From the November edition of The Albion magazine
To stand any chance of being a successful team you must stick together. The words make it sound so simple but the reality is much more difficult.
If it was easy everybody would be doing it. This point was made clear to the squad prior to our first league match of the season and I’m very pleased to say that there is a genuine togetherness among our group.
Teams will often show signs of this togetherness when things are going well. It is, however, when the going is a little tougher that real teams demonstrate that quality. Now, in an ideal world, we would have had a few more points from the first quarter of our league campaign and made progress in both the Petrofac and League Cups.
But if there is a positive to take from our start to the season it is that we have been through a difficult period and have emerged a stronger unit. All the players and staff deserve great credit for that and, while we will almost certainly have further challenging periods, our unity will help us in our quest to improve our league position.
The last few weeks have given us plenty of cause for optimism and I’m not just referring to the results. Just the one goal conceded in three difficult away matches, that included back-to-back clean sheets, along with the contribution of David Verlaque in his first couple of starts for the first team are just two. The only negative has to be the mounting tally of yellow and reds cards we are being shown. In respect of this issue all the facts, not just the figures, must be considered.
A number of the red cards have been for denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity and we’ve picked up yellow cards in unusual circumstances, eg Ross Forsyth (of all people) for simulation away at Elgin.
That being said, we must always look at our part in events and I can assure everyone connected with Stirling Albion FC that we have been, and will continue to strive for a level of conduct on and off the park that is befitting our proud club. If at any point, and I include recent events, we feel that an individual has not adhered to the standards we set for behaviour then we ensure appropriate action is taken.
On the injury front, just as with our results, things are most definitely on the up. Darren Smith has returned and it gave us all an extra sense of satisfaction to see him take the field at East Fife in the Scottish Cup tie. It’s been a long, difficult road for Darren. We can now look forward to seeing the return from the club’s support and his own hard work and dedication.
Salim Kouider-Aissa has returned to training and we should see him available from the start of November. Craig Beattie continues to progress well ahead of schedule with a possible return to action before we reach December or at the very least not long into that month. Phil Johnston, as many of you will have read or heard, has had an operation on his knee. The surgeon has indicated he will be back to full training around the end of November, which is six weeks earlier than originally anticipated.
Finally, I would like to thank all the supporters who have travelled to Bayview and Broadwood to get behind the team over the past few weeks. Your efforts are always appreciated by the players and I trust that the performances, as well as results, made for enjoyable afternoons for you.
Together I’m sure that we will experience many more, both home and away.
C’mon the Binos!