Today we have the period 1st July to our first competitive game of the season v Livingston at home.
In the footballing world the 2020 Euros are at the Quarter Final stage – No home nations have made it, Scotland losing 3-1 to Spain in the round of 16 at the Aviva in Dublin, England going out bottom of their group after 2 draws and a loss behind Portugal (D), France (D) & Scotland (L!!!), Wales going out bottom of their group with Spain, Slovenia & Poland after 3 losses, and neither of the Irelands’ qualified in the first place.
New boy centre back Jake Davidson has gone off to East Kilbride for the season on loan – hoping he can develop through game time at a decent club (2nd & 3rd in the Lowland League the last 2 seasons).
Our first friendly is with Morpeth Town ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morpeth_Town_A.F.C. ), who have travelled 49 miles up the A1 for the game – closer by far than any of our journeys in the league last year.
We are a quick team overall, with some very quick additions, so a Gegenpress seems natural. McGrath starts up top as an AF, McLaughlin as an IF on the left cutting in on his right foot, Healy on the right as a conventional winger, Sutherland as an AM allowing Barr to be the DLP. Cornelius plays as a BBM, McIlduff as a Supporting FB, triallist (And hopefully new signing) Hamish Morrison as a natural WB on the right, Hussain as a covering CB and Nanitelamio as the Stopper. Non-Braziliain-but-just-as-good Allison in Goal. Morpeth are playing a 4-4-2
Thinking having a Gegenpress trained for games we should dominate, Wing Play as we have the wingers who can cross and forwards who should be able to get on the end of the crosses and a Control possession 5-3-2 Cautious for when we want to take the sting out of opposition.
FT Berwick 4 (Sutherland 3,20 Morrison 50 McGrath 56) Morpeth 0 Att 138 (5 Away)
An impressive start – 45 minutes 4-2-3-1/4-1-2-2-1 Gegenpress, 45 5-3-2 Control, Hamish Morrison & the boy McGrath starring. Sutherland picking up a brace, 1 from AM, 1 from left Wing as McLaughlin twisted his knee early on. Cornelius looked very sharp as a BBM until he bruised his knee – Out for 2-3 days so no biggie.
Our U18 had a game with Hibs U18 – Losing 2-1, Lewis Allan with the goal, a creditable result against some very good kids from Edinburgh.
Hamish Morrison (20, 5ft 7) comes in as our starting right WB after being released by Hamilton of the Championship. He started his career at Brighton, and IRL plies his trade for Haywards Heath in the 8th tier of English football. Currently he’s our 4th best player by current ability. He played magnificently in the friendly v Morpeth, looking forward to some goals & assists in the 5-3-2 formation. He has very solid attributes, no weaknesses with 6 as his minimum for any attribute, and some nice physicals.
John Baldé (18, 6ft) joins as our first loan signing from Celtic for £0/wk. He will be our starting left IF in the Gegenpress, with 12 Dribbling & First touch, 14 Acc/11 Pac I’m hoping he can be a dangerous attacking threat. he’s now our 4th best player by current ability 🙂
We have been drawn at Home to our senior affiliate, Dundee in the IRN-BRU 1st round 🙂 That’s another guaranteed £4k, plus hopefully a decent gate against newly-relegated Championship opposition.
Ryan Scullion has gone to BSC Glasgow on loan, another very good Lowland League club. neither he nor Davidson have been particularly happy about being loaned but I think they will develop more from the game time than they will in the reserves here.
FT Berwick 5 (Nanitelamio 8, Barr 15, 37, McGrath Pen 45+1, Baldé 76) Civil Service 0 Att 144 (5 Away)
Civil Service lined up with a 4-1-3-1-1 narrow formation, and we were again dominant, going 4-0 up with the Control. Lewis Barr hit a couple of 20 yard crackers – A really strong performance all round, though CSS didn’t do themselves any favours with 2 sendings off…….
Harry Nicolson (19, 6ft 2) joins from Inverness CT on loan as our currently highest ability-rated player. IRL he’s on loan at Fort William (One of the loanees that went over after the affiliate agreement struck by the 2 clubs). Very solid defensive attributes and quite strong for his age. Another £0/wk addition to a squad growing in strength.
Our U18 played Partick Thistle U18 and lost again 2-1, Defender Lewis Faulds with the goal. Again a creditable result against a Championship U18’s setup.
Next up is our 1st of 4 Betfred games, at Home v Livingston. I plan to go with the Control tactic v the Championship teams and the Gegenpress v the League 1 teams, so we get 2 competitive games with each before the league season starts. I’ll see you then