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30th June 2000 NEIL CREIGHTON
Graeme McNay: The boy from Moffats just 15 and on an "S" Form contract and he told me that he now can't play for Queens until he leaves school. He is a good wee player though and always skins me down the park and I hope that one day he does play for the doonhamers.
29th June 2000 BRIAN DODD

you dont know me but i know some of the players you signed upon your departure from ashington i would like to take this opportunity to wish you success in the coming season especially with your new signings i shall continue to monitor each one through the site.
29th June 2000 ROBBIE FEENIE
RE: Steve from Ipswich ( Operation Goodguys). Hi folks i was spreading the word on QoS over in Dublin last week and have manged to forge alliances with Ipswich and Real Madrid !! I'll keep everyone posted on which players i can muster up, perhaps Raul ! Steve, whats your email address ?
29th June 2000 GRAEME McNAY
Sorry to hear about George Rowe leaving, he will be greatly missed. On another note does anyone no anything about the boy we've supposedly signed from Moffat?

Only another month to go until the the start of the season and i for one can't wait. Fingers-crossed for a change in fortunes this season.
29th June 2000 SUSAN 'NEWCASTLE'
is it true that the northern league division 2's top scorer has left his previous club and joined Queens???

I have seen this kid play and I think he is a good buy!!

Good Luck next Season!!
Can I just say that it was rather poignant to read about George Rowe's departure from Queens.

I'm sure many fans will be sorry to see such a great servant to the club have to leave due to such circumstances. I'm sure myself and many fans will wish him all the best in whatever avenue he's likely to take in the future.
28th June 2000 JOHN CRAWFORD
i'm very sorry that george rowe is leaving queens. he's put in a lot to the club over the years at a time when most players don't give a damn. that was reflected in the support and turn out he got for the 2 testimonial dinners last season. we'll miss his determination and effort in games next season. despite not being the most skillful player on the park, he was still my player of the season for everything that he put into the club both on and off the park. if some of the other players could have shown his commitment last season then we would never have been in the laughable position we got into. good luck george wherever you go and thanks for everything.
27th June 2000 SANDY ORR
Does anyone know what is happening about the Challenge Cup draw? The first round was supposed to kick off at the end of July, but I have not heard any mention of the Challenge Cup for weeks.
26th June 2000 STEVE
Met a couple of lads whilst on Dublin last week, who are fans of Queen of the South, and have got me into following the lads, so I'll now be looking for the lads scores on a Saturday afternoon.

Up the Doonhamers.
25th June 2000 IAN BLACK
I am now online so if anybody wants to email me at . As a new user of the Queens web I must congratulate Colin Johnston on the good job he has done on the website.
25th June 2000 ROB CAMPBELL
Rangers have Andy Cameron for their pre match 'entertainment' ahem! I was just wondering if the rumours are true that our new manager will be asking his brother Billy to warm up the crowd before kick off!!!

Best of luck John and all the players for the coming season. I've got a good feeling about the future at Palmerston now....

Incidently, the guy that wrote in with those ideas about the pay for 10 matches and get the eleventh free. The club should listen to him. Those are some really good ideas and a forward thinking club like Queens should consider adopting some or all of those ideas.

21st June 2000 PAUL PEARSON
Great to get a response from the manager. Its like a breath of fresh air. In my opinion the PR as Palmesrton stinks, I dont think the club do enough to keep the fans uptodate on all the goings on.

So responses from John Connelly are much apprecited and long may it continue.

I know alot of fans would agree with this.

I cant wait for the new season. We are trying a new approach and we should all be very optimisitc and get right behind the team.

What about starting up a song book section for all Queens songs?
19th June 2000 DAVID ROULSTON
Nice to receive a message from the manager on the website - spot on.

Perhaps in time it would be a good idea to set up a page for the "message from the bench" (or something with a far better and more catchy title)so that John Connolly can communicate with the fans directly via the website.

It is useful to hear his thoughts on things.

