RHU Amateurs’ Caledonian League manager Gordon Brodie says he believes his squad is capable of challenging for honours in the second half of the campaign.

Brodie’s men lie mid-table in the first division of the Caledonian League, having ended 2022 with a fine 2-0 win at home to Glasgow University.

But with Scottish Cup and West of Scotland Cup ties, and weather-enforced postponements, having limited Rhu to just three league games so far this season, their manager reckons there’s plenty of scope for climbing towards the upper reaches of the table in the remainder of the campaign.

Former Rhu captain Brodie, who is now being assisted by Alan Campbell and two fellow former Rhu players, Jason Petchey and Paul Reynolds, told the Advertiser: “The management team is very confident of a positive league campaign and we believe the squad is capable of challenging for honours come the end of the season.

“Our squad is made up of players all under 30 and with the attitude and ability the boys have shown along with a fully committed and highly motivated management team this team can go as far and high as they want to go.”

The first half of the season saw Brodie’s men reach the third round of the Scottish Amateur Cup and the second round of the West of Scotland Cup, before being eliminated by Clydebank’s St Joseph’s AFC and impressive Ayrshire side Galston United respectively, while three wins in the group stage of the President’s Cup made for an encouraging start to the campaign, though not quite enough to see them through to the final.

It’s been a more challenging season so far for the club’s other squads: having started the season with three teams, competing in the Caledonian League, the Greater Glasgow Premier AFL and the Glasgow Colleges FA, Rhu now have only two, with Sam Gemmell’s resignation, as reported in the Advertiser in November, having led a few weeks later to the decision to withdraw the squad from the GGPAFL.

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Brodie continued: “Despite the efforts of Sam and coach Russell Makeham it was proving a step too far to have two competitive teams playing on Saturday afternoons.

“Sam has been involved with Rhu for the past few years since bringing his Helensburgh team to Ardenconnel, and although he isn’t in a football manager role, he continues to be the club secretary and is always there to assist any of the teams as and when required.

“Russell has been involved with Rhu all his life and he will continue to play a vital role both behind the scenes and on the sidelines.”

For the newest of Rhu’s three squads, though, there are definite reasons for optimism, with the Colts team formed at the start of the season having made an encouraging start to their first campaign.

The team was formed to address the long-standing lack of a youth structure from within the Rhu set-up: working with both Ardencaple FC and Helensburgh FC, Jamie Kjorstadt and his coaching team of Paul McColl, John McColl and Ali Maule brought their Ardencaple squad into the Rhu set-up at the beginning of the 2022-23 campaign.

Aimed mainly at under-21 level, with a few experienced players stepping in to help with the development of the younger squad members, the Rhu Colts ended the old year in mid-table in the Saturday morning GCFA set-up.

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“It has been a steep learning curve for the boys,” Brodie added, “but it’s one they have embraced and have given a great account of themselves in all games so far.

“All the players have bought into what we are trying to achieve at the club and what Rhu can offer to each and every one of them.

“With a management team who are as enthusiastic and committed this team can keep growing and it is our hope that they will step up to the first team at the club.”

At the end of a year of significant change, Brodie also paid tribute to those who helped see the club through 2022, both at pitch-side and behind the scenes.

“I’d like to once again put on record our thanks for the incredible effort the previous management team of Stewart Maule, Stewart Fraser and Craig Stratton had in the remarkable transformation of Rhu both on and off the field,” he said.

“The club wouldn’t be where we are without their effort and we look forward to seeing them back.

“We are also very lucky to have strong committee at the club and on behalf of the players and management we’d think to thank them for their incredible efforts.

“I’d also like thank the incredible amount of local sponsors we have had come on board this year – Babcock, Rosslea Hotel, Rhu Inn, David Ramsay, Collins Distribution, Cardross Pharmacy, Riding Sawmills, WCC, DCF, Caledonia Bureau, Jim Auld, Fusebox and also to our chosen charities Beatson and Gary Andrew’s Remember a life.

“Without their support and financial backing we would struggle to survive.

“From everyone at Rhu AFC, thank you.”