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  1. With Lyons and Niang gone we need a couple of new faces to freshen things up but still time enough before even warm up games come along. News that East Fife have signed a couple though makes me think we could miss the boat unless SP has got a couple of lads definately lined up already. Fingers crossed because this is going to be a very competitive season. Teams who I expect to do well (apart from us) are Falkirk, Partick, Airdrie, East Fofe and maybe Cove Rangers. Including us that's more than half the division and at least one of the other four of Forfar, Dumbarton, Peterhead and Clyde will surprise us. As I think, it's going to be a season when we have to hit the ground running because anybody having a dodgy patch at any time will struggle to catch up.
  2. Any Jim Duffy team is hard to beat and even in opposition you have to have great respect for the man. A proper football man through and through. Best wishes Jim from a Montrose fan 'through and through' and look forward to you pounding the touchline again next season whenever that starts.
  3. Depends what information you are looking for because it would of course exclude personal stuff. General information is Ok. He signed for Montrose for the start of the 1990/1 season just after Montrose were promoted. In the first home programme of the season it said 'The most well known of the summer signings is utility man Ian Robertson, signed on a free from Aberdeen. The 24 year old had been at Pittodrie since 1983 when he left school but was unable to break into the first team, although that was hardly surprising considering the dominance of McKimmie, McLeish, Miller and David Robertson in the Dons back four. Robertson was perhaps best known as a left back although he can play anywhere in defence or midfield, It is ironic that following his namesake's (David Robertson) departure to Rangers Ian might have been able to make the Aberdeen No3 shirt his own in 1991/2.' As a club Montrose should be privileged to have a player of Ian's ability on their books as many believe he could have done a fine job for a number of Premier League clubs.' He made 14 apearances in 91/2 as No 4. until losing his place following a sending off. In the following season 1992/3 he started in a No.3 sweeper role but then became a more familiar left back in a change of formation and made another 39 appearances, and scored 1 goal. In 93/4 he made 41 apperances and scored 2 more goals. In 94/5 he made another 41 appearances and scored 1 more goal still playing as a full back but now a No.2. In 95/6 he made 12 appearances plus 1 as sub. I reckon his last game for Montrose was at home to Stenhousemuir on 2nd Dec 1995 and I can't remember where he went after that - he might have retired. Hope this helps.
  4. As this thread suggests L1 & L2 could be off until January and the longer this situation goes on the more likely that is. Certainly playing behind closed doors is a no-no - could you see any sense in Annan travelling to play Elgin behind closed doors? You can't please everybody but I only hope we all feel that health has to come first. The part-time players mostly will be in a different position to full-time players as the part-time lads have the back-up of other jobs if and when allowed back to work. So, what if we L1 and L2 clubs (Championship. I don't know) cant' re-start until January? Most clubs can't yet re-shape their squads yet whilst things are uncertain and there will be time needed to start training and preferably a few warm up games. Maybe we should plan to re-start L1 and L2 in January anyway (if health etc. is agreed) but only play 18 games (home and away once only) and finish in May. BUT, with agreed no promotion or relegation for that truncated season to give everybody the time to get themselves sorted out in an orderly fashion. After that it's 'combat'as usual. Having said that, if health etc. is agreed before that and fans are allowed back before January then great but there needs to be Plan A, Plan B etc. and the reconstruction etc, issues at least must be put to bed ASAP 'otherwise we are just drifting.
  5. I've avoided posting on this thread so far as there are other more important things to deal with but right now the last thing on my mind is to jack in my football. Even in what would normally be the closed season I really miss it and I'd say that whether we were in the Championship, League 1 or League 2 (not the HL though!!). Saturday journeys to watch my team wherever they play just aren't the same - Saturday is football day, there are 6 other days in the week to do something else.
  6. Just seen on the club website that Season Ticket holders are being offered a refund for the last four cancelled games. Except in extreme personal hardship I hope everyone will not apply for a refund. We are the Mo!
  7. I’ve just managed to read the Season awards on the MFC club website so firstly congrats to the winners in the various categories. For those who don’t yet know, Graham Webster got 3 awards, Blair Lyons got 2, Andy Steeves got one and Rus McLean got one. Most awards are from the Supporters Club but one is from the players themselves (one of the 3 Webby got) and one is from the Directors (another one of Webby’s 3). Lots of kind and well deserved words from Ross Thomson the anchorman (great job Ross) and Graeme Christieson the Supporters Club Chairman (who is immense and not just physically!) and from all the players themselves. One award not dished out though is certainly worth a mention. It’s to the Mo fans themselves who these days especially are crucial to the success we have had in the last few years. We are a small town club and always will be because we are from a small town, so what we achieve will always be relative as will our expectations. So from me, a long distance and long time Mo fan my (extra) award this year goes to the Mo fans who have done their bit for MFC. That does not just include those from the town itself but also those who travel every season from various places in England and even Ireland and Norway. We are all part of ’The MFC Family.’ We are the Mo! Keep well everybody whichever club you support. Respect.
