Stirling is a city in central Scotland. The market town, surrounded by farmland, grew up connecting the royal citadel, the medieval old town with its merchants and tradesmen, the bridge. Located on the River Forth, Stirling is the centre for the Stirling council area. It is proverbially the strategically important Gateway to the Highlands and it has been said that Stirling, like a huge brooch clasps Highlands and Lowlands together. Similarly he who holds Stirling, holds Scotland is often quoted, stirlings key position as the lowest bridging point of the River Forth before it broadens towards the Firth of Forth, made it a focal point for travel north or south. This invited control for, military advantage in times of unrest, unsurprisingly an excise man was installed in a covered booth in the centre of the bridge to collect tax from any entering the royal burgh with goods. According to a 9th century legend, when Stirling was temporarily under Anglo-Saxon sway, however the sound of a wolf roused a sentry who alerted his garrison to force a Viking retreat. This led to the wolf being adopted as a symbol of the town, even today it appears with a goshawk on the coat of arms along with the recently chosen motto, Steadfast as the Rock. Once the capital of Scotland, Stirling is visually dominated by Stirling Castle, the poet King was educated by George Buchanan and grew up in Stirling. He was later also crowned King of England and Ireland on 25th July 1603, modern Stirling is a centre for local government, higher education, tourism, retail, and industry. The 2011 census recorded the population of the city as 45,750, One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a royal burgh by King David I in 1130. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeths Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status, Stirling was originally a Stone Age settlement as shown by the Randolphfield standing stones and Kings Park prehistoric carvings that can still be found south of the city. The site has been significant since at least the Roman occupation of Britain, due to its naturally defensible crag and tail hill. Coupled to this it enjoys a position which is not far from the Ochil Hills on the border between the Lowlands and Highlands. Its other notable feature is its proximity to the lowest ancient ford of the River Forth. It remained the rivers lowest crossing point until the construction of the Alloa Swing Bridge between Throsk and Alloa in 1885. It is supposed that Stirling is the fortress of Iuddeu or Urbs Giudi where Oswiu of Northumbria was besieged by Penda of Mercia in 655, as recorded in Bede and contemporary annals. Stirling was chartered as a burgh by King David in the 12th century
Defender (association football)
In the sport of association football, a defender is an outfield player whose primary role is to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals. There are four types of defenders, centre-back, sweeper, full-back, the centre-back and full-back positions are essential in most modern formations. The sweeper and wing-back roles are more specialised for certain formations, a centre-back defends in the area directly in front of the goal, and tries to prevent opposing players, particularly centre-forwards, from scoring. Centre-backs accomplish this by blocking shots, tackling, intercepting passes, contesting headers, with the ball, centre-backs are generally expected to make long and pinpoint passes to their teammates, or to kick unaimed long balls down the field. For example, a clearance is a long unaimed kick intended to move the ball as far as possible from the defenders goal, during normal play, centre-backs are unlikely to score goals. In this case, other defenders or midfielders will temporarily move into the centre-back positions, in the modern game, most teams employ two or three centre-backs in front of the goalkeeper. The 4–2–3–1, 4–3–3, and 4–4–2 formations all use two centre-backs, the sweeper is a more versatile centre-back who sweeps up the ball if an opponent manages to breach the defensive line. This position is more fluid than that of other defenders who man-mark their designated opponents. Because of this, it is referred to as libero. For example, the system of play, used in Italian football in the 1960s. The more modern libero possesses the qualities of the typical libero while being able to expose the opposition during counterattacks. The Fundell-libero has become popular in recent time with the sweeper transitioning to the most advanced forward in an attack. This variation on the position requires great pace and fitness, while rarely seen in professional football, the position has been extensively used in lower leagues. Modern libero sit behind centre-backs as a sweeper before charging through the team to join in the attack, some sweepers move forward and distribute the ball up-field, while others intercept passes and get the ball off the opposition without needing to hurl themselves into tackles. If the sweeper does move up the field to distribute the ball, they will need to make a speedy recovery, in modern football, its usage has been fairly restricted, with few clubs in the biggest leagues using the position. Though it is used in modern football, it remains a highly respected. A recent and successful use of the sweeper was made by Otto Rehhagel, Greeces manager, Rehhagel utilized Traianos Dellas as Greeces sweeper to great success, as Greece surprisingly became European champions. The full-backs take up the wide positions and traditionally stayed in defence at all times
