We are pleased to announce the signing of goalkeeper Calum Ferrie, who arrives on loan from Dundee until January.
The 20-year-old joins Jordan Allan, Kevin Fell, Danny Jardine and Mark Stewart at Forthbank ahead of the new season.
Calum was previously with Port Vale before moving to Dens Park in 2016. He made his first-team debut for the Dark Blues against Rangers at Ibrox in April of this year.
Current squad for 2018/19
In the spirit of open communication and to avoid speculation, the Club Executive and Trust Boards wish to inform members of a working arrangement that has been agreed between Dave Mackay and John Neill.
John Neill’s involvement is 100% voluntary and comes with “no strings attached” in respect of the Consortium investment offer that he is leading in conjunction with Colin Rowley.
By way of background, Dave and John have met informally on several occasions over the past month and in high level terms, this “handshake agreement” allows them to join forces to recruit new players for the first team squad for season 18/19. A combining of their expertise, knowledge of and contacts within, the available market place is at the core of the agreement but it goes without saying that Dave, as First Team Manager, retains sole possession of final decision-making.
Both Boards agreed this arrangement would be beneficial and key to its success was immediate implementation to ensure we maximise the potential of securing the best (and right) players available to take Stirling Albion FC forward.
The Club Board can confirm an absolute guarantee that any outcomes in respect of players being signed will not commit SAFC to any expenditure that cannot be sustained within the current club finances.
BILL “BUCK” MCCARRY (1938-2018)
Everyone at Stirling Albion is saddened to hear of the passing of our former player Bill McCarry, known to all at his clubs as Buck.
He worked as a miner in his native Clackmannanshire before signing full-time forms at Brockville. His football career started with Alva, then Sauchie Juniors and he made his first-team debut at right-back against East Fife at Bayview on April 16th, 1958. Bill had big shoes to fill, taking over from the legendary Alex Parker. Although Falkirk lost 2-1, Bill kept his place for the remaining games against Queen’s Park and Motherwell.
National Service with the 1st Battalion Black Watch meant that games were few and far between for Bill, but his versatility showed when he turned out at centre-half and right-half. One of his colleagues while on duty for Queen and Country was another footballer – the famous Jim Baxter. The two became great friends and Jim was Best Man at Buck’s wedding. Buck’s powerful physique made him a difficult opponent for any centre-forward as he dominated in the air and on the ground. He was a key member of the Falkirk team that won promotion in 1960/61 and was used in a variety of positions as the club consolidated its place back in the top flight.
After 79 league games for Falkirk, and still only 24 years old, he signed for St Johnstone and went on to become a real Saints legend. There were plenty of Falkirk connections at Muirton in those days, and team-mates included Jimmy Harrower, Jim Kerray and Bobby Kemp. He became a regular in a great Perth side under Willie Ormond and could play either at centre-half or centre forward. His Muirton Park career saw him notch up over 300 appearances and he became a big fans’ favourite. The highlight of his St Johnstone career was an appearance in the League Cup Final on October 25th, 1969 at Hampden Park against Celtic. John Lambie was in the Saints side as well, but Buck’s day was spoiled by a badly gashed knee and, despite battling on through great pain, had to admit defeat at the break and was replaced by Gordon Whitelaw.
Buck saw out his career with Stirling Albion and he gave the same 100% commitment to the team as he always had done. Bob Shankly signed him in 1971 and recognised his ability to lead a side by example. He relished a challenge and he more than held his own against Celtic in a League Cup tie at Parkhead, when he faced a young Kenny Dalglish in his prime. Incredibly fit, Buck was a real powerhouse and he was an inspiration to the younger players at Annfield. After his playing days were over, he worked in the brewery trade and often made deliveries to pubs in Falkirk. While most delivery men rolled the beer barrels into the cellars, Buck carried them in resting on his broad shoulders – much to the amazement of the customers.
Buck was a great favourite with supporters at all his clubs and was a highly-respected and valued colleague by his former team-mates. He was Best Man at Ian Hunter’s wedding and the two maintained their friendship over the years. Alex Duchart was another who kept in touch and the three met up to share memories of times past. Although struggling with a lengthy illness, Buck lit up at these reminiscence sessions and shared amazing stories of past exploits. One classic was when Buck was warned after pulling Aberdeen keeper Bobby Clark back by his jersey. Buck protested his innocence to the referee, despite having a piece of the jersey in his hand.
Another remarkable story came after the Falkirk team returned to the town after an infamous 9-1 drubbing at Fir Park in a League Cup tie. Clearly, the Bairns fans were less than pleased at the result and some decided to give a group of players some “advice”. When they saw Buck get out the bus, and starting to head in their direction, they scarpered as fast as they could!
