It doesn’t seem that long ago when we felt that pain of losing to East Kilbride at Netherdale, pre-season is the time of the year that players and fans can recharge their batteries for a short time, however the same doesn’t apply to people running the club and the same applies for coaches as well.
We knew we had to strengthen, and we did it early, we identified the players we wanted and got the vast majority, we know everyone else in the league would as there is now a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, pre-season got underway toward the end of June, a convincing win against Fleet Star was followed by the Raydale Cup, a good 1st half display against Carlisle City was enough to see us through to the final for the 1st time where we were narrowly beaten in the end by Ayr Utd, 3 wins followed against Uppers, Mids and Heston and ended in a crushing defeat away to a superb Kendal Town side, we went there with a skeleton squad and it showed. Stuart and I agree that we probably haven’t hit top gear yet but hopefully this will come on Saturday as we travel to the deserved champions Edinburgh City. Fitness is good and we have a few good dilemmas whilst trying to pick a squad never mind the starting xi.
I don’t think you could hand pick a tougher 6 games to start the season, and if the Lowland League title goes outwith Edinburgh City, EK, Stirling Uni, Dalbeattie, Spartans or BSC I’ll personally ‘eat my hat’ however we have to play everybody at some point and we are relishing it.
I recently went to watch Edinburgh City in their victory against East Stirlingshire, and sat in front of Queens Park manager Gus McPherson in the Meadowbank stand, if im honest I think manager Gary Jardine knew Gus would be there scouting his side for their Petrofac Cup match last week and to be fair to Gary I think he played his cards close to his chest and didn’t give anything away, I was correct there were lots of changes from that night to the side that took to the field last Saturday.
Last of all I would like to personally to thank former coach Barry Graham for his service to the club over the last 8 years both as a coach in my playing days, and as a colleague in more recent times, best of luck in whatever you do in the future, you’ll be missed.