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    First signatures of close season 

    Monday, June 01, 2009 11:56:26 AM

    I am very pleased to confirm that this weekend I managed to secure the signatures of Stuart Noble and Scott Walker as our first new players for next season.
    Stuart was excellent for us during his loan spell last season and I was been really keen on bringing him to the club on a more permanent basis if he considered the option of being a part time player. Going back to Airdrie and not being used for the vital play off matches against Ayr United was probably the incentive he needed and I am delighted that he was so eager to return having enjoyed his time at the “Recs”. Last season, before Stuart arrived, I felt we struggled to keep control of the ball in the opposition half and that put a lot of pressure on the defence and midfield players, Stuart changed that showing great strength in holding the ball up to bring others into the game. The more games he played the better he became and I believe an extended run of consecutive games will help him to become a better finisher which is something we have failed to find over the last four seasons. I also feel that he will assist the development of young Greig Spence who finished the season on such a high.
    The number of goals we’ve lost over the last couple of seasons despite trying different formations and partnerships has been a real concern. With the departure of Derek Fleming last summer I left the squad bereft of the experience to deal with difficult times in games when we have been under sustained pressure. With that in mind I wanted to bring an experienced defender to the club and worked really hard to encourage Scott Walker to join us. Having spoken to him on numerous occasions over the last few years I knew he was concerned about coming back to Alloa when by his own admission he had played poorly there previously, but I have watched him develop into an excellent no nonsense defender at Brechin City and latterly Ayr United and believe that he will use that as a challenge to show he is a more complete player now than he was then.
    We still require a goalkeeper, a couple of left sided players to give the squad some badly needed balance and at least one more quality striker if we hope to improve as much as I’d like after the disappointment of last season. I have failed to attract a number of players who have chosen not to join Alloa as they have been offered bigger basic salaries elsewhere. I understand why anyone would take that option but I want to attract players here with the belief that they will earn more by being involved in a squad that’s geared to winning games. The players retained will be better prepared after the ups and downs of the last two seasons and I want to leave spaces for the younger players to develop. We have a wonderful club and I want everyone involved to feel they’re part of a force moving in the right direction.
    Allan Maitland

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