These notes are taken from the Challenge Cup Final Program.
DAVID MATHIESON - Goalkeeper
Born Dumfries, 18.01.78
Into his second season at Palmerston and a player who is regarded as one of the best young prospects around in Scotland. Previously with Rangers and St.Johnstone, David has put in a number of first class performances to date and has been rewarded for his exploits by his inclusions in the Under 21 international squad. A very confident individual who always demands the best from himself. Has been an ever present in their Challenge Cup campaign this season.
Height 5ft 11 in,
Weight 10st 13lb
I have been extremely impressed with him, particularly his levels of concentration when not involved in the game. But we must remember he is only 19 and in the last few games (Jan 98) he has looked less reliable than usual with a tendency to flap at crosses. Overall through, I think he is going right to the top, unfortunately leaving the rest of us behind!
JAMES MacLEOD - Defender
Born Dumfries, 12.09.78
Previously with Bolton Wanderers for two years as an apprentice and since his arrival at Palmerston, he has really showed the quality of his grounding and knowledge of playing in the English League. A very honest, committed professional who is equally happy playing at right back in a four or right side of a three in defence. Deceptively quick for his build and a first class passer of the ball. Very strong, aggressive player who has a great engine and supports the midfield and front players superbly well. Born in Stranraer, he is a tremendous prospect for the future. He has played in all of the Doonhamers Challenge Cup games to date.
Height 6ft 1in,
Weight 12st 8lb
DESMOND McKEOWN - Defender
Born Glasgow, 18.01.70
Des is now into his fourth season at the club and is now playing in a more forward position at left side midfield or wing back role. He certainly hasn't shown any problems in fitting into that position and is really enjoying the new role. Des was signed from Albion Rovers in 1994 and in the three years he's been at Palmerston, he has certainly showed other professionals the sort of attitude which is required to succeed in the game. Even though he may not be one of the more skilful of players, he makes up for that by his 100% attitude and commitment. Has featured in all of the Dumfries club's games in the tournament.
Height 5ft 11in,
Hate to admit it but I didn't realise how important he is to the team till he went out injured. In an unspectacular way, he gives us balance on the left which has been missing without him.
GEORGE ROWE - Defender
Born Glasgow, 23.08.68
George is now into his sixth season at Palmerston and has recently recovered from a horrendous knee injury which kept him out of football for nearly two years. Now back in action and probably playing some of the best football of his career. Very aggressive player, good organiser in defence and always poses a threat at set pieces for the opposition. George is also one of the many Queens players who has seen service at Clydebank and is another ever present in this season s competition.
Weight 11st 7lb
The subject of a lot of criticism among sections of the Queens support, I am neutral on this having been neither over impressed or overly worried by his performances. Does his job.
JAMES THOMSON - Defender
Born Stirling, 15.05.71
Mr Consistency has been regarded as one of the 'steals' of the present managers reign and has proved his worth with a consistently high level of performance during his spell at Queens. Very quick for a big man and also a tremendous threat when going forward. He also tries to get on the end of things at set pieces and if not, he always makes himself a presence and a danger with his dominance in the air. Previously gave good service to Clyde before being involved in a player swap at Stenhousemuir where his playing career more or less stood still before Queens jumped at his availability. Is classed as one of the most valuable assets at Palmerston presently and has played in all of the club's Challenge Cup ties so far
Height 6ft 2in,
Weight 12st 7lb
One of the best Centre Halves seen at Palmerston for a long time. The ball seems to be drawn to his head like a magnet sometimes and his timing in the tackle is superb. Sometimes tries to overplay it in defence when out of the ground would do.
DAVID LILLEY- Defender Born
Bellshill, 31. 10.77
A product from the Queens youth policy at Under- 16 level who has grown into a formidable professional. From Bellshill, David has been plagued by a few niggly injuries this season, but is now back playing and has put in a few good, sound performances in the reserve side lately, enough to prompt the management to bring him back into the first team squad and a possible inclusion in today's starting line-up. Very good in the air and is deceptively quick over the short distance. A player to watch for this afternoon if selected. Has not played in any of the club's four previous Challenge Cup ties this season.
Height 6ft 1in,
Weight 11st 4lb
ANDREW AITKEN - Defender
Born Dumfries, 02.02.78
Andy broke through to first team duty at the end of last season and is still learning the game but has showed from his performances that he has tremendous potential to go much further in the future. A very aggressive player, strong in the tackle and has a great engine for a young pro. A product of Queens youth policy who is tipped for international honours. Has played in all of the Doonhamers games in the tournament to date, one of which was as a substitute against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Height 6ft 1in,
Another steady player who does his job well without being too spectacular. Doesn't overlap as well as Kennedy but tucks in well to form a five when the pressure is on.
