Fixture secretary the unsung hero on derby day in Lowland and East of Scotland League
It is not easy to keep everyone happy when you are a football administrator in Scotland. But Kenny McLean is surely an exception.
The Lowland and East of Scotland League fixture secretary’s name will be unfamiliar to most. Kenny, who lives in Duns, likes to keep himself in the background, but his work deserves recognition.
The international break means Hibs, Hearts, FC Edinburgh and Bonnyrigg Rose fans will be at a loose end Saturday, with no SPFL league games taking place.
Kenny has known this for a long time, of course, and has planned the Lowland League and East of Scotland League fixtures accordingly by scheduling as many local derbies as possible.
His goal is to make local semi-pro fixtures as attractive as possible to casual fans who may be considering going along for their football fix. So in the Lowland League there is an intriguing Capital derby between Civil Service Strollers and Spartans. In the East of Scotland Premier, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale host Tynecastle, Haddington take on Musselburgh and Linlithgow meet Broxburn. There are more examples all the way down the leagues and clubs can expect bigger crowds as a result.
I remember the days at that level when you would be lucky to know your next opponents more than a week in advance. Kenny has it all meticulously planned months in advance.
Trying to organise fixtures for five leagues, involving 79 teams – some of whom share a ground – and various cup competitions must be incredibly complex. Somehow he makes it look easy.