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  1. AYR UNITED - SEASON REVIEW 2012/13 Welcome to Somerset Park, home of Ayr United. Relegated through last seasons play-offs they now find themselves in the Scottish Second Division, something Chairman Archibald Leitch is not happy about. After firing Mark Roberts he set about looking for a suitable replacement to take the honest men back up the league. A chance meeting with unknown Stoke-on-Trent born manager Jim Barclay who was in the area visiting relatives lead to talks being held.Lack of money, lack of options and lack of time until the campaign kicked off resulted in Leitch offering Barclay a one year deal. Whats the worst that could happen? Barclay emailed his notice through to Bradwell Beavers F.C. and set about preparing for what lay ahead. First things first, let see what i'm working with. [TABLE=class: wikitable sortable jquery-tablesorter, width: auto] [TR] PositionPlayer[/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Goalkeeper[/TD] [TD]Ally Brown [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Goalkeeper[/TD] [TD]Darren Martin [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Goalkeeper[/TD] [TD]Bobby McLatchie [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Adam Hunter [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Darren Brownlie [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Marc Twaddle [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Martyn Campbell [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Jackson Longridge [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Kyle McAusland (on loan from Rangers) [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Austin McCann [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]John Robertson [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Defender[/TD] [TD]Alan Murdoch [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Robbie Crawford [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Anthony Marenghi [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Darren McGill [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Michael McGowan [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Ryan McStay [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]David Sinclair [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Mark Shankland [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Midfielder[/TD] [TD]Aaron Wyllie [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Forward[/TD] [TD]Darian MacKinnon (on loan from Hamilton Academical) [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Forward[/TD] [TD]Michael Moffat [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Forward[/TD] [TD]Roddy Patterson [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Forward[/TD] [TD]Mark Roberts [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Forward[/TD] [TD]Ross Robertson [/TD] [/TR] [TR=class: vcard agent] [TD]Forward[/TD] [TD]David Winters [/TD] [/TR] [/TABLE] A nice sized squad for the division with a couple of loan players, things may be ok. Six more players were signed during the course of the season (1 on loan). French winger Jeremy Judith was the first to sign, quickly followed by defender Dominic Green who joined on a season long loan from Motherwell. In January the squad was bolstered by left back Greg Hunter, swedish teenage midfielder Timothy Mjallby and veteran striker Jim Lister signed to reignite a flagging front line that was struggling following Darian Mackinnon's return to Hamilton. Goalkeeper Mark Oxley was also added in January. Mark Roberts and Austin McCann were the only casualties of the new regime. Ayr started the campaign against Rob Knott's Albion Rovers who were also under new management. It didn't go well for the honest men, as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0. A further 2 defeats saw Barclay go back to the drawing board and change the formation to a 4-4-2 as Mckinnon wasn't the type of player who could play up top on his own. The change brought instant rewards as Ayr found their feet and started to climb the table. The division was tight all season with the top 6 teams swapping places weekly. Archibald Leitch declared himself satisfied at the halfway point with Ayr sitting in second place behing Queen of the South. A good run had seen them pushing the leaders, with a particular highlight being the 5-0 win against Arbroath who would eventually go on to take the title and get revenge in a 5-1 reverse. The final table saw Ayr in fourth place with 15 wins, 7 draws and 14 defeats. A slightly disappointing finish to what was an impressive start. Fourth position meant a play-off and unfortunately it was against the First Divisions ninth placed side - Cowdenbeath. The first leg of this semi-final took place at Somerset Park, and with home advantage Ayr were looking to go into the second leg with a lead. Cowdenbeath had other ideas, they were intent on ruining the party. A tense match saw Ayr go ahead early on but as the first half grew older Cowdenbeath lived up to their nickname of the blue Brazil and ran out 2-1 winners. The second leg was a mere 3 days away and after such a big occasion many of the players were phsyically struggling but an epic encounter was witnessed by everyone at Central Park. As in the previous match Ayr went ahead but they were pegged back just before the break. A 3-3 draw was the final score, left back Mark Twaddle hitting the post in injury time was almost too much to take and Cowdenbeath went through to the final with a 5-4 aggregate scoreline. Despite his late miss, Twaddle was one of the players of the season. Also fellow strikers Marc Dyer (10 goals in 19 games) and Michael Moffat (23 in 40) were worthy of a mention. Many of the supporters couldn't help but wonder if it would have been a different story had Ayr managed to extend the loan of Mckinnon who weighed in with a healthy return of 14 goals in 17 games. As the season ended and the players left on the nearest budget airline to Magaluf, Chairman Archibald Leitch called manager Jim Barclay to his office to discuss his and Ayr's future. Several hours passed and pen was put to paper on a four year deal. Barclay set about improving his squad and hopefully Ayr's position next season but with the likes of Cowdenbeath and Dumbarton coming down and an impressive looking Annan Athletic joining the division, it may be a long season ahead. Then of course theres Rangers...........
