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[FM20] Stuniverse's FM20 Adventure

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Game date: 28 February 2022

FALKIRK - REMAINING FIXTURES

BairnsNews: Falkirk face five more Premiership fixtures before the split.

01_fixtures_July-Oct.thumb.png.e06c6471647bdceed34b979195d30f88.png

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 2 March 2022

MONTHLY REPORTS

Manager Performance:

20220302_manager.thumb.png.e8d487e9844f3760f81b0985947bf507.png

Finances:

20220302_finances.thumb.png.4e845f2eac97cb7cfc32b9f02ed3ba5c.png

Dynamics:

20220302_dynamics.thumb.png.deb08cce2b61a91d9f821e9b2adc30f8.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Wednesday 2nd March 2022

Pre-match v Motherwell (H) - Ladbrokes Premiership (29)

Match Preview

SP29_Motherwell_preview.thumb.png.700698e8437044070c6112bedb600632.png

BairnsNews: You have a 13 point lead over Motherwell ahead of your visit to Fir Park. A draw, or better, will guarantee Falkirk will finish above Motherwell by the split.

Stuniverse: I think that's a clear indication of exactly how well my squad has performed this season. It won't be an easy game though as we're already starting to see signs of an incredibly tough season catching up with my player legs. They're starting to look tired after the massive effort they've put in this season.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Louis Longridge (hip)
Scott McMann (thigh)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-75)
Craig Sibbald (toe-90)

SP29_Motherwell_selection.thumb.png.40166e8986f2031fcd7a5ebe21839e6b.png

BairnsNews: Three changes tonight.

Stuniverse: Tom Grivosti returns at centre-back for Barry Maguire. Charlie Telfer comes into central midfield for Ethan Hamilton. Georgie Kelly is back in up front for Oli Shaw.

Post-match: Motherwell (0) 0-4 (0) Falkirk

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BairnsNews: Wow! When Eyoma was sent-off just after the restart, I wasn't expecting you to win 4-0. How do you explain that incredible response to going a man down?

Stuniverse: It's down to character and a never-give-up-attitude. TJ Eyoma received a second yellow card shortly after the break and that really put the rest of the team under pressure to get anything out of the game. Josh Mullin dropped back to right-back and the team responded magnificently. Adam Idah gave us a 67th minute lead when he turned in Calum Macdonald's cross. On 83 minutes they both combined again, this time Adam heading in Calum's cross. Three minutes later Ethan Hamilton made it 3-0 after good work by Adam Idah. Ethan then scored a second, this time from Michael Tidser's cross.

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BairnsNews: Congratulations. You've avoided relegation and you're all but guaranteed a place in the top half of the split with 7th placed Kilmarnock being 12 points behind you with four matches to go until the split.

Stuniverse: Our aim at the start of the season was to avoid relegation so it's very satisfying to have guaranteed that already. We're not going to rest on our laurels though, we want to finish as high up the Premiership table as we possibly can.

SP29_Motherwell_stats.thumb.png.187b7217157fa4cc8a3780295f911040.png

SP29_Motherwell_analysis.thumb.png.383791556bceaaf95ff6e446756c2f7b.png


Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 4 March 2022

STRACHAN EXPECTING TOUGH CHALLENGE

BairnsNews: Aberdeen manager Gordon Strachan said he was expecting a tough challenge against Falkirk and was full of praise for the job Bairns manager Stuniverse is doing, given their restraints.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 5th March 2022

Pre-match v Aberdeen (H) - Ladbrokes Premiership (30)

Match Preview

SP30_Aberdeen_preview.thumb.png.2892de1022f8d5e26f2a17f18071eb39.png

BairnsNews: You're six points behind Aberdeen and they have a game-in-hand. Do you need to win to stand any chance of finishing the season above them?

Stuniverse: Given that we were predicted to get relegated before the season even started, it's incredible that we're even talking about the possibility of finishing above Aberdeen. But, yes, you're right, we really do need to win to have any chance of that. It'll be incredibly hard though. Gordon Strachan has come in, to builfd on the great work Derek McInnes had already done, and Aberdeen are flying at the moment.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
TJ Eyoma (suspended)
Louis Longridge (hip)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-75)
Scott McMann (thigh-90)
Craig Sibbald (toe-90)

SP30_Aberdeen_selection.thumb.png.113279253271190fd27123d6d76591e9.png

BairnsNews: Two changes today.

Stuniverse: Yes. Josh Dacres-Cogley starts at right-back with TJ Eyoma suspended. After coming off the bench to score two late goals against Motherwell, Ethan Hamilton start in central midfield instead of Charlie Telfer.

Post-match: Falkirk (0) 2-3 (2) Aberdeen

SP30_Aberdeen_report.thumb.png.d63b324a02799fb27f1c9ad30ed11e71.png

BairnsNews: After coming back from two-down to 2-2 it must be a real kick-in-the-teeth to lose it at the death like that?

Stuniverse: Yes. We thought we'd salvaged a point so to concede late, because of a bad mistake, really hurts. Aberdeen are unrecognisable under Gordon Strachan to the team we played earlier in the season. In the first-half, we couldn't get close to them and were 2-0 down at the break. We made a couple of subs, and some tactical changes at the break, and were more competitive in the second-half. Adam Idah pulled a goal back for us after Georgie Kelly played him through on 56 minutes. Chris Kane levelled things on 65 minutes after being put through by Adam Idah. Unfortunately, Calum Macdonald lost possession late-on and that mistake led to Aberdeen's winning goal.

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BairnsNews: Kilmarnock lost 5-0 to Celtic, guaranteeing Falkirk a top-half finish. Congratulations.

Stuniverse: Thank you, but I don't feel like celebrating right now.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 12th March 2022

Pre-match v Rangers (a) - Ladbrokes Premiership (31)

Match Preview

SP31_Rangers_peview.thumb.png.0c0ddaa6e4e6bcdc900e9c1653356c04.png

BairnsNews: With Rangers top of the league and chasing the Premiership title, is this a bad time to be going to Ibrox Stadium?

