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Eyes To The Ground: New book to document Huntly FC's Highland League away days


By Jonathan Clark

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George Mackie, author of Eyes to the Ground, a picture book detailing Huntly FC's away games during the 2019-20 campaign.
George Mackie, author of Eyes to the Ground, a picture book detailing Huntly FC's away games during the 2019-20 campaign.

A BRAND new book documenting Huntly Football Club’s away days in the Highland League is set to be released in August.

Huntly’s official club photographer George Mackie followed the Black and Golds to every away league match last season, taking pictures for his book Eyes To The Ground.

The book is set to be 98 pages long, with six dedicated to each away game and opposition ground – with the exception of Wick Academy and Turriff United, who Huntly never visited in the league due to the season’s early ending.

Huntly's match at Turriff United was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Huntly's match at Turriff United was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It isn’t just match action that has been photographed, with George also focusing on the grounds themselves and the characters that encapsulate the spirit of Highland League football.

A Huntly fan enjoys a local derby at Keith's Kynoch Park.
A Huntly fan enjoys a local derby at Keith's Kynoch Park.

He said: “A lot of people picked up on the Fort William documentary that the BBC did.

“But every Highland League club has a story and a background.

“They all have different settings and there are characters attached to every club. There are so many people that make a matchday happen and they are included in the book.

“I showed photos to a few friends and many folk weren’t too excited by match action and preferred pictures of stands or turnstile operators – although every Huntly goal is included.

“Everybody is different but I think it makes for an interesting book when you don’t know what is going to be on the next page.

“I’m quite happy with it and think the majority of people will enjoy it.”

George Mackie, author of Eyes to the Ground, a picture book detailing Huntly FC's away games during the 2019-20 campaign.
George Mackie, author of Eyes to the Ground, a picture book detailing Huntly FC's away games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Every photo in the book was taken by George during the 2019-20 campaign, even if conditions weren’t always on his side.

“There are a lot of good photos I didn’t have room for,” he added. “I’ve got five or six photos for each team but could have used 20 for some of the teams.

“But, on the other hand, we played Fraserburgh in March, when it was cold, dark and horrible – not a good night for taking pictures.

“And we travelled to Fort William and the game was called off after we arrived/. Huntly had a training session and there are pictures of that.”

As well as the photos, the team lines from each game are in the book.

George thanked all of the league’s club for allowing him to photograph games when he asked for permission, and for giving him the right to use their badges.

Mosset Park, home of Forres Mechanics, where Huntly were defeated 6-1.
Mosset Park, home of Forres Mechanics, where Huntly were defeated 6-1.

He has plans for a similar venture next season – but the next step is getting the book printed – and to do so George needs to raise £2000 on Crowdfunder.

More than 40 people have supported the book so far, with £1400 raised.

You can simply support the cause financially, or you can order yourself a copy while supporting its printing.

The book costs £30 on Crowdfunding, with £5 going to Huntly food bank and £5 for the cost of postage.

For more and to order your copy visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/eyes-to-the-ground.

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