name Airdrie United Football Club
Nickname(s) The Diamonds
Founded 2002
Ground New Broomfield
Airdrie
Scotland
(Capacity: 10,172)
Chairman Scotland Jim Ballantyne
Manager Scotland Kenny Black
League Scottish First Division
2008–09 Scottish First Division, 9th
Home colours
Away colours

Airdrie United Football Club is a Scottish professional football team based in the town of Airdrie, North Lanarkshire. They are members of the Scottish Football League and play in the First Division following a last-minute reprieve from relegation to the Second Division after Livingston were demoted to the Third Division due to financial worries.

The club were created in 2002 after the old Airdrie club Airdrieonians went into liquidation.

Airdrie have won two trophies in their short history. The first came in the 2003–04 season when they were crowned champions of the Scottish Second Division. They reached the Challenge Cup final they same year but were edged out by Inverness Caledonian Thistle. Their second trophy was the MG Alba Challenge Cup which they won in 2008 by beating Ross County on penalties. The match was a 2-2 thriller before Marc Smyth slotted home the winning penalty, sending Airdrie fans into raptures.

The current manager is former Airdrieonians player Kenny Black, while the club captain is Paul Lovering.

Contents

History

The club were formed in 2002, following the bankruptcy of Airdrieonians. . Airdrieonians had finished runners-up in the Scottish First Division in the 2001–02 season but went out of business with debts approaching £3 million. The collapse of "The Diamonds", as they were known due to their distinctive kits, created a vacancy in the Scottish Football League (in the Scottish Third Division) and local Airdrie man and Airdrieonians fan Jim Ballantyne attempted, with the help of others, to gain entry with a club called "Airdrie United" who were essentially to be a re-incarnation of Airdrieonians. Their application, however, was rejected as the then English Northern Premier League side Gretna were preferred by league members over the new Airdrie team. Ballantyne went on to complete a buy-out of the ailing Second Division side Clydebank and, with SFL approval, The club were relocated to Airdrie, the strips were transformed to resemble that of Airdrieonians and the name was changed to Airdrie United.

Airdrie United's first match took place at New Broomfield against Forfar Athletic with captain Stephen Docherty scoring the only goal of the game as the Diamonds won 1–0. This first season in existence saw the club take the form of promotion challengers and only narrowly fail to achieve this aim due to a late injury-time goal from Brechin City which saw them promoted ahead of the Diamonds. Airdrie shocked Premier League outfit Kilmarnock by knocking them out of that seasons Scottish League Cup on penalties at Rugby Park.

The first trophy came in the 2003–04 season, only the club's second in existence, when they won the Second Division Championship and gained promotion to the First Division. Sandy Stewart's side had started poorly but went on a run that saw them unbeaten in the last 18 games of the season. The final game of this run and of the league campaign saw a crowd of over 5,000 at New Broomfield to watch Airdrie defeat Greenock Morton 2–0 and lift the League Championship trophy, the club having been confirmed champions the previous week following their 1–0 victory away to Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park. In the same season, Airdrie United reached the final of the Scottish Challenge Cup, but lost 2–0 to Inverness Caledonian Thistle at McDiarmid Park.

In Airdrie's first season in the First Division they finished 5th, following this with a 6th place finish in 2005–06 season. Manager, Sandy Stewart was sacked early in the 2006–07 season, after over four years in charge, and was replaced by former Airdrieonians player and Airdrie United coach Kenny Black, his first management post.[1] Under Black the Diamonds finished the season 9th in the league, consigning them to the Scottish First Division Play-Off position. After beating Brechin City in the semi-final, by an aggregate score of 6–1, Airdrie lost the final against Stirling Albion 5–4 on aggregate, relegating the club for the first time in their short history.

Airdrie started 2007–08 poorly, though the Diamonds form improved and they finished second in the table behind Ross County, entering them into the promotion playoffs with Clyde, Raith Rovers, and Alloa Athletic. Airdrie beat Raith 4–2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, before losing to their former groundsharing landlords Clyde 3–0 on aggregate, leaving Airdrie in the second division for the 2008–09 season. However, the enforced relegation of Gretna to the third division, following their being put into administration, caused a restructuring of the leagues, with Airdrie being promoted by virtue of being the losing play-off finalists.