A midfielder is an association football position. Midfielders are generally positioned on the field between their teams defenders and forwards, some midfielders play a disciplined defensive role, breaking up attacks, and are otherwise known as defensive midfielders. Others blur the boundaries, being mobile and efficient in passing, they are commonly referred to as deep-lying midfielders, play-makers, box-to-box. The number of midfielders on a team and their assigned roles depends on the teams formation, most managers assign at least one midfielder to disrupt the opposing teams attacks, while others may be tasked with creating goals, or have equal responsibilities between attack and defence. Midfielders are the players who typically travel the greatest distance during a match, central or centre midfielders are players whose role is divided roughly equally between attack and defence. When the opposing team has the ball, a midfielder may drop back to protect the goal or move forward. The 4–3–3 and 4–5–1 formations each use three central midfielders, the 4−4−2 formation may use two central midfielders, and in the 4–2–3–1 formation one of the two deeper midfielders may be a central midfielder. The term box-to-box midfielder refers to central midfielders who have abilities and are skilled at both defending and attacking. These players can track back to their own box to make tackles and block shots. A good box-to-box midfielder needs good passing, vision, control, stamina, tackling and marking in defence, left and right midfielders have a role balanced between attack and defence, similar to that of central midfielders, but they are positioned closer to the touchlines of the pitch. They may be asked to cross the ball into the penalty area to make scoring chances for their teammates. Common modern formations that include left and right midfielders are the 4−4−2, the 4−4−1−1, the 4–2–3–1, a notable example of a right midfielder is David Beckham. Defensive midfielders are players who focus on protecting their teams goal. These players may defend a zone in front of their teams defence, defensive midfielders may also move to the full-back or centre-back positions if those players move forward to join in an attack. Sergio Busquets described his attitude, The coach knows that I am an obedient player who likes to help out and if I have to run to the wing to cover someones position, great. A good defensive midfielder needs good positional awareness, anticipation of play, marking, tackling, interceptions, passing and great stamina. A holding or deep-lying midfielder stays close to their teams defence, a player in this role will try to protect their goal by disrupting the opponents attacking moves and stopping long shots on the goal. The holding midfielder may also have responsibilities when their team has the ball and this player will make mostly short and simple passes to more attacking members of their team but may try some more difficult passes depending on the teams strategy
West Bromwich Albion F.C.
The club was formed in 1878 and has played at its home ground, The Hawthorns, since 1900. Albion were one of the members of the Football League in 1888 and have spent the majority of their existence in the top tier of English football. They have been champions of England once, in 1919–20 and have been runners-up twice but they have had success in the FA Cup. The first came in 1888, the year the league was founded, and they also won the Football League Cup at the first attempt in 1966. The clubs longest consecutive period in the top division spanned twenty-four years between 1949 and 1973, and from 1986 to 2002 they spent their longest ever spell out of the top division and they currently play in the Premier League. The team has played in blue and white stripes for most of the clubs history. The club was founded as West Bromwich Strollers in 1878 by workers from George Salters Spring Works in West Bromwich, the club joined the Birmingham & District Football Association in 1881 and became eligible for their first competition, the Birmingham Cup. They reached the quarter-finals, beating several longer-established clubs on the way, in 1883, Albion won their first trophy, the Staffordshire Cup. Albion joined the Football Association in the year, this enabled them to enter the FA Cup for the first time in the 1883–84 season. In 1885 the club turned