Ex­ct­ing times at Vale af­ter merger

FC Ar­gyle teams join new foot­ball academy

Lennox Herald - - SPORTING MEMORIES -

brace, one at 12lbs and an­other at 44lbs.

There was a great ker­fuf­fle when the mighty fish was brought ashore, and a crowd soon gath­ered to ad­mire the large per­fectly shaped sal­mon.

Its weight was dou­ble checked and con­firmed to be marginally over 44lbs.

Later that evening af­ter a hot bath, Mr Cochrane got spruced up im­pec­ca­bly and had the mag­nif­i­cent fish pho­tographed.

This Loch Lomond an­gling leg­end had been cre­ated by an 83-year-old, set­ting the tar­get for Lomond an­glers to em­u­late – and 90 years later this record has never been beaten.

The young boat­man of that mem­o­rable day Thomas Hogg spent the rest of his life fish­ing Lomond as his own fa­ther had be­fore him.

In turn his son, the third gen­er­a­tionThomas Hogg, now in his sev­en­ties, main­tains the fam­ily tra­di­tion of fish­ing the Big Loch into the 21st cen­tury.

Quite re­mark­ably, three Hogg gen­er­a­tions have tran­scended the 19th, 20th and 21st cen­tury fish­ing the wa­ters of Lomond.

I am in­debted to the third gen­er­a­tional Thomas Hogg for pro­vid­ing me with this ac­count of his fa­ther’s story which he had of­ten heard.

This nar­ra­tive is an ab­bre­vi­ated adap­ta­tion from the book An­gling on Loch Lomond and its Rivers.

Signed copies of the book are avail­able di­rect from the au­thor at; fish­in­glomond.co.uk.

While summer trans­fer ac­tiv­ity is go­ing to be slow for most clubs, Vale of Leven have moved quickly to make new sign­ings – around 120 of them.

A tie-up be­tween the his­toric Mill­burn side, who will en­ter the new West of Scot­land League this sea­son, and lo­cal club FC Ar­gyle will see all of FC Ar­gyle’s teams take on the Vale of Leven name, whilst Dum­bar­ton River­side’s 2004s will also be­come con­nected to the club.

The teams will come to­gether un­der the new Vale of Leven Foot­ball Academy ban­ner.

Co-founded by for­mer Vale stal­wart and Alexan­dria na­tive Alex Lacy – who made over 500 ap­pear­ances across two decades for the club– FC Ar­gyle quickly grew into one of the area’s largest youth clubs.

And man­ager Brian Brown hopes the new part­ner­ship will see more home­grown stars fol­low in Alex’s foot­steps. He said: “The prospect of the academy is fan­tas­tic, there’s been a lot of hard work to get where we are now and it can only en­hance the role that we play in the com­mu­nity.

“It means that peo­ple can join the Vale at nine or 10 and keep play­ing right through – un­til they are play­ing walk­ing foot­ball when they’re much older.”

Alex, who bat­tled back from suf­fer­ing a stroke when he was just 39 to be­come Vale’s all-time record ap­pear­ance holder, said: “We har­bour am­bi­tions of grow­ing the academy and build­ing stronger con­nec­tions within the lo­cal com­mu­nity to be ben­e­fi­cial on and off the park. Start­ing this academy is the first step of our long-term plans.”

Key to the new part­ner­ship will be the Vale en­ter­ing an un­der-20s side in the new West of Scot­land Devel­op­ment League, where they will face a lo­cal derby with Cly­de­bank along­side a host of other top for­mer Ju­nior clubs.

As well as the var­i­ous boys age groups, the club also aim to fur­ther ex­tend their reach to in­clude girls and dis­abil­ity teams – on top of their ex­ist­ing, and hugely pop­u­lar, walk­ing foot­ball side.

Alex con­tin­ued: “Pro­vid­ing foot­balling op­por­tu­ni­ties for ev­ery­one in the Alexan­dria area is the main goal and focus of the club and its new academy.”

Brian added: “It’s ex­cit­ing times for ev­ery­one at the Vale – this is the start of a new era and on a per­sonal level I’m so ex­cited. It’s a ma­jor thing for the club and I’m proud to be lead­ing the team.”

Young guns FC Ar­gyle – here on a trip to Old Traf­ford – were one of the area’s big­gest youth teams

Ex­cited Vale gaffer Brian Brown (left) is look­ing for­ward to new era

Record-breaker Alex Lacy

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