I wrote this article for the Rangers programme next Monday, and thought it may be of some interest to others so I’ve put this up here for anyone that would like to read it.
Recently a couple of players have reached a milestone in appearances at Forfar Athletic, with Martyn Fotheringham and Ross Campbell making their 200th appearance in all competitions in November, with Omar Kader making his 50th appearance last weekend against Stenhousemuir.
Martyn signed for the club from Cowdenbeath in the summer of 2007 and made his debut in August of that year in a 3-0 defeat to Stranraer. 208 games and 36 goals later he is very much a hero at Station Park, making the 200th appearance as a 74th minute substitute against East Fife two months ago.
Ross, on the other hand, joined a year later after his father Dick took charge. He played his first game after joining from Spartans against Angus rivals Arbroath in the Challenge Cup in July 2008. He made his 200th appearance a week later, also as a sub in the Scottish Cup tie at Brechin. Ross has chipped in with 58 goals over his 205 appearances.
The next two closest to 200 games are Chris Templeman and another of Dick’s sons, Iain. After both joining in the promotion season of 2009-2010, Chris is on 192 games as well as being thirteen goals off joining the ten highest Forfar goalscorers list on 60 goals. Iain Campbell has appeared 169 times over his four years as a Loons player and notched 16 goals, eleven of which have been penalties.
Right back Mark McCulloch is currently injured, but is one game off making his 150th appearance for the club, also joining four years ago. Close to making his 100th appearance is Dale Hilson, something quite unique as he is a loan player. Over four loan spells, he has played for Forfar 97 times after first appearing in July 2010.
After Hilson, only one other Loons player has played over fifty games and that is Gavin Swankie. Since signing from Arbroath in 2012 he has played 63 times, grabbing 19 goals and will be hoping for many more after agreeing to a new contract recently.
Omar Kader, who joined from Spartans in 2012, reached 50 games last weekend in the 3-0 win over Stenhousemuir whilst another ex-Ainslie Park player Gavin Malin is close to that mark on 43 appearances.
Darren Hill has played 30 times in his year at the club with Darren Dods, Mark Baxter and Stuart Malcolm all on 23 games, Malcolm’s total spread over his two spells with Forfar.
After a shaky start, Gary Fusco has turned into a fan favourite with some excellent performances in his twenty games, James Dale also appearing twenty times.
Paul McManus (17 appearances), Neil McCabe (17), Marvin Andrews (12) and Jamie McCluskey (6) have all made less than twenty appearances, the most notable of the bunch being ex-Celtic and Scotland keeper Rab Douglas (11) and Faroe Islands internationalist Odmar Faeroe (17), Faeroe having been capped six times during his time with the Loons.