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Fraser Cunningham: Hometown Glory

Started on 15 August 2020 by ScottT
Latest Reply on 1 September 2020 by J_ames
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Based in the county of Moray, Elgin City Football Club were founded in 1893 following on from two earlier attempts to launch a football club under the same name. The club were eventually founded after the amalgamation of Elgin Rovers and Vale of Lossie - both of whom were relatively young into their formation having been founded in 1887 and 1888 respectively - in an effort to unite the town under the banner of one sole football club.

Elgin City's history had been spent plying their trade in the Highland Football League - a division they won in 1993 but were not promoted from due to the current system in Scotland at the time not allowing for promotion and relegation between the Highland Football League and the Scottish Football League. The expansion of the SPL in 2000 - from ten teams to twelve - presented the Scottish FA with the need to promote two clubs in order to fill the remaining spaces left in the fourth-tier which Elgin became beneficiaries of.

Alongside Peterhead, Elgin were granted a pass into the league system and would compete in what was then known as Division Three for the first time in the 2000/01 season, finishing bottom of the ten-team division with twenty-two points under the management of Alex Caldwell who would remain in charge until December 2002.

Improvement followed as Elgin began to establish themselves as a mid-table side in the next few seasons but soon-to-be two decades on, City find themselves confined to the fourth-tier - neither having been promoted nor relegated in this time. A second-place finish in 2015/16 would mark the closest the club have come to winning promotion to the third-tier, where they would ultimately lose in the playoff semi-finals to Clyde by an aggregate scoreline of 5-1.

It has been a never-ending tale of stagnation for the Black and Whites since their entry into league football.

Twelve managers have been at the helm since the club's promotion into the league, including club chairman Graham Tatters - who took the role in December 2005 following an unsuccessful bid from assistant manager Kenny Black to buy the club earlier in the year thanks to a controversial sale of shares - as a caretaker manager in late 2006 heading into 2007 following the dismissal of former Aberdeen defender Brian Irvine despite asserting himself as a well-loved figure with supporters.

The 2019/20 season will mark the need for a thirteenth as Gavin Price departed the club after an almost two-year stay at Borough Briggs with the club languishing to an eighth-place finish last season.

There is growing apathy amongst supporters despite their loyalty. The average attendance figures have shown a relatively consistent number of supporters coming through the turnstiles of Borough Briggs each season with the only anomaly being the 1,050 total secured in 2012/13 which was greatly supported by the demotion of Rangers to the fourth-tier that saw a crowd of over 3,000 at one meeting between the two sides.

The figure has largely been between 600-700 supporters with last season's total of 622 marking a marginal increase from the previous season's total of 607.

Tatters has acknowledged that stagnation has resulted in younger supporters turning their attention away from supporting their local club, frustrated with the lack of progression on the pitch, despite many attempts to further the club's appeal - such as reduced ticket prices - in a bid to reduce the risk of losing a generation of support heading into the future.

The next appointment at Borough Briggs could be the most important yet for Tatters, not only to ensure results on the pitch improve after a rather poor showing last season, but to ensure the support of the football club remains in tact. Elgin find themselves in a sound position financially but are increasingly fighting against the odds with their League Two opponents with the club competing against much larger playing budgets once again next term.

Recently promoted Cove Rangers have already begun their bid to challenge in the division with impressive acquisitions like ex-Hibernian midfielder Fraser Fyvie, whilst Queen's Park have made the decision to ditch their amateur status over the summer and turn semi-professional following a vote in their membership earlier this month ahead of the season. This means the top four divisions in Scotland now house a fully professional and semi-professional lineup ahead of the upcoming season.

League sponsors Ladbrokes currently place recently-relegated Stenhousemuir as favourites to win promotion straight back into the third-tier whilst aforementioned Cove Rangers narrowly follow. Elgin are currently tipped for another mid-table finish.

Preparations for the upcoming season couldn't have got off to a much worse start for Elgin with the resignation of Gavin Price and the news that Shane Sutherland will be departing at the end of his contract to join Championship side Inverness Caledonian Thistle.