Stuniverse: Is there ever a good time to go to Ibrox Stadium? Seriously, these games are why we worked so hard for two seasons to win back-to-back promotions.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Louis Longridge (hip)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-45)
Scott McMann (thigh-90)
Craig Sibbald (toe-90)
Steven Boyd (groin-90)

SP31_Rangers_selection.thumb.png.039727453fc3c2d24b47e7f66991daed.png

BairnsNews: Six changes.

Stuniverse: Yes. TJ Eyoma is back from suspension and starts at right-back instead of Josh Dacres-Cogley. Jordan Marshall comes in at left-back for Calum Macdonald. Alan Forrest comes in on the right-wing for Josh Mullin. Charlie Telfer replaces Ethan Hamilton in central midfield. Aidan Connolly plays left-wing instead of Lewis Smith. Chris Kane starts up front for Georgie Kelly.

Post-match: Rangers (2) 3-1 (1) Falkirk

SP31_Rangers_report.thumb.png.6d488deff9e10c7a6f269069caaba3e4.png

BairnsNews: How do you sum that one up?

Stuniverse: It was a tough game and it wasn't made any easier when we conceded in the first minute. Rangers ran right through us from the kick-off and scored. A minute later we thought we'd equalised but Chris Kane's goal was ruled out for offside. We were two-down after seven minutes and it was an uphill task from there, but we dug in, and Chris Kane pulled one back for us on 17 minutes. We grew in confidence after that and defended well. After the break, we thought we'd equalised when Adam Idah headed home Jordan Marshall's cross, and we couldn't believe it when that one was chalked off for offside as well. In the closing stages, as we pushed forward, we had chances to equalise, but ended up conceding a third.

SP31_Rangers_lgTab.thumb.png.ff682d508a4aed8e5d631f95c0bdb9f5.png

BairnsNews: Hibernian beat Kilmarnock 1-0 to pull within two points of you.

Stuniverse: We're still above them. We have to get this one out of our system, regroup in training, and then go again against Hearts. 

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SP31_Rangers_analysis.thumb.png.d17201d0fc4d019c69c9ef2245850530.png


Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Friday 19th March 2022

Pre-match v Heart of Midlothian (H) - Ladbrokes Premiership (32)

Match Preview

SP32_Hearts_preview.thumb.png.d08ec5a2814c74d8cbefcc611ee84dbe.png

BairnsNews: Hearts are 4th, seven points ahead of you. To stand any chance of catching them in the Championship Group you really need to win tonight. Would you agree?

Stuniverse: Yes. I would. I'm delighted we've avoided the Relegation Group, but to give ourselves the best chance possible we need to be looking to win tonight. We're at home and, whilst I'm expecting a very difficult game, I'm sure Ye Bairns fans will be cheering us on against Hearts. We want to win this one for our supporters who've been fantastic this season.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Barry Maguire (suspended)
Louis Longridge (hip)

Doubtful:
Scott McMann (thigh-90)
Craig Sibbald (toe-90)
Steven Boyd (groin-90)

SP32_Hearts_selection.thumb.png.f95b6ee16c356df495942b94cd0b9c0d.png

BairnsNews: Two changes tonight.

Stuniverse: Yes. Despite the loss to Rangers, I thought we played very well for 80 minutes. I didn't want to change too much. Anthony McDonald has recovered from his ankle injury and replaces Alan Forrest on the right-wing. Calum Macdonald returns at left-back for Jordan Marshall.

Post-match: Falkirk (0) 2-1 (0) Heart of Midlothian

SP32_Hearts_report.thumb.png.ddc3104402cb002ba39589e7641db3d5.png

BairnsNews: A good win that closes the gap between you and Hearts to four points.

Stuniverse: Yes. We needed this win badly and I'm delighted the players were able to get it for Ye Bairns fans. We played very well first-half, but couldn't score past Dimitar Evtimov, who produced some fine saves to keep us out. Within a minute of the restart, Anthony McDonald got on the end of Calum Macdonald's cross to score at the far post. Adam Idah stepped up on 53 minutes to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot. Chris Kane had a goal ruled out for offside. Hearts then pulled one back after 77 minutes. It got a bit hairy in the closing minutes but we got the job done.

SP32_Hearts_lgTab.thumb.png.922900cfbee8a05875ef18d6f0e98498.png

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 1 April 2022

MONTHLY REPORTS

Manager Performance:

2020401_manager.thumb.png.ca648e3e6f4ef856a0e4cd0d7b7c0b2e.png

Finances:

2020401_finances.thumb.png.bf2d85899da1ddb2728c908d34f51af9.png

Dynamics:

2020401_dynamics.thumb.png.966e5af21524c08ac901634273d80294.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 2nd April 2022

Pre-match v Kilmarnock (a) - Ladbrokes Premiership (33)

Match Preview

SP33_Kilmarnock_preview.thumb.png.ee3d5a26ae3518cc432a04609b374b51.png

BairnsNews: With Hibs two points behind you in 6th, you could do with beating Kilmarnock at Rugby Park.

Stuniverse: A win would be ideal, but I'm expecting a close game to be honest, with both defences on top. We drew 0-0 at Rugby Park earlier in the season and scraped a 1-0 win at Falkirk Stadium.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Louis Longridge (hip)

SP33_Kilmarnock_selection.thumb.png.9e450cca5d91b3a75c13326ece6cde01.png

BairnsNews: No changes.

Stuniverse: No. None at all. I was delighted with the desire, work rate and performance in our victory over Hearts. The same team get to go again.

Post-match: Kilmarnock (1) 2-3 (3) Falkirk

SP33_Kilmarnock_report.thumb.png.16e1926eacec14362e8e913b3bf91274.png

BairnsNews: Not the close game you were expecting?

