As the winter months close in and the cold weather draws upon us, Scottish football clubs are likely to be tested again under difficult conditions. Late postponements, lost revenue, lost sponsorship and a lack of suitable training facilities are the main headaches for clubs when the cold weather hits.
There have been calls to introduce a winter shutdown or summer football but these have never come to anything.
Training can become a nightmare and it is impossible to find facilities that suit all parties. Last season, we lost as much as two weeks of training. Driving conditions being so hazardous we couldn’t get to Livingston and, if we did get there, no training facilities were playable.
The Livingston dressing-room is made up of boys from Edinburgh, Livingston and Glasgow. Last winter, when the M8 was closed off, there was absolutely no way of getting us all to train together.
The gaffer went to great lengths to try and keep his players active, setting up different types of training routines in the areas boys could reach. Activities ranged from enjoyable sessions such as squash and tennis sessions, or not so enjoyable things like Zumba classes!
However, the club has just acquired a new training home in Broxburn after securing an agreement with Broxburn Athletic to allow us to train on their artificial pitch at Albyn Park, and this is fantastic news.
Mind you, unless the club were to provide us with a snow plough each, this isn’t going to solve the problem of players not making it to training when the weather is really bad!
Meanwhile, this Saturday we travel to play Queen of the South, who are easily one of the best teams we have played this season. It took a tremendous second-half comeback from us to snatch a late draw in the first game of the season.
‘Draw’ is a common word used alongside us just now as we’ve shared the spoils in seven out of our first ten league games. We are hoping we can turn these draws into wins and be a bit more ruthless. It is going to be nip and tuck throughout the season and if we can turn some of these draws into wins then we won’t be far away come May.