With the Easter Weekend Holidays enforcing an early print deadline, this piece is written prior to the Stenhousemuir and Queen’s Park matches so I won’t dwell on where things stand in respect of results and league position. All will already have been revealed!

First up, the Club Board is delighted that we have secured the services of Kevin and his entire backroom team until June 2022. We decided this was entirely the right to time act, to allow them to fully concentrate on the remainder of this season and ensure continuity in respect of preparations for season 21/22.

Looking back briefly on the Elgin match, suffice it to say we picked up a valuable point at a venue at which picking up all three has been a tough ask over the years.  Both teams struggled badly on a bumpy and fiery surface and as a consequence it definitely wasn’t a classic!

With fixtures coming at us thick and fast until at least the end of April, the cliché of “taking it one game at a time” may be what Kevin is saying publicly but the reality is he will be looking at least a week (and 3 fixtures!) ahead in respect of ensuring his starting XI is fit and raring to go!

The loss of Paul McLean for the season was a tough blow to take and it is all but inevitable there will (or will have been!) more “knocks and niggles” for Kevin to deal with and consequently, the Club Board didn’t hesitate in supporting his request to bring in the Darvel 3 that subsequently became the Darvel 4! The Club are indebted to everyone at Darvel FC for their cooperation and support.

In common with all SPFL2 Clubs, the burden of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Testing is a financial drain but more of a concern is the amount of administration required in setting the tests up, reporting the results and getting in excess of 25 part-time personnel in the right place at the right time, on a weekly basis, to undertake the test.

To date (29 March) we’ve undertaken 105 tests with 105 negative results. Good news in one sense but incredibly hard to justify from a risk assessment perspective. We live in hope that the SFA, SPFL and Scottish Government will relent and allow for the dramatically less expensive and time-consuming Lateral Flow Testing to replace PCR Testing.

The financial pressure on the majority of clubs in the SPFL lower leagues is a concern but particularly so for those that are unable to invite, let alone attract, private investment under the fans-owned constitutional restrictions placed on them.  As addressed by Commercial Director, Colin Rowley, in his previous programme notes, this is a matter that the Club Board will be progressing with the Trust Board to deliver on our legal responsibility as Directors to “act in the best interests of the Company at all times”.

I close with good news! Our Community Engagement is back up and running! – see elsewhere in the programme, the Official Website & Facebook, for more detail from our Community Engagement Director, Grant Morrice.

C’mon The Binos!

Stuart