Jun 22 2011 by David Ogilvie, Stirling Observer Wednesday
stirling albion teaser
STIRLING Albion will begin their Second Division campaign at home to East Fife on Saturday, August 6.
They will be seeking their first league win on day one since thrashing Arbroath 5-2 in 2004/05.
Jocky Scott's side face a stiff test against John Robertson's Methil men, who only just missed out on the play-offs last term and will be keen to go one better this time round.
Stirling's second game is away to Dumbarton before promoted Albion Rovers come to town on August 20. Albion end the month with a trip to Third Division champions Arbroath before back-to-back home fixtures against local rivals Stenhousemuir and Forfar.
Other highlights of the schedule, which was released on Friday, include a Boxing Day game at Arbroath and a home match with Stenhousemuir on January 2. The season ends against Paul Martin's Albion Rovers at Cliftonhill on May 5.
There are no midweek fixtures to contend with and the SFL have handed the Binos a very balanced fixture list. With the exception of a double home against Stenhousemuir and Forfar in September and a double away against Cowdenbeath and East Fife in October, all of Stirling's matches follow the home/away pattern favoured by the club and fans alike.
The international weekends of September 3 and October 8 have been left clear of league fixtures, although Albion could be involved in the Ramsdens Cup on those dates if they progress beyond the early rounds (a trip to Deveronvale is first up on July 23).
Scott's men, who face Division Two rivals Airdrie United on the New Broomfield plastic pitch in the first round of the Scottish Communities League Cup on July 30, enter the Scottish Cup at the third-round stage on November 19.
Albion have a poor record in their opening league game over the past few years, although they at least avoided defeat in 0-0 draws against Stenhousemuir and Morton in 2009 and 2010, and Scott is glad to have home advantage as he aims to get off to a positive start following relegation.
The former Dundee manager said: "It's always good to have a home game to start with but it's too early to be making judgments on opponents or ourselves given that squads are still taking shape.
“East Fife probably haven't lost as many players as we have so you might say that is an advantage but we need to wait and see how things are nearer the time."
Scott has so far added Falkirk striker Lewis Bonar and Livingston right-back Devon Jacobs to his squad but it is all quiet on the transfer front at the moment.
"Not a lot has changed since we started training last week," said the Albion gaffer. "The 11 players we invited from the trial matches at the beginning of the month have shown up well so far and will stay with us for a while yet. I want to give them the best possible chance to show what we can do. Another 17 players expressed an interest so it's likely we will have another trial game soon.
"The squad have been working hard in training. It's mainly fitness stuff at the moment and I would like to thank Stirling County Cricket Club, who have provided us with somewhere suitable to train. Our own park is undergoing maintenance and the pitches at Kings Park are being refurbished - it's harder than you might think to find a big area with lots of grass."
Albion's first friendly is away to Highland League Cove Rangers on Saturday, July 9. Plans for another game in the Aberdeen area on the Sunday have been shelved but Jocky Scott's squad will stay in the Granite City before the Cove clash at Allan Park.
Utility player John Kane, who was released by Stirling at the end of the season, has rejoined Third Division Stranraer, where he links up with another ex-Bino in Chris Aitken. Kane, who has also turned out for Partick Thistle and had a spell in the United States, was supporters’ player of the year two seasons running at Stair Park but struggled to hold down a regular place with Stirling.
The Stirling Albion Supporters Trust AGM takes place on Sunday at the Doubletree Dunblane Stadium, starting at 6pm.
A trust spokesman said: "We are looking to bring in board members who are prepared to fill positions which will firstly assist in the running of the trust and in turn assist the club to financially flourish.”