Now that season 2020/21 has been ended the club's attentions are immediately drawn to season 2021/22 and we are delighted to announce that 4 players have committed their immediate futures to the club. Danny Mackay, Alan Farquhar, Mark Macadie and David Allan have all put pen to paper on long term deals which will see them extend their stay with the club.
Manager Gary Manson is delighted to tie the players down:- "It's important to secure the squad for next season early and it's great to be able to announce these 4 players signing contract extensions. It shows they are committed to the club and I'm really pleased in particular to see young Mark Macadie commit to the club long term as he is one we have a lot of hope for in the coming seasons.
The other 3 guys offer invaluable experience and having both the captain and vice-captain sign up is very pleasing."
The Highland League League Management Committee met last evening to take stock of season 2020-2021 and the prospects of completing the planned fixture programme.
In view of the circumstances the meeting decided to call a halt to season 2020-2021 because it could not see a viable means to finish it in reasonable time that would allow appropriate preparations for season 2021-2022. The clear hope is that the new season will provide circumstances that enable a return to more normal activity.
The LMC also decided to honour its obligation to the Scottish Football Pyramid by declaring Brora Rangers FC the champion club for 2020-2021. The statement below provides the background to this decision.
SFA Pyramid Play-offs Season 2020-21 – SHFL Determination of Champion Club
The SHFL is a committed member league of the SFA Pyramid for Scottish Football. This commitment brings with it an obligation to produce a champion club to take part in the annual Pyramid Play-offs and, once the appropriate arrangements are in place at Pyramid Level 6, to ensure that play-offs between Level 5 and Level 6 in the North/North-East of Scotland are established.
The SHFL champion club is determined by points won in championship matches and, given the League Management Committee (LMC) precedent of 21st March 2020, where the season can’t be completed, on a points per game basis. In the event of points being equal, goal difference applies – SHFL rule 8.1.3 refers.
The SHFL LMC has the power to make the decisions on how the champion club is identified – SHFL Rule 4.2.1 refers – ‘The business of the League shall be conducted by the League Management Committee….’.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, LMC standing orders were suspended for the duration of the pandemic by a unanimous vote at the EGM on 21st March 2020. This suspension continues as the pandemic is not yet over.
The 2020-21 season has been shortened severely by pandemic circumstances. The League took great care to hold off beginning the Championship until it could start at a stage at which it was as safe as possible to do so in the communities in which the League is based. This was also for the sake of people involved in the League’s activities – its sense of responsibility to that context is important – and it has been unfortunate that another suspension of play occurred, thereby further truncating the season.
The Scottish Government has allowed the restart of Scottish Leagues 1 and 2, subject to weekly testing of all involved for the remainder of the season. The cost of PCR testing – at an estimated £1,500 per club per week – is beyond the sustainable resources of SHFL clubs for the length of even a shortened League campaign. It should be noted that, from the outset, the League’s top priority has been to seek to ensure that all clubs survived beyond the pandemic.
Strict interpretation of the Pyramid Play-off rules means that the obligation to produce a champion club has to relate to the season in which the play-offs take place. The LMC therefore considered the matter using League rules and decision precedent of a points per game basis, and where necessary, goal difference as its guide.
Consequently, with a decision having been made to call an end to Season 2020-21, the LMC unanimously agreed that Brora Rangers FC should be declared the SHFL Champion Club for Season 2020-21 and be put forward as the SHFL’s nominated club for the SHFL/SLFL/SPFL play-offs.
Following a Highland League management committee meeting it has been agreed following a directive from the SFA that all Highland League activities and the Scottish Cup will be temporally suspended.
The league secretary will draw up a refreshed fixtures list with the hope that games will restart sometime in February. This will be subject to a rolling review by the Scottish FA board and the Scottish Government.
All tickets previously sold for Wick Academy January games will still be valid when the fixtures are rearranged.
Any tickets purchased for games played without supporters, can be kept and used next season or can be reimbursed. Details how to reclaim will be posted later.
The health and wellbeing of everyone associated with playing and supporting our game is of vital importance and as such we fully support this decision.
Our league game against Huntly on Saturday the 9th January is postponed. Huntly will be playing in the Scottish Cup that day.