Buck McCarry would have been 80 in December this year, and he will be spoken about with great affection in football circles and will be fondly remembered by older supporters of Falkirk, St. Johnstone and Stirling Albion. For fans in Perth, he was an absolute legend and his passing means another member of the great side managed by Willie Ormond has gone.
The thoughts of everyone at Stirling Albion are with Bill’s family and friends at this sad time.
Service of Celebration for Bill’s life will take place at St Serf’s Church, Tullibody on Tuesday 22nd May at 11am thereafter to Tillicoultry Cemetery. Family flowers only please.
Retiral offering for Dementia Scotland. Roy & McIntyre Funeral Home, Glenochil, 01259 769995.
Andrew MacDonald reports on the latest action for our U20 players on loan at clubs across Scotland.
Congratulations to Cumbernauld Colts (pictured) who have won their first senior silverware after defeating Selkirk 3-1 in the Lowland League Cup final on Sunday. Ronan Fallens and Connor McMullan were both involved in the comeback win. Fallens made some good saves and distributed the ball efficiently while McMullan played the first hour before being substituted. The cup win concludes Colts’ season, which saw them achieve a sixth-place finish in the Lowland League.
Justin Watson continued his scoring streak for Shotts Bon Accord with a goal in a 5-0 win in the second round of the West of Scotland Cup against Whitletts Victoria. Watson played 70 minutes at right wing, his goal coming from the edge of the six-yard box, where he showed his technical skill by expertly volleying into the corner of the net. The winger has three goals in his last four games. Taylor Evans had a solid game in the centre of midfield for this one. The pair were also involved last Wednesday, when the Bonny drew 1-1 with East Kilbride Thistle at home. The Hannah Park side have a minimum of five fixtures left this season.
Camelon’s Ryan Lockie played 90 minutes in his side’s 4-0 home win over Broxburn Athletic. The U20 skipper played centre-back and provided his eighth assist of the season for Camelon as his whipped corner was met by a team-mate to score. His impressive defensive influence was a huge reason behind the Mariners’ clean sheet. Forward Ross Cameron played the first hour and was involved in the build-up play for two of the goals. It’s been a successful campaign for Camelon, who have two games left to play in the East Region Superleague.
Centre-back Dillon Young played 90 minutes in two matches for Wishaw this week. Firstly, Wishy won 4-2 on Wednesday against Blantyre Vics, with Young producing a competent defensive display. The North Lanarkshire side were then on the wrong end of a 4-2 scoreline against Neilston on Saturday, despite leading 2-1. The game ended in controversial circumstances as Wishaw’s opponents were awarded three questionable penalties. Young is progressing well and it’s reassuring that he’ll be involved in many more fixtures before the season’s end.
Both Marc Innes and Luke Martin played 90 minutes for Thorniewood United on Wednesday night in a 3-1 defeat against St Roch’s. The U20 duo played in their favoured central midfield and left-back positions during this game. Both Martin and Innes will be kept busy next week as Thorniewood have matches to play on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
We are pleased to announce that defender Ross McGeachie has agreed a contract for the forthcoming campaign.
The 24-year-old started all 44 of our games in 2017/18 and featured at right-back and centre-half during the campaign.
Ross made his debut for the Binos against Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill in May 2012.
Our U20 side beat Berwick Rangers 2-1 on the Forthbank Astro on Wednesday night.
Justin Watson and Kyle Banner were on target for Andy Todd’s team before Berwick pulled one back late on.
Report by Andrew MacDonald
Stirling made one change to the side who beat Livingston at the end of March, as Kyle Banner was introduced. Berwick came into the match in red-hot form, as they thrashed Forfar 4-0 last week.
The visitors showed they meant business from the off, as they nearly scored within a minute. After exchanging some neat passes, they released the left midfielder down the wing and he lofted a cross to the back post. A Berwick forward met the ball on the half volley but Callum Law somehow managed to contort his body into a shape which helped him make an excellent save with his right arm.
The Black & Gold continued to apply pressure for the next 25 minutes and had a further three chances to open the scoring. The first should have been converted as a mistake at the back resulted in one of their forwards blazing the ball over the bar despite having an open goal. Law was then involved again, as he dived low to his left to keep out a shot struck from the edge of the box. The visitors then again cleared the goal with a shot from the edge of the box.
It took the young Binos half an hour to get a hold of the game and start creating chances. Skipper Ryan Lockie played a pin-point ball to Taylor Evans, who had made a run on the right wing. The midfielder controlled the ball and showcased his dribbling ability by wiggling through two challenges, only for his left-footed effort to be saved.