I can particularly resonate with his observations regarding Queens' relatively recent tour of the North East. Blyth Spartans well and truly took them to the cleaners and I had my leg pulled about this for a wee while.

On another but related topic, this season's developments remind me of when Willy McLean became the QoS manager in 1973 and brought in Billy McLaren, Ian Reid, Jimmy Miller and Tommy O'Hara amongst others to the team. I'm optimistic about the future and feel this could be a significant year for the club with the new faces in the team.
19th June 2000 NEIL CREIGHTON
Reading John Connloy's recent addittions to the message board there are a couple of questions that I feel he hasn't answered and although he said addmissions on the site wouldn't become a regular occurance I was wondering if he could answer the following;

i) What is your objective for this season (i.e Promotion, mid-table or avoid relegation)?

ii)Do you feel this is an achievable aim with the current pool of players at the club?
16th June 2000 JIM KIRK
It was refreshing to read manager John Connollys remarks. He was correct on the facts and it is time for all fans to move forward.

It was a touch of class and he seems exactly the type of manager the team needs. Forward thinking is important in modern football and John seems to have it.
16th June 2000 IAIN HENDERSON
Reading all the comments about the new players, I despair. I really do. What right have we got to be so arrogant about our standard of football? We've been poor to bad for years, & got away with it.

As for the standard of play in the Unibond League - just remeber that the Unibond Premier feeds the Conference which feeds the Football League. I watch the Conference all the time down here, and believe me, not one of the Queens teams over the last 10 years would last more than a season! The last 3 teams promoted from the conference have all achieved either promotion or play-off spots in their first season in the Football League. My local side, Hayes, have 6 or 7 players that would walk into any Scottish FIRST division side - 3 of them are England semi-pro internationals, and Hayes finished in mid table!

Those of you with long memories stop & think about who we've had from English non-league:

Allan Ball (of course);
Mike Barker, one of the best left backs I ever saw in a blue shirt;
John Murray of the bear trap tackle;
Billy Roughley & Arnie Coates, a brilliant partnership on the right;
Trevor Ford, another Jimmy Binning;
George Siddle at centre half;
Jimmy Davidson, right or left wing.

Need I go on?

So, Mr Connolly, go for the conference & Unibond players (Accrington have an excellent striker!) Buy Mark Molesley, or Dave Stevens or Lee Flynn (best left back I've seen since Alex Cairns); the moaners will soon come round when the points come in! Go for it!
16th June 2000 IAN RAFFEL
Well said John Connelly! Of course it's unfair for people to have a go before a ball is kicked, and the level of commitment may have been poor at the end of the season, but the signs were there from as early as the 1-1 home draw with Clyde.

I'm hoping to get up from Northants as soon as possible into the new season, but I'll be following events with interest, and I want to wish everyone connected with the club all the best! Keep travelling by the railway line and keep your doors and windows open wide!
16th June 2000 JIM KIRK
Finally, a Dumfries boy going into Scotland squad! Dominic Matteo born in Dumfries has finally decided that he's been messed about enough by England and now's the time for Scotland. Actually I'm a bit cynical about this sort of stuff but at least he was born in Scotland unlike some members of the squad. Too bad he's not going to be playing for Queen's :-)
16th June 2000 ED WILSON
Is there anyone to confirm or deny the "rumours" concerning Mallan, Mathieson etc? It would be criminal to let these guys go anywhere let alone to Stranraer. I can`t think of a better way to lose the support of the fans than this. I`m all for new blood at the club but surely not at the expense of the talent we already have.
14th June 2000 NEIL CREIGHTON
Okay firstly I'd like to apologise if any of this information is wrong but I did hear it off somebody associated with the club.

Its about once again we're losing our good players for nothing because we don't put them on decent contracts.

First of all we might be losing Hodge on a free to Dundee Utd and Mathieson's unhappy and might be joining Ayr or Stranraer.

Also after George Rowes testimonial there is a rumour himself and Mallan will be joining Stranraer.

