View From The Dugout
In this section you can read all about what the manager has to say on team matters.
Sat 26th Aug
Arbroath 1 - 2 Brechin Vics
Last weekend we visited our Angus neighbours Arbroath Vics, they had won all 3 league games and had been going well so we knew it was going to be a difficult challenge.
We were without 6 players but as a club we are used to that and we looked at the youth to bolster our squad but again it was also merited. I asked the guys to stick to a game plan which we had worked on during training that week, I felt if we could expose weaknesses but remain strong and concentrated ourselves chances would present themselves.
The first half I felt we dominated in terms of chances created and the shape we had. Arbroath always had a physical and height advantage over us but we stuck to our tasks and defended first and second balls as a team and denied them any real chances.
We took the lead through Bruce Hearn a new signing at the start of the season just turned 18 and has been a very consistent performer and he finished off a decent move with a great Left footed chip over the keeper from the angle of the box. It was a great start after 17mins but great credit to Arbroath as they struck back a minute or so later, a good move and finish but defensively as a team we allowed them to dictate that play.
The remainder of the first half was case of clear cut misses from ourselves, first Adam Davidson had a great chance to finish off a move when in on the keeper but fair play to the home keeper he saves well. Bailay Dawson cut in from the left not long after that and again with the keeper to beat could only hit the woodwork.
At HT I said to continue to play and counter on the break but switch it up quickly and although we could have been 3-1 up we had to keep going. The 2nd half Arbroath had more possession and moved it about but the team were strong and kept the play in front and as a result had a great chance to take the lead and Adam found himself one on one with the keeper but could only blast wide. It was all positives from a very young team.
Arbroath were reduced to 10 men I sensed an opportunity, we made 3 subs to inject pace to the tired legs and I was delighted when young Brodie Craigie popped up and slammed the winner home from just inside the area, I felt it was well deserved. We had to endure a lot of high balls into the box and pressure from set plays but to a man everyone was fantastic and we seen the game out with another valuable 3 points which we most certainly deserved.
There were many top performers on the day and as much as we are such a young team it was the application of the so called experienced ones albeit they are only young themselves but have more Junior experience who I felt pushed and drove the team on and supported the young lads great.
Blair and Scott Ferguson at the back were immense and Scott showed his versatility at the back a position I feel he can play also and well. Blair was a rock and showed why he is highly rated, Leighton in goals was outstanding and not that he had a great deal to do his communication and organisation was first class. Stevo Eaton played In a position which demanded discipline and again he was outstanding after coming back from illness and he worked his socks off.
Sat 19th Aug
Brechin Vics 3- 2 Coupar Angus
We hear the thoughts of assistant manager Stevie Kowbel.
Today was another competitive 90 minutes and in all honesty I think the application and level and performance shown today has been evident in the previous two games yet we've come away with nothing to show for it.
The most pleasing aspect was our ability to find a way to win during what was probably the poorest part of the match in terms of our ball retention.
You always worry that you'll pay for it taking your chances when on top and despite being happy going in 1-0 up at half time I did feel our play merited a second.
Again this week we had to use our three subs before the second half was ten minutes old with Phil and Connor staying in the dressing room at half time due to muscle injuries.
Coupar started the half better than we did and equalised with a fantastic opportunist strike. If you're limiting the opposition to 30 yard strikes from the wide areas you're doing something right and sometimes you have to take tip your hat to a good goal which I felt the equaliser today was.
We didn't respond well to conceding so early and were still getting to grips with a change in shape and personnel when Coupar went ahead from the spot. I thought all three penalty awards today were soft but you take the luck when it comes.
Finding ourselves 2-1 down after the first half display had us questioning whether we'd broken a mirror somewhere but the boys kept themselves in the game when in all honesty there was a ten minute spell where we looked more likely to concede again than equalise.
When the equaliser came it too carried a bit of luck with Stevo's strike wrong footing the keeper and trundling into the corner.
The game really opened up the last seven or eight minutes and Coupar had a great chance to retake the lead but fortunately for us a strong final five minutes of good possession led to a sweet strike from Blacker giving us three points which over the course of the last three weeks nobody could grudge us.
The strength in depth we had today was vital, it's a tough league and the last few weeks have shown how important it is to have experience on the bench to freshen things up.
Sat 12th August
Scone 3 - 0 Brechin Vics
We got Stevie's views on our game away to Scone.
Saturday's defeat was very frustrating, it was very much one step forward with the return of key players then a step back in term of losing others!
Never the less we were able to field a competitive eleven which once again demonstrated plenty of endeavour and spirit. I felt we started the game well and would argue that Scone scored against the run of play with a poorly defended free kick leading to Scone having a choice of two players standing free to stick the ball in the net. We felt there was a foul in the lead up but that's academic, we need to show higher levels of concentration at key times.
We kept good possession for the remainder of the half but struggled to create any clear chances although I personally feel we were denied a penalty when Blacker stayed on his feet despite it being the more difficult thing to do after contact. I wouldn't expect any less from a man of his character but it's disappointing that players need to hit the deck in the box to be awarded what I felt was a clear foul.
We made an attacking change at half time, changing the formation in doing so but two injuries to key players five minutes after the restart let to us having to revert to our original shape.
They game too'd and fro'd until the last 7/8 minutes when we lost what I felt was a very good counter attacking goal from Scone. It was however disappointing that it came from our attacking free kick failing to clear the first man and was again an error on our part providing the opportunity.
