djchapsticks

The shinier, improved St. Mirren FC 2017/18 Thread

2,115 posts in this topic

Right, time to put 2016/17 firmly behind us and gear up for what is sure to be a new and exciting season.

Most seasons start with the same optimism that a fresh start brings to all clubs but the difference this season is that we're bouncing out of a quite incredible end to last season with a renewed enjoyment of going to watch the team after what was an utter shitfest of a season on the whole. Goals, attacking football, no shortage of pace all over the park...compared to some of the worst performances I've ever seen St. Mirren sides turn in.

Jack Ross has the supporters believing again and the club looking like a place that players genuinely want to come to improve. For years we've been a team that signs good players, make them look irredeemably shite and let them move on where - of course - they look better again. This is something that's hopefully now at an end.

Plenty of goings on in and around the club. Early Bird Season ticket sales announced early today are already well over the 700 mark (up from around 330 at this point last year) and there's a campaign by SMFC that if the club can shift 1,000 season tickets for the West stand, the club will not house any away supporters in the West for the coming season, regardless of how small the travelling support is. This may not seem like that big a deal but the atmosphere is always far better when we have the entire West stand to ourselves and this also allows the home fans in the stand to have double the normal facilities in terms of kiosks and toilets, which is a quite big difference maker.

Ralston is also having/has had a bit of a makeover with several necessary repairs being performed on the training facilities, both out on the pitch and in the facility itself.

We have, or course, ended our ridiculously poor sponsorship deal with JD Sports, a deal that was apparently financially sound for the club over the past 5 years but one that was increasingly obvious that JD were being given more and more on a seasonal basis whilst giving less and less of a flying f**k...from primary shirt sponsorship, massive advertising space in the ground, a huge ad on the dome and on top of this, no facility to sell the club kit - which was barely even released anyway -  in the club shop. This partnership has been terminated and we've shifted onto Joma and back to a situation where we can distribute our own kits once again with new shirt sponsorship in the form of Skyview.

In terms of players sold - the initial blow of losing Stevie Mallan has been offset with at least some funding coming in to hopefully get Jack the players he wants. Added to the money brought in in January for Kyle McAllister and the cup money from the televised tie at Celtic park and we're in a pretty nice place financially. This could be further boosted with the sell on fee that Aberdeen will owe us if Kenny McLean heads south to QPR and if anyone takes a fancy to John McGinn.

As for other players out, Kyle Hutton has been future endeavoured a year early but we haven't officially released anyone from the senior squad at the end of their contracts yet - though Jack has said publicly that Webster, Jordan Stewart and Ben Gordon will go - but with the club having announced who is gone and staying from the U20s earlier today, I half expect a press release tomorrow and Clarkson, McLear and Fjelde to join that list.

On the way in so far has been quite encouraging: Cammy Smith signing from Aberdeen is a bit of a coup and to get him so early in pre-season when it looked like he'd be one we'd have to scrap for is a massive boost, especially on a two year deal. He was fantastic in the second half of the season and brought some amount of effort and no little skill to the final third. He's going to be a big player for us.

Jordan Kirkpatrick has joined from Alloa - 17 goals from an attacking midfield position and he'll be fighting for a starting place. JR has already come out and said he's not a direct replacement for Mallan but shares some similarities, probably that he likes a pop from distance.

Jack has been rumoured to be after players to be treated as projects - a few young guys he can mould from raw talent into an established first team player. One has already signed on - 22 year old keeper, Ross Stewart from Albion Rovers. The other, funnily enough is rumoured to be also Ross Stewart from Albion Rovers, only this one is the 20 year old 6ft 4centre forward who grabbed 12 goals in 22 starts in what was a quite injury hit season. Nathan Flanagan, who was loaned out to Annan last season and impressed massively has also been offered a year as part of the senior squad which he's mulling over...he too will likely fall under that 'project' banner.

One of JR's most pressing bits of business has been to keep together the majority of a squad which clearly had a fantastic rapport last season and so far, he's more or less managed to do so. Gary Irvine has activated his extra year, as has Stephen McGinn. We've tied young centre half Jack Baird and Josh Todd - impressive in his cameo roles - to another year each and the bank of Gary MacKenzie decided he was in too for another season despite apparent interest from premier league sides. 31 year old Adam Eckserley was the first to sign on for another two years, practically camping out in the main stand after the Saturday night after Hibs in the Bankhouse to wait on Jack coming in on the Tuesday....the crowning jewel so far thought has been keeping hold of Kyle Magennis until 2020, where he'll no doubt f**k off for about £3m once we start selling players for their true value :lol:

So all we're waiting on in terms of a contract extension is the Cypriot maverick, super Stelios...the lad who cockteased about 3,000 St. Mirren fans the other day by posting a twitter pic at the ground giving the thumbs up before the big announcement of.....nothing. The cheeky wee shite!