  2. SEASON 2019/2020 UPDATE After leaving Macclesfield Town last season to take charge of Rochdale, Jim Barclay set to work in the preseason trying to bring in players to strenghten the squad. A lot of last seasons squad left due to contract negotiations breaking down, with the board being financially crippled. Barclay brought in 15 new faces and just hoped that they'd gel quickly enough to make a decent start to the season. The media prediction of 21st showed that it was going to be a long, hard season and wins would be hard to come by. Rochdale got off to a slow start and things never really picked up. They went on a horrific run which would eventually cost Jim Barclay his job. The players he brought in just didn't look comfortable with each other and the fans turned on them and the manager. So, in November 2020, the Rochdale board called the manager into the boardroom and sacked him. Rochdale at the time had only won twice in seventeen league games and had been knocked out of the JPT. The final straw came as they were thrashed 4-0 at home to Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup first round. Things never improved for Rochdale as they went on to finish bottom of league 2 and were relegated from the football league. They finished 16 points behind nearest rivals Walsall who were also relegated and due to the poor finances at the club they were also docked 10 points. Manager Jim Barclay took the rest of the season off and as the new 2020/21 season gets underway it is rumoured that he is in talks with BSP outfit Luton Town.
  3. ROCHDALE SEASON 2018/19 The boards expectation for the season ahead was 17th place. With a relatively small team manager Jim Barclay would once again be forced to delve into the loan market. His first call was to AFC Telford manager Davie Orr, with the objective to secure the services of right winger Yannick Neumann. With stiff competition from Chester City, Barclay was pleased that Neumann would choose to work with him again. Another key loanee was Stoke City reserve team striker Damian Wray who helped the team by scoring 8 times in his 5 month period at the club. Neumann struggled a little with fitness and only managed 10 appearances scoring just once. The season proved to be rather uneventful with Rochdale finishing in 16th place, right as expected.They were in a top half position for most of the season but when all the loan players returned in February the team hit a slideand went on a ten game streak winning just once and drawing 8 times. Just as the thought of a relegation battle looked a real possibility they found some form nad won their last 4 matches. Their first foray into the league cup proved to be an unlucky affair as they forced Champioship side Wigan into extra time before finally being defeated in front of their home fans. Home ties seemed to be a theme as Rochdale made it to the third round of the F.A. Cup with each tie being played infront of the Rochdale faithfull. The first round saw a 2-0 victory over non league side St Albans in a match that was dominated by the home side, but where they failed to put their chances away. The second round set up a mouth watering tie with Barclays former club Macclesfield Town. With emotions still running high from Barclays shock departure, his ex team were determined to knock Rochdale out of the cup. A full bloodied battle ensued with several yellow cards shown to both sides but eventually Rochdale went on to win 3-1. With their place in the hat for the third round secured, Rochdales chairman was dreaming of a glamour tie with one of the big boys. He got his wish as they were drawn at home (again) to the mighty Chelsea. The attendance was boosted from an average of 1600 to a 10,000 crowd as the premiership team arrived in Lancashire for the game. It was a spirited performance from Rochdale, and when they took an early lead the crowd went wild but unfortunately it wasn't to be and Chelsea stepped up a gear and showed thir class running out 3-1 winners. After the match Barclay shared a drink with his opposite number Jonny Kaufman and attempted to talk the Chelsea manager into sending some loan players his way. A mixed season in all for Rochdale, with the wage budget massively over the board had been showing signs of frustration. As the squad takes its end of season break it will be interesting to see who is here at the start of the new season.
