Welcome to the first addition of the “Worst XI” blogs as we drop down the leagues and into League One. It’s becoming increasingly harder to find worthy and willing supporters to write these pieces so please be patient with us, we will strive to get through them all. First up is Forfar Athletic fan Lee Smith looking at the worst ‘Loons’ side of the last 15 years.
The first ever Forfar Athletic game I went to in January 1999 where we drew 2-2 against East Fife in the Scottish Cup, and in those 90 minutes I was in love with Forfar Athletic. Fast forward five months later and we were relegated after winning only five games from eighteen whilst I was getting asked the usual ‘Why do you support Forfar, they never win anything, support Rangers or Celtic’. Along the years it’s pretty much been the same, joy at things like promotion through the play offs or beating Rangers alongside large periods of despair as the Loons finished bottom of the Second and then Third Division in consecutive seasons. I’ve seen some great players at Station Park, some now playing in England or elsewhere in Europe have even been capped for their country like Gregory Tade, Scott Allan (not quite playing but he’s one of the best players I’ve seen in a Forfar shirt), Johnny Russell or Barry Robson but I’ve seen far too many horrendous players as well.
Here is my worst ever XI to pull on a Sky Blue jersey:
Goalkeeper – Francois Dubourdeau
Joined the club in 2005 having played in the SPL previously with Kilmarnock and Motherwell, I thought he must be alright at least then. I was to be proven wrong, he was error prone, the worst case being when Forfar were winning 2-1 against a poor Dumbarton and he messed up twice in the last five minutes including missing the ball completely, allowing it to roll into an empty net giving Dumbarton a 3-2 win. He lasted two more games before Sean Murdoch was brought in on loan. Somehow managed to get a contract with Accrington Stanley the following season. Now in America coaching last I heard.
Centre Back – Barry Donachie
One of Jim Moffat’s supposedly brilliant signings to keep us off bottom of the Third and somehow stayed with Forfar for 18 months despite being horrendous about 99% of the time. Came with a bit of a reputation for being aggressive, pity he was all bark and no bite. Now at Tayport and has been since leaving the club.
Centre Back – Gary Lynn
Signed in the George Shaw season from the juniors, he looked shaky from the start, not exactly helping by recieving a red card in a pre season friendly, the only time I’ve seen that happen. He had his occasional flashes of looking capable but on the whole, couldn’t defend to save himself. He’s a left back but I’m taking the Jim Moffat way of shoehorning players in to make them fit into a team.
Centre Back – Simon Vella
Arrived from Airdrie United as a Maltese internationalist in the summer of 2003 and sounded like he would be a good signing in pre season, in competitive games though, not so much. He played just five games for the Loons before moving on by ‘mutual consent’. Any time I watched him he looked a bombscare, the worst being his final game for the club, a 5-1 hammering by Berwick in a Boxing Day fixture. I don’t ever recall winning a game whilst he played either.
Right Midfield – Daniel Ogunmade
I included Ogunmade as I was sure he only made one appearance for us whilst on loan, but he apparently made four more appearaces, which I don’t ever remember him making. He is still being included for the one appearance I remember though as it is one of the worst appearances I ever remember by a player in a Forfar shirt.
Left Midfield – Jay Stein
Started his time at us off well but his form deteriorated quickly resulting in him being dropped for Ricky Waddell and rarely appearing in the second half of the season unless it was off the bench. It was a toss up between him and Kevin Webster, with Stein taking the place on account of he seemed more lazy than Webster.
Centre Midfield – Colin Marshall
Probably not the worst talent wise, but most certainly one of the worst players I have ever seen attitude wise. Played seven games for us in 2006, leaving before the end of August after storming off because he was subbed in a 3-1 defeat to Arbroath. I was glad to see the back of him as he wasn’t really contributing much anyway. Somehow got himself contracts in England, Spain and Iceland before joining a team in Japan. Upon reading further on him in Japan, it seems as if he left after a disagreement with the manager, no surprise there. An interview with him claims he was offered a very good contract in Russia and Thailand but they ‘fell through’ and wouldn’t join teams in Scotland as the football here is ‘financially ruined’. Good to see he isn’t the egotistical twat he was before then.
Centre Midfield – Barry Donald
Liked to run around like a headless chicken the majority of time, or make rash challenges. In a nutshell, offered very little to the side in his two seasons, the only reason I noticed he was playing was because of his tan, clearly having spent more time on the sunbed than trying to improve his ability. Moved on to Albion Rovers but not sure where he plays nowadays.
Striker – Chris Mackie
Another on loan player, he arrived from Alloa in October 2007, scoring once in seven games. He is one of the laziest strikers to appear for the club in my time, never attempted to actually work for the ball, always expected it to land at his feet. Needless to say we never won a game with him in our strikeforce. Was booted out of the club for reportedly refusing to be placed on the bench. Now in the west of Scotland moving from junior club to junior club.
Striker – Martin Cameron
Has a reputation for scoring goals, although his time at Forfar in 2005/06 amassed only five the whole season. Looked overweight when he first arrived, he scored his first in his third game, showing signs he could reproduce his previous form at Alloa and St Mirren. He never scored again until November, but did net in three consecutive games in this month. One of the least threatening strikers I have ever seen in a Forfar shirt.
Striker – Jon Voigt
How he managed a contract with us I’ll never know. Managed one goal in a six month period where he never once looked like he’d make it as a professional player. How he later managed to get signed by Arbroath and Montrose is a mystery. Is now floating around the juniors somewhere.
Marc Cocozza – Came through Celtic’s youth ranks and played twice for Dundee United before joining us, struggled in his three game spell before joining the juniors. Once played for Scotland under 19’s apparently, I assume we were struggling for players then.
Dougie Cameron – Very dodgy defender, looked much better when he was at Peterhead and then East Fife afterwards.
Aaron Conway – How he managed to sign for Livingston years later I will never know, couldn’t cross despite being a wide midfielder.
Gregor Fotheringham – Came to us on loan from Rangers in January 2013, barely played and was released by Rangers when they realised he wouldn’t cut it in their attempts to climb the leagues. Somehow got a contract at East Fife in the summer and hasn’t been seen since, I presume he was released.
Bryan Duell – Seemed well liked, his football ability wasn’t liked as much. Scored loads in the juniors but only scored three competitive goals, and the only goal can remember him scoring at Station Park was when Craig Nelson’s kick out came off his back and looped in during a friendly.
George Shaw – Can I include him as both a joint manager and player? Very poor striker, don’t recall him doing much.
Colin Meldrum – Just for his attitude towards the club he gets included in this, struggling to think of keepers that deserve inclusion in this bar Dubourdeau
I can’t decide between the pair as they were both so bad so I’ll go for a joint manager pairing of Jim Moffat and George Shaw. Both managers led us to successive tenth place finishes in the Second (Shaw) and then Third (Moffat) divisions. Shaw reportedly told players to stay away from the club because they disagreed with him and made some bizarre signings such as Lynn, Gary Tierney, Colin Marshall. Moffat on the other hand was slightly more incompetent in his managerial skills, bringing in unknown players from the juniors and players who no-one else would touch such as Sean Kilgannon and Gavin Beith.
Neither have had a managerial position since, and who can blame clubs for not wanting to take them on.