Ex-Crawley Town coach confirmed as new Fort manager

Chris Baffour who has been announced as the new coach of Fort William FC this week. Photograph: Fort William FC. NO F24 Chris Baffour 03
Chris Baffour who has been announced as the new coach of Fort William FC this week. Photograph: Fort William FC. NO F24 Chris Baffour 03

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Fort William Football Club has confirmed its new manager is former Crawley Town under-23 coach Chris Baffour.

The Claggan Park club says it is delighted with Baffour’s hiring for the 2022/23 season.

Baffour, who also does one to one analysis with various professional footballers, holds a UEFA C licence and PFSA levels one to three in analysis.

Asked to comment, a club spokesperson told the Lochaber Times: ‘Chris fitted the bill nicely as he was keen to relocate and within our price range. There were a lot of excellent applicants. We’re looking forward to seeing what Chris brings this season.’

Baffour replaces Shadab Iftikhar, after the former Mongolia team assistant coach, only appointed in December, declined to take up an option for another season with the Lochaber side.

Former Fort manager Shadab Iftikhar gives directions from the sidelines. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos NO F04 Fort FC manager Shadab Iftikhar
Former Fort William manager Shadab Iftikhar giving directions from the sidelines. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos
NO F04 Fort FC manager Shadab Iftikhar

Other club news concerns the on-going tussle with the Breedon Highland League over looming relegation.

The Claggan Park outfit was dumped from the Highland League after pulling out of the pyramid play-off against Banks o’ Dee just hours before the first leg due to a wrangle over player eligibility and the state of the Claggan Park pitch.

Fort William has refuted the Highland League’s claims concerning player eligibility and taken issue with the inspection of the pitch at Claggan Park.

The club asked the Scottish FA to intervene. Asked for an update on the situation, a Fort William Football Club spokesperson said: ‘Arbitration is ongoing. The paperwork was filed about a month ago. Each side has selected its person to listen to the case. We are waiting on dates for the hearing.’

As things currently stand, 13 football clubs from across the Highland and Islands have registered for this year’s Macleod & MacCallum North Caledonian League – including Fort William.

The North Caledonian Football Association said it was pleased to welcome new teams Inverness Clachnacuddin ‘A’ and Fort William – both of whom are former members of the league.

They join existing members, Alness United, Bonar Bridge, Golspie Sutherland, Halkirk
United, Invergordon, Inverness Athletic, Loch Ness, Nairn County ‘A’, Orkney, St Duthus and Thurso.

If their appeal over relegation fails, Fort William will make their return to a league which they last won in 1984-85, completing a treble of trophies in their last season before moving up to the Highland League.

However, the association cautioned: ‘Their inclusion in this year’s competition remains subject to an ongoing appeal submitted to the Scottish FA.’

And the association added: ‘Orkney, due to projections of a lengthier season, have elected to withdraw from this year’s cup competitions. Fort William, also, have elected to withdraw from participation in cup competitions.’

Association secretary Sandy Stephen told the Lochaber Times: ‘We spoke with Fort William prior to our pre-annual general meeting as we wanted to make sure they were included in planning for the new season.

‘This allows the association, and all our member clubs, to plan and prepare for the new season.

‘Should Fort William FC win their appeal, we simply remove them from the league fixtures and our cup competitions are not affected as Fort William decided not to enter them this coming season.’

 

CAPTION:

Chris Baffour who has been announced as the new coach of Fort William Football Club this week. Photograph: Fort William FC. NO F24 Chris Baffour 03

Extra pic:

Former Fort manager Shadab Iftikhar pictured giving directions from the sidelines. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos NO F04 Fort FC manager Shadab Iftikhar