  4. MACCLESFIELD TOWN SEASON 2017/18 Macclesfield Town started life in the BSP with the boards expectation to secure football in this division for another year. Manager Jim Barclay went about strengthening the squad but with little funding available had to rely mainly on loan deals. A total of 7 players were loaned in during the course of the season on different length contracts. A partnership was set up with League 1's AFC Telford where the parent club provided many of the players Macclesfield used this season. The star player was Yannick Neumann, the right winger who made 33 appearances and weighed in with 6 goals, also from AFC Telford was left winger Tunji Scott who played 18 times and got 1 goal. Pacey striker Dalton Harris was brought in on a free and partnered Brazillian forward Leandro for most of the season. Town overachieved finishing an impressive 12th but manager Jim Barclay would not be there at the end of the season. With Macclesfields impressive run, Barclay was approached by League 2 outfit Rochdale. The offer proved too good to refuse and the lure of finally managing in the football league meant that with 2 months of the season left Jim Barclay became Rochdale Town manager. He instantly brought in Neumann on loan from Teford, beating rivals Cheter City to his signature. Rochdale finished mid table despite a ten point deduction and with a new season around the corner the task to rebuild Rochdale began.
  5. MACCLESFIELD TOWN SEASON 2016/17 Macclesfield Town manager Jim Barclay finally made it into the BSP with an impressive season at the Rose Ground. Town finished third in the BSN after winning 20, drawing 15 and losing 7 games. Barclay managed to bring in 15 new faces(3 on loan) with the highlight being Trinidad and Tobago international Chris Birchall who was an instant hit with the supporters. Leandro, the Brazillian forward was signed on a free from Colwyn Bay also became a hit with the fans after scoring 20 goals. The third place finish was enough to secure a play-off spot and the draw meant a two legged tie against Harrogate. The first leg was away and Macclesfield put in arguably their best performance of the season, smashing Harrogate 4-1. With 1 foot in the final all that was called for was a cool head and a decent defensive performance which was what Town did. A very professional 0-0 draw saw Town in the final with a chance to secure league football. A sunny afternoon saw Macclesfield Town take the field against local rivals Chester City which produced an excellent match, ending in a 2-2 draw. Extra time was a nervy affair with both teams keeping one eye on a penalty shoot out. Macclesfield kept their neve dispatching all their penalties to win and take their place in the BSP. The board were delighted and the difficult task of strengthening the squad ready for the step up was about to begin.
  6. SEASON 2015/16 UPDATE. After taking over Woking at the end of last season Barclay was asked to get promotion back into the BSP. A 1-0 defeat away to Basingstoke in a F.A. Cup 3rd round qualifier and a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Hendon in the 3rd round of the F.A. Trophy meant that the league was the only competition left to compete in. Consistency proved once again to be the stumbling block as Woking struggled to put together any sort of run. No fewer than twelve players were brought in on free transfers, which may have been part of the reason for Wokings inconsistancy as they often seemed disjointed on the pitch and took a while to gel. A decent final push saw Woking climb the table and after some stern words from the board, Barclays men went on an unbeaten run of six games to end the season in ninth lace narrowly missing out on the play-off spots. Unfortunately for the manager his one year contract was not renewed and he found himself unemployed yet again. This time however, his unemployment didn't last long as he was offered the post at recently relegated Macclesfield Town. So the 2016 season in the BSN awaits.
  7. SEASON 2014/15 UPDATE Following a disappointing end to the 2013/14 season Bath City manager Jim Barclay was relieved of his position. The former Cambrigde and Bath manager had plenty of time to reflect on what could have been and he felt that he left Bath in a much better state than he found them albeit in a division lower. He started to draw up a shortlist of potential signings and spent those lonely Saturday afternoons travelling the country watching non-league football in the hope that someone somewhere would completely balls it up. After months of watching from the sidelines, Barclays wish came true as Woking Town sacked their manager and invited him for an interview. With perhaps not the best CV in football it was far from a certainty but Woking offered Barclay the post of manager and he duly accepted. Still keen to develop his early managerial career, it didn't faze Barclay too much taking over a team at the foot of the BSP by over 10 points. The transfer budget was non existant and as usual the wage budget was already met but on a more promising note there was a link set up between Woking and Coventry City. With this in mind Barclay got in touch with his Coventry counterpart in the hope to loan some up and coming stars or even some veterans left in the reserves but alas Coventry side wasn't that much bigger than Wokings and the players he deemed worthy to loan all felt that Woking wasn't a place they fancied playing their football. So it meant that the team inherited would be left to play the second half of the season, it continued much the same way as the opening half with defeat after defeat. With only around ten games to play things started to click and a goaless draw with Southend gave the squad a lift. An impressive 3-1 win over then second place Forest Green gave added momentum but unfortunately for Woking and its supporters this was just too little too late. The highlight of the season was the signing of young Welsh under 19 striker Kerry Jones who had previously been on Liverpools books, who scored an impressive 4 goals in his first 5 games. If the next season is to be a success then much of it might be on the young Welshmans shoulders. The preperation for the season ahead starts here and the tricky task of getting players and staff to renew contracts is first on the agenda.
