Civil Service Strollers boss Gary Jardine reveals plans for next season after progress made on and off the park

Civil Service Strollers boss Gary Jardine has revealed his plans for next season – and after the north Edinburgh club’s achievements this year he has set the bar high.

By Neil McGlade
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 9:13 am

The Christie Gillies Park men brought the curtain down on the 2021/2022 Lowland League campaign with a 2-0 loss at home to Stirling University last weekend.

Strollers won 17 of their 34 league fixtures and were one of only three clubs to inflict defeat on runaway champions Bonnyrigg Rose.

The former Edinburgh City manager revealed he intends to keep the nucleus of his squad together next season, but has identified some areas that are in need of strengthening.

Matthew Shaw keeps his eye on the ball for Civil Service Strollers against Dean Watson of East Stirlingshire

Jardine said: "To finish seventh, or fifth whatever you look at it as the inclusion of Rangers and Celtic has had its good and bad points, is great. We had a big turnover of players last summer so we brought a younger group in. If I look it objectively, it's the first time we've beaten a league club in the Scottish Cup (Cowdenbeath), we've finished with our highest-ever points tally in the league and we've seen some real progression on the park both individually and collectively. I think we're a really attractive option for young players. The club is definitely moving forward on and off the park.

"We tailed off a bit towards the end of the season so we actually feel we could have had more points on the board. We perhaps don't have the strength in depth that some of the other clubs do so it can be difficult when injuries or suspensions take their toll. The consistency isn't quite where it needs to be at this level, but that happens with young players. When we've played both Edinburgh and Stirling Universities this year, their squads have had a higher age average than ours, which is unusual."

Jardine added: "The majority of the squad have agreed new deals for next season but we'll need to strengthen over the summer if we're to remain as competitive as we have been this year. I'm really optimistic about the future and the direction the club is moving in. The league is getting stronger every year with the teams we're now seeing queuing up to be a part of."

Civil Service Strollers manager Gary Jardine believes the club has made great progress
Civil Service Strollers youngster Robert Cole in action against East Stirlingshire