professional, and in 1886 they reached the FA Cup final for the first time and they reached the final again in 1887, but lost 2–0 to Aston Villa. In 1888 the team won the trophy for the first time, as FA Cup winners, they qualified to play in a Football World Championship game against Scottish Cup winners Renton, which ended in a 4–1 defeat. Thus when the Football League started later that year, Albion became one of the founder members. Albions second FA Cup success came in 1892, beating Aston Villa 3–0 and they met Villa again in the 1895 final, but lost 1–0. The team suffered relegation to Division Two in 1900–01, their first season at The Hawthorns and they were promoted as champions the following season but relegated again in 1903–04. The club won the Division Two championship once more in 1910–11, and the season reached another FA Cup Final. Albion won the Football League title in 1919–20 for the time in their history following the end of World War I. The team finished as Division One runners-up in 1924–25, narrowly losing out to Huddersfield Town, in 1930–31, they won promotion as well as the FA Cup, beating Birmingham 2–1 in the final. The Double of winning the FA Cup and promotion has not been achieved before or since, Albion reached the final again in 1935, losing to Sheffield Wednesday, but were relegated three years later
It is one of three SPFL clubs in the city, the others being their Edinburgh derby rivals Hearts and Edinburgh City. Hibernian was founded in 1875 by Irish immigrants, but support for the club is now based on rather than ethnicity or religion. The Irish heritage of Hibernian is still reflected, however, in its name, colours, the name of the club is usually shortened to Hibs. The team are also called The Hibees and The Cabbage, a shortening of the slang for Hibs of Cabbage and Ribs, by fans of the club. Home matches are played at the Easter Road stadium, in use since 1893, Hibernian have played in the second tier of the Scottish football league system, known as the Scottish Championship, since being relegated in 2014. Hibernian have won the Scottish league championship four times, most recently in 1952, three of those four championships were won between 1948 and 1952, when the club had the services of The Famous Five, a notable forward line. The club have won the Scottish Cup three times, in 1887,1902 and 2016, Hibs have also won the Scottish League Cup three times, in 1972,1991 and 2007. The club was founded in 1875 by Irishmen from the Cowgate area of Edinburgh, the name is derived from Hibernia, the Roman name for Ireland. James Connolly, the famous Irish Republican leader, was a Hibs fan, there was some sectarian resistance initially to an Irish club participating in Scottish football, but Hibs established themselves as a force in Scottish football in the 1880s. Hibs were the first club from the east coast of Scotland to win a major trophy and they went on to defeat Preston North End, who had won the 1887 FA Cup, in a friendly match described as the Association Football Championship of the World Decider. Mismanagement over the few years led to Hibs becoming homeless. A lease on the Easter Road site was acquired in late 1892, despite this interruption, the club today views the period since 1875 as one continued history and therefore counts the honours won between 1875 and 1891, including the 1887 Scottish Cup. The club were admitted to the Scottish Football League in 1893, a significant change at this time was that players were no longer required to be members of the Catholic Young Mens Society. Hibs are not seen today as being an Irish or Roman Catholic institution, for instance, the Irish harp was only re-introduced to the club badge when it was last re-designed in 2000. This design reflects the three pillars of the identity, Ireland, Edinburgh and Leith. Geography rather than religion is now seen as the reason for supporting Hibs. Hibs had some success after being reformed, winning the 1902 Scottish Cup, after this, however, the club endured a long barren spell. The club lost its placing in the league, and were relegated for the first time in 1931, the notorious Scottish Cup drought began as they reached three cup finals, two in consecutive years, but lost each of them