Stuniverse: No. It was a high-scoring, competitive game. We conceded after 11 minutes. It took three minutes for Adam Idah to equalise, after TJ Eyoma put him through. Adam then gave us the lead on 23 minutes, getting on the end of Aidan Connolly's cross. Aidan made it 3-1, five minutes before half-time, when he headed home TJ's cross. After the break we were unable to add another goal which made things interesting when Killie pulled one back on 64 minutes with a shot that took two deflections on its way in. That made for a nervy end to the game, particularly as Kilmarnock had two goals disallowed for offside.

SP33_Kilmarnock_lgTab.thumb.png.824c429fbd2c550af5208db5ab99777a.png

BairnsNews: Congratulations on reaching the split in 5th place and making the Championship Group.

Stuniverse: Thank you.

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BairnsNews: With five European Qualification places up for grabs, it's all to play for with Hearts 4th on 55 points, you 5th on 54 points, and Hibs 6th on 52 points. Can you qualify for Europe?

Stuniverse: We've done incredibly well to finish 5th at the split. The players have worked tremendously hard and I'm so proud of them. It's important we don't think the job's done though as it would be a fitting reward for them to play in Europe next season. But, and there's no getting away from this, we're in the Championship Group which means all five games are going to be incredibly difficult challenges for us. The players will need to give everything they've got for five more games and hopefully we'll end the season by qualifying for Europe.

SP33_Kilmarnock_stats.thumb.png.cea9f40187d25386326d4ec10d8bef10.png

SP33_Kilmarnock_analysispng.thumb.png.8e8ff2a43953a31125935667cddd3654.png


Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 2 April 2022

FALKIRK - CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP FIXTURES

BairnsNews: Falkirk will be up against it with only two of their five Championship Group fixtures at Falkirk Stadium.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 9 April 2022

IS BAIRNS TAKEOVER SAGA FINALLY ABOUT TO END?

BairnsNews: Reports suggest that a local investor is about to make Falkirk chairman Lex Miller an offer for the club.

20200409_takeover.thumb.png.ab2bfe34e165f06b102b8e9db87a247f.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 9 April 2022

HOLT OUT OF CHAMPIONSHIP GROUP

BairnsNews: Falkirk's 29 year-old midfielder Jason Holt has torn an abdominal muscle in training and will miss the rest of the season. Holt is out of contract in the summer and may have played his last game for the Bairns.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 23rd April 2022

Pre-match v Hibernian (a) - Premiership Championship Group (1)

Match Preview

SP34_Hibs_preview.thumb.png.b01e8c85b6e0eacda65bbe044605f7bd.png

BairnsNews: You visit Easter Road in 5th place two points ahead of Hibs. A win today would be a massive boost to your chances of European Qualification.

Stuniverse: It would. And that's what we've been working towards in training. But we haven't been done any favours. In the Premiership we played two out of three games at Easter Road and now we're away to Hibs again in the Championship Group. It doesn't seem very fair to me.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Oli Shaw (ineligible)
Jason Holt (abdominal)
Louis Longridge (hip)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-75)
Calum Macdonald (jaw-90)
Lewis Smith (groin-90)

SP34_Hibs_selection.thumb.png.a57eea2866a74b3cdb53cc37f3fb5f1a.png

BairnsNews: How have you coped with a 20-day break since your last match?

Stuniverse: We gave everbody five days off as they deserved a rest. Then we went back to work in training. Unfortunately, we picked up a few injuries.

I've made three changes today. Jordan Marshall comes in at left-back for Calum Macdonald (jaw). Alan Forrest replaces Anthony McDonald (ankle) on the right-wing. Georgie Kelly starts up front in place of Chris Kane.

Post-match: Hibernian (1) 4-1 (0) Falkirk 

SP34_Hibs_report.thumb.png.2cc662828c1a2cc581e88298cd97147a.png

BairnsNews: What went wrong out there?

Stuniverse: We were second best all game. Hibs wanted it more than us and they were better than us. That said, we thought we were going to make it to the break goalless until Daryl Horgan went on a mazy run in the 41st minute, we couldn't stop him, and he gave Hibs the lead. We changed things around at half-time, going 4-2-1-3, but less than three minutes after the restart Lawrence Shankland made it 2-0. Shankland then headed a third on 54 minutes and completed his hat-trick on 57. Adam Idah pulled one back for us in the 62nd minute, after good work by Calum Macdonald, but it was no more than a consolation. I'm not happy with our performance today and the players know that, I made it crystal clear to them.

SP34_Hibs_lgTab.thumb.png.050866ad8888eaf1929a0d8566892a95.png

BairnsNews: The defeat drops you down to 6th and out of the European Qualification places.

Stuniverse: It's still very close between Hearts, Hibs and us; and we remain in the conversation. We have four games left to play and we'll endeavour to pick up as many points as we can.

SP34_Hibs_stats.thumb.png.1f8b0a6bc84a42913be154998430e5cf.png

SP34_Hibs_analysis.thumb.png.f195822625dbdf6638087c475f633721.png


Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 28 April 2022

BAIRNS BOARD IMPOSE TRANSFER EMBARGO

BairnsNews: The Falkirk Board have imposed a transfer embargo as owner Lex Miller has entered into takeover talks with local investor Grant Marr.

20220428_takeover_embargo.thumb.png.3b5af9720d972d2a256237eb8c4031bc.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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4 hours ago, JaytheGreat said:

@Stuniverse Any chance manager Stuniverse would like to do a sit down interview with Jack WIlson after the season is over?

That would be great, Mr. Wilson ( @JaytheGreat ). Thank you.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 30th April 2022

Pre-match v Rangers (H) - Premiership Championship Group (2)

Match Preview

SP35_Rangers_preview.thumb.png.566e6d20b87ae266e81f5ee6630c9584.png

BairnsNews: Rangers are top of the Premiership and chasing the title. How do you approach this one?

Stuniverse: We're at home, and that's a bonus in front of our own Ye Bairns fans, but Rangers have 30 points on us and that tells you all you need to know about the enormity of the challenge we face today.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Jason Holt (abdominal)
Jahmal Hector-Ingram (hamstring)
Cammy Bell (thigh)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-45)
Louis Longridge (hip-90)
Georgie Kelly (groin-90)
Lewis Smith (groin-90)

SP35_Rangers_selection.thumb.png.31c9b9c1a8b52ecfaf291447b80738d6.png

BairnsNews: Three changes today.

