Club History

Sleat & Strath AFC

Founded in 1972 and first known as Sleat FC the Club agreed a formal lease with the Forestry Commission of the only flat bit of ground, by the river at Kinloch, in January 1974 for an annual rent of £10.

The playing field was gradually formed and extended by volunteers from the Club, to what we have there today and the Club grew in strength doing particularly well in winter leagues, then finally when guided by the Team Manager, Roger Hutchinson, the first summer league trophy was won in 1983.

Permission was obtained from the Forestry Commission while renewing the lease in 1986 to allow the first portacabin changing room, which was located by the original forestry entrance gate near the river and by the bathing pools!

In February 1987 the Club name was formally changed to Sleat & Strath AFC and by the late eighties the Team was being rebuilt and in the second division until promotion was achieved in 1990.

In 1990 the Club also embarked, with little over £150 in the bank, on a fund raising drive to purchase the pitch from the Forestry Commission in a bid to secure grant funds for the development of Kinloch Park and for the construction of proper changing facilities. The initial costs then for such a facility were quoted at a little over £30,000.

By 1992 the original portacabin was falling into the river and was replaced, but finally in September 1993 the pitch and surrounding lands of nearly 2 hectares was bought for £2,000 and £850 of solicitor’s fees after much hard work by the then Club Secretary and former player, Rab Parker.

In 1995 Planning Permission was obtained for a custom built changing room and club house, with associated access and car parking all costing an estimated £168,890. But by 1999 only 50% of the grant funding had been promised and the fund raising drive petered out. However the new entrance gateway, access road and car park were formed to base course level with funds raised by the 50/50 Club which was started in 1998 to help pay for the developments and since then the 50/50 Club brought in a steady income.

In 1999 the selection of team manager was changed from the normal voting procedure at AGM time to a person being appointed by the Club committee on a minimum two year contract. In February 1999 the Club set up a partnership with the Skye and Lochalsh Rugby club in an effort to increase our ability to attract the necessary funds for our proposed developments at Kinloch. By April 2000 this arrangement came to an end with no further progress made.

From 1999 to 2001 the Club took part in the Co-op Cup, playing teams from the Western Isles in a knockout competition, unfortunately it ran during the playing season and put extra pressure on our resources and had to be given up.

In May 2002 in an effort to obtain further funding support we gained charitable status, but by March 2003 another changing hut was purchased to replace the old one as we were still no further on with our plans. To end the playing season a celebrity game took place with the current team playing the Team from 1993, well we had to show off our new hut at least!

2004 saw the Club membership increase to the degree that we were able to raise a Junior Team, managed by Neil Hope the team lasted for two seasons as the membership dropped again but the exercise was to prove beneficial in later years. That year we also employed a fund raiser for the Kinloch Development who proved that we were too small a group to obtain the level of funding that we were after and the partnership with the Gaelic college, Sabhal Mor Ostaig, was forged.

A new company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital was formed in 2006 with the College, the Sleat Community Trust and the Sleat Community Council in partnership with our Club and the company, Ceann Loch, set out on the long road to obtain the funding for our development.

In 2009 an additional changing hut was erected as the old one was being overloaded and (to be famous in the future!) the Ally MacGillivray goals were built. And they had to be strong as these nets collected a lot of goals the following two years. 2010 saw the team having a record season and under Team Manager, DL MacKinnon, the league was won 27 years on from the last win.

A new planning permission was obtained in 2010 for Ceann Loch and the 50/50 Club transferred to the company. A new development fund was set up by the Club through a new 3 Ball Lotto game and a new website was established as the Club celebrated its league win.

2011 the club once again picked up the League trophy, repeating the previous seasons form of winning every game. The board voted on a move to abandon support for the Ceann Loch development in favour of a move to improve the Broadford pitch in a joint venture with the council/school. Long standing secretary Ruairidh MacKinnon stepped down from his position after 17 years. The club also reached the 3rd round of the Fosters Scottish Amateur Cup, a competition that they entered for the first time in several years.

2013 the club completed the Quadruple, winning the League, Ross Cup, Ewan MacRae and GF MacRae cups.

2014 Tony Meechan replaced Bryan Mattinson as Assistant Manager