DAVID KENNEDY- Defender
Born Ayr, 07.10.66
Mr Courageous, 'Skip' has not enjoyed the best of fortunes recently with a serious operation which kept him out of first team football for nearly six months. He is now back playing and fighting for inclusion in today's game. A totally reliable member of the squad who always gives 100% to the game. With his previous club, Ayr United, he played in the first two Challenge Cup Finals but unfortunately, was on the losing side on each occasion. Has appeared twice in this season's competition.
Height 5ft 10in,
Another one who I didn't realise how important he was until out injured. Solid enough in defence but his overlapping runs give us width in attack which is sadly missing without him.
DEREK TOWNSLEY - Midfield
Born Carlisle, 21.03.73
'Degsy' has been another 'steal', having been plucked from the Unibond League in Northern England where he played for local side Gretna for a number of seasons. Prior to that, he was performing at Carlisle United for a spell but somehow did not manage to break through. Undoubtedly a missed talent, he stands at 6ft 5in tall. The big postman has a tremendous touch on the ball which would grace any top club in Scotland or England. He is certainly no slouch either and is very difficult to pin down. Good passer of the ball and can open up any defence like a tin opener when on his game. Tremendous threat at set pieces obviously with his height. Another ever present during this season's Challenge Cup competition.
Height 6ft 5in,
The current man to rave about but I'm afraid the jury is still out as far as I'm concerned. While he has had the occasional brilliant game he is too inconsistent for my liking. His first touch can be terrible and he tends to disappear from the midfield when the going gets tough.
JAMES McALLISTER - Defender
Born Glasgow, 26.04.78
Jamie is now showing why Queens elected to offer him professional terms. His first full season was a learning period but Jamie became unsettled and it wasn't until he tasted first team football that his hunger for the game became more noticeable and now he and Des McKeown are vying for the wide left sided role where the competition is fierce. Jamie is another product of the Queens youth policy which really goes to show what a solid structure they have in place and a credit to all concerned. Another very aggressive player who gets forward well and always looks to hurt defences with his threatening passes in behind. Has still to feature in this season's competition.
I have only seen him play in Des McKeown's left sided midfield position whilst Des was out injured and while he did a steady job I am not certain this is his best position so will reserve judgement for now.
Height 5ft 10in,
MARC CLEELAND - Midfield
Born Whitehaven, 15.12.75
The midfield dynamo of the team. Breaks up so many attacks with his constant work rate and closing players down. A very tenacious aggressive player who at times, possibly does the same amount of work as two players in a game. An important influence in the team and is not frightened to shoot at goal himself on occasion. Previously with Carlisle United and now in his second season at Queens, he has featured in three of the club's Challenge Cup ties so far.
Height 5ft 8in,
Weight 10st 2lb
Only seen a couple of times but looked a busy little player.
DENIS BOYLE - Midfield
Born Donegal, 24.04.81
'The Donegal Diamond' as he is known, has a sweet left foot. Only 16 years old but shows the knowledge and awareness of an experienced pro. Has great vision in the game for such a young lad and tasted first team football when he was included in the team which played recently in a friendly against the crack Chinese outfit Vanguard Huandou, who included Paul Rideout in their line-up. The wee man performed brilliantly and could squeeze his way into today's Final. Originally from Letterkenny in Donegal, where there was a number of teams eagerly awaiting his signature. However, Queens youth set-up tipped the scales and he has now settled well into his new surroundings.
Height 5ft 5in,
Weight 9st 5lb
MARK WEIR- Midfield
Born Lanark 30.01.80
Signed in July of this year, the seventeen year old youngster made the step up from the Under- 16 team to become an apprentice at the club. An aggressive midfielder who packs a ferocious shot. Mark was brought up in the village of Law in Lanarkshire. He has made one substitute appearance in this season's competition, coming on in the First Round tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Height 5ft 8in,
Weight 10st 10lb
Again I have only seen him as a stand in for Des where he was solid but unspectacular. Reserve judgement.
THOMAS BRYCE - Midfield/Forward
Born Johnson, 27.01 .60
What can be said about this 'young' man that hasn't already been said. A record breaker, an artist, a perfectionist, a total professional and a great credit to his profession. His presence on the field gives great confidence to the younger generation around him. His vision and awareness have gained him respect from fellow team mates as well as those who play against him. His enthusiasm has already rubbed off on the younger players especially Denis Boyle Jamie McAllister and Andrew Aitken. Another player at the club who has seen service at Clydebank, Tommy is now also involved with reserve team matters at the club. Has played in all of the Palmerston clubs Challenge Cup ties this season and this will be his third appearance in the Final of this competition having played in the first two for Ayr United.