Stuniverse: Yes, that's right. Calum Macdonald returns at left-back for Jordan Marshall. Josh Mullin comes in on the right-wing for Alan Forrest. Chris Kane starts up front ahead of Georgie Kelly (groin).

Post-match: Falkirk (0) 0-1 (0) Rangers

SP35_Rangers_report.thumb.png.9a473cb67f641e0f8366e9597e58c65b.png

BairnsNews: Commiserations. That's about as unlucky as it gets.

Stuniverse: Yes. we decided to tighten things up and adopt a more Cautious style. It worked really well in the first-half, we defended manfully, and restricted Rangers to just one shot before the break, whilst carving out a couple of good chances ourselves. In the second-half, it was more even but we still defended well. So much so that it needed a moment of sheer brilliance from James Tavernier to break the deadlock on 64 minutes. We made some subs then, went more Attacking, and caused them problems. Unfortunately, we finished the game a man short after Ethan Hamilton's injury after we'd made three substitutions.

SP35_Rangers_inj.thumb.png.a4f5a9be1ecb93cf7eebc7cc79f44d1b.png

BairnsNews: How is Hamilton?

Stuniverse: At this stage it looks like ankle ligament damage so I don't think we'll see Ethan again this season.

SP35_Rangers_lgTab.thumb.png.58b34db4d0665fc9efae1b1583ac4b50.png

BairnsNews: Hearts drew 0-0 at home to Aberdeen and Hibs lost 2-1 at Celtic. Overall, it could have been a lot worse.

Stuniverse: We're two points behind Hearts, which very nicely sets up our visit to Tynecastle Park for our game against them next weekend.

SP35_Rangers_stats.thumb.png.23e3bdba5107e3e0ded851f030970266.png

SP35_Rangers_analysis.thumb.png.3a850d588816767480c81a660b5fef51.png


Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 2 May 2022

SIBBALD EXTENDS BAIRNS STAY

BairnsNews: Falkirk's 26 year-old midfielder Craig Sibbald has signed a new contract until the summer of 2024.

20220501_Sibbald1.thumb.png.eb56c0e1dcce5b8e8393e890bd4af935.png

20220501_Sibbald2.thumb.png.a4f8bffa3d95d615b8037d81636c24a3.png

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Saturday 7th May 2022

Pre-match v Heart of Midlothian (a) - Premiership Championship Group (3)

Match Preview

SP36_Hearts_preview.thumb.png.0cea2497b884ff1b210b6bb6cf4df2d8.png

BairnsNews: You visit Tynecastle Park in 6th place, two points behind Hearts. An away win would put you in a great position to qualify for Europe. Can you do it?

Stuniverse: Well we lost 4-2 the last time we came to Tynecastle Park so we need to perform much better than we did then.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Jason Holt (abdominal)
Ethan Hamilton (ankle)
Jahmal Hector-Ingram (hamstring)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-45)
Cammy Bell (thigh-90)
Louis Longridge (hip-90)
Georgie Kelly (groin-90)

SP36_Hearts_selection.thumb.png.5adcb05320060c3bcd4b315054dc602b.png

BairnsNews: Just the one change today.

Stuniverse: That's right. Lewis Smith (groin) returns on the left-wing for Aidan Connolly.

Post-match: Heart of Midlothian (0) 2-1 (0) Falkirk

SP36_Hearts_report.thumb.png.1d1b9d7e40879d7cacb24c2fc245a606.png

BairnsNews: You got yourself into a winning position late on and then-

Stuniverse: We blew it.

BairnsNews: Well yeah. What happened?

Stuniverse: I think you have to give credit to Hearts for keeping going but we didn't make the right decisions after we took the lead. Georgie Kelly gave us a 79th minute lead after Adam Idah ran half the length of the pitch, before squaring the ball for Georgie to finish in style. We then went Cautious, as we started the game, but went more Attacking in the second-half. We lost concentration and Hearts equalised on 87 minutes. At this point we knew Hibs were winning at Aberdeen and that we needed to win as well, so we pushed forward, went Very Attacking, and got sucker-punched with a classic counter-attacking goal.

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BairnsNews: With Hibs winning as well you're four points adrift of European Qualification, with two games to play. 

Stuniverse: Yes. It's not ideal, and our last game is away at Celtic Park. The odds are against us now but we're going to keep trying. We have two massive games and, as we often see in football, you just never know...

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Wednesday 11th May 2022

Pre-match v Aberdeen (H) - Premiership Championship Group (4)

Match Preview

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BairnsNews: You've lost all three of your Championship Group matches so far, can you get a win at home to Aberdeen today?

Stuniverse: It's our final home game of the season and we're determined to give Ye Bairns fans something to cheer about. Against Aberdeen this season, we've won one, drawn one and lost one, so we have a chance. We need to believe in ourselves, work hard, and perform to the levels we know we're capable of.

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Jason Holt (abdominal)
Ethan Hamilton (ankle)
Jahmal Hector-Ingram (hamstring)

Doubtful:
Anthony McDonald (ankle-45)
Cammy Bell (thigh-90)
Louis Longridge (hip-90)
Georgie Kelly (groin-90)

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BairnsNews: Three changes today.

Stuniverse: That's correct. Josh Dacres-Cogley comes in at right-back for TJ Eyoma. Craig Sibbald returns to central midfield in place of Charlie Telfer. Georgie Kelly starts up front for Chris Kane.

Post-match: Falkirk (1) 2-1 (0) Aberdeen

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BairnsNews: You fought hard tonight and deserved that win. Congratulations.

