Edinburgh University make the short trip to face Edinburgh City at Meadowbank tomorrow and midfielder Tim Rawlinson insists he and his team-mates are looking forward to the test.
City top the Lowland League and are still unbeaten, whereas the students have made an unspectacular start to their debut campaign at this level – mitigated somewhat by having to play their first seven games away from East Peffermill due to renovations.
Nevertheless, Rawlinson – who scored the first ever goal at the new ground in last week’s 2-2 draw with Spartans – is eager to see how he and his side measure up against the league’s form outfit.
“They seem to have made a really good start this year,” he said. “From what I’ve heard they’ve made some good signings and it looks like they’ve strengthened the squad again from last year.
“It’ll be a tough test for us but we’re excited about the challenge. We’ve stepped up this year and are looking forward to testing ourselves against another good team.”
One thing Uni can’t be accused of this season is a lack of competitiveness, with several performances not quite getting the result that was perhaps deserved. Rawlinson is inclined to agree with that assessment and is convinced that rewards will come.
“The general consensus is that we’ve been performing well, but things haven’t been quite going for us. We’re confident that things are going to pick up in terms of results. We’re looking forward to continuing our hard work and I’m anticipating that performances will turn into results.”
Dorian Ogunro’s team have now returned to East Peffermill after upgrades were completed. The new-look park was officially opened against Spartans on September 17 and Rawlinson, who scored the first goal at the new venue, believes that can help them kick on:
“The new ground is fantastic,” he said. “The facilities are first class now so I think a lot of credit has to go to the club committee and the university for getting that ready so quickly. No-one can fault the facilities at all now – they’re first-rate and we’re hoping we can live up to that on the pitch.
“Scoring the first goal was a nice moment, but it would have been a lot nicer if we’d taken three points”
Until that game, all of Uni’s matches this season were played away from home – a Scottish Cup “home” replay against Hurlford Utd was held at Pennypit – something Rawlinson felt made things a bit harder.
“It was difficult,” he said. “I think apart from playing in unfamiliar settings, travelling every week and always having to have an earlier start obviously impacts the team.
“At the same time I felt that we were fully prepared and didn’t let it get on top of us. I certainly wouldn’t use it as an excuse for results, but we are looking forward to having more games on our home pitch now.”
With this being Edinburgh Uni’s first foray into the Lowland League, the midfielder admitted it’s difficult to set any ambitions for the season.
“It’s obviously a difficult season to set targets in because it’s our debut season,” he added. “There’s a lot of new challenges, new teams. We’re looking to perform as well as we can and if we do that, we anticipate that results will follow.”