Sutherland's total of seventy-five goals in League Two has him in second in the all-time leading-goalscorer chart behind Edinburgh City's Blair Henderson. An impressive tally racked up across six seasons, five of which were spent with his current employers alongside a single season with Peterhead at Balmoor [Stadium].

Many Elgin supporters are expecting yet another mediocre season in League Two with hopes of promotion seemingly having faded many years ago and very little in the way of restoring any hopes in recent years. A sobering tale that will leave many questioning if and when Elgin's hoodoo will end and what the next couple of decades may have in store.


This is Elgin City Football Club.
And so we FINALLY have it: a Scoot story :D ! Very surprised with your choice of team, but it should be a fun journey as you climb up the leagues. As a fan of a lower league club yourself, you'll know the importance of organic growth instead of trying to take shortcuts, so that will help you too.

Best of luck!
Nice to see you back bro, good luck with this. I want to see Elgin dump Celtic of their perch and sit pretty in the Champions League
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
3 monthsEdited

"We knew Gavin would be departing at the end of the season. There were thorough and honest conversations between all parties following the Montrose game and this gave us plenty of time to prepare in order to make the right appointment moving forward. I'm under no illusions as to the importance of this latest appointment; we have ambitions of getting out of this league and ending the two decade wait. Its been too long, far too long and we need to bring it to a close.

The patience of the supporters has to be rewarded soon. We have a clear target as to who we want to bring in and negotiations are well-underway. We're not messing about and we are getting things in place immediately to best prepare us for where we want to be.

We want to create an identity that supporters buy into and support. We want fresh ideas and something and somebody that rejuvenates the life into this football club because I feel that has been missing for some time, largely as a result of constant mediocrity. We understand the frustrations of supporters because we share them too and we won't settle for it anymore.

We're extremely confident that we'll have our new appointment in place by the end of the week. We're moving at a rapid pace in order to get things done and I look forward to sitting down and introducing our new man to the supporters here at Borough Briggs when everything is complete."


...We, as the Supporters Club, were pleased to hear the refreshing honesty of Graham. That's one thing you can never criticise Graham for; he has always been an honest bloke with a clear love for the football club and he has fully supported us in every capacity possible. The higher-ups of the Club are in constant communication with Graham and whilst our discussions over the managerial vacancy have been limited for obvious reasons, we have had absolutely no reason to doubt that the club are indeed operating quickly to bring in a candidate they've identified as their number one choice from the get-go.

The speed and precision in which the club are operating in regards to bringing in a replacement for Gavin Price is pleasing. I think many worried upon hearing the news that Gavin had departed - and we at the Supporters Club wish him all the best and thank him for the work he has done. He was a terrific man to work alongside - that it would leave the club staggering and a replacement wouldn't be brought in all too quickly. We have perhaps fallen foul of that in the past to which I believe Graham would admit to himself.

Yet this time we are operating quickly and smoothly. There's a fine-line between haste and shrewdness that we must identify but from Graham's words, we certainly aren't rushing for the wrong reasons. We don't want to be in a position in a few months time where we perhaps look back and question whether acting quickly was perhaps the right idea - we seriously believe this won't be the case however.

The upcoming season is bound to be another tough one for us. There are a number of clubs with lofty aspirations this season and the promotion of Cove Rangers to League Two from the Highland League is just one example of a club with such aspirations and a much larger budget than ourselves to support them. It's something we've had to deal with in the past and will have to continue to deal with in the future.

We know the challenges we face here, operating with a much smaller playing budget and squad than other clubs in the past but - from the brief discussions we've had with Graham and the other directors at the club - whilst this will remain the case, the club are confident moving forward. The Supporters Club will continue to support the process and continue to liaise with the board and directors and ensure our voices are well-represented and heard.

One particular point that Graham didn't address in his comments is that Gavin's backroom staff are to remain at Borough Briggs. This was agreed to by the club's target who agreed that it would be in the club's best interests to ensure there isn't too much upheaval ahead of the season and enable the transition period to run as smoothly as possible. This means assistant Keith Gibson and coaches Steven Dunn and Robbie Hope along with other club employees will remain in their respective roles, something we are delighted to hear having maintained a great working relationship with all staff at the club.