Stuniverse: Thank you. We knew if we failed to win tonight then our season was over. Aberdeen are a very good team under Gordon Strachan's leadership but I thought we more than matched them tonight and outplayed them at times. Michael Tidser won a header on the halfway line, from their goal kick, and Adam Idah ran through to give us a 35th minute lead. We fell victim to a classic lapse in concentration on the hour; a long goal-kick put Lewis Ferguson clear through and he equalised. We didn't give up though, kept fighting for it, and we got our reward when Adam Idah restored our lead on 71 minutes when he headed home Michael Tidser's free-kick.

Ye Bairns fans have been unbelievable all season with their backing and unwavouring support. I'm delighted we were able to win for them in our final home game of the season.

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BairnsNews: With Hearts losing 4-0 to Celtic, and Hibs losing 3-0 to Rangers, you can still qualify for Europe. Would you have taken that at the start of the season?

Stuniverse: Of course. I would've snapped your hand off. But we're 6th which means it's out-of-our-own-hands, and we're away to Celtic, which makes us massive underdogs.

BairnsNews: But you never know in football.

Stuniverse: Whatever happens on Saturday, my players have run themselves into the ground this season, have done amazingly well to guarantee a 6th placed finish, and Europe, or no Europe, the players can be justifiably proud of what they've achieved this season.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 14 May 2022

CELTIC STRONG FAVOURITES

BairnsNews: Celtic go into tomorrow's Premiership Championship Group decider as strong favourites against Falkirk.

It's all to play for though. Celtic are two points clear at the top of the Premiership and, with a far superior goal difference, realistically only need a draw to clinch the Premiership title, although Celtic will want to win the league tittle with a victory.

Currently out of the European Qualification spots, Falkirk are a point behind Hibs and two points behind Hearts. With a superior goal difference, if Falkirk can avoid defeat at Celtic Park, and other results go there way, Ye Bairns could still qualify for Europe.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 15 May 2022

STUNIVERSE LINKED WITH EINTRACHT FRANKFURT JOB

NewsBairns: Falkirk manager Stuniverse is rumoured to have applied for the vacant Eintracht Frankfurt manager's job, despite Stuniverse himself neither confirming nor denying the rumours.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: Sunday 15th May 2022

Pre-match v Celtic (a) - Premiership Championship Group (5)

Match Preview

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BairnsNews: Ahead of your final game of the season at Celtic Park, you can still qualify for Europe with a positive result, if other results go your way. How confident are you?

Stuniverse: We'll give it our best shot but let's not forget Celtic have 35 more points than us and have already beaten us three times this season.

BairnsNews: With Rangers two points behind Celtic, Lennon's team need a result to clinch the Premiership Title, does that work for or against you?

Stuniverse: It means Celtic will be far more motivated than if they'd already clinched the title, but it also means all the pressure is on them.  

Team Selection

Unavailable:
Jason Holt (abdominal)

Doubtful:
Jahmal Hector-Ingram (hamstring-45)
Ethan Hamilton (ankle-60)
Cammy Bell (thigh-90)
Georgie Kelly (groin-90)

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BairnsNews: Just the one change.

Stuniverse: Yes. Steven Boyd comes in for Georgie Kelly.

Post-match: Celtic (5) 5-2 (0) Falkirk

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BairnsNews: It was always going to be an uphill task today but at least you won the second-half.

Stuniverse: Look, Celtic are worthy Champions of the Premiership. They're the best team in Scotland and have been for a long time now. Congratulations to them. Rangers took it to the last game of the season and deserve credit for that. The gulf between Celtic and Rangers and the rest of the Premiership is vast.

We decided to set-up to frustrate and contain Celtic but they were just too good, we couldn't contain them. Calum Macdonald gave away a 17th minute penalty and Celtic scored. Celtic then scored again two minutes later. It was 3-0 soon after and I think a long, hard season caught up with us then. It was 5-0 by the break.

We gave the players something of a wake-up call at half-time and we performed much better in the second-half. Too little, too late, but Adam Idah got on the end of Tom Grivosti's ball over the top to score a 72nd minute consolation goal for us. On 82 minutes, Aidan Connolly pulled another one back when he headed in Jordan Marshall's cross. 

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BairnsNews: The media predicted you'd finish 11th in the relegation playoff spot and you've finished 6th, two points off a European Qualification place. You've had an amazing season. Congratulations.

Stuniverse: Thank you. It's my players, though, not me, that deserve the congratulations. I'm so proud of how hard they've worked this season. It's a pleasure to work with them every day.

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BairnsNews: Any news on the takeover talks?

Stuniverse: No. I know nothing other than we're still transfer embargoed so I assume talks remain ongoing. There's players out-of-contract in the summer I'd like to offer deals to and I can't.

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Please LIKE if you enjoyed this update and FOLLOW the thread so you don't miss future updates.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 15 May 2022

FALKIRK 2021/22 SEASON REVIEW

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 15 May 2022

BAIRNS BOARD DELIGHTED

BairnsNews: The Falkirk Board are delighted with finishing 6th in the Premiership. The Board may not be in charge much longer as takeover talks continue.

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Game date: 16th May 2022

FALKIRK END OF SEASON AWARDS

BairnsNews: Falkirk captain Michael Tidser was voted Bairns Player of the Season with Adam Idah winning the Young Player of the Season award.

The players are now on holiday and are due to report back for pre-season training on Monday 13th June 2022.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 16 May 2022

BAIRNS BOARD SET INITIAL BUDGETS

BairnsNews understand from an unnamed source at the club that the Falkirk Board have set the initial budgets for next season. Manager Stuniverse will have a wage budget of £68,000 (increased from £50,323) and a transfer budget of £1,790,000 (increased from £65,874) to play with.

Our source concluded by saying that Stuniverse was very pleasantly surprised as he'd expected there to be no increase in budget at all with owner Lex Miller looking to sell the club. Miller remains in takeover talks to sell the club and the Board imposed transfer embargo is still in place.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: May 2022

PREMIERSHIP LINE-UP CONFIRMED

BairnsNews: Falkirk now know who they will face in next season's Premiership.

St Johnstone finished bottom of the Premiership and will be replaced by the Championship Title winners Dundee United.