 

Which leaves the rumoured incoming players. Several names have been mentioned between here and BAWA. Rory Loy, Billy O'Brien and Harry Davis will all be mentioned for obvious reasons and the likelihood is that we'll be in for at least two, if not all three of these lads....again that whole 'keeping a good squad together' route.

Aside from that, the previously mentioned Ross Stewart (forward), Andy Ryan (Airdrie), Craig Samson, Stefan Scougal, Keith Watson, Nicky Devlin, Dylan Bikey, Liam Buchanan (not really, that one is just for daft Shull's sake) and a few loanees from Celtic  - as Brendan Rodgers is a bit of a fan of Jack, apparently - have been touted as incoming possibilities so far. 

 

So regardless of my War and Peace summary of WTF is going on just now one things for sure - this season is going to be a bit of a memorable one. I don't think we've had a support quite as full of anticipation and positivity for a new campaign in many a year.

 

COYS!

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Best pre-season since 2011 - Thommo & Teale.........:holiday

8 out of the 11 who started against Hibs and a couple of top targets in goalkeeper Ross Stewart and midfielder Jordan Kirkpatrick.

As ever it's not the despair, I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand.

Edited by btb
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Most importantly we have fell back in love with the club we were drastically losing.

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In 6 months this thread will be discussing whether or not Ross needs to go.

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I'm no daft. :rolleyes:

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I have a feeling McLear might have another year of his contract. If he does, we should either loan him out for the season or let him go for free. Needs to be playing games at his age and it isn't going to happen with us.

Wouldn't be overly surprised if Clarkson gets kept on in some role as Ross seems keen to use him in some capacity while he's injured, be it coaching or scouting.

Edited by Stu
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9 hours ago, djchapsticks said:

of goings on in and around the club. Early Bird Season ticket sales announced early today are already well over the 700 mark (up from around 330 at this point last year) and there's a campaign by SMFC that if the club can shift 1,000 season tickets for the West stand, the club will not house any away supporters in the West for the coming season, regardless of how small the travelling support is. This may not seem like that big a deal but the atmosphere is always far better when we have the entire West stand to ourselves and this also allows the home fans in the stand to have double the normal facilities in terms of kiosks and toilets, which is a quite big difference maker.

 

You can f**k right off with that campaign. Sitting behind the goals is the worst thing ever. Pretty sure you could sell season tickets in the main section of the west stand and leave the end for away support.

OK? Thanks.

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Nice summary, @djchapsticks - there's a lot of work still to be done, but at least we already have a starting XI of sorts, with hopefully more pace and quality to come in.

 

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With all this optimism lets hope it doesn't all go wrong again.... ^_^

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4 minutes ago, Colkitto said:

With all this optimism lets hope it doesn't all go wrong again.... ^_^

Nah, it's fine: you could almost say there's a Great Feeling at St Mirren Park. Probably time to start a thread to that effect, tbh. They're always great.

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Fully expect you guys to be challenging for the title this year.

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41 minutes ago, albundy said:

Fully expect you guys to be challenging for the title this year.

We don't have Rae so that's a start.

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13 minutes ago, NorthBank said:

We don't have Rae so that's a start.

Exactly: our chairman is much more ambitious than that penny-pinching fud from down the river.

 

 

 

:P

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1 hour ago, Mr X said:

You can f**k right off with that campaign. Sitting behind the goals is the worst thing ever. Pretty sure you could sell season tickets in the main section of the west stand and leave the end for away support.

OK? Thanks.

There should never be any away fans in the west stand. With the way season tickets sales are going this will hopefully be the case for next season. :thumsup2

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2 minutes ago, glenburn bud said:

There should never be any away fans in the west stand. With the way season tickets sales are going this will hopefully be the case for next season. :thumsup2

Yeah, I mean why give away supporters a decent view of the game?:rolleyes:

Even if you hit the target of 1000 West stand season tickets, that isnt even half the stand. Plenty of room to leave a wee space for us ;)

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9 minutes ago, Mr X said:

Yeah, I mean why give away supporters a decent view of the game?:rolleyes:

 

That's the spirit! Why would we do anything to accommodate a boisterous travelling support...  I for one love miserable away fans. :D

Edited by djchapsticks
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Just now, djchapsticks said:

That's the spirit! Why would we do anything to create a boisterous travelling group support. I for one love miserable away fans. :D

:lol:

Why would a couple of hundred fans be more or less boisterous in the West Stand?

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Just now, Mr X said:

:lol:

Why would a couple of hundred fans be more or less boisterous in the West Stand?

Because you're miserable behind the goal with a shitey view. :lol:

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10 minutes ago, djchapsticks said:

That's the spirit! Why would we do anything to accommodate a boisterous travelling support...  I for one love miserable away fans. :D

I was at Cowden v East Kilbride on Saturday and the EK fans getting soaked in the Monsoon+ conditions was a joy to behold. A real taste of the big time for them.

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