  8. Our main strength is at the back and in young Aidan Quinn I can see a mirror image of a young Dennis D'Arcy from back in the 1970's. Old gits like me will remember how good big Dennis was - still a great lad and proud of his Mo connections. But, no matter how good we look at the back we have to have a significant threat up top to keep the ball in the opposition half and avoid being pushed back ourselves. So, in my opinion our priorities are still to strengthen midfield following the loss of Padge, Sena and Cammy F, though I hope the latter might come back. Certainly keep Winker and Tezza - we ain't the same without them and Callaghan is a decent squad player. Up front I think we are yet to be convinced. I thought Rusty would be the answer but he didn't deliver for a long time. However I still think he just could be the answer and looked a better player just before the season ended. I was pleased he got his goal at Stranny, he deserved that and his disallowed goal at Falkirk was unjust. What he needs to do is put himself about a bit more, get stuck into defenders, not be as 'nice' and use his body strength more. Gets pushed out too often by wee guys! Haven't seen enough of Lewis Hawke yet but SP is a decent judge of a player so provided we have a decent pre-season (????) he has the chance to prove himself. Get in there Lewis and show us - no pussy-footing about, show those defenders who's boss. We have to replace Blair Lyons on the left as well. He gave us strength down that flank and although I'd still play with a back three plus two wing backs we still need a Webby type player on each wide area pushing forward. There will be lots of players out of contract soon and although we have to be careful with finances so too do a lot of other clubs but with our Board and SP in charge I think we are well placed to take advantage.
  9. Which ever way any of us preferred it to go it now looks, barring litigation, that the 2019/20 season is ended so we move on to the what’s next. In that respect I think Stranraer and Partick Thistle have been dealt with unfairly, or shafted by most of the other 40 if you want to put it that way. Ok Stranny look like they were gonna be relegated anyway but with quarter of the season to go it was not a certainty. Plastic Whistle on the other hand have clearly been shafted by the decision. Others can also claim they have been shafted such as those in the HL and LL plus probably Falkirk in L1 who could realistically have overtaken Raith Rovers. BUT if there is still a chance to put a bit of justice into it those things can still be put right by league re-organisation whether temporarily or longer. A 14 – 18 -18 set up might be worth thinking about. Hearts stay up and Dundee United and one other go to the Premiership, say ICT. The 18 Championship clubs would be the remaining 8 plus the 10 L1 clubs. The third tier would be the present L2 clubs plus 8 from the HL/LL. Championship Third tier Dundee Raith Rovers Cove Rangers Kelty Ayr United Falkirk Edinburgh City Brora Dunfermline Airdrie Elgin City Bonnyrigg Arbroath Montrose Cowdenbeath Fraserburgh Morton East Fife Queen’s Park Inverurie Alloa Dumbarton Stirling Albion East Stirling QoS Clyde Annan Athletic + 2 others ** Partick Thistle Peterhead Stenhousemuir Forfar Albion Rovers Stranraer Brechin City ** provided those and any others from the HL/LL want to come into the SPFL. Brora might not for example as when Montrose played them a few years back loads of people said they didn’t try! This would solve it for Hearts and Stranraer who should not be relegated several games short of what was agreed last August. It also solves it for Kelty and Brora plus Falkirk and ICT. It doesn’t help Cove Rangers who would argue they are been done out of promotion and I accept that argument. The Premiership can sort out their fixtures however they want to or are dictated to be the TV companies. The Championship and Third tiers play each other home and away once only so 34 games plus play-offs which could be enlarged so more clubs play 36 games or more. The third tier could even be regionalised to help clubs like Annan and Brora who have most way to travel and the play-offs would not be regionalised. Yes, I know there will be a lot of meaningless games mid table towards end of season but by tiering the play-offs better/bigger it could avoid a lot of that so that even clubs mid-table who have got on a roll can even still have an outside chance. The other benefit of having a bigger Premiership is that there are more players actually playing at the top level and that can only be better long term for the national side – or are we not bothered about that? If this is worth thinking about it might also let us find out how many other clubs really aspire to be in the SPFL and who have facilities good enough.
  10. I think ours got burned during one of the games against Rangers a few seasons ago when some nerd through a flame onto the pitch. Had to keep putting sand in the hole to finish the game. Anyway, good luck Stranny in this 150th season. Hopefully the town will at some point soon see the value of a SPFL team in the town and realise that moves should be made towards Stair Park becoming a community asset and developed as such.
