We’re now into the final quarter of the football season and it has been an eventful time since my last update.
Our good form in the Scottish Cup continued after our fine win at home against Falkirk. We travelled up to Pittodrie to face Aberdeen, a team who has finished second in the Premiership for the last four years. Against all odds, we managed to secure a 1-1 draw and a replay at Ochilview. Whilst the Dons proved too much for us in the replay, the squad performed well in front of a packed Ochilview and did themselves, the club, and the community proud.
Our form in the League has improved markedly over the past few months. Now that Colin McMenamin has had the time to put his own mark on the squad and get them playing the style of football he wants, we have seen some strong performances of late. As I write this, we have only lost one match over the last seven games which is our best record for some time and our points return over these games is up there with some of the higher placed teams. We just need to keep this current form going and we can secure our place in League 1 for next season. Back in October I said that I felt we had a strong squad that was not reaching its full potential. Now we are seeing some great performances in different areas of the pitch and the team is playing high quality entertaining football. Credit for that goes to Colin McMenamin and his assistant Stuart Balmer, and of course it’s the players who are putting in the performances on the pitch and they deserve the success they are getting.
Financially the club continues to be in a strong position. The Scottish Cup run has helped, but we were ahead of budget prior to that as well. We are already programming in the numbers for next season as we look to continue to build the club and take it in the direction we want. As well as budgeting and looking at cash flow projections, we are also reviewing and updating our 3 year plan and enhancing our community engagement programme. The club staff led by our CEO Jamie Swinney must be some of the hardest working people in football. Their efforts are paying off as our off-field success is achieved through their hard work.
Our Ladies team has embarked on a new season under the direction of Abbie Trotter, supported by Mark Caroll and Nile Robbins. Abbie’s influence helped us attract a number of new players into the squad and performances and results have been good. We all wish them the best for the season ahead.
We were delighted to see lots of players signing for our community teams recently and thrilled that our Under 19s secured the first trophy of the season, winning the FVFDA Cup a few weeks back. These teams are a strong part of our wider community programme. I have met a number of community squad players over the last few weeks. I even had a small delegation of young players ask to see me one Saturday afternoon after a first team match so that they could lobby me for more wages for Alan Cook, one of their favourite first team players! (I think they were hoping that he’d buy new boots with the wage increase and then in turn they could get his old ones.) We’ll see what we can do boys!
We are also in the running for the TESCO Bags for Help grants scheme which could see the club win £4,000 to deliver free football in every local nursery, reaching hundreds of young people and providing a positive first introduction to football through the Warriors. If you find yourself in any Falkirk district based TESCO store, please post your blue tokens in the club’s slot and help us hopefully reach more Warriors of the future.
Finally, we have been working hard to continue to improve all round communication across all aspects of the club. This includes more information than ever before on our website and social media channels. We are developing a club brochure which will cover all aspects of the club and provide current and new members with a detailed insight into all the good work being carried out. We have secured a fantastic new partner in the form of a new Official Shirt Sponsor who we will work closely with over the next 4 seasons. so to add to this, we’re also just about to seek some supporter feedback on our strip choices for next season – more on this very shortly.
We continue to be busy in and around the club, and we again would like to thank everyone involved at the club for their help and support to make everything happen. I’d also like to thank our sponsors and supporters for their continued help. With just a few months of league football left, I hope to see you all at Ochilview as we continue to cheer on the Warriors.