For previous news see the monthly archive at the foot of this page.
PETER SIGNS UP 30th June 2000
As the clubs most potent goalscoring threat over the past few seasons, Stevie Mallan, heads towards the exit door a bright new prospect is just entering. Peter Weatherson, who has just turned twenty has agreed to come to Palmerston from Newcastle Blue Star on a two year deal.

The Northern League's top goalscorer last season and Blue Star's Player of the Season when only eighteen was snatched by Queens from the hands of a host of league clubs. Manager John Connolly was particularly pleased to secure Peter's signature and tells us that Peter is an energetic striker with great heading ability who will be the ideal foil for the likes of Warren Hawke up front.
STEVIE WANTS AWAY 30th June 2000
[Marv} The man who has lead the goalscoring charts at Palmerston for the past six years has decided that it's time for a change.

Fans favourite Stevie Mallan has requested to be put on the transfer list and manager John Connolly has agreed to do so.

Stevie is presently midway through a two year contract so will have to be purchased by any prospective new club.
TOURNAMENT DRAW 29th June 2000
The first chance that Queens fans will get to see the new players in action will be a week on Saturday at 1.00pm at Galabank Park in Annan. Providing the opposition will be Whitehill Welfare, following the draw made by Annan Officials today. Later in the day, at 4.00pm the home side will face stern opposition from SPL new boys St.Mirren.

The matches on Sunday will kick off at the same times with the third/fourth place play-off on first.
ROWE RELEASED 27th June 2000
Queen of the South tonight agreed to release George Rowe from his playing contract. Manager John Connolly said that George had asked to be released as he was finding it difficult to find the time to travel to Dumfries for the training sessions.
Season Tickets sales for season 2000/2001 will commence a week tomorrow, Monday 3rd July, the pricing is as follows and as ever postal applications should be sent direct to the Administration Office at Palmerston.

Adult either Stand 140
Adult Ground 130
OAP 90
Children Main Stand 70
Children East Stand 30
Children Ground 30
Junior Blues 20
Those of you that have been 'surfing' for a few years will no doubt remember the website that was operated by regular Message Board contributor Andy Cowan. Well Andy is now back up in Dumfries and has re-vamped his site, the new version can be found at Andy's site features a live chat room and numerous rumours from Palmerston amongst other features. It's well worth a visit so go and see what Andy has to say.
PRE-SEASON STARTS 23rd June 2000
Manager John Connolly will commence pre-season training this Saturday at the Tech. College with an afternoon session. Upwards of forty players are expected to take part with all of the new signings and a large number of trialists coming to Dumfries.
The fixture list for the new season has now been announced and is reproduced in full on our fixtures page. We start the season away at Larbert on the fifth of August and follow that up with the mid-week CIS Insurance Cup tie with Forfar at Palmerston, the following Saturday we meet Stirling Albion at Palmerston and then face two away trips one to Hampden to meet promoted Queen's Park the other to Greenock to meet relegated Clydebank.

There will be a battle royal on Boxing day at Palmerston with the meeting of the two Queen's and this season Queens host Stranraer for our traditional New Year Derby match on the second of January. We round the season off with three out of the last four matches being played at Palmerston, Arbroath, Stenhousemuir and finally Queen's Park being the visitors with a solitary trip to Stirling fitted in between.

Other diary dates are 19th November - Challenge Cup Final, 18th March - CIS Insurance Cup Final and 26th May - Scottish Cup Final.
Having studied the comments of the fans over the past couple of months I feel it is time to reply to some of the issues raised and also to quash any worries regarding the signing of the players from the North East.