  8. BATH SEASON 2013/14 UPDATE. After relegation last season, Bath City were looking to bounce back with a promotion challenge. Barclay kept his job but was given no money to spend on transfers and a wage budget already strecthed to capacity. The team got off to a steady start going 4 matches without defeat but were finding goals hard to come by. Barclay went to speak with the board and came back with a promise of finding a parent club. That promise was delivered a few weeks later when an arrangement between Bath and championship side Watford was announced. Almost immediately Watford veterans Bobo Balde and Chris Iwulumo joined Bath adding some much needed quality and experience. The Balde loan deal ended in 3 months and an extension was refused by the player but Iwulumo stayed for the season playing 30 times and scoring 20 goals before deciding to hang up his boots for good. Despite Iwulumo's impressive record in front of goal, Bath struggled to hold on to leads and drew many games they really should have won. This saw an end of season collapse which meant that they finished the season in a very average 9th place, missing out on the play-offs and a chance of an instant return to the B.S.P. The Bath City board held a meeting and decided that promotion was expected and with Bath not even reaching the play-offs Barclay was not offered a new contract. Barclay said he understood the boards decision but was still very disappointed as he felt Bath would definitely challenge this season. He was last seen clearing out his desk and walking towards the job centre. Roll on the 2014 season.
  9. Cambridge utd. Barclays Cambridge United squad stuttered towards the end of their managers debut season. A mix of draws and defeats with an occasional win left the U's in 16th place at the close of the season. The board were expecting a top ten finish, and were rightly disappointed. Barclay vowed to improve next season and set to work on improving the squad. Many players were brought in including former Northampton Town striker Bas Savage. As the 2012/13 season got underway, Barclay realised that the sheer number of new signings weren't immediately gelling and that it might take time for the team to start turning out wins. Time that the manager just didn't have. And with just over a month of the season gone Cambridge United decided to call time on Barclays reign. The U's hadn't managed to hit any form and sat 18th in the BSP. BATH CITY Having had a taste of Football management, Barclay now wanted to get back into it as soon as possible. The wait wasn't for long and on 15th of December he was installed as the new manager of Bath City. Bath City were also in the BSP, and it didn't take Barclay long to realise the magnatude of the task in hand as he took his first training session. The squad was wafer thin and the general quality of player was far less than he had seen at Cambridge. With nothing to spend on transfers and a wage budget already stretched to bursting point, it was to be a season of damage limitation. Bath went on an incredible run and broke the current BSP record................. for games lost in a row and relegation proved to be innevitable. The Chairman had already promised Barclay that his job was safe and relegation was on the cards when he took over. It still proved to be a disappointing season and with very limited funds a lot of hard work is going to be needed to rebuild.
  10. [/url] CAMBRIDGE UNITED The U's decided to kick off their 2011/12 campain with a new inexperienced manager at the helm. Jim Barclay was appointed with the aim of a mid table finish. This being the U's sixth consectutive season in the BSP, they are an established team, hence the media prediction of 9th. TRANSFERS With a budget of £0, Barclay was limited with who he could bring in, but still managed to sign 8 players. Nathan D'Laryea was his first signing, which was quickly followed by the arrivals of Graham Cheeseman, Phil Younghusband, Dene Cropper, Matt Barnes, Andrew Hageman, Lucien Mottomo and Paul Hilland. With a squad now bursting at the seams, Barclay released 4 players ang got down to work preparing for the season ahead. After 15 games, Cambridge sit in a healthy albeit mediocre 11th position in the table having won 6, drawn 4 and lost 5. The one highlight is the performances of new striker Phil Younghusband who seems to have settled in well, scoring 8 in his first 12 games. With much of the season yet to play, Cambridge United supporters are pleasantly suprised by the new managers start to his career and are hopeful for the future.
