Management thoughts on “Title Decider Friday”

Posted on Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Mike says –

“I spent one of the most enjoyable afternoons in years watching the two Manchester teams fighting it out for the Premiership title in my local last Sunday. Everyone who has any interst in football knew from the start of the season the date the action would happen and everyone hoped the outcome would be as tight. The SPL isn’t quite as exciting but the final day is set in stone and the chance of such an exciting Sunday afternoon is possible.

We in East of Scotland football have our equivalent tomorrow. Stirling University and ourselves fight it out for our Premier division title as we head for Rosewell while the students travel down to Innerleithen.

There the similarities end. We were meant to play Whitehill in the league last Wednesday but the fixture was changed to a King Cup semi. Suddenly at two weeks notice on the Friday night of a Bank Holiday weekend with both Edinburgh teams contesting the Scottish Cup Final we are told we have our last and deciding league game.

When the fixture was changed Sam and I immediately raised the alarm. Our captain and 20 odd of his friends including some of our players (and a few from The Vale I hear) were heading to Bournemouth that weekend for his stag. Stirling were a few games and points behind us but we were told that if they caught us and the last two games were meaningful the date may be able to be changed.

By Monday afternoon we knew this wasn’t going to happen. The EOS secretary says the games could only be changed if all four teams agreed. I could ask him that when fixtures are changed to give teams games on the Friday night of a holiday weekend at two weeks notice maybe all four teams should be asked if they agreed to that change. How many Friday night games have there been at our level of football this season?

As it is we are missing five players who have started 95% of our league games this season, three of them ever present up until now. Don’t get me wrong Sam and I are happy with the side we will put out. We had four U19’s on the bench at Stirling last Saturday and tomorrow we will also pull in four of our Junior side as trialists.

The strength of our side is not as important as the fact that five of our regulars are denied the chance to play in such an important game. Players at our level play for the love of the game and despite the trials and tribulations they have had to put up with this season our lot have put themselves within a step of retaining their title. To play in that game has been taken away from them without any consideration whatsoever. It’s been raining today and I’ll happily do a rain dance tomorrow morning.

Finally the reason for the fixture change in the first place was because the original King Cup fixture between ourselves and Whitehill was cancelled three Saturday’s ago. Spartans match secretary Jimmy Murray and myself were asked out to Rosewell at 10.00 on the morning of the proposed game as the pitch was heavy. Jimmy, myself, the Whitehill management team and their representative on the EOS executive committee agreed although heavy, there was no surface water, it wasn’t raining and with no rain forecast we should go ahead with the game.

For some reason unknown to us all and just when I arrived home half an hour later I heard the game had been put off (having gone through the proper channels of course). To their credit I met Grant and Kevin at the Leith v Stirling game later in the day and they were as annoyed and dissappointed the game was off as I was.

I look forward to seeing them tomorrow and congratulating them on their excellent cup win on Wednesday. Whitehill should always be in around the silverware and I’m glad the current management team appear to have the Rosewell club back on the right track.”


Next Fixture

Date: Saturday 13th April
Opponent: Stranraer FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: SPFL 2
Kick off: 3.00pm

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