Shinty: Bute to step up search for new players

Bute Shinty Club is hoping to attract new players after a poor 2012 season led to uncertainty over whether the club will be able to field two teams next year. Here Iain MacDonald and Robert Walker scrap for possession during the Bute first team's 5-1 home defeat to Inveraray in August.
Bute Shinty Club is hoping to attract new players after a poor 2012 season led to uncertainty over whether the club will be able to field two teams next year. Here Iain MacDonald and Robert Walker scrap for possession during the Bute first team's 5-1 home defeat to Inveraray in August.

Bute Shinty Club is to hold an open day next month in the hope of attracting new players to the game - and of persuading former players to return.

The open day, taking place at the Meadows from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday, November 10, comes at the end of a season in which both Bute teams endured personnel struggles as injuries, ageing legs and poor results on the pitch combined to hit enthusiasm for the game on the island.

The club’s first team was relegated from the Orion Group Premiership after failing to win a league match all season, while the Bute second team conceded the points from three away fixtures - largely due to members of the second team squad being called up to the senior side.

Several of Bute’s senior players have already indicated that they plan to stop playing completely due to age or injury, or to concentrate their efforts on developing the next generation, either through coaching or playing for the club’s second team.

And while a number of young players have indicated they are ready to make the step up to being regular players for the Bute senior side, uncertainty remains over whether there will be enough players for the club to regularly field both a first and second team in 2013.

Bute players and officials met on Monday night to discuss the situation, and a decision is expected on the subject at a further meeting next month.

In the meantime, all age groups - primary and secondary pupils and adults - are being invited to attend the open day on November 10, and to learn some of the skills honed by Bute players who have performed at the top level of the game for several years.