  11. SEASON 23/24 UPDATE. Brechin started the season as favourites for the drop, with a media prediction of tenth in the league. They brought in 6 new players in the close season so it was a matter of whether or not the influx of new players would gel together and if so, how long would it take? Kris Commons decided to hang up his boots after spending much of last season on the treatment table and fellow veteran Ally Park was sold for £400 to Montrose. The season got off to an embarrasing start as City were thumped 4-0 by third division side Elgin in the Challenge Cup. This was the wake up call many of the squad needed and spurred them on to what would become a record breaking season at Glebe Park. Barclay's men went on to defy the critics and pushed Livingston all the way, eventually finishing in second place, just two points behind the champions. Brechin managed 19 wins, 10 draws and seven defeats in a season that saw their highest ever league finiish. Once again Pascal De Vries was Citys top scorer having his best year yet with 23 goals in 36 appearances. Las years joint top scorer Shane Davidson only managed to net 4 times in 20 appearances after suffering a fractured skull early in the year. Giorgos Avgousti stepped up and scored 13 in 33, and with central defenders Danny Hone and Jamie Wright scoring 6 and 9 goals respectively, Brechin weren't short of fire power. The unexpected highlight in Brechin's season came in the League Cup as they reached the semi-finals. A 2-1 win over Stenhousemuir in the first round set up a tie with Dunfermline. 1-1 at full time, Brechin scored in extra time to earn a home tie against Rangers. A very tight game in which city were without their two first choice strikers. 90 minutes couldn't seperate the sides so once again extra time beckoned. A corner, headed in by Danny Hone was enough to see Barclay's team into the quarter finals where they would face Celtic. Another unbelievable game in which Brechin ran out 2-1 winners. Unfortounately the semi final was a step too far and the run came to an end at the hands of Berwick Rangers. Brechin fought hard and took the Premier League side into extra time, but a 98th minute penalty left City's fans heartbroken. The cup dream was over. A tough season to top, but thats the job in hand, one that will prove all the more difficult as last seasons heroics attracted scouts and managers from bigger clubs. Last seasons 250k sale of Paul Hawes was followed by Jean Claude Redon and Justin Gehin being bought by Champioship side Watford, 500k each. Gehin will be sorely missed after 6 years at Glebe Park. Airdrie United stepped in and signed young Itallian right back Roberto Sanna for a fee of 350k. So as the 24/25 season is about to get underway, Barclay has some work to do replacing the outgoing players and living up to last years perfomance.
  12. SEASON 22/23 UPDATE Brechin City faced another test staying in the SD1 and with the media yet again predicting relegation, Barclay had it all to do. As per usual City were knocked out of the cups early on, but this was perhaps a blessing in disguise as the sason proved long and difficult enough without any extra matches. There were plenty of injuries, some being key players to the squad, which made the task in hand that little bit tougher. In the end Brechin had enough to scrape an 8th place finish and the chance to compete in this league for another year. First choice strikers Shane Davidson and Pascal De Vries were yet again the clubs leading scorers both getting 14 goals. De Vries after injury in 27 games and Davidson playing 35 times. Central defender Danny Hone weighed in with 5, as did new signing and fellow central defender Jamie Wright. There was quite a lot of dealing in the transfer market this season from Barclay, at least compared to last season. PLAYERS IN Jamie Wright 16k Robert Jaskolski (free) Mike Meyer (free) Elton Montiero (free) Mariusz Solecki (free) Daniel Llorca (free) Johan Van Roosmalen (free) Jan Kiell Larsen (free) Brechin finally finished the season in 8th place with 40 points having won 10, drawn 10 and lost 16. In the final weeks of the season Barclay secured deals for the following players to arrive ready for next season Jean Claude Redon, Andreas Lund, Zakaria Kern, Roberto Sanna, Miguel Grilo and goalkeeper Joel Laine. Barclays rift with the board was reignited after they accepted a bid of 250k for hot prospect striker Paul Hawes from champioship side Hednesford Town. A move that Barclay was opposed to but one the board deemed too good to refuse. As pre season gets underway Barclay will have his work cut out trying to gel together his new signings and his existing players. Interseting times ahead for Brechin City.
