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Scottish Non-League Programme of the Year 2014-15 - Results

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This is the article that appears in the July edition of Programme Monthly. Remember this is a bit of fun, there is no actual award. There will be happy people, there will be sad people, but remember it’s my judgement and nobody elses. If someone else judged the awards the outcome may well be different (if anyone else was mad enough to do it) that’s the nature of the beast I’m afraid, anyway................

This seasons competition saw a disappointing drop in entries from 58 to 42, none the less with an estimated 70-80 clubs issuing regularly it’s a fairly healthy proportion and almost all of the top 20 from last season were entered again, so I’m fairly confident those clubs who were realistic contenders for the title were in the mix.

The quality of programmes at the top end have noticeably improved, whether that be better quality print, glossy paper, or just down to improved content. Last season there were a surprising number of instances where the lack of basic content let a programme down overall, lack of match reports and poor stats being the prime areas, and clubs with a rich history which was basically ignored within their programme. It’s good to see that some clubs have improved in those areas and that is reflected in clubs moving up the rankings.

All clubs who issue on a regular basis are to be congratulated for their efforts regardless of where they finish, Scotland still suffers badly at non-league level with clubs, some of them at the top end of the game, who simply show no interest in issuing programmes, only 30-35% actually do overall which is a very poor ratio so any programme is a good programme. Media coverage at some levels is scant to non-existent, and a programme is often the best way to keep fans connected with the club in addition to the world of social media.

Anyway, to the 2014-15 awards. There was a clear winner although like last year the next dozen or so places were very close, with little between them and all of very good quality.


Luncarty of the East Region North Division Juniors

The 44 page programme for £1.00 is exceptional value for money. Packed with interesting, readable articles and plenty of colour it’s a joy to read. This small Perthshire club play on front of crowds that struggle to exceed 50 and editor Grant Ritchie deserves credit for producing a programme of consistent quality and value. A well deserved winner.


Gala Fairydean Rovers of the Lowland League

Gala are one of the clubs who took note of where they fell down last year and made noticeable improvements. Immaculately designed and SPFL quality, it also provides plenty reading and covers all the basics well. Sometimes programmes get so wrapped up in design and flashiness that they forget about content, Gala have the balance right.


Buckie Thistle of the Highland League

Last years winners surprisingly only make third place this year. That said, the programme by Easton Thain remains high quality and has moved to glossy paper format. As ever, plenty to read with the clubs history and that of the Highland League covered exceptionally well.


The quality of the next dozen or so issues was high and there wasn’t really too much to separate them. The Clydebank issue has improved a lot since last season and was unlucky to miss out of a top three place. The visitor coverage is well written as are the historical pieces, which are also nicely illustrated. Whitehill Welfare again produced a fantastic programme for little money, last years runners-up have stuck to the tried and tested format and it works, the same can be said for Edinburgh City, what they lack in colour is made-up for in well written content. Fraserburgh and Formartine United of the Highland League both issue similar full colour programmes which also contain plenty of interesting reading. After Luncarty & Clydebank, Kelty Hearts and Auchinleck Talbot produce the next best programmes in the Junior grade, plenty of content and very good value, both clubs won their respective Championships and both are ahead in the programme world as well.

That rounds off the second year of the awards. As I touched on earlier it was a little more challenging this year in terms of getting clubs to submit entries, but it all came together in the end and congratulations to every club who make the effort to produce a programme.


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