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    Alba Challenge Cup Preview 

    Saturday, August 16, 2008 3:23:48 AM

    Tonight we welcome John Brown, Andy Goram, the coaches, players, supporters and officials of Clyde Football Club for tonight’s Alba Challenge Cup second round tie. I understand that many will look upon the game as a rerun of the play off matches at the end of last season but a quick glance at the team lines tonight will show that both squads have changed significantly and any thoughts of avenging defeat would prove meaningless to most players.
    With Clyde being in the play off’s that was obviously enough to show John that he needed to revamp his squad in the summer and he has done that with the introduction of Mark Brown, Stuart Kettlewell, Alan Trouten, Willie McLaren, Scott Gemmill, and Michael Ohnesorge. Stuart and Alan both arrived from Queens Park and I had hoped to bring them to Alloa this season but the lure of playing full time with Clyde was obviously greater – they have great ability and I’m sure they’ll develop into even better players. Clyde also have Pat Clarke playing up front and his goals against us and Airdrie in the final were greatly appreciated by the Bully Wee in terms of staying up and I’m sure he’ll look forward to seeing Pat Scullion and Dougie Hill who played at Cowdenbeath with him at the start of last season. Pat is another player I admire and I had a chat with him about coming to the “Recs” prior to him joining Clyde, he is already showing that he is a very capable striker. Clyde’s pre season and first competitive games have shown that they already look to be better and I pretty sure that they’ll improve greatly on their position last season.
    As a club involved in the Scottish Football League we wish to thank Alba for their sponsorship this season and hope that it becomes a fruitful relationship for both parties – there will undoubtedly be plenty of people checking the Alba internet site for the first time to find out more about our sponsors.
    We have managed to improve on our cup results last season but we would now like to attempt a cup run to rival the wonderful exploits of Terry Christie’s teams when only reaching the quarter final was considered disappointing. Nicol recently reminded me of the semi final meeting at Broadwood between Clyde and Alloa when I was the manager at Clyde and felt confident that we would win. After 90 minutes of constant pressure we lost 1 nil and the Alloa’s tremendous run of results against Clyde continued – a repeat of that result would be most welcome tonight.
    I feel we have been fortunate to attract Dundee and now Clyde to the “Recs” for the Alba Cup Ties as both games have the capabilities of creating real interest for our fans, it’s always good to play against teams from higher divisions and it’s not unusual to see players playing above themselves for these games. If we hope to win tonight then we need to have every player at the top of his game and then possibly get lucky when needed. I found last season that we were unable to handle playing games every Saturday and then midweek as it disrupted our training schedule but I have no doubt that the players must prefer to play. I have stated before that I believe that we are better prepared this season but we will only be able to tell if we manage to keep winning.
    As always I thank you for your support and hope you enjoy tonight’s game.

    Allan Maitland - Team Manager

    Managers Corner