Wick Academy players Ross Allan, Jack Hendry, Richard Macadie and Sean Campbell took time out before training last Saturday to make a donation to the Wick food-bank and the Caithness FM Toy appeal.
Academy manager Gary Manson said: "The club is delighted to help out a local charities at this time of year. We have donated dozens of toys to the Caithness FM appeal. We hope the donations bring some joy to the children."
Our Scottish Cup match against Musselburgh Athletic on Saturday the 19th December has been postponed. As per SFA protocol there was a pitch inspection today which failed.
The game has been re-scheduled for Monday the 21st December. 7.30pm kick-off.
Match day tickets that have been purchased will remain valid. If you have a ticket and cannot make the re-scheduled date please contact the club and a refund will be organised.
The winner of our Second round preliminary match against Musselburgh Athletic will be away to Scottish League Two Cowdenbeath. That tie is scheduled to be played on Saturday the 26th December.
The full first round draw is as follows:
Wick Academy is delighted to announce that our match day procedure has now been approved by the League. This can be read here (version updated 09-12-20) and contains sections detailing the zones within Harmsworth Park as well as information for Home team, Away team, Match Officials, Media and Spectators.
We fully appreciate that these are extraordinarily difficult times. If you have a match day ticket and will be attending a game we want to ensure that everyone stays safe. The League has worked very hard to get permission granted for games to start with spectators present so we ask please that you read the procedure document and comply with the guidance contained within it. In particular familiarize yourself with the zones which will be in force once locked down is in place, diagram B in the document.
Key points to note for spectators are as follows:
- Admissions to games will be by ticket only
- Spectators should not under any circumstances enter the red zone
- Spectators must pass a temperature check
- Face masks must be worn inside the ground and social distancing must be adhered to
- Limited seating will be available in the east half of the north stand and access will only be via the top car-park
- The tea hut will not be open on match days and we are currently not able to offer match day hospitality
- Please exit the ground immediately after the final whistle
Match day tickets will be available for sale from Harmsworth Park up to 12am on match days.
Thank you for your continued support to the club and we hope that you enjoy being back watching the lads compete starting this Saturday against our visitors Buckie Thistle.
Wick Academy FC Chairman
For the 2020/21 season, following guidelines issued by the Highland League, Wick Academy will only allow entry to games by the purchase of matchday tickets. Spectator numbers will be capped at a strict limit of 300 per game. Covid-19 regulations means we have to have traceability of all who enter the ground so name and contact number must be printed on the matchday ticket.
Everyone who enters the ground will be required to pass a temperature check and in accordance with Government guidelines face masks must be worn. 2m social distancing must also be observed.
We are working with the league in finalising our policies and procedures and these will be published early next week.
Tickets for our eight League home games and our Scottish Cup tie will be on sale from tomorrow 21st November from the following outlets:
- Caithness Print Solutions—Lower Dunbar Street Wick.
- Overloch Car Parts - Breadalbane Terrace Wick.
- Harpers Fly Fishing - 57 High Street Thurso.
- Harmsworth Park - Sat, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur, Fri and Sat (match-day) up to 12am.
- Pat Miller - 07856270286
- Tracey Miller - 07717488429
- Stewart Gunn - 07745372103
Season Ticket (batch of 8) £60 full
Single League ticket £8 Full
Scottish Cup Tie £10 Full
We recommend to those that wish to attend matches that you buy your tickets early and complete the Covid-19 track-and-trace details part of the ticket prior to coming to the games so that there are no unnecessary delays in queues before kick-off.
The club are delighted to announce today that Sean Campbell has signed for the club. Sean joins us after most recently playing for Thurso in the North Caledonian League where he scored 3 goals in 2 games this season.
Manager Gary Manson had this to say about the signing:
"I'm delighted to get Sean signed up, he's a player I know very well and is exactly the type of guy I want to work with. Sean will bring real quality and enthusiasm to the squad, as well as valuable versatility. It's important when working with a small squad that you have players who can cover different positions and Sean can comfortably do that while maintaining high performance levels. I'm really looking forward to seeing Sean make the step up to Highland League level, a step up which he'll more than handle."
The talented young player now joins up with the squad as they prepare to kick off the campaign at home to Buckie Thistle on November 28th.