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Duffy takes over from Kinvig at Oban Celtic
Allan Duffy will be Dougie MacIntyre’s assistant manager at Oban Celtic for the forthcoming shinty season.
Duffy steps up from his responsibilities with the Celtic second team to replace Les Kinvig whose role as Camanachd Association Development Officer will affect his match day availability.
It is an ideal switch for Oban Celtic, providing experience and continuity ahead of their Mowi National Division campaign which is now only five weeks away.
On the field, Celtic’s attacking options have been boosted as former Taynuilt player Scott Dempster joins the club. There are also another couple of signing possibilities in the pipeline.
Oban Celtic’s pre-season programme starts with Lochaber’s visit on Saturday February 5. Celtic will travel south to take on their Kyles Athletic counterparts the week after, whilst Glasgow Mid Argyll come to Oban on Saturday February 19. The club are looking to arrange an away friendly match for Saturday February 26 with the new shinty season starting just seven days later.
Les Kinvig takes interim charge of Oban Celtic’s second team with discussions ongoing regarding a permanent appointment.
The Oban Celtic colts have arranged to host the Lochaber seconds on Saturday February 19, whilst they travel to Ardnamurchan a week later.
In other off-field developments, Vivienne Duffy is club secretary, including second team fixtures secretary, and Calum Fox is assisting with coaching and training.
Oban Celtic AGM
Oban Celtic will hold their annual general meeting at The Lodge, Albany Street, Oban, on Friday January 28.
Club president Andrew MacKenzie will lead the meeting which starts at 7.30pm.
Cameron and Lord to lead Oban Camanachd
Oban Camanachd boss Gareth Evans has named Daniel Cameron and Garry Lord as his on-field leaders for the 2022 shinty season.
Daniel Cameron has captained the side in recent seasons and will continue to skipper the side in the Mowi Premiership and Tulloch Homes Camanachd Cup competitions, whilst Garry Lord will be captain in the Artemis Macaulay Cup and the Scottish Sea Farms Glasgow Celtic Society Cup.
Gareth Evans said: ‘Dan is a leader and has been captain for a few years now although Keith MacMillan did skipper the side in the Celtic Society Final at the end of last season in what was his final game for the club.
‘Garry’s commitment to an amateur sport for so long now means he deserves to take a share of the responsibilities. Garry has captained the side before and the club is lucky to have two such leaders on the pitch.
‘Both players were happy to leave it to be my call. They are not in it for the glory. Both just want to do their best for the team.
‘Training has been going well and having Fraser Inglis lead the sessions has given everyone a huge boost.’
It has been confirmed the pre-season friendly between Oban Camanachd and Fort William on Saturday February 26 will take place at Mossfield with a noon start.
This will be the club’s third pre-season friendly as they take on Lochaber at Mossfield on Saturday February 12, before travelling to the Winterton to face Inveraray a week later.
‘Papa’ has change of heart
Andrew ‘Papa’ MacCuish will not be available for Oban Camanachd’s start to the new season.
Scottish international MacCuish returned to the side towards the end of last season and had initially indicated he would be available. However, family and work commitments have meant he cannot commit to pre-season training.
Gareth Evans said: ‘It’s a pity Papa can’t be involved for the foreseeable future but the door is always open to him if he can make training.’
All change for Oban youths
Oban Camanachd and Oban Celtic have both made significant changes at youth level.
Former first team manager Stephen Sloss will oversee Oban Camanachd’s youth set-up whilst also taking charge of their under-17 side for the new season.
His role will include ensuring the club has a conveyor belt of talent through their under-14, under-17s and into the Lochside squad as preparation for playing for Oban Camanachd.
Sloss takes over from Stephen Campbell who Oban Camanachd thanked for all the work he has put in over recent years. Campbell now becomes Oban Celtic’s youth manager, leading their under-14s and under-17s. Oban Celtic youth training is between 6pm and 7pm on Monday evenings at Oban High School and everyone is welcome.
Stephen Campbell also helps with the Oban Celtic primary school age mini-shinty which completed a successful eight-week block before Christmas.
A new 12-week block is under way with Saturday morning – 10am to 11am – sessions taking place at the blaze pitch at Mossfield. It is only £1 per child and sticks and helmets can be provided if necessary.
Lochaber boss Delaney sets pre-season test
Lochaber first team manager Danny Delaney has confirmed his side’s pre-season programme.
