It’s been a busy pre-season for Mason Bradshaw, newly appointed Stirling Albion Manager. We get a chance to see super fan, Simon Andrews perspective of the appointment, as well as match reports and a pre-season transfer report from our BBC correspondents.
I walked into my second home, after months of no football, I walked through the gates and went and sat in my usual seat, Row B, Seat 51 of the North Stand. Last season was disappointing to say the least as we finished 7th, after being relegated the season before. There’s new hope around town now though, thanks to a certain Mason Bradshaw. He’s a young manager who wants to prove he’s got what it takes to be a football manager. And for me, I’ll back him all the way.
I’ll admit when I looked on my Twitter, and saw we appointed him, I was disappointed in the appointment, due to his lack of managerial experience, however, I have soon realised that everyone has to start somewhere? I’m looking forward to singing my heart out for the Albion this year, and hopefully a better year on the pitch.
MATCH REPORTS FOR STIRLING ALBION
Stirling – Gillingham
Report: A boring match resulted in a boring result at the Stirling ground after the Scottish club finished with a 0-0 result against Gillingham. Some great defensive play resulted in a draw, a result that the Stirling side will take with glee. Gillingham managed a total of 22 shots during the game with 6 of those being on target, but with good defensive play, especially from defender Scott Davidson, who got the Man of the Match award, Stirling kept the game at a dull 0-0, having only 3 shots in the entire game.
Elgin City – Stirling
Report: A goal on each side led Stirling Albion to win the game against Elgin City on penalties. A goal from Callum Morrison sent the Stirling fans into raptures after scoring on the 20th minute, however Elgin City pulled one back 4 minute later with a goal from Kyle Macleod. The game was tight, with Stirling getting a total of 13 shots whilst Elgin got 12. However, no more goals were scored until after full time, extra time, when Stirling won on penalties, 11-12. A good game from the Scottish club.
Stirling – Partick Thistle
Report: After a good game with Elgin City, Stirling dropped their game and lost against Partick Thistle. The Premiership club scored two goals in the 15th minute and the 28th minute through Connor Higgins and Declan McDaid. The two players combined well to send Stirling out for a loss, the first of their pre season. Stirling didn’t manage much during the game either, only managing 5 shots. A poor result.
St. Mirren – Stirling
Report: A loss against Championship team, came next against St. Mirren. John Sutton scored two in 4 minutes with goals in the 47th minute and 51st minute before Brian Hodge got sent off in the 55th minute. Lewis McLear finished the rout with a well placed finish in the 77th minute. Again, Stirling didn’t manage much against the much bigger club, only managing 6 shots.
Stirling – Ayr
Report: After two losses, Stirling played well against Ayr and won the game on penalties and finishing 3rd in the Betfred Cup group. Jamie Thomas took the lead for Ayr in the 14th minute but good play from Blair Henderson took Stirling to a draw in the 41st minute. Stirling then won 4-3 on penalties after a good second half of defence. Despite two losses, Stirling finished 3rd in the cup group. A good performance for the League 2 side.
It’s been a quiet month of transfers at Strling Albion. Three incomings and two outgoings. The board had made Mason well aware of the financial situation at the club, and players must only be bought if they will add to the team massively, rather than squad players.
The club want to progress and eventually turn professional, so keeping an eye on the wage budget and expenditure is crucial, or the clubs finances could turn sour.
The first of the three signings is 18 year old, Calum Brodie, who was signed on a free after being released by Arbroath. The young goalkeeper is set to be a part of Bradshaw’s long term plans. He has failed to make a single appearance in his career, however has been rated very highly by a number of media outlets. We have only had a few pre-season games, Calum has not been part of the line up in any of them. Is this Mason signing a back up, or will Calum be a diamond in the rough for Stirling. When we spoke to Stirling’s Assistant Manager Martyn Corrigan he was very happy with the signing of the player and hopes he can be vital in the teams success this year.
The second arrival for Stirling is, 17 year old centre back Scott O’Neil. Scott was available to loan from Scottish Premiership team Motherwell. He has some fantastic attributes for a 17 year old and been a key part to Stirling’s Pre-season campaign, having played 4 games with an average rating of 6.82. I, for one, am very excited to see the Scottish centre backs progression, he already looks the real deal and playing at a level way below his standard. Mason Bradshaw had mentioned that one of the players at the club had recommended putting an offer in for the teenager, but who that is, we don’t know, unfortunately. Some of his key attributes are: 12 – Heading, 13 – Marking, Tackling – 15, Determination -14 and Jumping Reach – 14. The only downside to the loan deal is that Stirling don’t have a clause where they can purchase the player, although according to our sources Motherwell would be asking for around 50k-100k and that’s before the season even starts. Scott is definitely one to keep an eye out, and may even be part of the Scotland under 18’s in the near future.
The third, and final signing by Mason Bradshaw is 20 year old Matthew Buchanan. The Irish youngster was released by St. Johnstone two years ago, but has failed to find a club. During pre-season Matthew has played four games with Stirling with an average rating of 6.53 (Some may understand why he hasn’t found a club for almost two years). It is still to early to judge on whether Buchanan will be a key player this season however he is very energetic, so maybe this is more of a squad player. To note, he has also picked up three yellow cards in four appearances and this could really be an issue if his aggression continues in to the season.
The outgoings for Stirling Albion are Sam Davidson and Jordan Herron, 18 and 19 years old respectively. Both don’t look like they are cut out for the level, and were released – both have found clubs in the lower leagues of Scotland.
On a summary, it seems Mason is happy with his current team and hasn’t really made any significant signings other than Scott O’Neil, who looks an absolute coup. Maybe Mason is waiting till January to look for his new comings, who knows? All we know is we can’t wait to see Stirling’s Scottish League Two campaign get underway, and if Mason is really cut out for Managing.