Season 2008–09 saw mixed fortunes for the club. Having started the league campaign brightly, Airdrie slipped down to the bottom end of the table. However, a Co-Operative Insurance Cup run saw the club overcome Ross County and Hearts, before exiting to Dundee Utd. in the 3rd round. The MG Alba Challenge Cup final win over Ross County saw fans treated to a 3–2 penalty shoot out victory after a 2–2 draw, with previous round wins to savour over Dumbarton, East Fife, Cowdenbeath and Partick Thistle.

This success did not go unnoticed, and much speculation surrounded manager Kenny Black in early November, with the media reporting him to be linked with the then vacant manager's seat at Dundee. However, this was put to bed as Black finally signed a contract with Airdrie.

Ultimately though the season ended in major disappointment and frustration - Airdrie escaped automatic relegation but again found themselves in a series of play-off games. Having disposed of Peterhead in the first 2 games by way of an aggregate score of 4-1, the final saw the Diamonds paired with Second Division runners up Ayr Utd. in the 2 legged final. Having returned from Somerset Park with a 2-2 draw, the Lanarkshire men were unable to defeat their Ayrshire opponents, losing the game 0-1 at New Broomfield. The defeat sealed the club to a 2nd relegation and a 3rd successive play off final loss.

With much pressure from the fans on the manager Kenny Black, chairman Jim Ballantyne announced in May the club would remain full-time with Black at the helm, leading the club in search of the 2009-2010 2nd Division Championship. Anything less, in Ballantyne's words " would be failure ". However, the Diamonds were given a reprieve as the continued uncertainty over the future of Livingston meant that the West Lothian club were relegated to the Third division, so Airdrie were re-instated to the First by virtue of losing play-off finalists. Also, the move has seen Airdrie given a second lifeline in just two years after the previous demise of Gretna.

Season 2009-10 started off poorly for the club - losing their retaining grip on the MG Alba Challenge Cup by going out to Partick Thistle 0-1 in the 1st round, and their opening Co-operative Insurance Cup tie was a 1st round match at home against Alloa which they lost 4-3 on penalties after a goalless 90 minutes and extra time.

Additionally, they have found life in the first division extremely hard, with only 12 points gathered from 23 games, meaning that they are bottom of the league. And despite managing to pull off a Scottish Cup 3rd round surprise by winning 4-0 against then league leaders Queen of the South, they lost to Raith Rovers at home in the 4th round replay.

Stadium

New Broomfield main entrance

Airdrie United play their home fixtures at Excelsior Stadium, Airdrie, unofficially known as New Broomfield. The defunct Airdrieonians' previous home was sold to supermarket chain Safeway later becoming Wm. Morrisons, who were given permission to build a new store on the site. This transaction has been accused of being the cause of financial ruination of Airdrieonians, as their old ground was demolished several years before the new ground was given planning permission. In the intervening years the club ground-shared Broadwood Stadium, in Cumbernauld, the home of Clyde.

Colours

Airdrie United have inherited Airdrieonians' distinctive playing colours of a white top with a red diamond. The design gave rise to Airdrieonians' nickname, The Diamonds, which has also been adopted by Airdrie United.

Rivals

For supporters, the football club's main rivals are Motherwell, Partick Thistle, Hamilton Academical and Albion Rovers.

