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    Allan Maitland previews Peterhead game 

    Friday, February 26, 2010 5:29:26 PM

    We offer a warm welcome to Neale Cooper, Andy Dornan, the coaches, directors and supporters of Peterhead Football Club for their first visit to the “Recs” in 2010. With the arrival of Barry Wilson, Neale’s side were beginning to enjoy a bit of good form until they lost 3 – 0 at home to Brechin two weeks ago, although that defeat could easily be attributed to the loss of both Callum McDonald and Bobby Mann, two very accomplished centre backs. Neale has also added Conor Gethins to the squad recently (Conor played with Ross County and had a spell at Stirling on loan until he moved to Ireland) and I’m sure he will look for him to pair up with Martin Bavidge to provide goals with Barry Wilson and Graeme Sharp providing the supply from the wider areas. There is no doubt that Peterhead are well capable of going on a run of results that would take them right back into a play off spot and we will need to play at our very best to win today.

    The postponement of all the games last weekend will have given Peterhead the opportunity to get players back fit for today’s game, which will also be vital for the midweek programme of matches in March. On a similar note I expect to have Scot Buist, Kevin Welsh, Chris Townsley and Mark Gilhaney back available and believe that the depth of our squad will be crucial if we hope to continue to top this league. As mentioned on numerous occasions before the arrival of Bryan Prunty and David Gormley has given us a real boost and we have had the added bonus of Stuart Noble returning to form after finally shaking off various niggling injuries. Stuart’s goals against Brechin, Cowdenbeath and East Fife have given us a small gap on the chasing pack before the midweek games begin on Tuesday night and he has become a major part of a potent strike force. The return of Kevin Welsh has come at a good time as it coincides with the end of James Bloom’s loan spell from Falkirk. James enjoyed four wins and a draw in his five games and I wish to thank him for his significant contribution to these matches – I hope that we have helped him in his quest for first team football at Falkirk and know that he will have gained much needed experience and learned some valuable lessons during his loan spell.

    Our last match against East Fife came on the back of a very difficult and highly entertaining midweek victory against Cowdenbeath and showed just how hard it will be for part time teams to maintain a high tempo and standard of play when games are coming so quickly. Including today, we will have eight games to play before the end of March and the side that copes best with this schedule will, I believe, win the league. While people will talk about players not being as sharp or being tired, the most important thing will be their concentration levels and how well prepared they are for the games. This is where the coaches and physio will need to assess the best schedules for the players and with Wardy, Ronnie Scott, Hilly and Jim Law on hand I believe that I have the best back up that any manager could have – they are a tremendous group who foster a wonderful team spirit and are not shy in giving their opinions.

    As we enter the busiest period of the season it will be almost impossible for supporters to attend every game and a real drain on your hard earned cash but as always I ask that you give the team your complete backing and hopefully we can give you the results you desire.

    I thank you for your support and hope you all enjoy today’s game.

    Allan Maitland

    Managers Corner