Craigroyston boss thrilled by fast start

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Craigroyston are reaping 
the benefits of having a big squad to choose from during the opening two months of the season, according to manager Ross McNeil.

McNeil only took over the managerial reins at St Marks Park in the summer and, apart from defeat on the first day of the season, Craigroyston have gone on to win five of their six competitive games. However, the manager admits the depth of his player pool has been crucial to this impressive start.

He said: “We have a squad of 25 and I really don’t know what would have happened if we didn’t have that number. We have had so many injuries and unavailability for one reason or another. However, I always knew in my own mind that we would not settle down entirely until October, so that might be when I have some real selection headaches.”

Craigroyston are away to Stirling University tomorrow in round one of the Image Printers East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, with the two sides having already drawn 2-2 this season.

“Stirling could have had that initial game wrapped up in the first half when they missed a few chances,” said McNeil.

“Our second-half performance earned us a draw with Chris Gordon’s 30-yard equaliser something special.

“It will be tough tomorrow because the students are basically full-time footballers, but we are going through there to win the game and I have every confidence in my players. We’re doing well at present and I can have no complaints. We have to focus and concentrate on each game as it comes along.

“This is one of the best starts to a season that Craigroyston has had in a long time and we are up for every challenge.”

McNeil welcomes back Neil Campbell and has new signing Steven Moncur available, along with Jordan Low, but Paul Lynch and John Dunn are out.

Stirling University, meanwhile, have East of Scotland Player of the Season 2011-12 Chris Geddes in goalscoring form again this season, with 12 to his credit, although captain Rob Pearson is injured and Lee Nichol is unavailable.