A final notice; memberships for the 2019/20 season are now available to be extended. Members are entitled to a number of benefits which are highlighted on our website. All funds raised aid the Supporters Club with supporting you and the football club. If you wish to extend or join, you can do so online or by visiting us on a matchday.

We look forward to welcoming our new manager as soon as this is announced by the club and cannot wait to be back at Borough Park very soon. Please remember our pre-season campaign begins on Saturday 6th July against Lothian Thistle with a 15:00 KO at Saughton Enclosure.

Forever Elgin City Football Club.


Replies:


James: Good to be back :D Elgin are a club I've had my eye on managing for a while this FM-cycle. I have always quite liked managing in Scotland so I thought to give it a go. LLM has always been my passion and it's very important not to cut corners or you leave yourself at risk. I do like to think I'm quite clued up on it, cheers! ;)
Aaron: Cheers mate. Knocking Celtic off their perch is the ultimate aim - no matter how long it may take to achieve it.
Now that is how a football ground should look! None of this "free wi-fi" bollocks that we see down south ;) I've no doubt that you'll have Borough Briggs at full capacity, with the fans bouncing up and down whilst singing your name. Really intrigued to see who you bring in to fire you on a promotion charge :D
Oh yeah yeah
Interesting choice for a club, it will be fun to compete against the big dogs is Scotland.
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
3 monthsEdited

Dear Supporters,

We are delighted to confirm ahead of the club's official press-release due to be published this afternoon that the appointment of Fraser Cunningham as the club's new first-team manager has been finalised following successful extensive talks in the past week after the departure of Gavin Price.

Fraser joins the club on a one-year-deal having previously worked as a coach under Dorian Ogunro with Lowland League side Edinburgh University Association Football Club - a role in which he held for two years alongside studying at the university.

The 32-year-old was born and raised in the city and has strong connections with the football club that only helped further his appeal to the board and directors. His grandfather - Brian Cunningham - was a regular on the terraces at Borough Briggs and often brought Fraser to watch City.

The board reaffirmed their commitment to appointing the right candidate, a candidate in which they say shares the important values of the football club and agreed to the 'five-year-plan' put in place by chairman Graham Tatters that ultimately envisions the club winning promotion to League One by 2024.

Club President Malcolm MacDonald penned the following upon the confirmation of Fraser's appointment;

"On behalf of the Supporters Club, I am absolutely delighted to welcome Fraser Cunningham to our football club and cannot wait to begin working alongside him with the Supporters Club in the immediate future. Having spoken to Graham in-depth this morning, I can share his enthusiasm in the appointment.

Fraser has glowing references from his time with Edinburgh University AFC having worked under long-term manager Dorian Ogunro where he been widely praised in regards to his character and "outstanding, innovative footballing philosophy"

The club are striving to improve and the board are confident this can be achieved through the appointment of such an exciting young coach. Fraser arrives at the club with plenty of acclaim and is desperate to prove what he can do in League Two as manager of - in his words - this great, community-driven football club and I hope that the Elgin faithful give him their full support."

We look forward to welcoming you back to Borough Briggs very soon. Our first home game of the season will be played on Wednesday 17th July in a friendly against Brora Rangers with a kick-off time of 19:45.

Thank you,
Forever Elgin City Football Club

Replies:

James: I agree! A ground with a bit of character rather than a copy and paste job :D I don't think we'll be getting to full capacity just yet (just over 4,000) but that's part of the journey we'll be going on, fingers crossed.

Justice: Yeah, yeah.

OneMoreGame: I look forward to getting that stage but for now we need to focus on the immediate future and pitting it out against giants like Cowdenbeath and Annan Athletic.
UP THE CUNILINGUS MASSIVE
Hmmm, I'm sure Elgin could've gotten a bigger name than someone from lowly Edinburgh University AFC, but Fraser will do for now ;) Looking forward to seeing the additions you'll make, as there's no doubting that Elgin will need to bring in some quality to keep up with the likes of Cove and Queens Park if they want to challenge this season.
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
3 monthsEdited

It was an exhausting day but certainly one I'll never forget. It was an absolute honour to be contacted in the first place by the club but to now be sat in the role of first-team manager of Elgin City was something surreal. It felt like fate given this was my grandfather's club.

