Jun 8 2012 by Donald Morton, Stirling Observer Friday
THE opening fixtures of Euro 2012 kick off tonight (Friday) only five weeks after Stirling Albion’s Second Division season ended at Albion Rovers.
While Binos’ fans might be salivating over the efforts of Europe’s best over the next month, they’ll be keeping a close eye on Forthbank as the Albion prepare for life in the Third Division.
It’s a bit of a phoney war at Forthbank just now – players don’t return to training until Tuesday, June 19 and this week boss Greig McDonald and his coaches Shaun Fagan and Marc McCulloch are in Largs undergoing their UEFA B Licence course – so it’s a quiet period for the club.
But off the field, moves have been made to bring a striker to the club which will added to the 20 players who have already agreed terms.
“I don’t want to name names at the moment but we’re confident he will come to Forthbank,” said the club’s operations director Stuart Brown.
The club’s ground-naming deal with DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro has now ended with the name reverting to its original “Forthbank” title.
The sponsorship deal was originally for a one-year period only but both parties agreed to a year’s extension. But the outcome of recent discussions between the club and general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro, Robert Glashan, was a mutual agreement that it was time to change direction.
Stuart Brown said: “We enjoy a fantastic relationship with Robert and his staff could not have been more helpful.
“Our two flagship events – the Billy Bremner Memorial and Annfield Revisited Dinners – were superbly handled by the hotel and very successful for the club.
“Both parties are in full agreement that it was the right time to move on and I would like to thank everyone at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dunblane Hydro for the support and friendship extended to SAFC over the past couple of years.”
Robert Glashan said: “We would like to extend sincere thanks for all the hard work and effort that both parties have shown in the last two years and wish Stirling Albion Football Club a successful and prosperous future.
“It has been great working with everyone at the club and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their professionalism, friendship, drive and enthusiasm. Hopefully, we may have the opportunity to work together again in years to come.”
The club is gearing up for the new season with the news that they will prepare for the Third Division with a trip up north to play two pre- season friendly matches against Highland League opposition.
First up is a meeting with Strathspey Thistle in Grantown-on-Spey on Friday, July 20, kick-off 7.45pm, with a game the following day against Brora Rangers at Dudgeon Park.
It’s a route taken back in 2003 under Allan Moore when they travelled to Buckie and Keith, winning both games.
And the Binos will be hoping it’s a lucky omen - they were promoted at the end of the 2003-04 season.
There are sure to be a number of fans heading up to the Highlands and to get them in the mood, the club is reminding them that season tickets are still on sale at the Forthbank office.
Prices are as follows: Adults £150; Seniors (aged 65 and over) £100; Students (with valid ID) £100; Children U17 £30.