Edinburgh City start planning for life in League Two

Edinburgh City boss Michael McIndoe is planning a busy summerEdinburgh City boss Michael McIndoe is planning a busy summer
Edinburgh City boss Michael McIndoe is planning a busy summer
Edinburgh City manager Michael McIndoe has revealed some of his youngsters have already signed up for a crack at League Two next season.

The Citizens, who will begin the new campaign in Scottish football's fourth tier following their confirmed relegation last month, face Stirling Albion at Meadowbank tomorrow before a trip to Cove Rangers next weekend brings down the curtain on a turbulent 2023/24.

City were were deducted six points in January for failing to pay their players on time and also faced a winding up order over an unpaid tax bill.

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Only two from a squad of 22 remained while the rest departed for pastures new. And McIndoe, who replaced Alan Maybury in October, was left scrambling for players on a shoestring budget and was restricted who he could recruit due to the club breaching SPFL rules.

A host of youngsters on loan from Premiership sides jumped at the chance of first-team football, not to mention a player making the step up from Sunday amateur league football.

However, despite only registering one league win since November, McIndoe has seen enough of his talented teens to believe they can spark a revival next season.

"These guys are racking up League One appearances and if you think back to November, not one had played in this division," the former Bristol City and Coventry midfielder said. "So they've all had incredible experience to see what Scottish football tier three is like. I think that's what's pushed us. Every time they turn up to training they put maximum effort in.

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"It's a special group and it's been difficult for them because it's not the traditional Scottish way I play, it's very English and French-based and we press fully for 90 minutes. We're not interested in sitting back at any point. Even when we went to Falkirk, we pressed them for 90 minutes whereas most teams will go there and sit back. It's just trying to deploy something different.

"It's my first year as an SPFL manager and we've encountered a tsunami. But it's given me a lot of thinking to do. I've spoken to a lot of the other managers in the division and they've commented on how competitive we've been.

"So, we've already started recruiting and the identification process for next season. As soon as we got to January/February time, it became clear it was almost impossible that we were going to stay up. So, at that point I started doing a lot of identifying players for next season in League Two, started planning our pre-season games and schedule and how that's going to work.

"We've already signed up some of the squad already. We're looking at more of them over the next few games so that opportunity is there for them. If you're a young lad and you want to build to your career, you want to play games at the right club.

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"We're not going to have a mega budget next season because there's still bills to pay but I think what I have proven this year that even with a very small budget we can put a team together that can compete. I'm hungry and I want to succeed. I want to go through the divisions the same way as I did in England as a player."

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