Falkirk Football Club are a Scottish professional association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1876 and competes in the Scottish Championship as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League, the football club was registered as a Limited Liability Company in April 1905 – Falkirk Football & Athletic Club Ltd. Falkirk won the Scottish Cup for the first time in 1913, after 1945, Falkirk were promoted and demoted between the Premier and First Divisions seven times until 1995–96, and during the 1970s spent three seasons in the Second Division. In 2005, Falkirk were promoted to the Scottish Premier League, Falkirk won the Scottish Cup again in 1957 and were runners-up in the competition in 1997,2009 and 2015. As a result of its performance in the 2009 Scottish Cup, Falkirk have won the second tier of Scottish football a record seven times, an honour shared with St Johnstone. They have also won the Scottish Challenge Cup more than any other club, in their early years, Falkirk played at three venues, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. Between 1885 and 2003, the club was based at Brockville Park, after the creation of the SPL in 1998, its strict stadium criteria – to which Brockville Park did not conform – was enforced, and the club was denied promotion on three occasions. The clubs present home ground since 2003 is the Falkirk Stadium, the clubs date of formation is uncertain. Although some accounts point to the year 1876, others claim it was formed in 1877, however, the former is the date used by the club and its fans. The club reached the round in the first year that it competed. In the first few years after it was formed, Falkirk played mostly friendly games and they played their home matches at three different grounds during this period, Hope Street, Randyford Park and Blinkbonny Park. It left the latter in 1884 and moved to Brockville Park, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded in 1883, which invited clubs from the Stirlingshire region to join. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament, the Stirlingshire Cup, a competition open exclusively to the teams from the region, the clubs nickname is The Bairns, a Scots word meaning sons or daughters, which is given to natives of the town of Falkirk. This is reflected in the Falkirk Burgh motto, Better meddle wi the deil than the Bairns o Fakirk, at the time, the league consisted of two tiers, the First and Second Divisions. Falkirk was promoted to the top division with a second-place finish behind Clyde after two seasons, despite the clubs success, several months beforehand a proposal to merge with local rivals East Stirlingshire was raised, which was narrowly rejected in a vote. In 1907–08, Falkirks third season in the top flight, the finished the season in second place, its highest league position to date. On both occasions it finished behind champions Celtic despite being the top scorers in the league. In 1913, the won the Scottish Cup for the first time
Clyde Football Club are a Scottish professional football club based in Cumbernauld, who play in Scottish League Two. Formed in 1877 at the River Clyde, the play their home games at Broadwood Stadium. The Clyde Football Club was founded and played on the banks of the River Clyde at Barrowfield, documentary evidence from the SFA and indeed match reports in the Glasgow press clearly show it all began in 1877, and the thread continues unbroken to this day. Heres how the SFA recorded Clydes origins, Sitting on the edge of Bridgeton, Barrowfield Park lay in a triangle of land enclosed by Carstairs Street, Colvend Street and the river Clyde. The area was a mix of chemical, engineering and textile works with a high population density to provide the labour. Today this area is dotted with industrial units, but also contains a grassed area. So it may be possible to stand upon a corner of the original Barrowfield pitch, Barrowfield was originally shared with a short-lived team called Albatross. The club founded then has no resemblance to a professional football club. Clyde F. C. were a members club more akin to a present-day golf or bowling club. Clydes Secretary, John Graham, was also a rower and it seems the club had other sporting. Although most fixtures were informal, the Scottish Cup had existed since 1873, soon there would also be the Glasgow Merchants & Charity Cup and the Glasgow Cup that in their time were hotly contested major competitions. Clyde entered the 1st Round of the Scottish Cup on 29 September 1877 along with one hundred, Third Lanark were the visitors once again and they triumphed 1–0. Clyde joined the Scottish Football League in 1891, following acceptance, Vale of Leven provided the opposition for Clydes first League fixture on Saturday,15 August 1891. In a dream introduction to League football Clyde triumphed 10–3, a mid-table finish saw Clyde complete a confident season in League football, with League football an undoubted success, Barrowfield revealed its limitations and simply could not cope with the crowds as many gained illegal entry. Opposition teams complained about the facilities and it was clear that Clyde would have to do something to appease the League, the solution lay directly across the Clyde on some open ground known as Shawfield. Clyde endured a final season at Barrowfield finishing bottom of Division 1. The final action at Barrowfield was a friendly against crack opposition in the form of Sunderland on 30 April 1898 ending in a 3–3 draw, at a stroke Clyde transformed from Brigtonians to Shawfielders. Clyde said farewell to Barrowfield in the spring of 1898, across the river lay an area of undeveloped land known as Shawfield
Stirling Albion F.C.
