SYFA Challenge Cup finals 2012 preview article
Author: Ryan Rowe
In 2018, Bonnyton Thistle will celebrate 40 years as a club. Those 40 years have been laden with trophies, glory and stardom.
Bonnyton Thistle re-formed into its present set-up in 1978, by the work of members of Bonnyton Youth Club. The main thrusting power over the coming years was Ian Higgins, who has been with the club since day one and has kept it going on his own at times over the years. He indeed is the mastermind behind the under19s’ glory – leading them to consecutive SYFA Challenge Cup Finals and many more domestic successes. His forceful, inspiring and keen management skills led the team to victory in last season’s Scottish Cup, hopefully they can do so again this year and make history.
Over the years, Bonnyton Thistle has earned an excellent reputation in Ayrshire for being well run, successful and competitive.
The aim of the club, as stated in their Constitution is: "To foster and develop the participation by youths in organised Youth Amateur Association Football in Scotland" and "To provide the provision of facilities for the participation in youth football in Bonnyton".
Bonnyton Thistle 19s play in the Glasgow and District Youth Football League Division A currently, and have been successful there. This season they have not only reached the final of the SYFA Cup, but also enjoyed success in League Cups. They currently sit proudly at the top of the league, a point ahead of rivals Harmony Row, with a game in hand. The title is inevitable in many people’s eyes.
Many of Bonnyton’s current crop have been touted for late progression to Pro-Youth level. Indeed, many of Bonnyton’s former players have made the step up. Here are some of the former Bonnyton Thistle players who have went in to ply their trade at Senior level:
Derek Stillie at Gillingham (formerly of Aberdeen, Wigan Athletic, Dunfermline and Dundee United)
Neil McGowan at Queen Of The South (on loan at Stranraer).
John Robertson at Partick Thistle.
Mark Campbell at Raith Rovers.
Craig Conway at Cardiff.
Craig Pettigrew and Chris Robertson at Ayr United.
Patrick Walker at Albion Rovers.
The first player to make the breakthrough from Bonnyton to Professional was Alan Mahood, who played for Greenock Morton, Nottingham Forest and Kilmarnock but had to retire from the game due to injury. Alan currently works for Kilmarnock FC on their community programme.
All in all, Bonnyton Thistle have a proud history. The lcub has won numerous trophies over the years, becoming a dominant force in the West of Scotland. Last year, they showed they were good enough to become kings of Scotland. Can they be crowned again this year? Only time and #Bonnytonlove will tell. Do Ayrshire proud boys!