I had a good relationship with my grandfather, Brian, prior to his sudden and tragic passing a couple of years ago. I was very fortunate to have the relationship I did with him and so whilst it was a horrific loss to myself and my family when we unfortunately lost him, I perhaps dealt with his passing better than most - remembering all the good times we shared, many of them at Borough Briggs where he took me regularly as a season-ticket holder himself.

My grandfather was acutely aware of my interest in getting into management prior to university. It was a difficult career to get into but one I was willing to work hard to fulfil. I had very little in the way of experience in football, of course there are many examples of coaches who have entered the game having not kicked a ball at professional level these days, but the fact remained that my route into management was perhaps the hardest than any other. My only experience in football extended as far as a brief trial as a youngster with Dundee United that didn't ever come to fruition.

I was pretty devastated at the time. I was a young lad with aspirations of playing football like most young lads at that age and had a confidence in myself like no other. A sense of confidence that could be mistaken for arrogance but it wasn't - it was merely confidence in my abilities that allowed me to win the opportunity to trial with the Tangerines in the first place.

It was difficult not to dwell on the rejection as a fourteen-year-old boy but I think the experience toughened me up for the future. It wasn't until after college when my attention switched to the coaching side of the game. I was quickly given a role with my local Sunday League side and enjoyed a decent level of success having won County Cup competitions that further built my desire to strive for more.

Brian shared a great enthusiasm in me. An enthusiasm like no other and which completely juxtaposed the faith shown in me by my father, Geoff, who quite frankly had a very half-arsed attitude. My father was self-employed - a roofer by trade - and was quite successful which has always been a surprise to me given how he often conducts himself. His work-ethic is nothing like mine; any shortcut possible and he'll take it. I sincerely hope he doesn't take shortcuts in his work. There have been no accidents as of yet so I suspect not thankfully.

Instead, my work-ethic is no-doubt instilled in me by my mother, Paula - my grandfather's daughter - who worked alongside catering for her two children, myself and Joanna. We never had a lavish upbringing but we were certainly well-supported as a result of my mum's determination to ensure we were happy. I had always shared an admiration for my mum as a result. She forever put her children before her own needs stating that her happiness revolved around us and that unconditional love ensured our family were close with one-another - a closeness that still remains today.

Joanna was the eldest of her two children having been born two years prior to myself but unlike most siblings, who enjoyed kicking lumps out of each other whenever possible, was a doting sister that always had my best interests at heart often to her own detriment. What my father lacked in admiration and faith - perhaps due to his own troubled upbringing - was certainly made up for by the aforementioned three at least and likely more.

Upon expressing my desire to head up to Edinburgh - which was now three years ago - to further my career prospects, the trio had no hesitation in wanting to support me financially and did so. It epitomised the bond within our family dynamic.

There are very little shortcuts you can take in management and so the opportunity that arose whilst I studied at Edinburgh University to work alongside Dorian Ogunro was one that I could not believe. My luck was in and I will forever count my lucky stars for that reason. The club have always remained keen on looking internally to fill vacancies and it is only in extreme circumstances that they will look externally. The coaching role was no different.

Myself and Dorian had enjoyed a number of thorough conversations in the opening few months of my studies at the university. I enjoyed the insight into football he had and was keen to learn more to which he was always willing to help. These conversations ultimately led to Dorian appointing me into the vacancy himself as he admitted himself that he was impressed by my own insight and understood the hunger and drive I had that set me apart from the others who applied.

The experience of coaching in the Highland League was pivotal to growing my understanding and developing my skills. There are certain things that can't be taught in the classroom and have to be taught within yourself and on the touchline. I cannot underestimate the importance of working under someone as experienced as Dorian either. Dorian had been in the role for a number of years having studied at the university himself prior to returning and taking a coaching capacity and ultimately advancing into the role of head-coach.

