Carluke Hearts win Lanarkshire Amateur Cup

Jubilant Carluke Hearts players pictured after Carluke Hearts' 3-1 victory over North Motherwell AFC in the Lanarkshire Amateur Cup Final at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium (Submitted pic)
Jubilant Carluke Hearts players pictured after Carluke Hearts' 3-1 victory over North Motherwell AFC in the Lanarkshire Amateur Cup Final at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium (Submitted pic)

Just eight years after relaunching the club following its disbandment, Carluke Hearts AFC gaffer Joe Hill has led them to yet another trophy.

Joe’s troops defeated North Motherwell AFC 3-1 in Friday night’s Lanarkshire Amateur Cup final at Airdrie’s Excelsior Stadium, their fifth win in the competition in the past decade.

“I’m really pleased to have won the cup again,” Joe said.

“Winning it in five years out of 10 is a great achievement. I’m fair chuffed.

“Although this club was founded in 2000, it disbanded for a year and a half from 2007.

“We had just won the treble that year but then we lost a lot of players to the juniors and the ones that were brought in as replacements weren’t willing to train so I quit. So Carluke Hearts didn’t have a team for a season.

“I had told my wife Norma that I was thinking about starting it up again and then she met John Docherty – who had been club captain – in the supermarket.

“John said he supported my views and it wasn’t long before long the club was re-established in 2008.”

And they haven’t looked back since, winning one league title, four Lanarkshire Cups and three Peebles Sevens titles in the intervening period.

But modest Joe insisted that Hearts’ success in recent times was “all down to the players”.

He added: “In the last few months I brought in two or three new signings to give us more of a chance and they have made a big difference as it allowed us to rest a few players.

“We owe a lot to these guys – Scott Callan, Darren Smith, Steven Frame and Nicky Hardie – but the whole squad deserve enormous credit.

“We had a big run-in of playing games on Saturdays, Mondays and Wednesdays and if I hadn’t brought in those new players then I don’t think we would have been able to cope.

“It’s a relatively young team so here’s hoping we can stay together and win the Lanarkshire Cup again next year.”

Joe (57) said that he was quite happy to keep managing Hearts just now, although he said he wouldn’t hesitate in “taking a back seat” if a younger man could be found to take over the reins from him.

His managerial skills came to the fore at half-time in Friday’s final, when he gave the players “a rollicking”.

“I told the players to dig in and raise their game in the second half,” Joe said.