I just thought I'd say and if its the truth then I'm extremely p** of as I'm sure all you will be to.

On a brighter note I also heard that the opponents in the testimonial may well be Rangers which will be a good night.
14th June 2000 BIG AL
Come on the Queens.
All the best for the new season.
Good luck Mr Connolly.
Have a good season boys.
14th June 2000 LEZ COUPLAND
Ronnie Bradford was correct by saying that more people with money should come forward and invest in Queens. I have to ask myself why some of the directors are at the club, I don't think any of them have the money for professional football. Nearly forty years in the wilderness says it all. Queen of the South versus Gateshead and Gretna versus Boca Juniors. Need I say more. Let's be quite honest with ourselves, we are now no bigger than Stranraer and Berwick Rangers, we used to be up there with Motherwell, Saint Johnstone, Dundee United and Kilmarnock. Signing players from the Northern League has been exactly the problem during the past forty years. If Queens want to get back to the big time, they should be signing players who have been released from Scottish Premier League sides. Don't forget that Ashington are only an average Northern League 2nd Division side. Only once in every twenty years or so do you get an Allan Ball. Good luck in the coming season, but I fear this time they will go down for real.
8th June 2000 GORDON ORR
I was pleased to read in one of the tabloids that Queens are leading the chase for Ally Graham. I've watched him for many years, and although he is now 33 and may not be the fastest player in the Division, one thing he can do is cause defences problems with his height, as Queens found to their cost last year. Hawke, Graham and Mallen would be a good front line and would certainly be as good as anything in the new 2nd Division. However after reading John Connolly's interview, and I love the idea about 100% commitment and about being a local team, but I am a bit suspect about signing a 32year old who has played all his days at Penrith and Gretna. Is that the answer?.

Derek Townsley was a success but he is the exception. Craig Potts, who was Gretna's star man was hopeless when he came to Palmerston.

Mr Connolly I know you have a good knowledge of the North East and you must have a lot a faith in the Ashington boys you have signed but this is a better league with good players who a lot have played at a higher level. Please dont be blinkered there is good Scottish Talent as well, especially players freed from Premier and First Division clubs.
8th June 2000 JOHN CRAWFORD
i'd buy in completely to what ewan and walt are saying about innovative ways of transforming the club's successes. i'm especially interested about imaginative ways of getting a lot more people into palmerston where they should be watching first division matches against clubs like ayr and raith rovers. it's painful that we're such consistent under-performers given our potential as the biggest senior league club in the south of scotland. why do we never get anywhere ? has anyone ever carried out a proper feasibility study or funded a market research report ?

any club, business or organisation is only as good as the people involved, and i mean actively involved. let's seize the opportunity of changes in club personnel at the various levels to bring in some imaginative and creative thinking about how to develop things at queens. scotland is a changing place at all levels and football is no exception. looking at the comments and ideas which rain down on the website unprompted, surely we could tap people for more input with a concerted campaign.
8th June 2000 SIMON MILLAGE
Could we start a petition for bringing Andy Home. Surely he would pay for himself with the attendance swelling with people coming to see the king play.

Now all we need is Neso, and JT back.
8th June 2000 DAVID ROULSTON

Should have added something about Phil Nixon being referred to as the central defensive lynchpin of the side earlier in the article otherwise it might be difficult to put the quote from the new Ashington manager in context.

8th June 2000 DAVID ROULSTON
I thought that Queen's fans might be interested in some of the snippets emerging in a local Northumberland freebie paper which shows great interest in Ashington FC's fortunes.

Some quotes from an article in tonights paper:

"Its back to the drawing board for Ashington's newly installed manager, Cecil Irwin, amid reports of several players moving to pastures new...

Connolly whilst raiding his former club remained defiant about the moves: "I've been talking to another manager who wanted to take the same players so why should I hang back on good players just because they're at my ex club?"...

