No rest for City players as Jardine craves experience

Craig Beattie and Calum Antell played against St Mirren
Craig Beattie and Calum Antell played against St Mirren
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Edinburgh City boss Gary Jardine insists his players need every single minute of game time ahead of their Scottish League football bow.

The Capital outfit play their final fixture before Saturday’s season opener tonight when they take on Motherwell Colts in the Irn Bru Cup first round at Fir Park, having been moved first from Airdrie and then from Falkirk.

This weekend’s opponents, Forfar, shipped seven goals at Dundee last Saturday while City went down 3-0 to St Mirren in the final Betfred Cup group games. Jardine believes that was maybe a consequence of the Angus side being able to rest players, whereas his own charges need as much experience as possible ahead of league action, continuing in Lanarkshire tonight. “I don’t know what kind of team they put out,” he admitted. “For us, we want the players to learn. Maybe their guys have played at that level and they could give them a rest going in to the Irn Bru cup. Us, we need every single minute, every second to learn about the new grade we’re going in to.”

New signings Craig Beattie and Calum Antell made their debuts in Paisley. With Jardine acknowledging that Beattie in particular needs regular minutes, both are likely to be involved this evening. “I think Calum did really well,” he said. “Craig we gave a really difficult shift. It might have been easier for him to come off the bench in the second half but he needs game time and get back in to this level of football. I was delighted with both of them on Saturday, both showed a bit of their experience.

“After only one training session, in the dressing-room before the game and the 60 minutes he played, the guys are starting to learn off Craig already. That was the kind of player we were looking for, someone with that experience to go with the inexperience that we have.”

Ross Allum was forced off with a hamstring injury, but Jardine confirmed there was no tear or serious damage and the striker should be fit enough to make the squad for tonight’s encounter.