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Pie 128: The Rossvale Pie

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They say there is nothing quite like the magic of the cup and in many respects that is true. In junior football at least, a great cup run can have a galvanising spirit not only on the club but the surrounding community too, with crowds gradually swelling as the rounds progress. For the supporter there are a few reasons that make cup football just that little bit special and it continues to baffle me that in the Premier League managers and owners seem happy with a 12th place finish and spending the last few weeks of the season mindlessly plodding along in the hope that fundamentally achieving nothing amounts to something.

The first reason, is the chance of something a bit different. There’s an old adage that familiarity brings contempt and in Scottish senior football in particular, where most teams play each other a minimum of 4 time a season, the change of drawing anyone outside of your league adds a certain level of excitement. In junior football, where the leagues are regionalised, there is no other competition other than the Scottish Junior Cup that could see teams traverse the country in the pursuit of glory from Burghead to Girvan and everywhere in between.

This brings us to reason number two, the away day. Now for some fans the cup draw should bring an endless run of home fixtures against teams they could easily dispatch. That for me is the ultimate disappointment and as far as the cup goes I’d take a 4 hour coach ride north over a walk round the corner on Scottish Cup day, new ground, new places and of course, new pies.

Pollok’s away tie to Rossvale was somewhere in between, a fairly regularly drawn foe from a lower division that was just a short 15 minutes’ drive from my Southside home. Luckily for me though, I hadn’t yet sampled a pie and so with gusto to Springburn I headed.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

Where: Petershill Park, Scottish Junior Cup 4th Round

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Price: A second consecutive junior scotch pie at just one pound. Bargain.

Presentation: So I’m going to do a bit of assumption making here. When I arrived at Petershill Park I was interested to observe a fairly frustrated looking Burger Van vendor at the bottom of the quite substantial hill the pitch sits on. On entry to the ground it became apparent that nobody was holding a Bovril, or soup, or even worse a pie. 15 minutes later and the polystyrene cups and what looked like bags of pick’n’mix started to appear. Knowing that this could be my chance I headed over to a now open kiosk within the ground where two woman were bringing in crates of pies. Why’s this story significant? Because when you were served your pastry it came, not in a tin foil case or adorned with a white napkin but instead in a small white paper poke. I suspect some quick thinking had occurred and if so kudos has to be given in resolving the issue so quickly.

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Meatiness: Sometimes you can wax lyrically about the filling of a pie, other times you have to accept what you have been given is a perfectly good and tasty meat filled pastry product. The texture of the mince, spot on. The pepper kick, gentle and lingering. The grease, enough to be moist without a fatty flow creeping down your palm. This was not ground breaking but it was everything a scotch pie should be.

Pastry: Crisp and well baked throughout, sturdy enough to hold the filling during each bite. There was a golden tinge along the top edges and although the top was a little loose this in some way helped to cool the pie on its removal from the bag. Solid job.

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Brown Sauce: A wee sachet of the same brown sauce that I get in the work, completely irrelevant but entirely truthful factoid there for you.

Overall: Everything you’d expect from a scotch pie, meaty, little peppery and didn’t fall apart at the seams. I am however left with but one question as to whether the pie came from McGhee’s since the well-known Glasgow bakery is one of Rossvale’s principle sponsors.

Gravy Factor: Would go well with chips and beans.

A solid effort from Rossvale, and an example of how keeping a scotch pie simple can sometimes be the best thing. In an effort to expand my repertoire my next offering will be a Portuguese Football Scran Special focusing on the match day treats consumed during my trip to Lisbon where I took in Benfica v Rio Ave. I put it to you whether this was something that you were interested in and the unanimous feedback from Instagram and a strong favourable rating on Twitter means that this will be the first time I have written about non pie things on this site.

However until then, go forth and eat pie.

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

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Pie 103: The St. Anthonys Pie

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Me llamo Chris. Yo como empanadas.

