Friday, 30 July 2010

Wick Academy FC (Scotland)

Wick Academy, known to their fans as The Scorries, were formed in 1893, from the estuary town of Wick in the far north east of Scotland, making them the most northerly club to play in the Highland League. Although a cricket club of the same name had existed on the same site for at least 20 years longer. Before they were accepted in the HFL they had a successful record in the North Caledonian Football League, having won the title five times, and its cup three times.

They play at the Harmsworth Park ground, which can hold 3200 punters. Their best run in the Scottish Cup came in the 2009/10 season when they reached the third round, beating fellow minnows Clachnacuddin and Girvan along the way. The draw dealt them a home tie against Division 2 side Brechin City, and they darned nearly pulled off a giantkilling. But a Brechin equaliser with five minutes left saw the game end in a breathtaking 4-4 draw, with The Scorries losing the replay 4-2.

To get an idea of quite how far north Wick is, it's on a lattitude higher than Moscow, and a mere 20 miles south of John O'Groats - making it over 850 miles north of Land's End. The town was built of the back of the herring trade, and at one point in the 1860s there were 1000 trawlers operating out of the town. This location resulted in giving them the longest journey in Scottish football history, when they played St Cuthbert Wanderers from Kirkcudbright - a Scottish town further south than Carlisle in Cumbria - in the Scottish Cup in 2008.The tie game them a round trip of some 720 miles - a trip roughly equivilent to driving from London to the far side of Munich. Thanks heavens for them that they won the game 3-0. Although to be honest, I'm not sure St Cuthbert fancied a midweek evening replay.

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