Play-offs: Russell in Spartan Army rally call

Posted on Friday, April 28th, 2023

The Spartans welcome Brechin City to Ainslie Park on Saturday in the 1st Leg of the Pyramid Play-offs.

It’s been a fortnight since Dougie Samuel’s side were presented the Lowland League title.  Since then they have reached the final of the South Challenge Cup and saw a youth-infused XI draw on the road against a resurgent Berwick Rangers last time out.

Now the focus is the pyramid play-offs where they come up against their Highland counterparts in what promises to be two ‘cup finals’ between two in-form teams.

Spartans head into the tie on the back of a 19 match unbeaten league run with fans favourite Cammy Russell at the forefront of the team’s successes.

Russell, himself an experienced campaigner in the Play-offs environment, has been notched up seven man of the match awards this term.  The playmaker has found the net no fewer than 21 times and it is his dynamic play that has also saw Cammy lead the ‘assists’ board with 19 final contributions towards net finding missions.

Saturday’s game has received it’s fair share of hype off the paddock, but for Russell, match preparations will be no different to the 39 others already undertaken this season.

“Just like myself, all the boys will prepare for Saturday’s game in the same way that they have done, that’s what we’ve been doing all week during training anyway.  I think that’s the best way to approach it anyway, like any other Saturday. It’s just another ninety minutes where we set out to win.”

The visitors left it late last week in their crunch clash against Buckie to set up a trip to North Edinburgh in the first leg of two which will decide who takes on ‘Club 42’ in the final piece of the journey’s jigsaw.

Russell added, “Everything that’s been said about Brechin from those that have watched them this season has been positive and they’ve done extremely well in the Highland League.  They’ve got some decent players with a good backroom behind them now.  They’re a club that’s going in the right direction – but then again, so are we.

“Hopefully that stands Saturday in good stead for a match that everyone will enjoy watching and we can put our best foot forward and pick up the win.  End of the day it’s a play-off and very similar to a cup in many ways.  Two legs and anything can happen during those games.”

With the opening of the Newtown Roofing Stand this weekend for the first time, the new addition will house the ‘Spartans Family’ across the club, including many of our younger fans.  Russell was full of praise for the efforts the fans have made across the season and urged them to give it another big push to get behind the boys.

“I can confidently speak for every player in the changing room, we absolutely appreciate the support we’ve received this season. 

We love having all the kids coming along to the games and seeing our home attendances on the rise this year.  Even in the middle of winter they’ve still come along, banging the drums and making plenty noise.  It sounds cliched, but they’ve made a massive difference this season.   Knowing they’re there cheering you for the whole game, it’s great to see.”

Who are Brechin City?

Brechin City Football Club are based in Angus. The club was founded in 1906 by players and officials of two from two comparatively successful local junior sides, Brechin Harp and Brechin Hearts.

The club moved to their Glebe Park home in 1919, a stadium which currently has a capacity of 4,123 (1,519 seated) and is famous for the hedge that runs alongside one side of the pitch.

Brechin City were part of the Scottish Football League since 1954 and were in the Championship as recently as 2018.  In 2021, Brechin lost 3–1 on aggregate to Kelty Hearts in the pyramid playoffs, dropping down to the Highland League, the club’s first spell out of the national leagues in 67 years.

In the club’s first season in the Highland League, they secured a respectable third-place finish.

Head to Head:

This will be the first time the sides have met in a competitive fixture.  However, the clubs are no strangers to each other, having played a couple of pre-season friendlies in recent seasons. 

Another Spartans link include the late John Ritchie.  Ritchie was the Glebe men’s gaffer from 1987-1993 and of course was the hugely popular goalkeeper coach with the Spartans Women’s side.

Interesting Fact:

Despite the name of the football club, Brechin is not an official city. Brechin was historically known as a city because it has a cathedral.

Match Sponsor

We are delighted to have Clarity IFA as our match day sponsor.

Clarity IFA, established in 2005, are a team of experienced independent financial advisers in Edinburgh who provide bespoke wealth management and financial planning solutions.

Admission Prices:

Ticket prices are £10 Adults and £7 Concessions (OAP, student and 16 to 18).  We continue to offer affordable football for all and all U16s can watch for free.  Season Tickets are not valid for this play-off fixture.

Next Fixture

Date: 29/06/24
Opponent: Livingston FC
Venue:Ainslie Park
Competition: Pre-Season Friendly
Kick off: 3.00pm

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