Spartans F.C.

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Not to be confused with AC Sparta Prague or Sparta Rotterdam.
Spartans
The Spartans FC Logo.png
Full name The Spartans Football Club
Founded 1951; 66 years ago (1951)
Ground Ainslie Park, Edinburgh
Ground Capacity 3,612 (534 seated)
Chairman Craig Graham
Manager Douglas Samuel
League Lowland League
2015–16 Lowland League, 2nd

The Spartans Football Club are a Scottish football club from Edinburgh. They are managed by Dougie Samuel. They were formed in 1951 by ex-players of Edinburgh University and the original intention was to field a team of graduates of the university. However, they have players from elsewhere as well. They play at Ainslie Park and wear white shirts, red shorts and white socks.[1]

The senior team plays in the Lowland Football League. They joined the new league in 2013 after playing in the East of Scotland Football League, where they became one of its most successful clubs from the 1970s. They have been allowed to play in the qualifying rounds of the Scottish Cup since 1978 and have qualified for the cup proper on several occasions.

Spartans had their top amateur side accepted into the junior set up in 2009. In their first season, they finished 2nd, just two points off the top slot and only promotion place. Spartans also have an under 20 squad who are managed by Les Atkinson. Spartans had an East of Scotland side up until season 15/16 managed by Colin Tomassi and Chris Anderson however this team folded. Spartans have a very successful academy.

As well as the Lowland League team, Spartans also have a Saturday amateur side, a Sunday amateur side and several women's teams, including The Spartans W.F.C., who play in the Scottish Women's Premier League.

History[edit]

The Spartans' most successful Scottish Cup run was in 2003–04, when they defeated Buckie Thistle 6–1 in front of a crowd of 450 in Edinburgh in the first round, before defeating Alloa Athletic 5–3 in a replay (the first game had been drawn 3–3) in Edinburgh in the second round. They then defeated Arbroath (who had been in the SFL First Division only the year before) 4–1 at Gayfield Park in the third round, before being beaten 4–0 at home by Scottish Premier League team Livingston in front of a full house of 3,000 fans at City Park.

Two seasons later in 2005–06, Spartans defeated Berwick Rangers, Lossiemouth and Queen's Park in the first three rounds of the Scottish Cup. They drew 0–0 with First Division side St Mirren in the last sixteen in front of 3,326 fans at City Park, earning a replay at Love Street, where they lost 3–0.

In the 2008–09 Scottish Cup, Spartans' cup run sent them to Pollok, winning through a replay, they then beat Annan Athletic 2–1. In the next round they beat Elgin City 2–1, before being knocked out by Airdrie United in the fourth round.

Spartans, along with four other clubs, submitted an application for entry into the Scottish Football League following Gretna relinquishing their league status on 3 June 2008.[2] Spartans lost out to Annan Athletic.

In November 2008, Spartans moved to a new purpose-built home at Ainslie Park, situated 500 yards from City Park in the Crewe Toll district of Edinburgh. The new facility includes a 504-seater stand and floodlights surrounding the main stadium pitch and an adjacent, full size artificial pitch with floodlights. Ainslie Park is now used daily by youth and adult Spartans teams, along with the general public. The club also won the league title this season.

In the 2009–10 season, Spartans won the quadruple, consisting of the East of Scotland Premier Division, the SFA South Challenge Cup, the King Cup and the League Cup. The 2009–10 league title gave Spartans back to back title wins for the first time since 2005.

During the 2010–11 season, Spartans won their third league title in a row. The next season they lost the league title on goal difference to Stirling University. While, in the 2012–13 season, they finished third in the league.

Spartans joined the newly formed Lowland Football League in 2013, they still have a reserve team that competes in the East of Scotland League. The club have progressed to the fifth round (last 16) of the 2014–15 Scottish Cup, defeating Clyde and Morton en route.[3]

In the fifth round of the competition, Spartans forced a replay with Berwick Rangers on 7 February 2015, thanks to an injury time equaliser from Ally MacKinnon to level the tie at 1–1, the game being played in front of 2504 supporters at Ainslie Park.[4][5]

Ainslie Park[edit]

Ainslie Park on Pilton Drive in north Edinburgh is the home ground of Spartans. The stadium has a capacity of 3,000 (504 seated). Ainslie Park is only part of the new project that Spartans have invested into their new ground. It is part of a wider development of the Spartans Community Football Academy. The new facility incorporates a fully enclosed stadium which meets SFA and SFL criteria, with a grass pitch, floodlights, seating for 504 spectators and an overall capacity of 3,000. A full size, floodlit artificial pitch sits adjacent to the main playing area and the accommodation incorporates six changing rooms, a club room, committee room and a physio room. The Club ground holds a P.A system and a bar for spectators.

Current Senior Squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
Scotland GK Blair Carswell
Scotland GK Ross Gilpin
Scotland DF Alistair MacKinnon
Scotland DF Eddie Malone
Scotland DF Ewan Saunderson
Scotland DF Blair Tolmie
Scotland DF Paul Thomson
Scotland MF Andy Mair
Scotland MF Alan Brown
No. Position Player
Scotland MF Bradley Raiker
England MF Dan Ward
Scotland MF Michael Herd
Scotland MF Craig Stevenson
Scotland MF Jamie Dishington
Scotland MF Dean Horribine
Scotland FW Blair Atkinson
Scotland FW Jack Beesley
Scotland FW Keith Murray

Honours[edit]

Notable players[edit]

The former Scotland international Eamonn Bannon had a spell playing for Spartans in the 1990s.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Club history page, "spartansfc.com"
  2. ^ Gretna relinquish league status, BBC Sports. Retrieved on 3 June 2008
  3. ^ "Spartans FC 2–1 Morton". BBC Sport. BBC. 29 November 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Spartans 1-1 Berwick Rangers". Retrieved 24 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "Ally Ally Ally oohhh… MacKinnon's late strike secures Scottish Cup replay - The Spartans FC Official Website – Live together. Play together. Win together.". Retrieved 24 July 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°58′17.69″N 3°13′59.58″W / 55.9715806°N 3.2332167°W / 55.9715806; -3.2332167