  13. SEASON 21/22 Update A new season for Brechin City, after last seasons play off victory, and a tougher challenge in the SD1. Central defender Mark Circuit left the club after deciding against renewing his contract. Barclay managed to bring in 5 new faces on permanent deals and a loanee from new parent club, Rangers. In came central midfielder Carlos, right back Robbie Lawless, Spanish striker Diego and Ashley Chambers was brought in to replace Caglayan Yildiz who was sold to Hearts for 230k, a sale that caused a rift between the manager and the board. 18k was spent on Kris Commons and Lucas Kaminski was loaned from Rangers to give some strength and depth to the defence. The season was as difficult as expected, and although predicted as favourites for the drop, Brechin managed to pick up points in important games and finished the season in an impressive 6th place with 42 points. Shane Davidson and Pascal De Vries again battled for the top goalscoring honours at the club. This season both men hit 12 goals, Davidson in 24 matches and De Vries managing it in just 20 due to a hamstring injury ruling him out for 5 months. Central defender Danny Hone also found the net 5 times, aiding to City's cause. New signing Kris Commons proved an instant hit by scoring 5 goals and providing many more assists, especially from corners. There was a small section of the fans that thought at 37, he would struggle to cope, but at this level, Commons bossed a few games and looked to have that extra bit of quality. Barclay and the board still haven't fully reconciled their differences but with the addition of Rangers as a parent club, the chairman has made an effort. Brechin will face another tough test next year as they look to establish themselves as an SD1 club and with the likes of youngster Paul Howes coming through may find it difficult to hold on to their main players. Pre-season is about to start and deals need to be made.
  14. SEASON UPDATE 2020/21. This season saw Brechin City trying to improve on last years 8th place finish in the Scottish Second division. A difficult task, especially according to the media, who predicted that City would finish bottom of the table. That prediction was looking fairly accurate early on as Brechin were comprehensively beaten in the cup by fellow SD2 side Queens Park, the final score 7-1. In reality, this was the kick up the backside Brechin needed and their league form improved dramatically. A steady season and at the half way point Barclay's team found themselves in 4th position with an eye on the play-offs. Queens Park were dominating the division and at that stage of the season were pretty much out of reach. With safety guaranteed, Brechin's players seemed to relax and put in some quality performances in the second half of the season. They had already proved the critics wrong and went out in each game and played without any fear. This lead to an incredible 12 game streak without defeat, including a 7-1 win and revenge over Queens Park in the shape of a 6-0 drubbing. This excellent form left Brechin City 2nd in the table with 16 wins, 11 draws and 9 defeats, a massive 20 points behind Queens Park but safely into the nail biting tension of the play-offs. The semi-final was against Inverness Caladonian Thistle with the first leg to be played at home. Few could have predicted the outcome as City carried on their league form and smashed ICT 5-0. The second leg turned out to be a much tighter game and despite playing counter attacking football, Brechin almost threw it all away, losing the match 4-2. A 7-4 aggregate score meant it was a showdown with Dumbarton for a place in the SD1. This time the first leg would be away. A close game with little to choose between the teams came down to who could finish their chances, and this time Brechin's form deserted them as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat. The second leg in front of their home fans, with the all important away goal meant that this would be a different game all together. City put in a solid performance, keeping a clean sheet and managing to score 3 times. The 4-3 final aggregate score was enough to book them a place in the SD1 for next season. After the media's initial prediction of 10th, there was little suprise when manger Jim Barclay picked up the SD2 manager of the year award. Pascal De Vries continued his fine goalscoring form by netting 17 times in 40 appearances. Last years top scorer Shane Davidson was top scorer again getting 19 in 35 games and central defender Danny Hone scored 10 times to help push Brechin into 2nd place. The close season was a struggle for City as they didn't manage to sign a single player and also lost first choice keeper Tom Maxwell. If last season was tough then next season is going to be an huge challenge for Brechin. Reserve goalie Ryan Twaddle will start the season as the number 1. The new season has begun and City find themselves 8th in the table having played 3 games - 1 win, 1 draw and 1 defeat. Rumours of a fall out between manager Jim Barclay and the Brechin board are rife, as the chairman over ruled Barclay and sold right midfielder Caglayan Yildiz for a club record 230k. Barclay was left fuming as 1 of his star players was sold from under his nose. A difficult task made more so, former Leicester City midfielder Ashley Chambers was brought in as a replacement and Kris Commons was signed to add a bit of experience to the squad. With a long way to go Brechin are hoping that they won't pay the price for over achieving last season.
  15. J.T. player of the month, wouldn't mind a look at the staffs squad if you get a chance.