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    Opening league game 

    Friday, August 07, 2009 2:39:51 AM

    First and foremost we have performed really well in our two previous cup ties, firstly at Dingwall against Ross County and last Saturday against Airdrie United, we took both games into extra time, and were unfortunate to lose late in the first game and obviously very pleased to win on penalty kicks in the second game, but at this stage we go into Saturday’s game against Dumbarton in good form and also in good heart, feeling confident going into such an important game. Against that, we are playing against another side who have just come up into the division as champions, which seems to be the way for Alloa Athletic, that we face in our first game of the season teams which have just been promoted, in recent times we have faced Cowdenbeath when they were promoted a couple of seasons ago when we lost 6-1, and last season against Arbroath away, we lost 4-1 and on Saturday we will face Dumbarton unfurling their Championship flag and we are their guests. I expect that in itself to make it a difficult game and then on top of that there is the obvious emotion of this being the first league game for Dumbarton since the sad death of their captain Gordon Lennon, a player I tried to sign for Alloa Athletic when he was at Albion Rovers but he choose to go to Partick Thistle because he could go full-time, he may well have been an Alloa player if circumstances had been different. It is obviously going to be a very emotional day and obviously there will be great enthusiasm and adrenalin because of the unfurling of the Championship flag which makes Saturday’s game more difficult and unique in many ways, but we need to make sure we are mentally ready for this game and we have to be prepared for whatever Dumbarton throw at us early in the game, I can imagine their team talk and in how they really want to have a big day in memory of Gordon and we need to make sure our focus is in trying to win the game of football. It’s important that we improve on the form that we produced in the first quarter last season and this is the start of it, we have a really hard four games coming up in the league and it is vital we have a good start. I think that the change with Airdrie United moving into the First Division and having the league now an all part time league will make it so much more exciting, so much more interesting, than having a Gretna or Morton or Raith Rovers or whoever, full time teams in our league, the league will be far more open this year with the obvious favourites being Brechin City and Stirling Albion based on their form last season and them retaining most of their players, they certainly look to be the strongest but a good start for any one of us, will make us all believe we have a chance.
    Looking again towards Saturday’s game I am delighted to say Brian Carrigan and Gary Carroll will both be available on Saturday, Brian has recovered from the flu and Gary is coming back from his one game suspension. On a more disappointing note, Scott Walker is suspended, a suspension carried over from last season with Ayr United, I think Scott has been outstanding in our two games so far, but if you have to have a replacement for Scott Walker, Chris Townsley is the guy I would look for, he came on last Saturday and was excellent and he was great at the end of last season for us, Towner by his own admission did not have his best season last year but we are hoping he has regained the form in previous seasons and I am delighted he will be back in the team on Saturday. So getting an hour under his belt last Saturday was important for him and I don’t see this disrupting the team to much. Mark Brown who had to come off last Saturday after Paul Lovering’s tackle which saw the Airdrie player dismissed, trained on Thursday night and will be given every chance.

    The one change which might be forced upon us is Greig Spence, at the moment there is a possibility that Greig may be moving from the club, there is certainly a lot of interest in Greig at present and it might not be fair for him to play in Saturday’s game, so I will need to monitor this and we will see how that goes. Saturday’s game is a big game for us and I want to make sure we do the right thing for Alloa Athletic Football Club and we want to make sure we do the right thing for the supporters who have been magnificent in the first two games away from home and hope they will be just as noisy this week again and we are looking forward to the game, a game we can win.

    Allan Maitland - Team Manager

    Allan Maitland


    Managers Corner