Whitehill Welfare boss David Bingham has revealed plans are well underway for next season with the former Livingston and Inverness winger already appealing for more consistency.
The Rosewell outfit’s 4-2 victory at Selkirk last weekend, their 12th of the campaign, has kept their slim hopes alive of a top-four finish. Whitehill, who have also suffered 12 defeats, currently occupy seventh, seven points adrift of fourth-placed Stirling University with just five games left to play.
However, Bingham believes had his side found a bit more momentum this term then they might just have had fourth place already sewn up.
“We aren’t taking our eye of the ball with this year as we’ve still got our eye on fourth, but we’ve started to make plans for next season already,” the manager said ahead of the visit of Edinburgh University to Ferguson Park tomorrow.
“We’ve identified players we’d like to bring to the club and the ones who we will be moving on. I’m not going to name names at the minute as it’s only fair I speak to the players first. We don’t want the guys losing focus as we’ve got five very important leage games and a League Cup tie against Gretna 2008 to come.
“But hopefully we can get most things done and dusted before we sign off sometime in May and have a nice six-week break before coming back refreshed and ready to go. We’ll certainly be trying to improve on where we end up finishing this year and that will only happen with more consistency from the players.”
Bingham continued: “When it all clicks together, we’re not a bad team. Fourth is going to be difficult and despite our recent defeats, it’s still possible. We’ve got five league games to play, three of them at home so we have to win those.
“It makes it even more disappointing that we’ve not been able to pick up more points lately but our home record has been okay since I took over.”
Bingham admitted he was sorry to see Craig Nisbet lose his job at former club and bottom-of-the-table Preston Athletic earlier this week. Bingham, who had a two-year stint at the Pennypit between 2012-2014, says he enjoyed every minute of his stay in East Lothian as he recalled: “The people that run the club are fantastic and they couldn’t have done any more to help when I was the manager,” he said. “Unfortunately, somebody has got to finish bottom and hopefully Preston can bounce back. I think it’s been a struggle from start to finish but league tables don’t lie and more often than not you finish where you deserve to finish.
“Like ourselves, they don’t have huge budgets to call upon so you can only put out the players you have. Sometimes I’ve had to call on our under-20s and they aren’t ready but, if that is all you’ve got, then so be it.
“I’ve been a player myself and you can be thrown in at the deep end – it’s sink or swim. We’ve found that we might have one or two who might just have something there.”
Meanwhile, Uni boss Dorian Ogunro commended the incredible feat of his goalkeeper Mark Tait, who will make his 300th appearance for the students tomorrow.
The 24-year-old medical graduate has been a mainstay of the squad and Ogunro hopes his player is rewarded with victory tomorrow.
“Mark is from Midlothian so it’s quite a poignant moment for him and the club,” he said. “He’s been an absolute fantastic player for the club and I would quite comfortably say that all of our major achievements over the past five years wouldn’t have been possible without him.
“He’s that good, especially at our level, and I know he has had offers elsewhere from all the other top clubs. He’s a fantastic guy.”
Elsewhere, Civil Service Strollers host BSC Glasgow at Christie Gillies Park.