After a controversial home loss to Montrose, Edinburgh City’s chance to shrug off any lingering frustration was denied by the weather last weekend as a frozen pitch caused their trip to Stirling Albion to be postponed.
Captain Josh Walker and his team-mates are back on home turf tomorrow when Annan visit Ainslie Park, and the former England Under-20 captain is targeting a run of victories.
“It was frustrating to not have a game, especially after winning the two games in a row and then the disappointment of losing to Montrose,” the skipper explained.
“Although Montrose are top of the league and to everyone else we’re underdogs, I felt we were very unfortunate on the day. Anyone who was there will know what I’m talking about, without going in to too much detail or slating anyone in particular.
“However, as a group of lads and the staff, it seems that we’re on the up and when we’re coming away from a game that we’ve lost 2-0 against the top of the league side and we’re gutted, it shows how far we’ve come.”
Clyde took full advantage of City being idle last weekend to leapfrog them back into eighth place with a highly-impressive 3-1 victory away to the league leaders. For Walker, it serves as timely illustration of the work that still lies ahead.
“That was a massive result – this league is so up and down,” he said. “You can quite easily put two or three wins together and at the same time quite easily lose two or three. That goes for every team in the league. Clyde going up there and winning 3-1, I don’t think anyone would’ve thought that and it just shows you that there’s a long way to go.
“We’ve still got a lot of games to play and we need to win a few in a row to really catapult us up the league and away from it. We’ve said all season we shouldn’t be there, but you are where you deserve to be and the only way to get out of it is through hard work. We were gutted the game was off last week but we’re looking forward to this one tomorrow.”
A controversial 2-1 defeat at Galabank just before Christmas could provide some extra motivation for City to finally get one over their former East of Scotland League colleagues this season.
“We could probably say that about a number of teams in the league – we owe them one, we owe these one,” said Walker. “Down at their place, there was the header that went over the line that wasn’t given and then we scored in stoppage time and goodness knows how that was an offside. I’ll never, ever know what’s in the rules that disallowed that one.
“We’ve been unfortunate with things that have been out of our control, but what we can control is how hard we work. We know Annan will be a tough test but one we know we’re capable of winning.”
Away from the constant striving for League Two points, Walker has launched his own coaching company after obtaining his UEFA B licence. Foot Forward Coaching is aimed at children of various ages, and the one-time Aberdeen loanee explained that the ability to undertake such a venture was part of the appeal of going part-time a year ago.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a long time,” he admitted. “It wasn’t until three or four months ago that I started putting things in place.
“We go to schools for after-school clubs and breakfast clubs. We do specific one-to-one coaching with boys and girls of all age groups and I’m in the process of setting up toddler groups for during the day, which will be a mini-kickers type thing. There’s a lot going on.
“When I decided to go part-time it was for a variety of reasons. One, because I could see what the club was trying to do; two, because I was living in the area with my family and three, I’d spent a lot of time away from them. I wanted to be able to look back on going part-time and know I did it for the right reasons.
“So when I do finish playing my coaching will already be five or six years down the line rather than finishing at 33, 34 and thinking ‘what am I going to do now?’ I’m really looking forward to it.”
• For more information on Foot Forward Coaching, visit www.footforwardcoaching.com/ or email email@example.com