We are pleased to announce that we have completed the emergency loan signing of teenage defender Cammy Thomson from St Johnstone until mid-January.
He is a player Binos boss Dave Mackay knows well and will provide valuable left-back cover, with Steven Noble out for the next six weeks or so with a thigh injury.
Welcome to Forthbank Cammy and happy 18th birthday for Tuesday!
Andrew MacDonald reports on how our U20 players fared on loan at Junior clubs across Scotland this weekend.
U20 captain Ryan Lockie completed 90 minutes as his Camelon side defeated league challengers Penicuik Athletic 1-0 at home. The left-back put in an impressive defensive display and was one of the main reasons why Camelon kept a clean sheet. The Mariners remain mid-table in the East Region Superleague.
Brooklyn Mair played the full game for his Oakley United side in a 3-2 victory against Edinburgh United in the capital. Mair – who played right-back – was consistently winning the ball and using it efficiently. The win over high-flying Edinburgh enabled Oakley to move up two places to ninth in the East Region South Division.
Alberto Vezza came up against two of his U20 team-mates in the shape of Luke Martin and Justin Watson as Carluke Rovers defeated Newmains United 7-0 in the Central District Second Division.
Vezza played the final half hour and managed to influence proceedings like he’s been doing in development matches by laying on an assist. Martin and Watson were both good on the ball despite the scoreline as the pair completed 90 minutes. Carluke rise to fifth in the league, whereas Newmains remain rooted to the bottom.
Thorniewood United’s Declyn Cumming played right midfield as he completed 90 minutes in his side’s 3-1 loss at Glasgow Perthshire. Cumming was an influential presence in attack and defence. Midfielder Marc Innes played the final 30 minutes of the game. The loss sees fellow strugglers Glasgow Perthshire create a five-point gap over Thorniewood at the bottom of the Central District First Division.
Elsewhere, Reg McLaren watched on as his Luncarty side were defeated 3-2 by Kinnoull. The loss sees Luncarty slip to fourth in the East Region North Division after being in a prominent position in the table. Dillon Young was unavailable for Wishaw’s 2-0 win over Yorker Athletic while Callum MacDonald has been recalled from his loan spell with Camelon.
Top scorer Reg McLaren scored twice for our U20 side in a 3-0 win over bottom club Cowdenbeath in the SPFL Development League East.
Ross Cameron was also on target as Andy Todd’s team secured a comfortable victory on the Forthbank Astro.
Next up for the Albion youngsters is a trip to play Forfar Athletic on Tuesday November 21.
1 Mark Foden
2 Brooklyn Mair
3 Ryan Lockie
4 George Stanger
5 Kyle Banner
6 Connor McMullan
7 Justin Watson
8 Taylor Evans
9 Reg McLaren
10 Ross Cameron
11 Luke Martin
12 Dillon Young
14 Declyn Cumming
15 Marc Innes
16 Callum MacDonald
18 Alberto Vezza
Andrew MacDonald takes a look at how our U20 players fared out on loan at Junior clubs across Scotland this weekend.
Reg McLaren starred in Luncarty’s 4-0 win at home to Forfar Albion. The striker opened the scoring and managed to assist another goal during the 65 minutes he played. Our U20 top scorer caught the eye with his impressive link-up play and finishing ability. McLaren’s performance helped Luncarty create a two-point gap at the top of the East Region North Division.
There was also joy for Oakley United’s Brooklyn Mair, who played 70 minutes as his side scored in the closing moments to win 3-2 at home to Dufftown in the Scottish Junior Cup. The victory ensures a place in the third round for Oakley.
After completely overhauling their playing squad, Luke Martin’s Newmains United were unfortunate to lose 3-1 away to Bellshill Athletic. Martin played the full match at left-back. Newmains remain rooted to the bottom of the Central District Second Division but Saturday’s performance will give them confidence going forward. Justin Watson was unavailable for this match
U20 captain Ryan Lockie was left disappointed as his Camelon side were beaten 4-1 away to Dundonald. The defender completed the full 90 minutes, as Camelon remain ninth in the East Region Super League. Callum MacDonald was an unused substitute in this game.
There was also disappointment for Marc Innes and Thorniewood United, who lost heavily to Shotts Bon Accord in the Central District First Division. The midfielder played 80 minutes. Thorniewood need to make improvements, as they sit bottom of the table. Declyn Cumming was an unused sub for this one.
Defender Dillon Young and midfielder Alberto Vezza were unavailable to play for their Wishaw and Carluke Rovers sides this weekend.
Elsewhere, it was encouraging to see four U20 players – Kyle Banner, Ross Cameron, Connor McMullan and George Stanger – make the bench against Edinburgh City on Saturday.
Andy Todd’s team have no fixture next week and are next in action at home to Cowdenbeath in the Development League East on Monday November 13.
Andrew MacDonald talks to U20 duo Kyle Banner and Ronan Fallens about the current season, first-team action and Scotland Schoolboys.
Centre-back Kyle Banner and goalkeeper Ronan Fallens have been a permanent fixture in Andy Todd’s U20 squad so far this season.