Hamilton Academical finished 11th in the Premiership and avoided relegation by defeating St Mirren 6-3 on aggregate in the Relegation Playoff.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 16 May 2022

TAKEOVER DEAD IN THE WATER

BairnsNews: According to Sky Sports NewsGrant Marr's proposed takeover of Falkirk FC is on the verge of collapse as owner Lex Miller and Marr are some distance apart in their views of the club.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Incredible season. 
Even more impressive considering yet more failed takeovers and embargo’s,

Fair play though, I would of got frustrated with all of those and walked away a long time ago! 

 

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2 hours ago, Mrlee.1986 said:

Incredible season. 

Thank you, @Mrlee.1986. I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect it to go this well, I thought we’d be fighting with Hamilton, Livingston, Ross County and St Johnstone to stay up, not competing with Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian for a place in Europe.

2 hours ago, Mrlee.1986 said:

Even more impressive considering yet more failed takeovers and embargo’s,

Fair play though, I would of got frustrated with all of those and walked away a long time ago! 

“Frustrated” is a very good word for it. One or two failed takeovers, yeah, but seven or eight? I’ve lost count now. And losing out on transfers I’m about to confirm when the owner places the club under embargo and blocks the transfer is very annoying. Believe me, I’ve thought about walking away.

I’ve played FM for many years now, been involved in numerous takeovers in different versions, and I’ve never known a takeover saga drag out for this long without a sale going through.

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 23 May 2022

AWARDS GALORE FOR IDAH

BairnsNews: Falkirk's 21 year-old striker Adam Idah finished the season as the Premiership's top goalscorer, as well as being voted both players and football writers Young Player of the Year, and was also one of four non-Celtic players voted into the Premiership Team of the Year. Idah is on loan from Norwich City until the summer of 2023.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Hello loyal readers of the Falkirk Harold I am Jack Wilson and today I've got a special treat for you all. Today we have a sit down interview with popular Falkirk manager @Stuniverse!  

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The manager over the past 3 seasons have won promotion 2 times and made pundits look foolish in the Ladbrokes Premier league by finishing in the top half. He's fan favorite at the club and he was gracious enough to answer some of our questions. 

 

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JW: Hello Mr. Stuniverse how are you on this fine Scottish morning?

Stuniverse: I'm doing great Jack, I've heard you've got some questions for me?

JW: Indeed I do, lets get started then. 1st question, what are your thoughts on the season that just ended?

Stuniverse: Overall, I’m delighted with our first season back in the Premiership. I honestly expected us to be battling with Hamilton, Livingston, Ross County and St Johnstone to avoid relegation, not competing with Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibs for a place in Europe.

Our expectations started changing after the first round of 11 games when only Celtic beat us. That was a real confidence boost for us but, the other teams learnt about us and the next 22 games, plus the five Championship Group games were much more of a challenge.

Losing 2-1 to Hamilton during the run-in cost us. We’d beat them 7-1 when they were managerless and then Alex Neil took over a team cast adrift with five points from 18 games and kept them up. That was a very impressive performance and they were unrecognizable that day from the team we’d beaten twice earlier in the season.

Towards the end, my players looked tired and lethargic and I think the long, hard season just caught up with us by the end.

JW : Is there some bad blood between you and Neil Lennon/Celtic? And if there is can you explain what all started it?

Stuniverse: Let’s just say I’m not Neil’s biggest fan shall we. It started in my first season here, when we were in League One and played them in one of the Cups. I just found his attitude unnecessarily arrogant and patronizing. It continued this season when he said the only reason we were doing so well was because the other teams were underestimating us. Then in one of the games, he refused to shake my hand after the game, even though he denies that.

To be fair though, he was more gracious in the final game of the season when his Celtic team stuffed us and they were crowned Premiership Champions.

JW: Seems to me your inside his head when the two of you come head to head. After back to back promotions, what did you think of the Premiership?

Stuniverse: There was a noticeable step-up  in terms of quality. Not just with Celtic and Rangers, who were on another level again, but all the teams.

The strikers were sharper, quicker, and more clinical. Defensively the teams were much better and, if they decided to defend deep in numbers, very difficult to break down. Basically a bad mistake got punished.

But I didn't like the structure. Regular season we played 33 games, 16 at home and 17 away. How is that in balance fair? Some teams we played two home and once away, others only one at home and two away. That's not fair either. What's wrong with playing each other four times?

Then when we split, I assumed we'd play everyone in the Championship Group either home or away to even it up at two each. But no, we played Aberdeen three times at home, once away. Hibernian, our main rivals, we played only once at home, three times away. How is that fair?

More importantly, overall we played 18 home games and 20 away games. How is that fair?

I just don't get it at all.

JW: You'd think it would be split 19/19 maybe it was a rogue schedule maker? Next question can any team in the foreseeable future contend with Celtic and Rangers for the League? 

Stuniverse: Both Celtic and Rangers finished over 30 points clear of 3rd place so I think it’s going to be very difficult for any of us to bridge that gap in the short-term. 

It’s not all about finances, but money certainly helps. The crowds they get, the commercial revenue they generate, the prize money they receive from the European Champions Cup, the wage and transfer budgets they have, they can sign players the rest of us can only dream of. So we need to go about it a different way.

Can we compete against them in individual games? Yes, of course. Can we compete over a full season with Celtic and Rangers? That’s a much bigger ask.

JW: Now there have been numerous failed takeovers and each of them have been well documented, what are your thoughts on these failed takeovers?

Stuniverse: I don’t know too much about them to be honest. The owner, Lex Miller, keeps his cards very close to his chest and I’ve hardly seen him this season. How many potential takeovers have their been? Seven? Eight? Nine? Something in that region and they keep breaking down. Why is that? I’m not sure, but Lex is the consistent link in all of those.

It’s incredibly frustrating and makes it almost impossible to do my job at times. Lex blocked four transfers this summer when imposing an embargo. Fortunately the talks collapsed two days later and I was able to rescue three of the four deals.

