Spartans captain says imminent title win is ‘special’

Kevin Sivewright. Pic: Jane Barlow
Kevin Sivewright. Pic: Jane Barlow
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Spartans captain Kevin Sivewright will have the honour of lifting the inaugural Lowland League crown when the trophy is presented to the champions-elect next month.

Their achievements could officially be confirmed tomorrow should Vale of Leithen fail to pick up all three points against Whitehill Welfare. However, even another three points for Vale would simply delay the inevitable as Vale need to win all of their remaining five matches, clutching onto hope that Spartans lose their remaining two, and there is a 33-goal swing in their favour.

But despite manager Dougie Samuel handing the captaincy to the defender in what is his first year in the role, the former Lothian Thistle player was quick to brush off the magnitude of his own impending moment in the spotlight.

“I wouldn’t say it’s extra special,” the 30-year-old said. “Being captain is just being part of the team and all the players have been magnificent this season. I’m just lucky to be called captain but it doesn’t really make much of a difference.

“It’s been two years since we last won the league so everyone’s delighted with all the hard work we’ve put in and to finally have it. I don’t think anyone would argue that the Lowland League hasn’t been a success. Every game this year has been a challenge but it’s been a bit of fresh air so winning the league is special.

“I would never put down another team but what I would say is that we’ve still got another two games to go so we’ll be going out to win them. Every game at Spartans we want to win, that’s just the way it is at the club.”

Fast forward a year and Spartans would have been preparing themselves for a crack at the big time, a play-off against the Highland League winners beckoning before, if successful, a tie with the club bottom of SPFL League 2 and a berth in the senior leagues up for grabs.

The captain has had a terrific season in the Spartans rearguard, marshalling his troops with great endeavour. But turning his attentions to the perception that Samuel’s men will have taken great pleasure from last weekend’s victory in Roswell, Sivewright points out this bears no significance within the team’s dressing-room.

He said: “The big prize is next year so that will be our aim again. To go and play against the winners of the Highland League would be a big test and the chance to then play bottom of SPFL League 2, it’s the goal we are all striving towards.

“I think the balance is really great throughout the squad. The guys in front of us make it a lot easier with the way we press the ball. I would never single anyone out but Cloudy (Keith McLeod) has obviously banged in so many goals so having the best striker in the league is great for us.

“Some will think it will have been extra special due to the rivalry between Spartans and Whitehill, but for me it doesn’t matter where we won the league as it’s all about crossing that line. It just happened to come down to Whitehill but it could have been any team.”

Spartans return to cup duty tomorrow when they entertain Dalbeattie Star at Ainslie Park in the South Challenge Cup and Sivewright added: “This is the biggest cup we enter so we know how big a game it is. Dalbeattie are a really good side which is why they’re sitting near the top end of the table. We need to forget about the league and get ready to go again.”