Programme notes from today’s game against Elgin City…
INSIDE THE BOX
A very warm welcome to everyone associated with Elgin City as they make their second visit in a week to Forthbank, following last Saturday’s successful foray in the Scottish Cup against Stirling University.
After over a year of unsettling events surrounding the club, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to report on a number of highly positive things that have happened / are happening, both on and off the pitch. To do justice to the positives, I’d need to go way outside the box, so my apologies in advance for those I’ve overlooked and/or the brevity of detail re those highlighted.
Turning first to footballing matters, the appointment of Kevin Rutkiewicz and his subsequent appointment of Martin Hardie as his assistant, have been the breath (hurricane?!) of fresh air that has given everyone – including and especially our supporters – the lift that was sorely needed. Whilst the initial reaction to Kevin’s appointment was cool, primarily due to his “visible” lack of management experience, he has undoubtedly made his mark by his actions in the relatively short period since his appointment. No one, least of all me, is making any wild claims about what the future holds but I have no doubt we have appointed the right person to give us the best possible chance of success.
On the business side, the recent appointment of Colin Rowley to the Club Board is a huge step in the right direction. His passion for, and commitment to, Stirling Albion, combined with his energy, enthusiasm, business acumen and contacts make him the ideal person to drive forward (and upward) our commercial activities (and revenue).
With the Club Board back on an even keel and our relationship with the Trust Board going from strength to strength, the foundations are firmly in place to enable further progress behind the scenes. Both the Trust and Club Boards are keen to expand by adding personnel who possess the right mix of skills, boundless energy and, above all, the best interests of the Club at heart. Why not get in touch for a no-obligation informal chat, if you feel you could potentially deliver on those criteria? I’d be delighted to hear from you through the normal channels as advertised on the Club Website.
Returning to football, the Club Board are fully committed to supporting Kevin in any and every way possible, as he pushes ahead with our shared target of making the promotion play-offs. Although there’s a distance to be covered to achieve that, there is all but two thirds of the season left to deliver. Fasten your seat belt, we’re going on a journey!
Finally, on behalf of myself and my family, I’d like to personally thank everyone who has supported us throughout the past year (and hopefully continuing!!); it is hugely comforting to know that we have that support and respect from the huge majority of those who genuinely care about Stirling Albion Football Club.
Stirling Albion return to action this Saturday, October 20, when we welcome Queen’s Park to Forthbank in the second round of the Scottish Cup.
New Spiders boss Mark Roberts took charge for the first time as they beat St Mirren Colts 4-2 to reach the quarter-finals of the IRN-BRU Cup.
Darren Barr, assisted by Mark Stewart and Peter MacDonald, will again be in charge of the Stirling team as we continue to look for a new manager.
Stirling Albion were beaten 4-1 by Airdrieonians in SPFL Reserve League 2 at the Penny Cars Stadium on Monday evening.
Bradley Rodden was on target for Andy Todd’s side.
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.