Credit: Claire Thomson

GUFC look ahead to their Scottish Cup second-round tie

By Claire Thomson

After a 3-2 win in the Highlands over Forres Mechanics, GUFC have drawn Albion Rovers in the next leg of their cup journey.

Glasgow University’s Football Club (GUFC) has been absent from the second round of the Scottish Cup since 1976, where they eventually lost to Albion Rovers in what should have been a tied match but ended in a 1-0 defeat courtesy of a replay. Now the team, with new manager Mark Adams in tow, have a chance to make amends. Having beat Highlanders Forres Mechanics 3-2 in the first round, the university side will now face a team fuelled with history for the club, the very team who ended their Scottish Cup journey 46 years ago, on 22 October at the Penny Car Stadium in Airdrie. 

Speaking to The Glasgow Guardian, the players emphasised how much it meant for both them, personally having played football for so long and suffered through several first-round defeats, as well as for the team to have come so far in such a prestigious and historic tournament.

Having only conceded one loss in their last five matches, the Uni is suggesting that an upset might be on the cards, considering the stuttering start to the season for opponents Albion Rovers, having yet to take a win in League 2. But the team must approach the match with caution and management, despite the quiet confidence lurking in the background. Whilst Glasgow Uni play in tier 8 of Scottish football, Albion Rovers still remain four tiers above them and the favourites for the win. 

However, GUFC are not giving up without a fight, with nothing to lose, and have been working hard behind the scenes, developing their strategies that have provided them with success so far, and creating a game plan and tactics for the tie next weekend. Admitting that even in the West of Scotland League, the Uni team is written off from the start of the season, the team believe that this game will just be like any other – the underdogs chasing a win. 

There is only one true hope for GUFC and that is to make the University proud. Telling stories about the stereotypes associated with university football and abuse that some of the players in the team have faced, it is now about proving everyone else wrong and leaving it all on the pitch. 

Speaking highly of the new manager this season, Mark Adams, a change of leadership within the club has done a world of good for the team. Former manager at Stirling University, Adams is clear with his visions and goals for the club, whilst trying to instil a sense of professionalism, that has perhaps been absent from the team in recent years. A change in commitment and a change in attitude appears to be the biggest modifications but tactically, there has also been a notable difference with the team being “more switched on” to the strengths of the opposition and able to adapt their style of play to different situations.

Following the 1976 fixture, the GUFC coach at the time, John Pollatschek, recalled to The Herald: “The lasting memories came from the crowd,” he said. “The absentees from classes at the university provided entertainment throughout.” 

The team will be hoping for the same this time around.


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