Height 5ft 8in,
Weight 11st 10lb
Has been a great player for Queens and his positional sense means he still is. Makes the play but sometimes seems to take one touch too many. Can't be expected to do too much work in midfield but we can't afford to have both him and Townsley posted missing when the going gets tough.
CRAIG IRVING - Forward
Born Dumfries, 19.04.78
Signed in August 1996 from Annan Athletic, Craig is a tenacious young player who covers both the midfield and striking roles comfortably. A local lad living in the Annan area who was recommended to the club by the former Queens' favourite Derek Frye. Craig has played twice in this season's Challenge Cup competition.
Height 5ft 8in,
Weight 10st 7lb
Another busy little player who I haven't seen enough of to comment on.
ROBERT CONNER - Midfield
Born Kilmarnock, 04.08.60
The former Aberdeen and Scotland left sided midfielder signed for Queens in November and if you read my report on his first match (Livingston) you will see I wasn't very impressed. If you read my reports since you will see I have been impressed. While the slinky left foot of old has only been in evidence occasionally it has been Conner who has regularly held the midfield together while Townsley and Bryce do their disappearing acts.
ALEX NESOVIC - Midfield
Born Bradford, 10.11.72
STEPHEN MALLAN - Forward
Born Glasgow, 30.08.67
The jewel of the pack. Stephen has this season proved the critics wrong again with his goal tally reaching double figures. A thorn in any defence with his enthusiastic and powerful running ability, he is always a threat in and around the goal. He is so unpredictable and is a real instinctive striker who doesn't need time to think as everything is done off the cuff. Proving this season to be a big hit for Queens, particularly in their march to today's final having scored five times in four appearances and is the tournament's top scorer to date.
Height 5ft 11in,
Weight 12st 4lb
When I first saw him I thought he was the worst professional footballer I had ever seen and thought Queens had mistakenly signed Timmy Mallet! Having not been a regular for a few years I couldn't believe the improvement in him this year on my return to regular football. Has good pace which is now combined with a belief in himself to take people on and go for goal. Is also good at breaking wide and sending in telling crosses, usually for Eadie to miss.
CRAIG FLANNIGAN - Forward
Born Dumfries, 11.02.71
Craig has returned to his home town club after having started his career with Rangers before making a name for himself at Clydebank, where he struck-up a formidable partnership with Ken Eadie. A polished professional who always gives 100% at both training and in matches, he is a tremendous little player who never gives defences a chance to settle on the ball. A busy forward who will get his share of goals during the season. Troubled in the past couple of seasons with niggly injuries which have curtailed his first team appearances. Struck up a good partnership with Stevie Mallan and has scored three goals from his four appearances in this season's competition to date.
Height 5ft 6in,
Weight 10st 2lb
Has been out injured for a while now (Jan 98) and haven't really had time to form an opinion.
KENNETH EADIE - Forward
Born Paisley, 26.02.61
Previous clubs include Kilmarnock, Brechin City, Clydebank and Airdrieonians before joining the Queens in July of this year Has been a prolific goalscorer during his career and is still a threat. He is a good professional who holds the line well up front and is a good target man. Has recently been partnering Stevie Mallan very well, and the pair are showing some real quality finishing and prowess up front. Although he has not appeared in any of Queens four previous Challenge Cup ties, he could very well feature today and is one to watch for closely.
Height 5ft 10in,
Weight 11st 8lb
Has been the subject of much criticism from the fans but while he is unlikely to score you many goals with runs from the half way line, or runs from anywhere for that matter, I'll bet that he'll poach us a few gaols this season. A born goalscorer after my own heart.
ROWAN ALEXANDER- Forward
Born Ayr, 28.01.61
Rowan fills the role as a player as well as fulfilling his responsibilities as Co-Manager. He has enjoyed a long and fruitful career in the game and originally began at Queen of the South before moving on to play with St. Mirren, Brentford and Morton. He was a big favourite of the fans at Cappielow and indeed, played in the Final of this competition for the Greenock club in season 1992/93 scoring both Morton's goals in their 3-2 defeat at the hands of Hamilton Academical. Re-joined the Palmerston club in January, 1996 in a £10,000 deal. He has made one solitary appearance in this seasons competition, coming on as a substitute in the First Round against Inverness CaledonianThistle.
Height 5ft 7in,
Weight 11st 10lb
Seems to have forgotten that he is registered as a player (Jan 98)
Created using: Lightning HTML Editor Version 2.20.1997