Stuart Burnside aims to win back Civil Service Strollers gloves

Stuart Burnside
Stuart Burnside
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Civil Service Strollers club captain Stuart Burnside insists he will do all he can to win his place back between the sticks.

The 31-year-old goalkeeper has been overlooked in favour of team-mate Kyle Rankin in recent weeks. However, he remains upbeat over his chances of being the first choice again before the season is out.

Ahead of tomorrow’s Lowland League visit of Gretna 2008 to Christie Gillies Park, Burnside is first to admit this campaign hasn’t gone as well as he had hoped.

“Personally I haven’t had the greatest season so far to be honest,” he said. “I’ve been in and out the team but that’s just part and parcel of football. You’ve just got to take it on the chin. I’ve been playing the game long enough to know how it works.

“I’m just going to have to take my chance when it comes round again. I imagine Kyle will be picked for tomorrow’s game with Gretna as he played really well against Whitehill last time out so there’s no need to change. I can’t really have any complaints.

“I have a good relationship with the manager Alex [Cunningham] so we’ve had a chat about things. There’s nothing major going on so you just have to get on with it and work hard in training.”

Strollers are just six points better off than second bottom Dalbeattie Star having played two games more. With the position still unclear over whether the side that finishes 15th could also face relegation, Burnside says the club must start picking up points soon. Hawick Royal Albert prop up the division having taken just a solitary point from their 17 matches.

“We’re aware of the situation we’re in but we still believe we’re good enough to be up there with the teams above us,” he said. “It’s just about putting a run of wins together.

“It’s been really stop-start the last four weeks or so because we’ve not really had that opportunity to build any momentum. I’ve no doubt we’ll start climbing the table again.

“That’s what this league is about, a couple of wins and you can be right back in the mix again with the clubs positioned around mid-table.

“You want to be looking up the table rather than over your shoulder. We went to Gretna in what was our season opener and won 2-0 and we also won there in the [South Challenge]cup so we’ve got to fancy our chances this weekend.

“In saying that you want to make your home park a fortress and that’s something that hasn’t really happened this season for us.

“We’ve been better on the road for some reason which I can’t really explain. You want to make your home park difficult for visiting teams coming to play but that hasn’t been the case.

“We were really poor in our last match against Whitehill and didn’t turn up on the day. It’s one of those games you’re looking to take some points from so to come away with nothing was really 
disappointing.”

Meanwhile, Whitehill could move into the top half of the table if they pick up maximum points when Cumbernauld Colts are the visitors to Ferguson Park. Elsewhere, Spartans undertake a trip to the Borders to play hosts Hawick.
Dorian Ogunro’s Edinburgh University travel to Selkirk.