Coach Riddel relishing early season derby day challenge

Posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

Spartans make the short trip to Christie Gillies Park this evening where they take on Civil Service Strollers in a local Derby that promises to offer passion, pace and the potential for early bragging rights in North Edinburgh.

Both teams kicked off the campaign with wins on the opening day of the season, Spartans keeping a clean sheet whilst scoring seven at home to Hawick whilst Civil strolled to a two goal victory on the road at Gretna.

With a tight schedule over the next handful of weeks, Manager Dougie Samuel is boosted by the return to the squad of Scott Maxwell, Adam Corbett and Andrew Stobie making both competition for places and squad rotation a key component of the Coaching team’s choice of starting XI.

Last season’s opening Derby saw the sides share the spoils in a feisty affair, with Spartans earning a draw with a late penalty at the same venue.

New Coach Derek Riddel notes that there is familiarity between the sides however there will be little room for sentiment come the first shrill of the Ref’s whistle.

Riddel said, “For me, the key battle will be in the middle of the park. Both teams have quality in there and it’s important we get a grip of the game early on.  It’s a local derby and it’s a game I’m looking forward to. Both teams had good results at the weekend and both teams know each other quite well so I’m sure we’ll be in for a cracking game.

“Squad wise, we’ve got a good group of players and everyone is fit and available so competition for places is hot. With a number of games in August and 3 games in 8 days, we’ll need to make sure that we use the squad to its full potential. The three subs all came on and done well at the weekend, including two finding the net.  Whilst the recovery time was limited for the lads, they trained well on Monday so everyone is flying.

The match at Christie Gillies Park kicks off at the slightly earlier time of 7.15pm.  Admission is £5 / £3 with under 16s free.

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Next Fixture

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Date: Tuesday 22nd August
Opponent: Kelty Hearts
Venue: Ainslie Park
Competition: Football Nation Qualifying Cup Round 1
Kick off: 7.45pm

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