It’s back to League business following on from the diversion of last Saturday’s SPFL Trust Trophy match and as ever I extend the warmest of welcomes to the Directors, Management, Players and supporters of this afternoon’s visitors, Forfar Athletic.  We are level on points with Forfar so a win this afternoon will guarantee solo third spot at approximately 4:50 p.m.!

The performance against Montrose was hugely encouraging with 8 first team regulars missing from the starting line-up for a variety of reasons including self-isolating and injury, but Kevin’s selection was also heavily influenced by the SPFL Board’s Covid-related dictate that a Club will be required to fulfil a league match providing they have 13 fit players, including one goalkeeper. This includes all registered players over the age of 18 and because Stirling Albion is one of only 4 clubs in SPFL2 who have an Under 20’s team we would face the prospect of being required to field a team comprising of a number of inexperienced youth players. My argument that this is unfair on the clubs with Under 20’s teams fell on deaf ears.

The above being said, the performances of Callum Law, Will Greenhorn, Sandy Carey and Robb Dryden at Links Park gave much encouragement that our youth development is in good hands and heading in the right direction.

Turning to other matters, our Club Doctor, Veronica McBurnie, has intimated that due to the pressure of her “day job” she is unable to commit to the role going forward. Dr V, as she is affectionately known, has played a significant role behind the scenes throughout the hugely challenging circumstances of the pandemic. Her endless supply of energy and enthusiasm will be sorely missed and on behalf of everyone at Stirling Albion, I express my heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

In addition to the work carried out behind the scenes, it is requirement to have a doctor (or paramedic) in attendance at every home game. This is not an inconsiderable challenge particularly as a consequence of the pressures placed on the medical profession due to Covid and if anyone knows of a suitably qualified person who would consider getting involved, please get in touch!

As mentioned in my last article, we are planning a major step forward with our Community Engagement activity and I’m delighted to be able to announce that this will come in the shape of a full-time appointment. The role will have additional responsibilities attached, including operations and will provide much needed support to the hard-pressed volunteer Club Board.  Full details, including the successful candidate, will be forthcoming within the next week or so on the Club Website and social media channels.

Those of you in attendance at the Albion Rovers match will have noticed a step back to a semblance of normality for spectators with the Technical Areas moving to the East (Away) Stand to allow season ticket holders to resume their selected seat and indeed all fans to watch the match from the West (Home) Stand. This also allows for the Executive Seating to become available as we seek to get Hospitality back up and running (see Colin Rowley’s Outside the Box) with the Red Zone moving to the East Stand behind the pitch-side Technical Areas. This initiative will remain in place for as long as the restrictive Covid protocols are in place… perhaps longer!

Enjoy the match.

C’mon The Binos!