Sorry folks, the book has had to go on hold for a couple of weeks whilst I power through some intensive Spanish lessons. I drop to one lesson a week next month and the book writing can gather pace once again. My main focus just now is drawing an upside down question mark successfully, something that I’m finding far more difficult to do than the actual Spanish itself!

Anyway you’re here for pastry not paella patter so without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: McKenna Park, St. Anthonys 0-4 Pollok, Sectional League Cup, Section 5

A 4 seasons in 90 minutes kind of afternoon
A 4 seasons in 90 minutes kind of afternoon

Price: At £1.50 this is at the top end of the junior scale, 50p more than the offerings from Cambuslang Rangers and Vale of Clyde we have already encountered this season. A loftier price is greeted with loftier expectations.

Presentation: Covering all the bases here this pie is presented on a polystyrene plate along with a fairly large white napkin. Whilst the plate will I’m sure appease those of a frailer disposition I felt it was superfluous when you consider the size of the napkin provided. A grumble for the sake of grumbing I think because as you will soon see I quite liked this pie.

THE PIE

To be fair the plates did help me build a two tiered pastry tower.
To be fair the plates did help me build a two tiered pastry tower.

Meatiness: The last time I visited McKenna Park (in those dark days where Meat Filled Pastries had yet to exist) I remember getting a pie and being slightly disheartened to see some empty boxes from a high street frozen food purveyor. The pie was serviceable but it was slightly disappointing to know that a baker somewhere may have had something better to offer. It was then to my great joy that the boxes were nowhere to be seen (disclaimer: if it turns out these are the same frozen pies I owe said frozen food retailer an apology). The meat was both sweet and spicy, the heat being provided by pepper along with something else that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Whilst I love a peppery kick, one too strong can leave an acrid dry taste in the back of your throat, something that this mystery ingredient helped to avoid with great aplomb. It was very well filled, held together well whilst I chewed through and was sufficiently moist. I had two, partly because I was hungover, but mainly because I really enjoyed this meaty treat.

Pastry: The pastry was golden and crisp. There was some boil out which may have put some people off however I enjoyed the wee squirts of mince that had poked through and been crisped up by the oven almost like the crispy edges on a freshly grilled lamb burger. It was a bit rough around the edges and the top wasn’t quite as secure as it could be, popping up as I ate but these are small niggles for a well-baked pastry.

Brown Sauce: HP. Squeezy bottle. Minimal mess. Maximum taste.

Overall: Tasty filling that was both spicy and sweet. Well cooked pastry and a dollop of HP, either this is the best mass-produced frozen pie ever or The Ants have upped their pastry game.

Gravy Factor: Great Gravy. The bar for the 2015/16 season has been set.

Next time out will be a review from the Renfrewshire hills as on offering from Neilston Juniors is on the cards.

But until then, go forth and eat pie!

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

Pie 102: The Vale of Clyde Pie

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This week I’ve been collating some figures to find out exactly how much this little adventure has cost me so far as part of an elaborate (but yet to be fully designed) data centric centre spread. Including the review that I am about to bestow upon you this journey of pie has cost me £725.25, I can’t decide if that’s a lot or not yet. I’m sure come final edit I’ll reveal what has been my most costly pie as well as coming up with a list of ridiculous things I could have spent my final total on but for now I’m happy I’ve spent it on football and pies.

This figure has solely been calculated based on the cost of entry and the price of my pastry. Travel and beer costs are fully out with the destination clubs control so I thought it would be unfair to judge. However being one not to miss out on a vital statistical nugget I will be investigating how many miles I’ve covered since taking on this voyage of pastry discovery. However that will take some patience and a desire to spend hours on Google Maps which quite frankly is something I have no notion to pursue just now.

So without further ado, let’s rate some pie.

