30 years ago Tayport FC stepped into Junior football and provided the town with a Junior team for the first time in exactly half a century. After the thrills and excitement of three decades during which the club reached the heady heights of the Junior game, this season we are back where we started, in an all Tayside League.
In 1990 there were 26 clubs in two Tayside divisions. When we kick off on Saturday at Blairgowrie there are only 17 clubs formed into a single division. Three clubs have moved to the Seniors, one to the North Region and the remaining five have gone defunct.
The kingpins in last season’s aborted North Super League were Lochee United, Broughty Athletic and Carnoustie Panmure and they will again be looking to set the pace. Tayport blew hot and cold last season, the difference between the team being mid-table and challenging at the top, was a consistent failure to get the better of matches against these clubs.
Manager Chris McPherson is into his second season at the helm and will be looking to improve on last season’s form to mount a challenge. Last time the team kept a clean sheet on the road was August 2019 and this season’s pre-season suggests this aspect of the team’s progress could again be an issue, with 17 goals shipped in seven pre-season friendlies. What will have pleased Chris, however, is the fact that Tayport won six of these games, rattling in 29 goals.
Since the close down, Chris has parted company with a few of last season’s squad. Danny Strachan is back at Dens Park, Ryan Suttie and Alej Cabrera have moved on, Jamie Mackie is at Fife Thistle and Luke O’Brien is out on loan at Arbroath Vics.
The manager wasn’t slow to recruit new faces, bringing in keeper Gary Thain, defenders Zac Wilson and Bradie Heggie, midfielder Jamie McCabe and striker Gordon Norrie, all of whom have experience with Tayside Junior clubs.
There are hopes that Lyall Shaw could be back in action after injury.
All matches have still to be played behind closed doors but you can keep in touch through live match updates on our Twitter page.