  11. As a fan of a different club I’ve watched my team at Stair Park many, many times over the last 40+ years but when I visit the place nowadays it looks and feels fairly soul-less. In saying that I don’t mean to be nasty but there look to be fundamental things just not happening there AND I’m not referring to things on the pitch. My club Montrose were in the doldrums for many years but since we focussed more on being a Community Club and got a plastic pitch (which is used 6 days a week) we can and do use all our facilities every day. On matchdays our excellent hospitality facilities are buzzing and usually fully booked every game thus earning vital extra income as well as connectivity with locals. It rubs off on the town as well with all sorts of Community focussed things going on every day run by the Montrose F.C. Community Trust both at Links Park and by taking things out into the wider area. Stranraer also have a grandstand which is almost a carbon copy of that at Montrose BUT it does not look fully used or even open between fortnightly games and I doubt if they have installed hospitality facilities or got plans to use the Stair Park facilities every day. This isn’t meant as a slight on Stranraer and it doesn’t guarantee a winning team on the pitch but I do feel a lot more needs to be done to get the football club and the rest of the town pulling together with a strategic Community based plan. BUT it takes somebody to spearhead it locally. Or, carry on as you are and simply hope for the best. I hope somebody at Stranraer takes notice and starts to put a bit more energy into this good 150 year old club.
  12. Sorry Scotty, my computer flipped in mid entry and screen went blank. Had to re-start it and your/this response came in the meantime. As I say we agree most things, particularly the issues of viability and contracts but as long as the lockdown continues those will remain worrying issues whether or not we void.
  13. I agree with you mostly particulary about the viability of clubs. That's THE great concern but it is the same problem whether we complete the present season or start a new one. It's the length of the lockdown which is the problem. We also agree players contracts etc. are a problem but just about every player will be worried about his contract and will want to sort his contract out ASAP. BUT as you and I agree players won't be able to get a contract if his club or others go bust and that I think will encourage players to sign a sensible contract as soon as it's offered. In that case it doesn't matter how many players a club has already got tied up for next season, my guess is they will not have a problem signing them - the main problem/worry is will that club(s() survive. Even if null and void is declared we still have the viability problem as long as games are not played and if clubs go bust you can';t start a new season anyway until you know how many clubs are left. I think these worrying issues are the same whether or not you null and void or complete - it's the length of time without income which is the overall problem hence making a decision too early doesn't make sense and it could even accelerate the demise of a club. Still think this is a great thread though as it gets a good variety of thoughts.
  14. Many of the posts on here seem to favour the null and void option but do we have to make a decision yet? We usually have at least a 2 month close season break (excluding play-offs and pre-season games). We don’t know how long this lockdown is going to last, it could be 6 months or more. The season has gone within 9 games of finishing for most teams so the thought of it being called off as null and void is only likely to favour those clubs who are in relegation trouble. Those in mid-table might not be too fussed but those still in with promotion possibilities or chasing places in Europe will want a proper finish to the season. So does a decision HAVE to be made yet? At present my preference is to not make a decision yet but to treat the present situation as the close season then on restart to complete the remaining 2019/20 fixtures to have a proper end to the season. What I do think though is that it would be sensible to truncate the play-offs by having them over one leg rather than two. That done, we then have a very short break and then start the next season even if that’s in September, October or later. A season doesn’t have to start in July and we don’t need so many League Cup Group games in the present scenario. That next season would last BEYOND April 2021 but so what, we could stretch out a couple of seasons with shorter close seasons until we catch up and completing the present season if at all possible is surely fairer to all. Clearly there are more than logistical problems though. 1. The viability of several clubs is clearly in doubt due to this lockdown and we as fans have no overall control over that. Perish the thought but if a club goes under in the meantime i.e, before the 2019/20 season is completed we would probably have to expunge the results of that club. 2. Many players will be out of contract in June or earlier. I doubt if we can force players or clubs to extend contracts so carrying on in business is in the hands of each club barring miracle intervention of the financial sort. In other words football can only carry on with those clubs which are still in existence and it’s up to each club what players they have. In that respect some tweak of the Scottish League transfer window might have to be thought through to avoid any club taking unfair advantage of the situation. 3. The clubs vying for Europe places might be in difficulty if European football starts as normal – how likely is that though! 4. In carrying out the above plan we still involve the HL and LL champions and they could toss a coin for home advantage or play at a neutral venue. The game against Club 42 could also be at neutral venue. 5. Scotland might be out of step with the rest of Europe – so what, we all start and finish at different times now and we should still be able to fit in International games. The lockdown might last more than 6 months but if it does it impacts even more on the following season anyway so I don’t see that as a reason not to complete the 2019/20 season.
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