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Fullarton Park, Vale of Clyde 0-2 Pollok, Friendly

#summerfootball
#summerfootball

Price: £1. Despite fears of a financial catastrophe on the Aegean coast, the bean counters at junior football grounds across Scotland have still stuck firmly to the ‘in and around a pound’ pricing policy which is just lovely.

Presentation: Like Hear’say’s debut single, pure and simple here. A medium-sized white napkin.

THE PIE

Chunky Pie
Chunky Pie

Meatiness: This was a deep filled pastry and then some. As soon as I lifted it off the counter and held it in my paw I knew immediately that I could skip a couple of arm curls at the gym later that day. The meaty block inside was rather solid however it was sufficiently moist that it didn’t crumble dryly but instead fall apart easily as you bit into the meat and pastry layers. It had that ever so classic pepper kick with a strong and long linger after the last bite was taken. As I reminisce about it now my thoughts are greeted with a joyful haze. I liked this pie.

Pastry: The pastry was golden. Perhaps a little to crisp for an older gentleman to get his gnashers around but for this pie guy it’s pastries golden tinge added just the right amount of texture. The top was a little misshapen and slightly too small to protect the filling which meant it popped up a little each bite you took but that is a minor gripe in what was a solid pastry effort. In fact if anything it added to its charm.

Brown Sauce: HP. Can’t go wrong with that.

Overall: If I was to describe this pie in one word it would be manly. Big hunk of meat. Big pepper kick. Crisp and rugged pastry.

Gravy Factor: Not for girls.*

(*obviously pies are for everyone please, including girls.)

Pie 102. With love from me to you.

Until next time go forth and eat pie.

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

Pie 96: The Kilsyth Rangers Pie

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Hello and the meat filled bandwagon rolls on this time from Kilsyth to the north of Glasgow. I’m struggling to find much to focus a pie-atribe on just now as I got locked out of my flat tonight due to my main door key splitting in half as I turned it in the lock so that was fun. Then I ruined my dinner and have made an almighty mess in my kitchen that I’m now going to have to tidy up. All in all I’ve had a better 120 minute periods in my life.

That said my team got promoted last night, and 3 points at Kilsyth on Saturday helped put us on our way, the review from the promotion winning game in Cumbernauld will be coming later in the week but for now, and without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Duncansfield Park, Kilsyth Rangers 0-2 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

Condemned
Condemned

Price: £1. On quite the run of one pound pies at the moment, a comfort to the wallet as fixtures pile up towards to the end of the season.

Presentation: On a larger than average, but not quite large enough to not call it anything other than medium-sized white napkin. A classical technique.

THE PIE

Trying to mix it up  a bit with the old one bite expose
Trying to mix it up a bit with the old one bite expose

Meatiness: I have to level with you here as I ended up buying two pies at Duncansfield. Well actually I’ll level with you even further in that the reason I had to buy a second pie was because the first pie that was purchased for me was sent tumbling to the gravel below. Don’t get me wrong I still ate it, but I thought it would be pretty unfair to review a pie that had small pieces of gravel in it and then accuse it of being a bit gritty just because somebody (not me, I should add, I would never be so careless with a pie) had dropped it. Aye, so anyway, I bought a second one.

The meat in this pie was quite loose textured meaning there was a little bit of juggling to do when eating it but nothing too detrimental to the match viewing experience. I found the filling quite salty and felt it had an almost pork like flavour to it which was nice if not a tad unusual. Continuing on the high seasoning theme there was also a peppery kick present after consumption although not strangely not during. The meat was moist and definitely focused more on the savoury notes as opposed to the peppery ones most commonly associated with a scotch pie.

Pastry: The pastry was nice. Golden and bubbly on the edge and solidly baked through. The top was a little grey where some boil out had occurred but all in all it was a solid effort.

Brown Sauce: HP. The self-proclaimed grandaddy of brown sauces but yet isn’t called Daddies? Weird.

Overall: Obviously only taking the one into consideration that hadn’t spent 10 or so seconds on the ground this was a tasty savoury treat, still can’t shake the feeling that there was pork in it though!

