As in all walks of life, in football you have good days and bad days. At the present moment, and in particular last week, we have experienced more of the latter.
In the interests of keeping our loyal supporters as informed as possible I would like to share the following with you.
Mark Staunton – Mark contacted me on the Friday prior to the Annan match to explain that, alongside a sizeable amount of travel required for his day job, he was struggling with the demands of travelling to and from Stirling for training on a Tuesday and Thursday evening.
He made it clear that he was both enjoying and learning from the environment at the club. He went to great lengths about the level of professionalism but ultimately he could not cope with the travel demands.
With the greatest respect to Mark, we have within the squad ample cover with defenders and this played a significant factor in my decision to grant his wish to be released from his contract.
Jon Paul McGovern – The player met with me immediately following last Tuesday evening’s training session to express a general feeling of being unhappy at the club. He cited a few circumstances which in isolation were relatively insignificant but the culmination of it led to his unhappiness.
Myself and Martyn Corrigan spoke with the player over the next few days to explain things from the club’s perspective but ultimately could not change his mind. We made the decision not to include him in the squad for the match against Berwick Rangers on Saturday as we felt that the very least the supporters deserve is to have players wearing the Stirling Albion shirt who are 100% committed to the club.
Unlike Mark Staunton’s situation, we are not blessed with cover in midfield and could not grant the player an immediate, unconditional release from his contract. We will, however, continue to work to seek a resolution that is beneficial to the club as that is our main priority.
This is a situation that has been created by the player and I am totally satisfied that the club is completely in the right, with absolutely nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. Each and every other member of the squad is 100% committed to the club, is fully behind myself and Martyn, and is determined to produce the results we are capable of.
Craig Beattie – Craig has unfortunately suffered what appears to be quite a serious hamstring injury during the match on Saturday.
The medical staff have been working tirelessly since Saturday afternoon to have a scan arranged. This should take place on Monday evening or Tuesday. Only following the scan will we know the full extent of the damage. As is the case with Steven Doris’s knee, this injury is not related in any way, shape, or form to anything previous.
Craig has not experienced any issues with his hamstring for the last five years. Prior to him signing with the club we have conducted a thorough background check on his recent injury record and he was given a full medical screening.
This is a very unfortunate occurrence, especially for Craig, but it is not anything that could have been predicted or prevented. We will be working extremely hard to bring a replacement to the club.
Phil Johnston – Phil jarred his knee in an incident a few minutes before half-time during the match on Saturday. He was assessed immediately after the match and once again during the day on Monday. The initial prognosis is that it is not a serious injury and we are hopeful that Phil will be available for selection again next week.
Results are ultimately what myself and the team will be judged on and we are the first to recognise that we have not achieved what the supporters, the board, and indeed we ourselves expect.
What I will say is that I have every confidence in the players we have at the club and, despite the setbacks we are experiencing at the moment, we will earn the results we need to make this a successful season.
These bad days will then make the good days all the sweeter!