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West of Scotland Football League: Paws In Pollok

Date: 1st April 2022

I’ve discussed my love for non-league and lower league football in the past. 

The West of Scotland Football League may have taken over from The Juniors but it’s still holds the same appeal for me. 

I love the informality that goes with the game at that level. You can take a stroll around the ground, not being confined to an uncomfortable plastic seat. At half-time and full-time you’ll see kids venture onto the park for a wee kick-about. Families and friends will meet up and catch up as they watch their beloved team. The football is always pretty good too! 

These clubs aren’t focused on tv deals or the next commercial contract, they value their community and in turn the local community values them.

In the last decade I’ve not visited a team more than I’ve visited and watched Pollok play at Newlandsfield. It’s like a new footballing home for me.

That idea was cemented last Saturday, when my wife and myself took our dog down to Shawlands and then to Newlandsfield Park to take in Pollock’s league game against Hurlford United. 

George is a ten month old puppy and it was a big step for him to go to the game. He has never been in that kind of crowd before, witnessed cheering or jeering and had to stand around for an hour and half not doing very much. I’m glad to say he handled the event like a champ! 

See when I say that teams in the lower/non leagues understand their fanbases and the community more, I’m not lying. There must have been at least five dogs at that game on Saturday, I think George managed to meet them all. 

George did get attention. People would walk up and clap him as they passed. We were worried as he has barked at strangers in the past but he behaved himself on this exciting occasion. Only once did he bark and that was only when a fellow fan overstayed his welcome and started taking George’s picture (Living with me you’d think he’d be used to that). 

I’m not going to lie, the dog wasn’t concentrating on the action but he did enjoy the experience. He especially enjoyed the pies! 

I mentioned that kids would enter onto the pitch at the half-time interval. Well so did some of the dogs. I wasn’t overly keen on that but I did allow our cocker spaniel puppy the chance to step onto the field for a few seconds. In that brief team he managed to usher the ball safely out of play like a young Grant Hanley. 

Knowing if it’s a lovely Saturday and I’m off work that I kind get down to Newlandsfield and watch a game with George is fantastic. Personally having my dog and having football are two ways I manage to stay happy within myself. We all have our own ways when it comes to keeping our mental health ticking over and those two things are huge for me, so having the ability to combine the two is wonderful. 

It’s just another way that sees my love for Pollok and my appreciation for the West of Scotland Football League grow. 

By Scott Johnston (@TheFootyblognet)

Posted in: Latest News