Irwin (Ashington current Manager) sent a special 'good luck' message to Nixon who he originally brought to Portland Park (Ashington's ground) in his last spell in charge "I don't really know the other 4 players but reckon Phil to be one of the best defenders in the whole of this league. Other managers have said the same thing and I believe its right. Phil has always wanted to better himself and I wish him every success..."

Later in the article John Connolly is quoted as recognising the potential for increasing the attendance at home matches to 1500 and setting out that training wil begin in earnest on June 24.
7th June 2000 EWAN McNAUGHT
It strikes me that Andy Thomson's desire to leave Gillingham and return to Scotland is a great opportunity for an ambitious Scottish club to snap up an outstanding talent. Presumably his extraordinarily honest confession that he does not consider himself good enough for the English first division rules him out of a move to the Scottish Premier which (Celtic and Rangers apart) is roughly the same standard as the league Gillingham have just been promoted to. Peter Taylor was reported in the press as admiring Thomson's honesty about his ability so presumably Gillingham will have to be honest about his market value which should be correspondingly moderate. The situation seems perfect for an ambitious lower league Scottish team to pick up Thomson for say 25,000 to 40,000. The usual suspects could be predicted to enter the frame (Livingstone, Ross County, Inverness Caley Thistle) but my view is why not Queens? The prevailing view seems to be that he's out of our league. However Andy's affection for Queen's seems to have remained undiminished during his spell in England and I'm sure if the right package was offered he could be tempted back. Of course the transfer fee and his full time wages would be prohibitive but maybe an innovative solution could be found modelled on Queen's excellent shirt sponsorship raffle scheme. I for one would certainly be happy to sponsor any package to bring Andy back to Palmerston and I'm sure many other fans might feel the same way. Obviously it would have to be an affordable sum (say 100.00 to 200.00 per supporter,perhaps you could have a sliding scale of pledges with different rewards e.g. season tickets etc. like the shirt sponsorship programme).

In my view Andy Thomson was the best striker I've ever seen at Palmerston and he would cause havoc in the Second Division after all his experience at higher levels in England. His return(if it could be engineered somehow) allied to the very positive and encouraging declaration of intent by John Connolly could herald the transformation of Queen's from also rans to serious Division One contenders. I know my proposal is quite an unusual one and might not be easy to put into practice and I'm not suggesting it as a model for all future transfers but I would be interested to hear if anyone else has any views on the unique Andy Thomson and whether we can, or should, try to get him back.
7th June 2000 WALT ADAMSON
Doesn't look like the bookies fancy us much for next year but what do they know. I don't know if everyone's seen this already, it's off an internet betting site...

Partick Thistle 7/2
Arbroath 4/1
Stranraer 4/1 - (eh??????)
Clydebank 4/1
Stirling 4/1
Berwick 10/1
Forfar 10/1
Queens Park 12/1
Stenhousemuir 14/1
Queen Of South 18/1

Best of luck for next season and thanks for sorting out a student gate.
Good news that special admission prices are being introduced for holders of Student ID cards - this will no doubt encourage an important segment of the fan base to attend matches at Palmerston.

Moreover, I do feel that incentivising the wider Dumfries public to come and watch Queens could significantly increase attendances. The last home match of the season against Hamilton was a case example, where over 2000 fans turned up on the basis of reduced admission prices.

In my view the potential benefits to the club are threefold:

(1) Increased attendances would improve the atmosphere at home matches helping to motivate our players and make Palmerston more imposing to away teams. We've invested in an excellent stadium - we ought to maximise its capacity and noise level!

(2) Increased "buy in" to Merchandising, catering and lottery initiatives could create a significant incremental revenue stream for the club - as well as building the QOS brand through Club shop promotions

(3) Attracting juvenile audiences helps create an important longer-term following for the club. Children at a young age then start to build an association with "Queen of the South and football" and are less likely to follow bigger provincial clubs.

Just think what the following schemes would do to swell the numbers?!?