It’s also impossible to plan for medium- to long-term success because Lex will never plan beyond the season we’re playing. I talk to other managers and their clubs have five-year plans. Falkirk have a one-year plan and that’s all down to Lex.

If he’s going to sell, he needs to get on with it and sell.

JW: That was to be frustrating, rumors were swirling last summer about you possible leaving for England specifically Charlton and Sunderland, how close were you to actually leaving?

Stuniverse: If I’m being honest. Very close. I was very frustrated and annoyed with the Board in the summer. The embargo, nearly hijacked our efforts in the summer transfer window when everybody knew we needed to strengthen. The measly increase in wage budget and transfer budget was unexpected and I was exploring my options.

Charlton approached me through my agent. I attended the interview and liked what I heard. They must have liked me to because they offered me the job. I asked for a week’s delay to think it over. I nearly went. I nearly joined Charlton. But by then we were signing players, I could see how our squad were shaping up, and a large part of me wanted to work with this fantastic group of players in the Premiership. So I declined the Charlton job.

Sunderland approached me during the week I was considering the Charlton job offer. No disrespect to Charlton, but the Sunderland job appealed more. A bigger club, a bigger fan base, a better chance of making it out of League One into the Premier League.

I attended the Sunderland interview but they had no money. They actually asked me about could I manage a club with limited finances. They had challenging targets and no money to back the manager up. I decided immediately after the interview that I wouldn’t take the job but they never offered it me in any case.

Leeds also approached me but, by then, the players were reporting back for pre-season, I was excited about the way the squad was shaping up, and I decided to go back to work at Falkirk and see what the season had in store. The media predicted we’d finish 11th. The players were incredible, they gave me everything they had and then some, and we smashed it, finishing 6th.

JW: Your also a wanted manager this summer as well, your thoughts on being linked to Frankfurt, and possible coaching in Germany?

Stuniverse: I have to be careful what I say here as I'm under contract to Falkirk but if the opportunity arose to manage in other countries then it's something I would consider. Not too many English managers manage outside of the UK so it would be an interesting challenge, particularly as I can only speak English.

JW: Ideally what would it take to get you to leave Falkirk?

Stuniverse: Again I have to be careful what I say but it would be easier to say in the current climate of ownership uncertainty what it would take for me to stay. The owner, Lex Miller, needs to decide what he's doing and either sell or take the club off the market so that we can plan for future success for more than one season at a time.

Lex's track record on takeover talks is that the deals don't materialize so my agent is looking at options - I can't be specific, but there is some interest from Belgium, France, Germany and here in Scotland at the moment.

I need to make it clear that I've enjoyed my three seasons at Falkirk so far. We love the place, we've settled well, the locals have made us very welcome, Ye Bairns fans have been incredible.

Transfer embargoes made it very difficult to do my job in the last two transfer windows and we're embargoed again approaching another transfer window.

At the end of the day, I need to do what I consider is best for my career and if I think I've taken Falkirk as far as I can then it'll be time to move on.

JW: What area's are you looking to strengthen during the summer window?

Stuniverse: Well, at the moment, I can't strengthen any area as my owner has imposed a transfer embargo.

Fortunately, most of my squad are contracted to at least the summer of 2023 and we've already extended Adam Idah's loan to the end of next season.

I don't have any specific positions in mind as we have quantity in the squad that can compete in the Premiership  What we need to add is quality to help us close the gap to other teams.

Identifying players isn't a problem but, as we've found this season, finding quality players we can afford and who want to join us has proven problematic.

JW: Was this season a fluke or do you consider to be fighting for European Competition next season?

Stuniverse: We had a team meeting before the players went on holiday and they think we should aim to avoid relegation next season.

Personally, I think we should be aiming for the Championship Group again, challenging for Europe.

But it won't be easy. Kilmarnock and Motherwell underperformed for me and I expect them to be stronger next season.

We have the second lowest commercial income in the Premiership and the third lowest Stadium Capacity.

That's the reality of the challenge we face trying to be competitive.

JW: Last question, are your tactics inspired off any manager? And if you could manager a game against any other manager in the world who would it be?

Stuniverse: No, my tactics develop based on the players I have and what I think allows me to get the most out of my best players.

At Falkirk, it was more a case of stumbling on the 4-4-2 formation as I thought we had better central midfielders than wingers. But early results were inconsistent with a narrow formation and the wingers did well as subs coming on when we were chasing games. Eventually I started wingers and our consistency improved.

As for who I'd like to manage against... as a lifetime Derby County fan, it has to be the late, great Brian Clough.

JW: Well that's all the questions I have for you Mr. Stuniverse, thank you for stopping by.

Stuniverse: No problem Jack thanks for having me. 

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Thank you, Jack Wilson. Nice job. It was fun, happy to chat again sometime. Just remember it’s milk, one sugar for next time

Tagged: @JaytheGreat

Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 22 May 2022

FALKIRK UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP

BairnsNews: The neverending saga regarding the sale of Falkirk Football Club is over after local investor Grant Marr completed a takeover of the Bairns. Former owner Lex Miller and his Board members have now all left the football club and Marr has installed a new Board.

As far as we're aware, Marr wants manager Stuniverse to remain in charge of football matters at the club. Speculation surrounds Stuniverse's future after he openly admitted to Jack Wilson of the Falkirk Harold (see above) that he would leave Falkirk if he felt he had taken the Bairns as far as he could and that there was interest from Belguim, France, Gemany and also Scotland in his services.

Ye Bairns fans wanting Stuniverse to stay may take comfort from the fact that Stuniverse said that he was more likely to stay at Falkirk if Miller sold the club. That takeover has now been completed with Grant Marr the new owner.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 22 May 2022

STUNIVERSE FAVOURITE FOR HIBS JOB

BairnsNews understand that Falkirk manager Stunverse is favourite to become the next Hibs manager after the Edinburgh based club sacked Jack Ross yesterday.

