By RJ Mitchell
Kevin Rutkiewicz has admitted that a decision over Alan Gow’s future is looming large.
The former Ranger played his second game for the Binos as a trialist in the narrow loss to League 2 leaders Edinburgh City at Forthbank on Saturday, lasting 62 minutes before being subbed by Reg McLaren.
Following an injury-hit two-year spell at St Mirren, the 36-year-old showed some nice touches – he was particularly unlucky with a fine free-kick from 20 yards before the break and there is no doubt that Stirling would benefit from the quality of his left-foot delivery if he remains fit.
With the new Forthbank gaffer only having one game left of Gowser’s three-match trial stint, Kevin knows that a decision must be made sooner than later but clearly believes the former Airdrieonian still has something to give.
The Binos boss said: “Alan has had injury issues over the last couple of seasons but he thinks he still has something to offer and is looking for a way back in. Certainly, from what I’ve seen, I would agree that Alan does indeed have something to offer.
“Alan is not something I’m going to make a decision about based on one training session and 60 minutes of a game. Right now he is in my squad, he is experienced, has been around and knows what the game is all about – whether Alan will want to put himself on the line for another trial game; we will have that discussion.
“He was unlucky with a decent free kick on Saturday and, as I said, I think he has something to offer us. Obviously, having played against Cowdenbeath and then Edinburgh City, Alan has just one game left as a trialist, so we will talk again this week.”
Despite being frustrated at being undone by one error Kevin admitted there were plenty of positives to take from his first game in charge as Stirling Albion boss.
He said: “Darren Barr was outstanding against City. I expected that of him as he is a great professional and a fit Darren Barr firing on all cylinders is a huge asset for us.
“I’m re-registered in case of an emergency and I was thinking about coming on for Darren but he was comfortable and it was great to get him through the full 90 minutes. He is only going to benefit from Saturday and, particularly in the air, I thought Darren was absolutely outstanding.”
Another positive from Saturday’s encounter with Edinburgh was the sight of last season’s top scorer Darren Smith back on the bench and Binos boss Rutkiewicz admitted he had been sorely tempted to send the 25-goal hitman on.
Kevin said: “Darren Smith got two days’ training with the boys last week but we need to get him right and then get him in when he is ready to stay in. He has been out for a good while and you have to be very careful reintroducing someone when they have been out for that length of period.
“Darren is a huge asset to Stirling Albion going forward who will give us goals and we need that. He is very diligent and I would expect with his athleticism he will recover quickly.”