News: Derek Riddel joins Lowland League Coaching Team

Posted on Thursday, July 6th, 2017

Spartans are delighted to announce the welcome addition of Derek Riddel to the Lowland League Coaching Team.

A ‘well-kent’ face at Ainslie Park, Riddel will take up the role joining Dougie Samuel and Darren Cameron in the dug out along with new goalkeeping coach Steven Ellison.

The former Leith Athletic Manager makes the move up from the East of Scotland to Lowland League and the short trip across the capital is one that offers a personal fresh challenge in the north of the city.

Speaking on the move, an enthusiastic Riddel said, “I’d made a decision to move on from (Leith) at the end of last season and I was just leaving my options open if I’m honest.

“I’d spoken to Dougie months back and looked for a bit of advice from him and he said there may well be something coming up at Spartans. From there we had a chat that I expected to last for about half an hour. Two and a half hours later we were still there chatting about all things football!

“After that, we both went away to consider what we’d chewed over which resulted in Dougie offering me the role and I jumped at the chance.  It’s a well run club, a respected club and one of aspiration too, which is what I’m looking for.”

Riddel is no stranger to being part of a footballing environment built on aspirational qualities.  Whilst at Leith, he guided the side to several trophy successes and was the first Manager at the East of Scotland outfit to take the team into the Scottish Cup proper in over sixty years, narrowly losing out to Cumbernauld Colts in a replay last year.

The 36 year old added, “It’s time to move on though and I want to take the next step in my development. I always say to players that they should be looking to challenge themselves at every opportunity at whatever level they can and I felt it was the right time for me to do the same.

“Make no mistake, the Lowland League is the place to be. It’s getting stronger each season along with the improved quality of the Under 20s competition too. The Junior teams have clearly decided that this is something they want to be part of as well therefore it’s fair to say the league is going from strength to strength and it’s only going to get bigger and better each season.  I want to be part of that and what better a club to do so than here at Spartans.”

“I enjoyed my years as a Manager however my strength is on the training park. Training is what I’m best at and Dougie has given me a great opportunity to work with Darren Cameron and we’ve hit it off as a coaching duo right away.  The players have taken no time to buy into what we are looking to bring to the party and we’ve already seen some of that transferred into game time during our early pre-season matches.”

After settling in alongside his new coaching colleagues and playing personnel, Riddel is pragmatic and positive about the challenges that lie ahead over the coming weeks and months.

“Naturally we will be looking to improve on last season and ultimately we set our stall out to win the title and build on the double cup success along the way.  I guess for me too, it’s a long term project here.  Anywhere I’ve been before I’ve been part of it for a long time.

“I was at Leith for 10 years and have been in my day job for a number of years too, so longevity is definitely one of my traits.  I like to see projects through from start to finish and I’m excited for this next chapter in my football career.”

Next Fixture

Date: 23/07/24
Opponent: Forfar Athletic
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Premier Sports Cup
Kick off: 7.45pm

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