Stevie MYATT, after 11 years as manager of Preston Athletic, is still working as tirelessly as ever to make the Prestonpans-based club a force to be reckoned with in East of Scotland League football.
The amiable boss was dealt a hammer blow on the final day of last season when, knowing that a win against Edinburgh City would keep his side in the Central Taxis Premier Division, they conceded a very late goal to draw 2-2.
On the same day, Selkirk managed a 3-2 win against Tyneacastle, also with a late goal, to consign Preston to the First Division.
“The entire 90 minutes of that day was quite surreal,” said Myatt.
“It was like the last day of the English Premier League with cameras jumping from ground to ground as another goal was scored somewhere else.”
However, Myatt remained philosophical during the summer and rebuilt a squad capable of winning promotion at the first attempt. He took over at the Pennypit in season 2000/01 when Preston were in the First Division and the following year guided them into the Premier Division. He aims to do something similar this time round.
“During the summer our squad disintegrated,” said Myatt. “My biggest disappointment was that most of my players refused to accept it was their fault they had been relegated. As a consequence I was left with only five players.
I started this season gradually putting a new squad together. We won our opening five league games and have been top since day one.
We now have 11 league games left and are currently four points ahead of our nearest challengers, Craigroyston.
Some other teams have games in hand but no team can overtake us so we have to match any scores these teams have and we will be back in the Premier Division.
“I have to try to keep everybody fit because one big disappointment for me is our players’ discipline.
“We have a small squad and when a player is suspended, that hits us.
“Our objective is to finish in the top two and I’m confident we can do that.”