Officials

  • Chairman: Jim Ballantyne
  • Directors: Ann Marie Ballantyne, Rose Ballantyne
  • Honorary President: Ian McMillan
  • Manager: Kenny Black
  • Assistant Manager/Under 19s Manager: Jimmy Boyle

Current squad

As of 11 September 2009 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Scotland GK Lee Hollis
Scotland GK Stephen Robertson
Scotland DF Bobby Donnelly
Scotland DF Paul Lovering
Scotland DF David Nixon
Northern Ireland DF Marc Smyth (vice-captain)
Australia DF Simon Storey
Scotland DF Tom Parratt
England MF Kevin McDonald (vice-captain)
Scotland MF Ryan McCann
No. Position Player
Scotland MF Scott McLaughlin
Australia MF Frankie Lagana
Scotland MF Darren Smith
Scotland MF Alan Trouten
Scotland MF Ricky Waddell
Scotland MF Fraser Keast
Scotland FW John Baird
Scotland FW Scott Gemmill
Scotland FW Kevin Watt
Republic of Ireland FW Paul Keegan
Republic of Ireland FW Diarmuid O'Carroll

Managers

Name Reign Achievements
Scotland Kenny Black 2006- Scottish Second Division Promotion to Scottish First Division 2007-08MG Alba Challenge Cup 2008
Scotland Sandy Stewart 2002 to 2006 Scottish Second Division Champions 2003–04, Challenge Cup Runners-Up 2003–04

Honours & records

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Honours

General Club Records

Record Type Record Additional Information
Most League Points in a Season 70 in Second Division 2002–03
Most League Goals by a Player in Season 19, Allan Russell in Second Division 2007–08
Record Total League Appearances
Record Total League Goals 34, Stephen McKeown
Record Attendance 5,924 v Motherwell on 06/1/07 in Scottish Cup 3rd round at New Broomfield
Record Win 7–0 v Dundee on 11/03/05 in First Division
Record Loss 1–6 v Greenock Morton on 1/11/03 in Second Division

Performance

Scottish Football League

Season League Position Additional Information
2008–09 First Division 9th Lost in play-offs, but reprieved due to Livingston's demotion
2007–08 Second Division 2nd Promoted to First Division due to demise of Gretna
2006–07 First Division 9th Relegated to Second Division after defeat in Play-Offs
2005–06 First Division 6th
2004–05 First Division 5th
2003–04 Second Division 1st Promoted to First Division as Champions
2002–03 Second Division 3rd

Scottish Cup

Scottish League Cup

  • Best performance - 5th Round 2008–09

Scottish Challenge Cup

Statistics

Average attendance

Season Average Highest
2007–08 1,068 2,909
2006–07 1,429 2,321
2005–06 1,426
2004–05 2,014 4,133
2003–04 1,861 5,704
2002–03 1,440 2,285

Top league goalscorers

Season Player Goals scored
2008-09 Scotland Simon Lynch 19
2007–08 Scotland Allan Russell 19
2006–07 Scotland Gary Twigg 10
2005–06 Scotland Bryan Prunty 15
2004–05 Republic of Ireland Owen Coyle 14
2003–04 Republic of Ireland Owen Coyle 13
2002–03 France Jérôme Vareille 18

Awards

Official Club Player of the Year

Season Senior Player of the Year Young Player of the Year
2008–09 Scotland Stephen Robertson Scotland Bobby Donnelly
2007–08 Scotland Allan Russell Scotland Kevin Watt
2006–07 Scotland Neil McGowan Scotland Stephen McKenna
2005–06 Scotland Bryan Prunty Scotland Steven McDougall
2004–05 Scotland Marvyn Wilson Scotland Stephen McKenna
2003–04 Scotland David Dunn Scotland Willie McLaren
2002–03 France Jérôme Vareille Scotland Stephen McKeown

Hall of Fame

Season Inductee
2008–09 Scotland Evan Balfour, Scotland Jackie Keenan
2007–08 Scotland Jimmy Sandison, Scotland Stephen McKeown,Scotland John Lapsley,Scotland Jimmy Crapnell
2006–07 Scotland Stephen Docherty, Scotland Paul Jack,Scotland Jimmy Reid
2005–06 Scotland Alex MacDonald, Scotland Willie McCulloch, Scotland Jimmy Conner
2004–05 Scotland Brian McKeown, Scotland Lawrie Leslie
2003–04 England Steve Cooper, Scotland Billy Wilson
2002–03 Spain Antonio Calderón, Scotland Alan Lawrence, Scotland Jimmy Welch

See also

References

External links

Official Site

News pages

Photography


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