Inside the Box – Programme notes from Saturday’s game against Edinburgh City

As season 18/19 draws its final breath, irrespective of the outcome of today’s match versus play-off bound Edinburgh City, our report card reflects another year of disappointment given that our pre-season target was a top-four finish, at worst.

With hindsight, it’s reasonable to deduce that any realistic chance of delivering on that was extinguished on Saturday 29 September when we crashed to defeat against, at that time, winless Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill. A result that culminated in Dave Mackay being sacked.

Few, if any, would have predicated our next managerial appointment but it is no exaggeration to state that Kevin Rutkiewicz blew the recruitment panel away and some discreet background research left us in no doubt he was the right man to take us out of the mess we were in. It’s a matter of fact that we not only got out of the mess but in defiance of my comment in the previous paragraph, for five minutes on Saturday 16 February away against Elgin City, we did actually occupy the final play-off slot!

The Club Board has given Kevin their full support to prepare for an all-out assault on winning SPFL2 next season. Despite ill-founded and unhelpful rumour to the contrary, this includes maintaining the playing budget at the current level. Call me daft (many do!) but I’m ultra-confident that, under Kevin’s leadership, we have never been better placed to achieve this target since I became involved in 2010… please feel free to bookmark that for future reference!

Away from SAFC business, we are delighted to be hosting UEFA Women’s Under-19 Championship matches in mid-July. The draw sees Spain being based at Forthbank for their three group phase games versus Germany, England and Belgium. Look out for more details on the website over the next month or so.

In drawing my final contribution of season 18/19 to a close, I wish to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has willingly and tirelessly given their help behind the scenes but I make no apology for highlighting a few who have undoubtedly gone “above and beyond” …

• Ben McAdam (Videographer) – SATV, simply the best highlights package in the SPFL
• David Ogilvie (Website & Twitter) – despite the problems (outside of his control) in getting our new website up and running, David provides a news service through our official channels that is up there with the best
• Graeme Glen (Groundsman) – a tough season for Graeme but we are working very closely with Active Stirling to reduce the number of matches being played next season
• Stirling Albion Supporters’ Club – for their unwavering support and friendship

Colin Rowley has addressed “commercial” Thank Yous in his “Outside the Box”.

A warm welcome to Forthbank to everyone representing Edinburgh City.

To all our supporters, see you in July!

Stuart Brown