Gravy Factor: Porky Gravy.

96 pies and counting, looking into my crystal ball it looks like ‘Pie 100’ will likely be hailing from either Rugby Park, home of the infamous Killie Pie (some would say a fitting place to celebrate a century of pastry) or from across the Irish Sea at the Aviva Stadium as I continue my Tartan Army travels but to get there I have just a couple more places to go, starting with Cumbernauld United a ten minute hop from the home of today’s review I look forward to seeing you for Pie 97.

So until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

Pie 95: The Yoker Athletic Pie

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Hello and we’re back to pies after my grand Canadian adventure before getting elbow deep in meat filled pastries I’d like to say a ‘Howdy!’ to my new Canadian followers, I hope you find my tales of pie just as entertaining as The VanCan ScranVan Diaries.

To say it was a joyous return to Scottish junior football would be a lie with the entertainment being provided by the never-ending stream of aircraft’s arriving into Glasgow as opposed to the game of ‘football’ going on in front of me. That being said I had just woken from a post-travel 15 hour slumber meaning that I was more than ready to devour a meat filled pastry or two.

It was good to see the SFA taking a sensible approach to Scottish Cup Final ticketing, they get slated a lot, and quite rightly so sometimes but when they do good it rarely gets acknowledged, if somebody wants to lend me a student card so I can get in for a fiver I’ll be even happier and maybe even your pal.

Anyway the end of the junior season means that a plethora of fixtures are coming hurtling towards me over the next couple of weeks and as such a plethora of pies, so let’s get back to it with this homecoming offering from Yoker Athletic.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Holm Park, Yoker Athletic 1-1 Pollok, West Superleague First Division

Artistic Photography Fail
Artistic Photography Fail

Price: £1. A single golden nugget. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

Presentation: This pastry was presented to you on a small paper plate, an unusual, but not totally alien, presentational technique. The benefit of plating up your pie means that you can easily stack up multiple orders whilst also providing you with a substantial buffer to any potential overheating. There was also a pile of medium-sized white napkins for you to pick at freely for the all important post-consumption mouth wiping.

THE PIE

Princelike Plate Pie Presentation
Prince-like Plate Pie Presentation

Meatiness: This was a nice return to scotch pies for this lads palate. The pie was nicely filled, not bursting but substantial enough when looking at the all important meat to pastry ratios. It was firm, meaning that it ate well and didn’t fall apart and there was a lingering pepper kick, perhaps a tad weaker than I would prefer but still pleasant enough. It wasn’t ground-breaking but it certainly did the job.

Pastry: The pastry was well-baked. Crispy and golden on top. Soft but sturdy underneath. A perfectly acceptable receptacle for meat.

Brown Sauce: Despite supposed dwindling sales it was still HP that did the job.

Overall: A pleasant filling, well-baked pastry that stayed together well and a dollop of HP sauce readily available. There was not much to complain about but at the same time not much to get carried away with either.

Gravy Factor: Bog Standard Bisto. Well actually, it was slightly better than that but at present I’m not sure if a luxury Bisto brand exists? If it does I would rate it as that.

Another pie down. Looking ahead towards the end of the season (and barring a catastrophe on my part) we will hit 100 pies before the final goal goes in, and that even in my ludicrous world of pie is some achievement! Next up will be another junior review from Kilsyth Rangers.

However until next time, go forth and eat pie!

Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. He has contributed to prominent football sites including Pie & Bovril, The Terrace Podcast, The Football Pink and The FBA’s as well as featuring in The Scotsman, STV and a number of other media outlets. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ with a passion for food that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.

 

Pie 76: The Maybole Pie

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If you want to read about pies: meaty, spicy, pastry covered pies then this is the place to be, as this is Meat Filled Pastries, one man’s journey to find the tastiest football snacks in all the land. This edition sees us staying in the junior ranks with a pie from Ayrshire and Maybole Juniors but more on that in a bit.