I'll never be able to speak highly enough of what that man did for me. I'll forever have an enormous amount of gratitude for him and he was one of the first people I contacted upon signing the contract that confirmed my new role at Elgin City Football Club. His delight was obvious and he wished me the best of luck for the future. I hope our paths can cross once again in some capacity as I do need to repay the favour.

All-in-all, I am fortunate to have a great support-network around me and a drive to succeed. My drive has only increased with this particular role. If there's one club I want to succeed with; it's Elgin City. A club that not only happens to be the football club that proudly represents the city in which I live but also keeps the spirit of my grandfather alive. His true-love. I hope he is proud of where I am. This one is for you, Brian.


Replies:

Aaron: <3
James: They don't have the biggest budget but there will have been an expectation for someone a bit more qualified perhaps, no doubt about that. It'll be interesting to see how the supporters react if results don't necessarily get off to the best of starts. The club will need to recruit smartly in order to compete.
Fraser is extremely lucky to have a supportive family, which is crucial as you enter the world of football. There's going to be a lot more 'downs' than 'ups' throughout the journey, but as long as you have good people around you: you're gonna be okay :)

Now hurry up and announce Darren and Steven Fletcher pls!
Surely the photo in the heading should be Buckfast, not lager? It's a shame that Brian unfortunately wasn't able to see his son be put in charge of Elgin. I just hope that Geoff realises that his son his making his own way in life and supports him more to the extent of Brian. We'll see how that pans out, though.

Club Overview: Elgin City


Basic Information

Name: Elgin City Football Club
Location: Elgin, Scotland
Club Status: Semi-Professional
Nickname: City / The Black and Whites
Founded: 1893
League: Ladbrokes Scottish League Two, fourth tier

Chairman: Graham Tatters
Manager: Fraser Cunningham

Club Facilities

Stadium: Borough Briggs
Location: Elgin, Scotland
Capacity: 4,520 (478 seated)
Under Soil Heating: No
Roof: No
Surface Type: Grass

Corporate Facilities: Adequate
Training Facilities: Basic
Youth Facilities: Poor
Data Analysis Facilities: Poor
Junior Coaching: None
Youth Recruitment: None

Club Rivals

Derbies
None

Fierce Rivals
Lossiemouth (Local), Inverness (Historic)

Other Rivals
Peterhead (Competitive)

Club History

Trophies Won: 16
League Competitions
Highland Football League x15 (1932, 1935, 1953, 1956, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1974, 1990, 1993)

North Caledonian League x1 (1954)

Last Five Seasons:
18/19: Ladbrokes Scottish League Two | 8th
17/18: Ladbrokes Scottish League Two | 6th
16/17: Ladbrokes Scottish League Two | 5th
15/16: Ladbrokes Scottish League Two | 2nd
14/15: Ladbrokes Scottish League Two | 7th

Club Heroes

Legends
John McGinlay, Mike Teasdale, Willie Grant, John Teasdale

Icons
Hugh Dickson, Martin Johnson, David Hind, Brian Cameron

Favoured Personnel
Craig Gunn, Darryl McHardy

Club Records

Highest Attendance: 12,608 (vs Arbroath, 17th February 1968)
Lowest Attendance: 166 (vs Brechin City, 14th August 2007)

Biggest Win: 18-1 (vs Brora Rangers, 6th February 1960)
Biggest Defeat: 1-14 (vs Hearts, 4th February 1939)

Most League Appearances: 324 (Brian Cameron)
Most League Goals: 23 (Craig Gunn | 2016/17 Ladbrokes Scottish League Two)

Replies

James: Absolutely. Football has many emotions which I have no doubt Fraser will experience throughout his managerial career and having a supportive network behind him will be important. I don't think either of the Fletcher's will be feasible acquisitions at this point unfortunately :(

Jack: Well it's not, get over it. ;) It was indeed a shame that Brian was never able to see his grandson in charge of his beloved football club but I have no doubt he would be very proud. We will follow the trials and tribulations on and off the pitch, absolutely.
Oh yeah yeah

P.S. Nice layout!

You are reading "Fraser Cunningham: Hometown Glory".

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