Firstly before we talk about Northern League players and standards we must look at ourselves as a team and the division we play in:
1. But for the Hamilton Accies lifeline we would have been relegated to the third division and the facts are that we had the worst defensive record in the league and the third or fourth worst scoring record in the league.
2. The Second Division was won by a team which had seven or eight ex-juniors from Maryhill in it.
3. I watched the last four games of the season and the standard shown by Queens was very poor and the commitment, especially in the last game was disgraceful.
4. I believe the facts are there for all to see and were evident through the whole of last season and although I knew I had a difficult job ahead of me the last four games have shown me exactly how massive it is going to be.
5. Football is a funny old game and nobody knows what is going to happen in the future, but one thing I can assure the fans is that any player who pulls on a Queen of the South jersey from now on will give 100% for the club or he will be moved on and replaced by someone who will.
6. Regarding the standard of the players we have signed from the North East, the number one priority was to bring in players better than the squad who played last season and I believe every player we have signed is in that category and I feel it is unfair to write these players off without giving them the opportunity to prove what they can do and perhaps through time we may find a few who become stalwarts at the club like Allan Ball was in the past.
7. Comments are being made about the teams in particular from the Northern League and although they are made with genuine concern I can tell you that on the players I saw during the last four games of the season there were not too many players from Queen of the South who were even up to Northern League standard and if we go back just three years ago Queens played a pre-season tour in the North of England with a better side than last seasons and were beaten 2-1 by Morpeth Town and 3-0 by Blyth Spartans.
8. We have signed players initially from the North East as we require a quick fix but we are looking at all areas for players and have five or six just released from other clubs coming in for pre-season training and games but I think it is only fair the fans should know we have approached four or five players from the central belt of Scotland who said no because they were not prepared to travel to Dumfries and if that is the case we have to look elsewhere for players who are prepared to be totally committed to the club.
9. Status of the club at this time - Yes I would agree with some of the comments made, in playing terms we are probably regarded no better than Stranraer or Berwick but it is my job to change that and get the club back to where it belongs as one of the top names in Scottish Football, but that will take time and given the support from our great fan base the Board of Directors at the club and all of my staff will be working hard towards this aim.
10. Regarding the quality of the player we can attract to the club - At this time we have to be realistic and accept that we are a part time club and unfortunately are not able to compete in the market place for players released from the Premier League and even the First Division but long term this is another goal we are aiming towards.
I do not intend to reply to comments on a regular basis but just felt with the start of pre-season training nearly on us I would appeal to all genuine fans of the club to get behind everyone who signs for the team and give them a fair hearing for the start of the new season.

Best wishes to all fans.

John Connolly
TESTING TESTING 14th June 2000
The CIS Insurance Cup is to be the testing ground for proposed new rule changes. In all of this seasons games the referee will be applying the Rugby style 10 yard rule, so if the defending team do not retreat the standard ten yards to the referee's satisfaction they will run the risk of being penalised by the free kick being moved a further ten yards towards their goal.

You may also have noticed a change to draw from previous years, this time only the first round draw was made instead of the usual first and second.
CIS INSURANCE CUP 13th June 2000
Queen's were first out of the hat today in the draw for the first round of the CIS Insurance Cup draw and will face Forfar at Palmerston on either the 8th or 9th August. The full draw is as follows:

Queen of South v Forfar
Peterhead v Inverness Caley
East Stirling v Hamilton
Queen's Park v Stranraer
Cowdenbeath v Elgin City
Stirling A v Stenhousemuir
Partick T v Airdrie
Dumbarton v Ayr United
Ross County v Albion Rovers
Clyde v Greenock Morton
East Fife v Raith Rovers
Montrose v Berwick Rangers
Clydebank v Alloa Ath
Arbroath v Brechin City
PLAYER INFO 7th June 2000
Our thanks to Ashington resident, Queen's fan and exiled Doonhamer David Roulston for providing us with this snippett out of the local Ashington newspaper. The photograph on the right is of Phil Nixon who for the third year running has won the Players Player of the Season award. Amongst the other award winners last season at Ashington was Ross Atkinson who won the club's fanzine, "The Pit Pony Express", Player of the Season award. [Phil
As from the start of the forthcoming season Queens will introduce a special Student admission gate. The move is partly in response to feedback submitted to the website message board and has been under consideration for some time.

The system will work in the same way that the present UB40 holders system works. This entails the holder of a valid student id card presenting this identification at the Palmerston office before a match. They will be given a special rate admission ticket which can then be presented at any gate and the holder admitted for the discounted rate of 6.00.
THE INTERVIEW 4th June 2000
[John Queen's new manager John Connolly will have a greater insight than most new managers have when taking over a new club about the views of the supporters. John, as you can see from the photograph on the left, keeps up to date with all the fan's viewpoints through his own connection to the internet.

John commented that it makes interesting reading and was one of the reasons that he chose to release the names of the new signings directly via the website.
He also comments that whilst the vast majority of messages have been extremely supportive he was worried that a few fans seem to have a misunderstanding about the policy on recruitment of players.

John tells us that he has cast a wide net over the whole of the North of England, Dumfriesshire, Ayrshire and the Central Belt, "the players brought in will not only be from the North East, we will bring in player from any area as long as they are better than what we presently have, not just as good as but better".