Stuniverse recently told Jack Wilson of the Falkirk Harold (see above) that there was interest in his services in Belguim, France, Germany and Scotland and after some investigative journalism BairnsNews believe Stuniverse is in the running for manager jobs at Hibs, Eintracht Frankfurt, Standard Liege and FC Toulouse. Stuniverse told the Falkirk Harold that he would be more likely to stay at Falkirk if former owner Jack Wilson sold the club. 

Falkirk FC is now under new ownership. It's unlikely that new owner Grant Marr and his Board will be too happy with their manager eyeing up other jobs.

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Game date: 25 May 2022

FALKIRK BOARD DISAPPOINTED WITH STUNIVERSE

BairnsNews: New Falkirk owner Grant Marr and his new Board are disappointed with their manager Stuniverse after he confirmed interest in speaking to Hibs about their managerial vacancy. Hibs finished one place above Falkirk in the Premiershp last season, pipping the Bairns to the final European Qualification place.

Stuniverse is understood to be looking forward to speaking with Marr and the new Board but it's unsure whether he'll receive a positive or negative reception.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 25 May 2022

NINE BAIRNS PLAYERS SET TO LEAVE

BairnsNews: Falkirk look set to release five players when their contracts expire at the end of this month. Four loan players will also return to their parent clubs.

Falkirk will also have a nervous wait this transfer window as they hope 22 year-old defender TJ Eyoma stays at the club - Eyoma has a £150,000 release clause in his contract for foreign clubs.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 25 May 2022

HIBS FANS CONSIDER STUNIVERSE LEADING CANDIDATE

BairnsNews: Hibs supporters consider Falkirk manager Stuniverse a leading candidate for the managerial vacancy at Easter Road according to social media polls. Stuniverse remains favourite with the bookmakers at 10-11. Should Stuniverse leave, Falkirk would be due a compensation package and this may prove a stumbling block.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 30 May 2022

BELL HANGS UP HIS GLOVES

BairnsNews: Falkirk's 36 year-old goalkeeper Cammy Bell has retired as a player and is now looking for a job as a Goalkeeping Coach.

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Game date: 31 May 2022

BOYD EXTENDS BAIRNS CONTRACT

BairnsNews: Falkirk's 25 year-old attacker Steven Boyd has put pen to paper on a one-year contract extension to the summer of 2023, with the club holding an option for a further year.

Boyd was Falkirk's top goal scorer and player of the season in the Championship in 2020/21 and was also named Championship player of the year. Unfortunately, Boyd picked up an injury in pre-season last summer, allowing Adam Idah, Georgie Kelly and Chris Kane to overtake him in the pecking order and Boyd ended up making only five Premiership appearances and two Betfred Cup appearances in 2021/22.

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Game date: 31 May 2022

BAIRNS RELEASE THREE

BairnsNews: Falkirk have released three players after their contracts expired today. Jason HoltAidan Connolly and Lewis Allan are now free agents and will be looking for new clubs.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 2 June 2022

MONTHLY REPORTS

Manager Performance:

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Finances:

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Loan Repayments:

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Dynamics:

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 3 June 2022

STUNIVERSE ON BLACKBURN SHORTLIST

BairnsNews are hearing rumours on the grapevine that Falkirk manager Stuniverse has been approached by Blackburn Rovers and has attended an interview about the managerial vacancy at Ewood Park.

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Game date: 10 June 2022

STUNIVERSE WANTS HIBS JOB

BairnsNews: According to Sky Sports News, Falkirk manager Stuniverse has publicly declared his interest in becoming the next Hibs manager. We understand that Stuniverse, who up until now has kept a poker face and tight lips over the Hibs managerial vacancy, is becoming increasingly impatient as he's had no response from Hibs since submitting his job application on 22 May 2022.

Stuniverse, his backroom staff, and the players are due back for pre-season training in three days time on Monday 13th June 2022.

Speculation is growing that Blackburn Rovers were impressed by Stuniverse's interview and have already offered him the job as manager at Ewood Park but Stuniverse has requested time to think about it as Hibs is his preferred destination. 

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 13 June 2022

STUNIVERSE QUITS FALKIRK

BairnsNews: On the day Falkirk's players, manager, and backroom staff reported back for pre-season training, the shock news is that manager Stuniverse has resigned after three successful seasons as manager of the Bairns. 

Stuniverse has been unsettled at the Falkirk Stadium since last summer due to the uncertainty surrounding the ownership of the club and the new owner Grant Marr and his Board were hoping Stuniverse would stay after the recent takeover. That clearly isn't the case. We understand Stuniverse had a long, very long meeting with Marr this morning and we can only assume Stuniverse was unhappy with how discussions went as the meeting ended with Stuniverse quitting his post.

Stuniverse's assistant manager Jari Litmanen, and two coaches Lee Miller and David McCracken, have also resigned their positions and left Falkrk Stadium.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 15 June 2022

STUNIVERSE SAD TO LEAVE FALKIRK

FourFourTwo's journalist Iwan Roberts spoke to former Falkirk manager Stuniverse today.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 16 June 2022

BLACKBURN APPOINT EL MAESTRO

BairnsNews: English Championship side Blackburn Rovers have appointed Nestor El Maestro as their new manager.

Former Falkirk manager Stuniverse attended an interview at Ewood Park and was believed to have been offered the job at one stage, but he won't be the new Blackburn manager.

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Game date: 20 June 2022

STUNIVERSE ON EUROPEAN TOUR

BairnsNews: Former Falkirk manager Stuniverse has been to Belguim, France and Germany in pursuit of his next job. Reports suggest Stuniverse has attended interviews with Standard Liege (Belgian Pro League A), Borussia Monchengladbach (Bundesliga), Nancy (Ligue 1 Conforma) and Toulouse (Domino's League 2).

Whether or not Stuniverse has any chance of landing any of these managerial jobs remains to be seen.

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Edited by Stuniverse

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Game date: 24 June 2022

FALKIRK APPOINT RICE

BairnsNews: Falkirk have moved quickly to appoint Brian Rice as manager after Stuniverse's resignation.

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