As I am sure many of you are aware I like watching football. I especially like watching football when I get to go a place I’ve never been before,this trip to Maybole being a case in point. I can’t think of any other scenario why I would visit Maybole, it’s not noted for anything particularly famous, it’s not near the seaside and I have no known family currently residing in the area. Maybole, and no offence meant here, is not somewhere you would book your summer holidays to.

What it does have however is a junior football team and so with gay abandon I journeyed on down.

My particular highlight was the pub that was chosen for pre match refreshments by the bus committee. It’s fairly common place for our band of merry men to be found in some particularly odd wee pubs and this one was no exception. Named ‘The High Society’ on entry things looked fairly generic ‘old man’ that was however until you glanced at the fifties style motif in the window. As you entered the walls were adorned with pictures of crooners from yesteryear while the toilets seemed to be something more resembling a sauna than a urinal. Throw in a random games room, jingly door chimes and the obligatory one lady behind the bar suddenly finding her Saturday afternoon a lot busier than usual and you had all the ingredients for your traditional pre-match small town bar. I love these a little bit.

Anyway with my throat suitably lubricated it was game time and as such without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: Ladywell Stadium, Maybole v Pollok, West of Scotland Super League, First Division

Cattle, Cemetery, Fields. Standard Junior Football Back Drop.
Cattle, Cemetery, Fields. Standard Junior Football Back Drop.

Price: £1. A drop in division has certainly resulted in a drop in price. Let’s hope this isn’t a drop in tasty quality.

Presentation: A variation on the classic white medium-sized napkin. The far more cost efficient, but no less effective, one sheet of two ply kitchen roll. Actually a little bit bigger than a medium-sized napkin with the added gripy-ness of dimples. No pattern on the roll though, always slightly disappointing. Where’s my random fruit or cuddly penguins?

THE PIE

It's a pie. Duh!
It’s a pie. Duh!

Meatiness: Confession time here folks, I had drunk a few beers the night before and so to ward off any potential hangover I had started my alcohol consumption a bit earlier than usual. It’s not big or clever but it is the facts so this pie review will benefit, or be hindered dependent on your point of view, by the notes made after consumption was complete. What I can tell you is this, the pie was moist without being greasy. It was tasty enough with a distinct meaty flavour and it was of a sufficient standard to warrant a second one soon after but it wasn’t outstanding. This can be attributed to the lack of any real peppery kick and so the addition of HP helped to enhance the overall flavour experience. I certainly wouldn’t begrudge spending another £1 should I ever venture to the Ladywell again  so in that respect you can say meat wise this pie did a good job.

Pastry: The pastry fell apart quite a bit, not enough that there was a spillage of the muttony goodness inside but sufficient enough for me to partake in a spot of pie juggling. You know what I mean. That dance of switching your pie from hand to hand dependent on where the most dangly bit is based in the eternal hope that no meat shall hit the terrace below. The walls were caving in a little bit but I’m willing to put that down to a grip that was too firm more than anything else. As a receptacle for meat this pastry did its job.

Overall: After a few pints this filled the pie shaped hole in my belly not once, but twice.

Gravy Factor: Safe Gravy. The kind of gravy you would make for a dinner party when you’re not really sure what everyone likes.

Pie 76 is gone. Pretty short and sweet on this occasion. However do not fear as Pie 77 is on the horizon with Meat Filled Pastries first visit to the Scottish Lowland League and Forthbank Stadium home of Stirling University. The review will be done before I set off to Poland where I have high hopes that the eastern European love for meat and carbs will give me a pie based treat to behold.

However until, next time go forth and eat pie!

 

 

BONUS PIE! The Commonwealth Games ‘Steak & Haggis’ Pie

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DISCLAIMER: This is a bit of fun to continue to spread the love of the Commonwealth Games and one of Glasgow’s most distinguishable snacks the humble pie. Kind Regards. CPO, Chris.