Our U20 side then took an unlikely lead two minutes later. Evans was involved again, as he impressively back-heeled the ball to the advancing Callum MacDonald under pressure. MacDonald lifted his head and played a through ball to Reg McLaren. The striker’s shot was blocked, but fell to the supporting Justin Watson, who poked the ball home with his second opportunity after the goalkeeper saved his first effort.
The start of the second half was a slightly quieter affair, with both sides mainly keeping the ball. Alberto Vezza had a low shot saved early on and Berwick were threatening down the left, but their crosses into the box were either off target or evaded their attackers.
The game only really came alive in the final 10 minutes. McLaren again gave a typically hard-working performance and helped create something out of nothing. The striker received the ball in the left-hand corner of the pitch, where he held off two markers and let Lockie – who was charging down the left – pinch the ball from his feet. The captain perfectly picked out substitute Ross Cameron, who controlled the ball and saw his low shot saved.
The resulting corner was played short between Lockie and Watson. The former received the ball back at the very edge of the box and whipped an irresistible cross towards the back post for Kyle Banner to place an unmissable header into the corner of the net. A fifth goal of the season for the centre-back.
The visitors made the end of the match interesting, as they pulled a goal back after 88 minutes. Midfielder Gary Windrum was played into space on the left side, where he picked out fellow sub Kieran Jack to tap the ball low into the goal. Berwick searched for a leveller in the closing minutes, as they tried to threaten with a number of shots from distance but their efforts were in vain.
It was another performance where our U20 side won despite not being at their best. It’s four wins on the trot for the young Binos, who play their final game of the season against league champions Raith Rovers at the Forthbank Astro on Monday. A win would see them finish second in the Development League East.
D Cumming (B Mair 83’)
L Martin (D Young 64’)
C MacDonald (R Cameron 64’)
Our next match in Ladbrokes League 2 is against Clyde at Broadwood on Saturday.
It was 1-1 on our last visit in November when Darren Smith’s goal was cancelled out by a David Goodwillie penalty in the closing minutes.
The Bully Wee suffered a 1-0 defeat away to Cowdenbeath at the weekend but still have a chance of making the play-offs and have lost just once at home in League 2 since Danny Lennon took over five months ago.
Admission for Saturday’s game at Broadwood is adults £13, concessions (seniors, students, U18s) £8 and U12s free.
Andy Little scored his first goal for the club as we bounced back from Saturday’s defeat to Peterhead to make it six wins in seven games.
The former Rangers and Preston forward marked his first start in a Stirling shirt by pouncing from close range just before half-time for what proved to be the winner.
Little blazed a penalty over the bar midway through the second half after Ouzy See tripped Lee Hamilton but we held on to gain revenge for a 1-0 defeat here in December.
The result was probably harsh on Berwick, who did enough to merit a draw, but they couldn’t find a way past a resolute Stirling defence on a chilly evening at Shielfield.
Binos boss Dave Mackay made two changes, with skipper Willie Robertson and Little starting in place of George Stanger and Peter MacDonald. He was soon forced into a further switch as top scorer Darren Smith limped off with an ankle injury and Neil McLaughlin came on in his place.
Stirling were shooting down the slope in the first half but Robbie Horn’s side carried more threat and there were a couple of close calls before we grabbed the lead against the run of play.
It was a poacher’s finish from Little, who was perfectly placed to beat Robby McCrorie at the far post after a shot had been deflected into his path following a corner.
He had a chance to double our advantage when See brought down Hamilton but poor run from the spot continued when the Northern Ireland internationalist sent his kick over the bar.
Ross Kavanagh came close to adding a second goal while at the other end Cammy Binnie made fine saves from Jack Hamilton and See as we ground out a narrow win.
Elgin’s defeat at Clyde means we now have an eight-point cushion in the play-off race over the Moray men, who we face twice at Borough Briggs this month.
Berwick Rangers: McCrorie, Orru (Murrell 82), Notman, Willis, Phillips, Petkov (Thomson 68), Stewart, Wilson, Hamilton, Todd, See. Subs (not used): Fleming, McKinlay, Cook, Simpson, Brennan (GK).
Stirling Albion: Binnie, McGeachie, Hamilton, McNeil, Barr (R Smith 62), Moon, Jardine, Little (MacDonald 68), D Smith (McLaughlin 10), Kavanagh, Robertson. Subs (not used): Stanger, Dickson, Noble, Wight (GK).
Scorer: Little 41
Referee: Lloyd Wilson