(a) "Pay for 2 children - and one more is allowed in free"
(b) "Tactical admission prices for important 6 pointer matches"
(b) "Reduced admission during Christmas shopping season"
(d) "Voucher redemption schemes" i.e. pay to watch 10 matches - watch the 11th free

Imagine it...Queens v Arbroath..attendance 3500!!
6th June 2000 GLYNNE
TOMMO thanks for all you've done for the GILLS this season, not least of all that wonderfull last promotion winning goal at Wembley.

Sorry to see you go, but will allways have a place in every GILLS heart and memory.

All the best in what every you do in the future.

5th June 2000 STEVE HALLIDAY
Delighted to see so much new talent coming into the squad. Lets get over this hang-up over Englishmen. As a jock down here I am surprised it is even an issue for some.

Ashington are letting us have some of their great talent, hope they don't hold it against us.

In response to the suggestion that we could some Manchester City players, lets start with Nicky Weaver as second goalie, Dickov, Bishop and Goater as subs
5th June 2000 ED WILSON
Great idea to get the thoughts of the new boss. I`m glad to see in the press that he plans an early start to pre-season training. Maybe this will avoid our usual dreadful start to the season.Certainly the squad needed a transfusion of new blood to add to some of the talented guys we already have.Good luck to the new management team.
5th June 2000 ALEX BOMPHRAY
Met Big Jim Thomson in Princes Street yesterday. He was telling me that Arbroath's Barry Sellars had signed for Queens on a 2 year deal. Have I missed this someplace or is this hot off the press.

We think that JT was a bit mixed up about his previous teams Alex, Barry Sellars is now a Clyde player we believe
5th June 2000 ALEX WILSON
Re Internationals, when did Jimmy Nichol play for Queens? I must have dozed off for those games!
5th June 2000 ANDY COWAN
Delighted with the comments John has made in his interview.

Obviously, we'll all have to watch what we say now we know he is listening :)

I cant wait for the start of the season and what should be one to remember regardless.

Finally, Andy, please come home!!!

...if only!?!
4th June 2000 DARREN
Good Luck John and Scottie in your new job,you should do okay with the Ashington lads maybe bringing in prolific striker Alan Hogg would do no harm.
4th June 2000 DAVID ROULSTON
Since Andy Thomson is leaving Gillingham and wants to return to Scotland how about making an audacious bid to bring him back to Queens?
4th June 2000 RADIO STOAT
Our beloved Thommo has asked for a transfer.Break the bank and bring him home.

The man is a God in Kent.


3rd June 2000 KEN GRIER
Great to read about the new signings we should all get behind them and cheer them on to help us win promotion this season . 2 queries for the new management team : why no new forwards , we desperately need a couple of goalscoring front men and a really good right sided attacking midfielder.

Also, a lot of Ashinton guys , I fully approve of NE recruitment but should we not widen the net and go for players from the absolutely top echelons of Northern non-league football and entice them to join???

All the very best to John Connolly and the new management team , i'd be interested in a response to my views .
3rd June 2000 ALLY DARRANT
The signings made by John Connolly sound pretty impressive - especially the one who was at the FA School of Excellence. Also their height should benefit Queens, perhaps now someone can latch on to the high balls Queens seem to like playing. Bring on the new season, I've a feeling it's going to be special!
3rd June 2000 SARAH
Thanks Thommo for all you've done for the Gills this season...we'll never forget you whatever happens, all the best
2nd June 2000 TIM LEEDS
2nd June 2000 GILL INGHAM
We love you Andy Thompson
2nd June 2000 BLACKNBLUE
Thank Thommo for everything...

I will never forget the sight of Thommo flying through the air and the ball hitting the net.

He's welcome back any time!
2nd June 2000 GRAHAM CROFTS
With the influx of geordies to Palmerston this season I assume the new strip will be skin tight and short sleeved.

Whatever the strip is to be lets hope it's better than last years effort.
1st June 2000 JAN V.D. GEEST


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