From the January edition of The Albion Magazine
There’s no getting away from the fact that it was a very disappointing end to 2015 and an equally disappointing start to 2016, with consecutive defeats against the two “Easts” but there’s no point dwelling on the past, aside from ensuring we learn from it.
Defensive lapses have cost us dearly in the last two games and, with our home programme for 2016 kicking off with a Scottish Cup 4th Round tie against Inverness Caledonian Thistle, the learning will need to be considerable, quick and effective!
In addition to our Premiership opponents in the Cup, we also welcome, on league business, Queen’s Park and Montrose and I extend the usual warm welcome to the officials, management, players and fans of all three.
Rather than look backwards and review 2015, I prefer to build on where things are currently at and look forward:
• the first team, despite a slow start and the recent stutter, remain well-placed to push for automatic promotion, with a play-off slot remaining very much a fall-back position rather than the primary target
• the under 20 squad managed by Stuart McLaren and coached by Ross Forsyth and Andy Todd sit proudly on top of the Development League East at the winter break and I am confident that we have the best-prepared squad of players in our history, many of whom are very capable of “bridging the gap” and pushing for first-team squad places (joining Cammy Binnie and David Verlaque, who have already done so)
• the Forthbank pitch, under the expert care of Graeme Glen of Active Stirling, is in the best condition it has been for many, many years despite the horrendous weather we have been experiencing over the past couple of months (look out for a feature on Graeme in the February Edition of The Albion magazine)
• our Community Engagement continues to go from strength to strength thanks to Andy Todd, our Community Engagement Manager and our new Modern Apprentice, Tony Gray
• Youth Development is prospering both on and off the pitch, thanks to the expert guidance and endless energies of Stewart Taylor (HoY Admin) and Mark Wood (HoY Coaching)
• the Junior Academy continues to grow and grow with the latest count being seven age groups and 16 teams in operation; a truly magnificent achievement by Nicola Howieson, her JA Committee and the coaches
• our working relationship with Stirling Council, our landlord, and Active Stirling, who manage Forthbank Stadium, is second to none
Hey, it’s great to be a Bino and I’m proud to be a part of, and play a part in, Stirling Albion’s past, present and future.
Happy New Year!