Banner, a tall defender who likes to get on the ball, described the team’s start to the season by saying: “It’s not been great so far, our home form has really let us down this season. We have the talent to push on and climb the Development League East table. We had some really good results against Cowdenbeath, and LTHV and Cumbernauld Colts in the cup, the sort of performances we need to produce on a more regular basis.”
Fallens, whose greatest quality is his excellent shot-stopping ability, agreed that the Scottish Youth
Cup results have been excellent, as he states his ambitions for the competition this season.
He said: “After the wins against LTHV and Cumbernauld Colts in the second and third rounds, it’s quite likely we’ll be drawn against a full-time team in the fourth. This is a challenge I’d relish, we certainly wouldn’t roll over for a ‘bigger team’, we’d look to take the game to them and we’ll hopefully go far in the competition this year.”
Both Banner and Fallens have been involved in the Binos first-team squad. Banner, a sporadic fixture in Dave Mackay’s squads this season, described his involvement: “It’s been a great boost to my confidence. The first-team players have been really welcoming and it’s been great to even be involved in matchday squads. It was different class making my professional debut against Falkirk in the Betfred Cup, I’m really enjoying the first-team atmosphere when I get the chance to be involved.”
Fallens recalls his first involvement with the top team: “It was a strange day. At the time I was in my first year of the U17 team. I was out playing football with my friends one Saturday afternoon when I got a call from Stuart McLaren, telling me I was needed for the bench that day – as the sub keeper at the time had taken ill. I definitely felt the pressure of a professional football setting that day, trying to get myself in the right mindset in case I was required to play. Since then I’ve been on the bench quite a few times and I feel like it’s prepared me for a scenario where I could play.”
Banner is no stranger to positions of leadership. He was named vice-captain of the U20 squad by Andy Todd this season, as well as being Scotland Schoolboys captain in his final year of school. He recounts his experience of captaining the Schoolboys as: “a great honour, to know you’ve been trusted to lead boys out, especially in an international match. It was amazing to travel across to Ireland and down to England and Wales. A great experience all in all.”
Fallens was also involved in the Schoolboys set up last year. He feels like the experience has developed his playing abilities: “I definitely feel like I’ve gained more of a confidence in my game. To know you’ve been deemed to be the best out of everyone in Scottish schools is a great feeling. We came up against top opposition, who were also the best of the best in school.”
The boys conclude by discussing their aims as a team and individually for the season. Banner said: “Like I say, I feel our form at Forthbank has to improve, it’s not what it was last season. We should be finishing as high as we possibly can. Individually I feel like I just need to keep pushing for that first team, I’ll keep training hard and hope for more appearances on the bench and you never know, maybe even out on the park.”
Fallens said: “I’d love to go on an extended cup run and just iron out the kinks in my game, get as many clean sheets as possible and continue to experience that first-team environment when I can. If I train hard I can hopefully get there.”
Inside the Box – An advance look at Stirling Albion chairman Stuart Brown’s programme notes for our August home games…
Following on from a successful Betfred Cup campaign, finishing third in a group we were seeded to come last in, we kicked off our SPFL2 programme with a thoroughly deserved win against local rivals Stenhousemuir – it is perhaps fair to say there’s more than one swallow on view this summer.
The second-half performance in our opening league encounter was particularly encouraging, as we bounced back from a very uninspiring first half – Darren Smith’s goal and follow-up celebration aside – and we really should have stretched the one-goal margin of victory to more.
The result aside, the best bit about Ochilview was the remarkable turnout from Bino Fans; I don’t have an official headcount but from visual inspection, and considering we had a good number in the stand as well as on the terracing, I’d guesstimate we outnumbered the opposition. Great to see the interaction between the players and fans at full-time but as has been commented on social media, I’ll never understand why, a small minority, chose to boo the team off at half-time. Let’s all get behind Dave and the boys from start to finish; I’m sure they’ll respond positively!
Three home games in eight days coming up! The two SPFL2 Saturdays see the visit of Berwick Rangers and Edinburgh City and sandwiched in between, Montrose travel to Forthbank for a first round IRN-BRU Cup match. I extend the usual warm welcome to the directors, management, players and supporters of all three.
Moving away from football, the advert for our General Manager position attracted more than 30 applications and these are currently being sifted down to a manageable number for interview. All things being equal, I would anticipate being able to announce the successful candidate no later than the end of August. This full-time appointment is an exciting and vital step forward for the club, as we seek to continue effectively manage our “office affairs” and combine this with expanding our commercial business and community engagement.
On the community front, Andy Todd, his modern apprentices and his community coaches have been very busy running holiday classes for two age groups and having spent some time observing them “at work”, I take my hat off to them all for a job well done. The experienced coaches are brilliant with the kids and our two new apprentices have taken to their roles likes ducks to water!
Finally, following on from, yet another, hugely successful SAFC Golf Day in July, a huge thank you to the new sponsor, Brian Kerr of De Beul Kerr and of course, Tricia Chillas and her volunteer helpers!
C’mon the Binos!