The final goal Is one of the most bizarre I have seen! After conceding a foul two of our players were called in by the referee for dissent, unbelievably he allowed a quick free kick to be taken whilst engaging our players in conversation and this led to the third goal which was academic in relation to the outcome but really disappointing as I felt it was a game we deserved we were in with a great chance of taking something from until the last five minutes.
As we speak Phil is in discussions to add 3/4 players to the squad who are currently plying their trade in the premier league and hopefully we can secure those, which will be a great boost ahead of Saturday when we welcome Coupar Angus.
Sat 5th August
Brechin Vics 0 - 5 Blairgowrie
After today's game we managed to catch up with the Manager and assistant Stevie Kowbel for their reflection of the game. Stevie had this to say.
It was great to finally get the season underway on Saturday against a Blairgowrie team who have come close to promotion over the last few years.
The squad was stretched to its limits due to suspension, injury, work, social, and holiday commitments which resulted in us fielding a starting team with only three players over the age of 22.
The first half was very pleasing, we asked the lads to be brave on the ball, support each other without the ball and be disciplined and patient when in possession. Quite simply they could not be faulted in this regard. We defended well as a team with the tempo for this being set by the front two and wide men who worked tirelessly for the cause and we moved the ball well when in possession. Indeed we could have gone in at half time with a 1-0 lead had we converted the penalty we were awarded just before the break but I'm sure Blairgowrie would make the same case had they too converted their opportunity earlier in the match.
At half time we asked for more of the same in the second half and reiterated the need to remain focussed. We started the half well and had it not been for a fantastic save from the visiting keeper from Connor we would have taken the lead. Football hinges on key moments and conceding from a set piece shortly after this was disappointing. To lose a second immediately after when we felt we should have had a clear free kick in the build up was difficult to accept. Don't get me wrong, Blairgowrie deserved the points but the margin of victory at 5-0 was not reflective of the performance of our team and key moments in the game didn't go our way today.
We lacked depth in our pool and injuries forced us to send youngsters on in a situation where it was unfair to do so. Once again they rolled up the sleeves and played with confidence. The leadership of the 'senior' players was outstanding and they displayed an excellent example for the younger players to follow in challenging circumstances.
This is junior football and errors will be made but our concentration levels dipped at key times in the second half and we paid a heavy price for this. As a group we are honest about this and will learn from it and work hard this week ahead of what is sure to be another competitive game away to Scone.
The manager having being forced to play in which he has not played competitively for over 2 years and has postponed knee reconstruction for some time now was not ideal either, but knowing Phil he would not have it any other way and would always do what he can for the team and young players.
The manager had this to say after Stevie had assessed the game from the touchline due to the managers involvement in the game.
Yes the score line looks certainly a lot worse than what it is. The end of the day as Stevie had said fine margins, key decisions never went for us today but the effort and togetherness was excellent to see. Yes we are not happy we lost but we lost in the correct way by playing and never giving up.
Unfortunately concentrations dipped at key times in that 15min period but that is part of the learning process for younger players and you can only learn with mistakes and Blairgowrie ran out comfortable winners and we wish them all the very best for the season ahead.
We had an average age by the end of the game at 18 years so we sent a clear message that Brechin Vics must look to the development of players within our reach to progress into the 1st team. As a club it has started now over the last 10 weeks of building and it has to continue. I would like to think that from here on in that in my time and the next 2-4 or 10 years we must work closely with all parties within the Brechin Youths this will be our model to take a young player who has to have the determination, drive and belief and help develop and progress them possibly onto the next level if that be higher level juniors or potentially league football. Experience will be gained by these players and we will look to mix it with more established players through time to assist with both the teams and youngsters development.
It's important to have a balance and if we look to do the right things as a club both on and off the pitch and make ourselves as attractive as possible to others by running a well grounded football club who prides themselves on developing, playing the right way, and most importantly looking after our players then we won't go to far wrong in the future.
as possible to others by running a well grounded football club who prides themselves on developing, playing the right way, and most importantly looking after our players then we won't go to far wrong in the future.
Tues 18th July
Brechin Vics 2 - 0 Tayside Firebrigade
Summing up last nights game we managed to catch up with the Manager.
It was our first game of pre season and as important it is to get minutes on the pitch it's also about demanding standards and going about our work in the correct manner.
It was an excellent 90 minutes for all the players to get game time. The 1st period we controlled and scored good goals with movement and good finishing. We tried to pass the ball and press in the right areas in which we want to get joy from. We were wasteful at times but that's to be expected.
The 2nd half when you make so many changes it can certainly disrupt the flow of the game but for long periods it was played in a good tempo and manner, again some wasteful finishing, good defending and Goal Keeping prevented the lead being extended. Tayside were a well prepared team and always looked to play and did cause problems at times which we need to look at and work on also.
We finished with 9 players under the age of 19 which is great for the club and the players to gain that experience. Every one of them acquitted themselves superbly with their attitudes, desire and willingness to learn and develop. The link up we have with Brechin Youths also demonstrates that raw talent is their and working with each other can certainly improve the chances of those players progressing and if their good enough their old enough. We also had several trial players who were on show also in which they did their chances no harm whatsoever.
We now look forwards to our next game on Sat in which we host Kirriemuir Thistle who will be very difficult opponents and won our league and now compete in the Premier.
We will be adding to the squad over the coming days, and weeks as players return from holidays and deals are concluded.