Chairman Stuart Brown’s programme notes for the Queen’s Park game…

On behalf of the Club Board, I extend a warm welcome to Forthbank Stadium to our supporters and everyone representing today’s visitors, Queen’s Park, as we kick off our 2019/20 League 2 season.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Board and Kevin Rutkiewicz have agreed the target of promotion, with the preferred route being as champions. I suspect, however, that circa another nine clubs have a similar objective in mind! I’m also aware, following a very mixed Betfred Cup campaign, that there are doubters and all I can ask is that everyone gets behind Kevin, his backroom staff and the players, who are united in their belief that our target is both realistic and achievable.

Away from the direct footballing side of SAFC, it’s been (as ever) a hugely busy close season with several significant changes in personnel. Andy Todd, Community Engagement Manager, has moved on and Hamish Chorelton has filled the vacancy. Nicola Howieson, Chairperson of the Junior Academy, has stepped down and Grant Morrice has been appointed to replace her. Jim McAllister (Junior Academy) and Duncan Strathdee (Community and YD) have been appointed as Child Wellbeing and Protection Officers. Neil Mackay has returned to a part-time role as Club Administrator. To the leavers, thank you for a job well and best wishes to those newly appointed, all of whom have my unwavering support in carrying out their duties.

The pitch has undergone major surgery during June and July and it’s no exaggeration to state that without Graeme Glen’s expertise and dedication it would not have survived the experience! Within less than five weeks, Graeme presented a playing surface of unbelievable quality that drew plaudits from UEFA, the SFA and the SEVEN (!!) teams that have already played on it – Stirling Albion, Hibs, Arbroath, Spain, England, Belgium and Germany. Looking ahead, I’m delighted to report that we’ve reached agreement with Active Stirling that only ourselves and Stirling University will be regular users of Forthbank, augmented by a limited number of high-profile fixtures such as age group SFA Internationals.

Finally, to echo the comments of my colleague in his Outside the Box article, a big thank you to everyone that has volunteered to help during the past few months. Too many to mention by name, and by task, but suffice it to say it is hugely appreciated and makes such a difference behind the scenes. Keep up the good work!

Here’s to a successful league campaign!

Thanks for your support,