Through his many contacts in the game John is presently watching a number of potential signings with a view to bringing a few more in to join pre-season training. "We need a backup goalkeeper immediately and would like to have someone on board soon", he says.

John remains familiar with the youth set-ups at many Scottish Clubs after he spent some time as youth and reserve team coach at Ayr United with George Burley. "I have numerous good friends and useful contacts in the game both in England and in Scotland, if I feel it necessary I can obtain a Manchester City player for a period from Joe Royle who I used to play alongside and I am still good friends with Tommy Craig at Newcastle amongst others".

In terms of team formation John said, "I'm a believer in a solid 4-4-2 system but obviously you modify any system to suit the strengths of the squad of players available. The most important thing now is being able to assess all of the players in the pre-season games,.....the existing squad have to prove to me that they want to play for Queens,.....I was at the last four matches of the season and was shocked at how poor the team performed, the final match at Alloa saw a number of players not even trying. The new lads coming in are all totally committed to Queen of the South and will give 100% in every match, they've seen the facilities, recognise the potential and they really want to come."
In his playing days John turned out for St Johnstone, Everton, Birmingham City, Newcastle and Hibs, (pictured right), but can't recall ever having faced Queens. His son Stuart, however, was part of the Queens youth set up a couple of years ago and John was a regular at Palmerston keeping tabs on Stuart's progress. Both of John's sons are presently studying in the USA with Stuart on a soccer scholarship and hoping maybe to make a career out of playing football. [John
One final comment from John related to some of the comments on our message board which question why some of the players being brought in aren't playing full time with the likes of Hartlepool or Darlington, he points out that a lot of these guys have very good careers and don't want to give up being part time even though they would be more than capable of doing so, fans will remember that was precisely the reason why Ken Eadie never played at a higher level. He also states that whatever nationality they are they will be playing for Queens with total commitment.

A commitment that will see them travel to Dumfries for every training session, no more split sessions for John, "Queen of the South is a Dumfries team and I will be insisting that if a player wants to play for us he will train in Dumfries".

With John's enthusiasm for the game and his contacts it will not be long before Queen of the South are again considered a force to be reckoned with. We are sure that all of the fans will join in wishing John all the best for the new season and will be right behind the team from when the first ball is kicked in July.
INTERVIEW 2nd June 2000
Over the weekend we will publish an interview held today with John Connolly, check back regularly although it should be published by Sunday evening at the latest.

In the interview John gives us a great insight into his hopes for Queens, his policy regarding player recruitment, and his policy of emphasising the need to have Queens recognised as a Dumfries team.
NEW SIGNINGS 2nd June 2000
As a result of the overwhelming interest shown in who the new faces at Palmerston will be for next season, Queen's have decided to release names and details of the players that have at the moment put pen to paper for next season. It should be noted however that international clearance and the final paperwork has yet to be completed.

Andy Martin
Formerly of Blyth Spartans of the Unibond Premier League, 6ft plus 28 year old left sided experienced defender, who is very strong in the tackle, has a great left foot and likes to play out of defence whenever possible, voted Blyth's player of the season.

Phil Nixon
From Ashington FC of the Northern League, 6ft plus 22 year old central defender, wins everything in the air and is very quick on the ground, ex-Doncaster Rovers player, voted Ashington's best player last season.

Tony Nelson
Joins from Tow Law Town of the Northern League, 32 year old tough tackling midfield player, who has been a superb player in the Northern league for many years, ex-Gretna and Penrith.

Stuart Heppell
From Ashington FC, 19 year old 6ft 2ins left sided midfield/winger, plays in a style similar to Chris Waddle, but is very quick when he puts his mind to it, ex-Leicester City junior.

John Sunderland
From Ashington FC, 24 year old midfield playmaker with an eye for goals, likes to get on the ball and runs things from midfield, ex-Blackpool and Hartlepool player.

Stephen Pickering
From Tow Law, 22 year old right side of midfield or right back, who gets his fair share of goals in a season and can play anywhere if required, ex-Sunderland junior.

Ross Atkinson
From Ashington FC, 20 year old midfield dynamo, who never stops running and competing, had trials with Man Utd and Sunderland as a youngster.

Danny Paterson
18 year old left back from Ashington FC, good defensively with a great left foot, likes to get forward and deliver good crosses ex-England FA School of excellence player, who has great potential for the future.
COMING SOON! 1st June 2000
Everyone is asking who the new signings are and tomorrow evening we will be able to release the first details of the new men in blue.

So check back on Friday night to find out about the new Palmerston squad.

[Back to Queens front page]