Ding Ding! It’s time for the first bonus pie of the season. Pies that have not been consumed in the presence of twenty-two men kicking a ball about a rectangular grass field but instead in a variety of locations across the globe sporting or otherwise. A surprisingly large number of people (more than two) have been asking, ‘So when you doing a ‘Commonwealth Games’ pie?’.

You see for the last 11 days the biggest sporting event Glasgow has ever seen has been right on my front door and I have flung myself well and truly into it. I have loved it, the atmosphere has been amazing, the events have been well organised and entertaining and the volunteers were relentlessly cheery to the very end. I don’t think anybody could have anticipated it going so well but after the debacle in Delhi the Commonwealth Games is back on the map. Anyway at the various events I attended I was always on the look out for a pie, but alas none were to be found.

Well that’s not strictly true. At the Rugby Sevens held at Ibrox there were pies a plenty, however the full Ibrox range has gone under the Pie-croscope already and so with a heavy heart I resolved to having to leave pies off my Commonwealth menu. That was until a trip to my local supermarket uncovered the joyous sight of the Limited Edition Commonwealth Games Steak & Haggis Pie from Bells.

So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!

THE SURROUNDINGS

Where: My Gaff. Entry: Free, it’s my house if I charged myself to enter my house that would be just mental.

This is my ACTUAL living room
This is my ACTUAL living room

Price: Before I reveal the price of this pie let me please remind you this was bought from a supermarket, not from a pie stall, roasting hot and ready from the oven. There would be a bit of preparation required on my part and it would be remiss to ignore the fact that this is a mass-produced pie. So bearing that in mind a price of 50p per pie is still bloody brilliant. 50p! 50P! Five! Zero! Bargain of all bargains right there.

Presentation: The two pies per pack were wrapped in a thin plastic wrapper with the design of a fluttering saltire across it, a Bell’s branded badge in the corner and the contents of the pie scrawled across the top. Once opened these meaty beauties were neatly fitted into two clear plastic pie holders. I fired them into the over for the recommended 15 minutes and presented them to myself on a small, square black plate accompanied with the customary medium-sized white napkin, in the form of a piece of kitchen roll. It was time to scran this pie.

THE PIE

Never with a knife and fork
Never with a knife and fork.

Meatiness: This pie was filled with a thin meaty layer of equivalent thickness to the pastry above and below. Although billed as a Steak & Haggis pie, suggesting a 50/50 split at least of its two component parts, this pie was very much haggis based. This wasn’t a bad thing as it gave a spicy pepper kick to the pie and meant the filling felt thick and unctuous. The few bits of steak dotted throughout were chunked largely enough to provide a contrast in texture to the haggis and thanks to my expert use of the oven the steak pulled away in strips between my teeth. Haggis in its nature is quite moist and so although there was no discernible gravy this pie was anything but dry. Its only real let down was the shallow nature of the filling making it all feel a little bit stingy.

Brown Sauce: Don’t let the bottle of HP in this picture throw you. This is a luxury pie so no sauce required.

Pastry: The pastry was a little limp, there was no steam hole on top although would it really be required given the home-baked nature of this meat filled pastry. Some parts turned golden some stayed as pale as they were before I placed them in the oven. In mass producing the pie I always feel it’s the pastry that suffers more than anything else and this pie was a case in point.

Overall: It was 50p. It had a bit of steak in it and some haggis. This pie was made to be eaten in Scotland.

Gravy Factor: Patriotic Gravy.

Well that was a bonus pie, the next pie will be something a bit more football based from an as yet undecided location. Howver continuing the Commonwealth theme I’ll be looking at whether or not football should have a place in the newly dubbed ‘friendly games’ at some point this week. This will however be after my preview of the upcoming Scottish Premiership season for The Football Pink.

Until next time, go forth and eat pie!