#032 - Surely not there yet
06/09/2023 -- The League Cup group stage made at least one thing clear: we are miles away from Premiership level yet. We lost all our four games against Premiership side Dunfermline and Queen of the South, who are just relegated. Our main goal was keeping Peterhead below us, in which we succeed. We really need a big improvement if we want to compete with this kind of clubs , to start with being a full professional side. I am really hoping it will be happening within the next two season, otherwise I don’t think I’m staying any longer at Spartans. We are already struggling with the better clubs in our own league who are professional, so gaining promotion as a semi-professional side straight into the Premiership is nearly impossible. Although we are eliminated in the League Cup we earned some money, mostly because of gate receipts from the Dunfermline away game.
As long as we are not a professional club we have to put out the maximum of our possibilities, which we did pretty much I think. As already said last time our start of the competition was going to be incredibly though, but I’m very pleased with the results. We played four draws in a row and won the last game against Greenock Morton, who reached into the play-offs last season. We scored not many goals, but we concede not many either. So our defensive line is still on a very decent level, just as last season. The most goals we concede so far this season are actually from set-pieces (which we can’t practice, because we don’t have any training days left between all the matches…) so our regular field play is not that bad I suppose.
Our squad is complete. We have one place left for a loanie, but that place is reserved for a really big upgrade for any position. So probably nobody… Since the last update I was still in a search for a full left-back, which we found in Josh Edwards. A very average player with no big weaknesses. Unfortunately we could only get him from Dunfermline if we paid his full wage, which we agreed with reluctantly. He is competing with McHattie for the left-back position.
We also needed an extra centre back. After a very long search we found Andrew McLeod from Kilmarnock. A brave and young talented defender with very decent skills. Probably he will be one of the starting players immediately. We had to pay £13,500 for him, which is our highest spending so far. There were some other guys for less money, but I was a bit doubting and for McLeod I had no doubts at all, so I decide to splash some cash. But a couple of days later our highest transfer bid was already broken again. We payed Raith Rovers £16,500 for 20-year old Dougie Grant. A pretty good central midfielder, which we needed really hard because we only had two and playing with two in our tactic as well. So maybe we were a bit desperate, but I think Grant is really worth the money. He is very technical, mentally almost on a decent Premier league level and physically okay, although maybe he has to pick up a little bit more pace in training. He proofed my trust in him already with scoring at his debut!
There were also some bids for our own players, mostly for Griffiths, which was not a surprise. One of the clubs made a huge bid of £60,000 but we turned it down. It is a huge amount of money for the club to be honest (more than 15 percent of our yearly budget) but I think we have a serious problem if we lost him. None of our strikers is on his level, maybe Connell can reach it, but not on such a short term. Luckily he is not angry about our refusals, in fact he lengthened his contract! Which I’m happy with. If we get promoted by accident then Griffiths is still a good back-up striker for most of the Premiership clubs. The other wanted player is goalkeeper Joe young. But the bids were quite low for his qualities, so we turned them all down. Although he is heavily disappointed right now he is still on a 2-year deal. Underneath I’ve showed the full squad for this season.
Note: Thanks Scott! I'm quite pleased indeed. We made some good last minute transfers as well, which strengthened our squad a bit more. Our start of the season was obvious not the best, but we had some though fixtures. Hopefully we can pick up some form soon and battle for a play-off spot this year! Coming up next: our performances in the Scottish Cup.