Neale Waugh - 100 Appearances

Last Wednesday, during our friendly defeat to Garnock at Drumoyne, vice-captain Neale Waugh became the 47th player to make his 100th appearance for QPSFC.

Neale made his debut for the team back in August 2015, as a lone striker in an away league match against Hamilton Accies SFC. He made an instant impact opening the scoring with a fine finish, but sadly we couldn’t hold on to the lead, conceding late on in a 1-1 draw.

Neale remembers this as one of his finest moments as a QP player: 

‘Favourite goal has to be my debut strike away to Hamilton. It’s always difficult to settle into a new team (especially after I took out the ‘main man’ Mr Lennox at my first training session) so a debut goal helped settle the nerves somewhat. I think Lenny was gunning for me to flop to be honest…’

It was a great start for Nealey, and he continued to thrive in his centre forward position, scoring a further two goals next time out against McDonald Rovers in Paisley (one a fabulous long range strike) and only the crossbar denied him a hat trick that day.

The goals have been harder to come by for Neale since his explosive start (his overall tally standing at 18 in 100 games) but this can be explained by a change in position.

With the team in midst of a defensive crisis in October 2015, Neale was shuffled to centre back for a crunch Scottish Cup tie away to Clyde, and he never looked back.

The new boy rose to the occasion, and won the Man of the Match award as Queen’s romped to a memorable 3-1 victory at Hamilton Palace. A day Neale recalls fondly:

‘This was the first time I experienced one of the famous QPSFC away days and also the first time I’d played centre back after the gaffer’s failed experiment to turn me into a number 10!! Myself and Del Muir absolutely strolled it that day in a comfortable win against the manky Clyde. Post match, I got a true taste of the absolute nonsense behaviour that happens on an away day with this team. Particular highlight being Antics accidentally allowing himself to be painted as a golliwog after we gate-crashed a children’s party at Stirling Cricket Club…’

Neale has really bought into the social side of things over the years, and you can guarantee he’ll be there when there is an away fixture taking us to some far flung corner of the country.

When asked to name his favourite game, there were plenty choose from, but he couldn’t look past our 3-0 win over Coasters in April 2016, our one and only victory in Oban after many years of trying:

‘Oban is renowned as a tough place for this team to go and get a result, so it was great to brush them aside and win 3-0, one of the best performances I’ve seen us in put in over the years. The drinking session afterwards was absolutely wild to say the least, Del Muir’s dentist chair on the bus home the highlight of the day…!’

Neale has gone from young player with bags of potential, to an absolute stalwart in the team over the space of a few short years, and this is a testament to his commitment to the cause.

Since being named vice-captain in the summer, Neale has been on fine form and he has nailed down the left back jersey as his own in recent months with a string of fine performances.

A key man on and off the park, Neale is a future captain who has the ability to become one of our all time greats.

Here’s to the next 100!