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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
upload image w=200 h=185
Name Colin Shand
Date of Birth 1958
Occupation Teacher
Briefly outline your football career prior to joining Deveronvale.
Fantastic school teams – Our school teams playing against teams from as far away as Fort William to Dingwall, the 3 Inverness schools, Forres, Nairn, Elgin schools, Buckie High. Huge respect to Charlie Ross classics teacher (former Deveronvale goalkeeper himself), he gave every Saturday to take our school team.

The school teams were a fantastic breeding ground for future HFL players, some of the school players I played with who went on to play with the Vale are Derek Reid, Falconer Andrew, Alan Forbes, Grant Smith, Alec Cormack, Mike Herbertson, Ian Angus, Kevin Bemner.

1974 - U15 Scottish Schools team – capped against England, Wales and Northern Ireland - Victory Shield winners
Which year(s) did you play for Deveronvale? Who signed you for the club, and what attracted you to join ?
1974 - 76
Derek Reid and myself were invited to train with the Vale as 15 year olds. Signed by Sandy Gray. As a Banff lad the Vale has always been my team and I always wanted to play at Princess Royal.
Managers George Christie, Jim Dalrymple, George Cowie
What are your fondest memories of your time with the club?
Funny memory, I remember an away trip to Wick, the manager in his wisdom decided we would drop the payers off 5 miles from Wick and jog to the game as a warm up, so we were nicely warmed up as we reached the ground, by the time the game started we had stiffened up and were 2 down in 10 minutes. After the game we stayed on for a few drinks, this was followed by an unbelievably crazy bus journey as the bus raced to Elgin train station for the Aberdeen players to catch the last train home. (No Kessock bridge in those days)

The home team dressing room had such a poor shower and the away team shower was worse. So when big teams came to Princess Royal, such as Hibs we switched dressing rooms, they got ours and we got the tiny room with the 1 shower. (As a youngster in the team you wouldn’t dare go into the shower before Norrie)
What is the most memorable game(s) you played in for Vale, and why?
The games I remember best were the New Year derby games against Buckie Thistle due to the incredible atmosphere, always a large crowd with the “ Valley crew orchestrating “ St Andrews was always bouncing after a home win. 
Who were the characters at the club ?
Constant characters at the club were Ian Cormack trainer and Doogan the groundsman . Doogan gave you a roasting if he thought you did an unnecessary sliding tackle and dug up his turf!
Ian was great at individually encouraging everyone and quietly pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of our opponents.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale and why?
Alan Scott, he was fantastic person, he looked after the youngsters always encouraging them, as a player he had a great engine and had quick feet. He always wanted to win and quickly told you off if you played a sloppy ball.

Johnny Mackie, he was an incredible right back, fast, hard and unbelievably consistent. Nobody got the better of Johnny

Norrie McBain, dashing centre forward and a huge character, always larger than life, always held court in the dressing room with his movie star leather coat.
And who were the best players you played against, and why?
Charlie Duncan and Tich Black of Inverness Thistle.
What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
Following the Vale I played with Deveronside, Turriff United, Stoneywood and Insch Juniors
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Almost certainly you will find me at a Highland league game somewhere, usually Huntly as I live closest to their ground. I can be found at Princess Royal 5 or 6 times a year though, I’m always at the half way line opposite the dugout.