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Stewart Whyte

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  1. I missed the Airdrie game as I had an interview - which I got. Sadly it means working on Saturdays. I am really missing the games already but, nothing can be done. I’m reliant on the people who post on Pie and Bovril, social media and MontroseTV. Won’t be forever but, it is the next two years. Mon the Mo!
  2. Wishing everyone involved with Montrose FC all the best for the season.
  3. Will we take any loan players? The season starts this weekend and transfer window closes on 2nd September. After a pre-season look at their squads Premiership clubs are looking at trimming down to a realistic size and getting youngsters a development loan. Montrose are nearly there - we have 20 players (2 GK, 6 Def, 6 Mid and 6 Forwards). Last year we had 3 loanees; all who added to our squad but, I don’t think we’ll see 3 this year. Loan players are a short term fix but, each year you have to start again. Loan players must be played as part of the loan - at times their inexperience is not the best thing for the given situation but, more importantly it blocks the playing times for our squad. If we have playing time for developing youngsters the time can be used by Montrose to improve our young forwards. That’s not to say we shouldn’t take any loans, they have their place but, I don’t see it being 3 this year.
  4. Went home cold and uninspired by a poor game on Saturday but, wanted to reflect before I shared my thoughts. Firstly the score and perhaps the performance are not they way to assess a pre-season match - not that both don’t matter to fans who have paid good money to travel and enter a ground. Pre-season is a chance to integrate new signings, evaluate the shape of the squad and to experiment. To that end it was a success with all new players getting decent playing time while the seasoned vets got game time into their legs. Lewis Milne was tried at just in front of the defence and while he had a couple of good passes we lacked guile further up without him. Noticeable that our good spell was when he was playing behind the frontline. Dillon strolled through the game and I like Webster, Ballantyne and Lyons. I’m not piling on McLean - strikers take the longest to develop, it is the most prized position and few teams in the SPFL have reliable ones. Where we were weaker than normal was play in and into the box. No point sugar coating it Aaron spilled the ball for the first one and we gave away a pen - both goals were very avoidable. Cove were up for it for the new manager and will survive in L2 this year. I’m in Edinburgh this week, so will miss Arbroath; I hope SP continues to give the full squad playing time, especially the new ones and tries things out. Good sides make intelligent use of their pre-season. We start proper on 3rd August. The priority is 8th.
  5. Quietly and without a fuss SP continues to build a very sound squad - good at the back, feisty in midfield and good on the wings. Others sides have added far more players but will they be a team? At least one of the teams that are investing will implode when they don’t make a fast start. We are strengthening a side that made the play offs last year, I feel confident we can repeat. Looking forward to Cove tomorrow.
  6. a very good signing for Cove. Will give them experience, leadership and midfield drive. He had become a squad player for us - a very valuable one - and his starts would have been rotational next season, so I can see his POV. Makes midfield reinforcements even more necessary. Also shows the wisdom of retaining Liam Callaghan.
  7. I fell into the early close season trap of seeing other sides announce new players and thinking what about us. We have see others sides in L1 fail, in their terms, by a high turnover of players. We grew by keeping a good squad together and have prospered through familiarity and players enjoying themselves; coupled with good coaching, tactical flexibility and leadership. Despite last year being a very good financial year I would be shocked if we didn't remain one of the smallest player budgets in L1. Cammie Ballantyne alone means we have had a good window. Having said that I think we need younger legs in midfield to be groomed for when our current crop hang up their boots. There will likely be signings and the right loanee or two. In Stewart Petrie and the Board we trust.
  8. Very unlikely, Steeves signed a new contract and is a fan favourite. Why would he go to a team below us.
  9. And he’d be really crazy to say he hasn’t. The reality is many have to stay. Look at Arbroath and Forfar this season. 4 or so signings to an established squad is the only way to improve unless there is buckets loads of cash. You do, though, have to hit on your signings, and avoid big injuries. Raith are a good L1 side who will be challenging for the title next season.
  10. I was 8 in 1978 and I have a distinct memory of asking my Dad who he wanted to win in the final - Argentina or Holland, or more accurately I have a distinct memory of his answer. Holland, because we’d beaten them so we’d be the best team in the world. Not the same thing but, when I was thinking about writing my post today that story came to mind. The Mo’s outstanding season saw us play the two best sides in the Championship. We only lost 1-3 away to the winners - Ross County and the great Scottish Cup occasion at Links Park, 0-4 to play off winners Dundee United. We beat the 9th best team 2-1 at home before getting a hiding away. There is a clear gap between us and the top of the Championship but, by no means is it massive. We are a good L1 side and will fear no one in the division next year and there won’t be many sides glad to draw us in the cups. If SP gets the recruits he’s after we will challenge for the title, if not we should be mid-table.
  11. Not many better things to do on a sunny Saturday afternoon except watch your team play well. I got into football in the 80s and Airdrie in their iconic shirts were part of the top league. 4-3-3 and an entirely merited win. Their number 7 started lively but, once we figured him out he disappeared. Ross Campbell is a smart forward and gave Airdrie’s tall and physical defenders a tough day. We went in 1-0 and could have been more. In the second half we scored a great goal - Chris Antoniazzi struck a great crossfield pass and Terry Masson took it in, twisted and turned and finished confidently. Airdrie had a decent defence and keeper but, their midfield were dominated by our trio and they didn’t create much. I really liked our defence today and thought that was Ryan Harrington’s best game - centre back looks to be his position. Our magnificent season marches on.
  12. Too be fair, we are getting ahead of ourselves. Four of our last five games are against the top4, 3 away, and Airdrie - no easy games. Mind you we only need to be above East Fife and we are 2 up at Brechin (60 mins to go).
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