Stirling Albion Football Club is a Scottish football club based in the city of Stirling. The club was founded in 1945 following the demise of Kings Park after World War II, the club currently competes in the Scottish League Two as a member of the Scottish Professional Football League. Its highest league came in 1958–59 with a 12th-placed position in the top flight. Its only major success is in the league where it has won the tier of Scottish football on four occasions. The club has recently competed in the third tier following its re-creation in 1975. Stirlings home ground is Forthbank Stadium, a 3,808 capacity stadium in the east of the city near the banks of the River Forth. Before the stadium was opened in 1993 the club was based at Annfield Stadium which had been the home of the club since it was founded in 1945, Stirling Albion was founded in 1945 after the towns previous football team Kings Park had failed to survive the Second World War. Kings Parks ground had been damaged during the war, having been hit by a German bomb on 20 July 1940 and this was one of only two bombs to fall on the town during the Second World War. The new club was the brainchild of local businessman Thomas Fergusson, a coal magnate. Annfield was situated within a quarter of a mile from the town centre, the name Albion supposedly came from the make of Fergussons coal trucks. This unfortunately is an urban myth, Albion Coal lorries were used as grandstands but the Club was named at a meeting of fans long before a ball was kicked. For a time it was a saying in Scotland that something or somebody was going up, in 1966 the club became the first British team to play in Japan. A period of decline set in during the late 1960s and early 1970s as the Albion were consigned to the bottom league, League reconstruction in the mid-1970s brought about a new 3 tier system and The Binos found themselves in the lowest division until 1977. A four-year spell in the 1st Division ended in humiliation in 1981 when the failed to score a league goal for eight months. Surprisingly they still finished 2nd bottom of the league, even missing penalties, relegation to Division 2 in 1981 almost killed the club as the team struggled under manager Alex Smith and dwindling gates led the club to the brink of bankruptcy. The clubs only way of escape was to sell Annfield to the local council, during this period, the team were responsible for the 20th centurys record Scottish Cup score, inflicting a 20–0 defeat on Selkirk in 1984. As the 1980s progressed the club continued to struggle, surprisingly still under the management of Alex Smith, george Peebles took charge of the team and would be the first Scottish manager to manage a team who played on Astroturf. The council had decided to make as much money as possible from Annfield, the main stand which was also demolished after being declared an unsafe building
East Stirlingshire F.C.
East Stirlingshire Football Club is a Scottish association football club based in the town of Falkirk. The club was founded in 1881 and competes in the Lowland Football League, the clubs origins can be traced to 1880 when a local cricket club formed a football team under the name Britannia, based in the village of Bainsford. The club was elected to the Scottish Football League in 1900–01 and has competed in the system for most of its existence. East Stirlingshire has won the tier of Scottish football once and finished runners-up once. The clubs highest league ranking came during the two seasons it competed in the top flight in 1932–33 and 1963–64. In 2016, East Stirlingshire became the first club ever to be relegated out of the league system. East Stirlingshire first entered in the Scottish Cup in 1882, its best result reaching the quarter-finals on three occasions, the last in 1981. The clubs best result in a cup competition was in the 2000–01 season when it reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup. In 2008, the club left Firs Park and moved to Ochilview Park to ground-share with local rivals Stenhousemuir, the clubs nickname is The Shire, which refers to the Stirlingshire part of the club name. In December 1883, the Stirlingshire Football Association was founded, with open to clubs exclusively from the county of Stirlingshire. It resulted in the establishment of a new tournament called the Stirlingshire Cup. East Stirlingshire dominated the tournament in its years, winning it for a record four years in a row between 1885 and 1889, including an emphatic 9–0 victory against Falkirk in the 1888 final. Two goals came from Lawrence McLachlan who was an influential goalscorer in the early successes. The latter years of the 19th century was East Stirlingshires most successful era in the Scottish Cup, in the 1888–89 and 1890–91 tournaments, the club reached the quarter-finals in what was to be the last time for 91 years, losing to Celtic and Hearts respectively. It was during this period that four East Stirlingshire players earned caps for their countries. The first was the Wales national team captain, Humphrey Jones, Three other players, David Alexander, Archibald Ritchie, and James McKie made appearances for the Scotland national team from 1891 to 1898. In March 1905, a proposal was raised for the club to merge with neighbours Falkirk with an aim to creating a bigger and more financially stable club, however, East Stirlingshires vote was not in favour and the club rejected the proposal. The club remained in Division Two until 1914–15 when it, at the end of World War I, the club was re-elected to the old Division Two which was re-established in the 1921–22 season