Lochaber open with a trip to Oban Celtic on Saturday February 5 before returning to Oban to play Oban Camanachd a week later.
Next up is a derby against Kilmallie on Saturday February 26 with the new competitive shinty season scheduled to start a week after.
Lochaber’s 2021 season got off to a delayed start because of covid with their opening match delayed until mid-July. They only played seven competitive games in total. They will hope for a bigger run of games this term.
The Lochaber second team has a friendly against Ardnamurchan on Saturday 5 February 5 and face Glenorchy the week after.
The Oban Celtic seconds and Lochcarron provide the opposition in the Saturdays preceding the start of the new season.
Meantime the club is pushing ahead with some eye-catching fundraising initiatives.
They completed a 10-mile sponsored walk on Saturday January 22, raising almost £1,700.
Danny Delaney is going the extra mile in a club fund raising effort, committing to have his chest waxed if a £2,000 target is met. The Spean Bridge club has set up a Just Giving page, which can be accessed via its Facebook page, to collect pledges.
Kilmallie Shinty Club annual general meeting
Kilmallie shinty Club will hold its annual general meeting at Caol Community Centre on Saturday January 29.
It is another big year for the club as they return to the Mowi Premiership.
The meeting starts at 11am and everyone is urged to attend as there is much to discuss and a need to plan ahead.
cottages.com MacTavish Cup receives makeover
MacTavish Cup sponsors cottages.com and the Camanachd Association have revealed a new logo for the 2022 cottages.com MacTavish Cup competition.
The logo amalgamates the sponsors and the competition for the first time, symbolising the continued partnership and commitment from cottages.com to the sport.
Cottages.com is entering its fifth year as MacTavish Cup sponsors after signing a two-year extension in December 2021.
The competition was first contested in 1898 when Skye Camanachd lifted the trophy so it is fitting this season’s first round ties will be drawn at Bun-Sgoil Ghaidhlig Phort Righ – Portree Gaelic School – on Monday February 14. Sixteen sides will set their sights on the cottages.com MacTavish Cup Final which takes place at Bught Park, Inverness, on Saturday June 11.
Kinlochshiel are holders, lifting the trophy for the first time last season with a 3-2 victory over Kingussie in the final.
Kinlochshiel goalkeeper Josh Grant said: ‘It’s a great cup to win and I know as a team we feel very proud to have won it.
‘This new logo should heighten the cup’s profile even more, which can only be a good thing.
‘We want to emulate our win in 2021 but we have to stay humble. The hard work of pre-season is already well under way.’
cottages.com owner acquisition manager Stuart Walkden added: ‘For the fifth consecutive year, we are absolutely delighted to be title sponsors for the MacTavish Cup and can’t wait for the action to begin.
‘The new logo unifies our ongoing commitment to the development of shinty and to our partnership with the Camanachd Association.
‘Good luck to everyone involved in this year’s competition.’
MacPherson switches to Caberfeidh
Kingussie wing centre Kieran MacPherson has switched allegiance to Caberfeidh for the 2022 shinty season.
MacPherson works as a green keeper at the Strathpeffer Golf Course and found it a struggle last season to commit to the twice-weekly trip to Kingussie for training as well as match days as he works some Saturdays.
MacPherson could have an early reunion with his former teammates as Kingussie visit Castle Leod on Saturday February 12 in a friendly match to contest the Bill Macpherson Memorial Plate.
Meantime, Cameron Bremner has joined Kingussie from Glenurquhart and is likely to start off with their second team, now managed by Iain Borthwick and his assistant Craig Dawson.
Newtonmore to confirm managers
Newtonmore have set an emergency general meeting for Thursday January 27 to confirm its first team’s new management arrangements.
Norman MacArthur, Evan Cheyne and Colin Stewart have been put in interim charge and their appointment, with the possible addition of one other person, is expected to be confirmed at the extraordinary general meeting.
Norman MacArthur managed Newtonmore between 2006 and 2012, winning three consecutive league titles towards the end of his tenure, a MacTavish Cup and the Camanachd Cup for the first time in 25 years.
The new coaching team replaces Orsten Gardner who stepped down from the manager’s role at the end of last season.
Snowboarder Lesley McKenna, who has competed in three Winter Olympic Games, is taking the club’s training sessions.
Fort back in action
The Fort William first team will play their first pre-season friendly match of the year when they visit the Eian to take on Newtonmore on Saturday 29 January 2022.
Throw up is at 1pm.