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Stewart McPherson tracks Down Vale players of the days gone by
Alistair Veitch
Name Alistair Veitch
Date of Birth 17 Sept. 1975
Occupation European Supply Planner, for Dentsply International
Which years did you play for Deveronvale ?
1994 to 1996.
Who signed you for the Vale and what attracted you to sign for the club ?
Kevin Bremner signed me (along with half the rest of the team) straight from the U-18's.
Getting the opportunity to play Highland League football at that age was a big factor, as not many clubs are prepared to play an 18yo goalkeeper at that level
What are your fondest memories of playing for Vale ?
The first season I played we had a really young squad - a lot of us had come straight from the U-18's and people like Dippy, Paul Bridgeford and Murray Ritchie were only in their early twenties.
Despite that, we won the Aberdeenshire Shield and had a really good run of results which saw us sit in the top five in the table for a couple of months.
Winning the Young Player of the year award in my first season, when we had a team full of terrific young players, was also a highlight. The coach trips back from away games were always a good laugh as well. Also, as young players, we would occasionally make mistakes, but the fans never got on our backs and they were certainly the best supporters in the league.
What is the most memorable game you played in for Vale ?
The semi-final of the Aberdeenshire Shield against The 'Broch', at Bellslea, which we won AET was superb, but then to go on and beat Cove Rangers, at Kynoch Park, in the final was absolutely fantastic. In the build up to the game, even after our performance in the semi-final, nobody gave us a chance, but we were the better side on the night and you could see how much it meant to the supporters, as well as to the lads in the team.
Who were the characters at the club ?
Being Deveronvale, the club was full of them - from the playing staff, to the fans, to the boardroom. It was a great experience being involved and it was always good craic.
Who were the best players you played with at the Vale ?
Bradley Kerr was a different class to most other players on his day. Steve Dolan because he's so consistent. Rico Masson had bagfuls of natural ability and Steven Rattray always read the game very well.
And who were the best players you played against ?
As a keeper the forwards that you had to be on your guard against, at all times, were Mike Beattie of Cove Rangers, Iain Stewart at Peterhead and Martin Stewart at Huntly.
Mikey Stephen's crosses for The 'Broch were a pretty consistent pain in the arse as well! There were also some terrific keepers in the Highland League and, playing opposite them I learned an awful lot.
I have to pick out Ian Thain for a special mention, though, as I used to go along to Keith's training sessions, for extra goalkeeper coaching with Ian, and his advice and encouragement really improved my game.


What have you done in a football sense since you left the Vale ?
After I left the Vale I studied in France for a year. Then, when I came back, I signed for Cove Rangers where I played for two and a half seasons.
Once I graduated from Uni I moved down to England where I played one season with VS Rugby in the Dr Martens league, but I found I was less able to commit enough time to play and train at that level, so I hung up my gloves.
For the last few seasons I've been playing outfield (midfield dynamo, would you believe!) just for fun. I'm currently playing for the Rob Roy Reds, an Aberdeen supporters club team, based in London.
What does a normal Saturday afternoon entail for you these days ?
Exactly what Saturday evenings used to after the final whistle at 16h45, but brought forward by a few hours!