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    Allan Maitland previews Brechin game 

    Thursday, May 07, 2009 6:28:23 PM

    I’d like to start my final notes of the season by congratulating Raith Rovers Football Club for their success in winning the league after 2 seasons of losing out in the play offs – there is no doubt that over the piece they have been the best and most consistent team in the league. Best wishes should go to our opponents today, Brechin City, who will now embark on the challenge of the play offs as they try to join Raith Rovers in the first division. I believe that Jim Duffy has done a remarkable job at Glebe Park where it must have been difficult to follow the relative success of Michael O’Neill and he has now given the club a real opportunity to succeed. With 4 pressure games in such a short period it will be vital for Jim and “Crunchie” to have everyone available and fit which has been a real problem for them recently. If they have their strongest team they will have a great chance of beating either Airdrie or Ross County.
    Our draw at Ayr last Saturday finally secured our place in the second division but it was the actual performance of the team in such difficult circumstances that pleased me most. We played the game with 3 youngsters (Gary Carroll, Mark McCafferty and Greig Spence) in the starting line up against a very strong and experienced Ayr United side and yet they showed no fear and performed superbly. They were ably supported by every player in the team on a day when we could easily have won with Gary Carroll (twice) and Brian Carrigan narrowly missing good opportunities. I felt before the game that it was a risk to start young Greig Spence at only 16 against players much physically stronger than him but decided it would be another step in his learning curve and he showed wonderful composure running from 45 yards on to a John Grant pass before slipping the ball through the keepers legs and into the net. I know that this season has been disappointing for many of us but the introduction to the first team squad of Greig ,Mark Ferguson, Stevie Barker, Hugh Kerr, Allan McKenzie and Mark McCafferty has been a huge plus and vindication of the work being done by Hugh McCann and all his youth team coaches – you guys will be the future of this club for years to come.
    The young “Hawaiian Squad” who have been following the team and getting louder every week deserve a special mention for their support home and away when we have needed their backing most and I wish to thank them on behalf of the players and management alike.
    The disappointment of the season is especially felt by the supporters who have followed the club for years including Lachie, Nicol, John Glencross and the directors of the club and I want to assure them that I am already making changes and planning to make things better next season. I know there must be real frustration and a temptation to shout abuse on Saturdays but I want you to know that your pain is also felt by Wardy, Ronnie, Hilly and myself as well as all the players who are determined to succeed at your club.
    Enjoy the game today and thanks again for all your support.

    Allan Maitland
    Team Manager

    Managers Corner