Whitehill’s Steve Manson wants schedule rethink

Whitehill's Steve Manson, right, says the League Cup could be played nearer the start of the season
Whitehill's Steve Manson, right, says the League Cup could be played nearer the start of the season
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Steven Manson and his Whitehill Welfare team-mates haven’t been afforded much game time in recent weeks due to a succession of postponements, and the wide-man believes there is an argument for scheduling the Lowland League Cup earlier in the season.

The Ferguson Park club were due to travel to Maryhill for their Central Section B fixture against BSC Glasgow on Saturday before it fell victim to the weather. With a league game against the same opposition postponed the previous month, and three attempts needed to get their South Challenge Cup tie with Ormiston played, Manson admitted a re-think on scheduling could help avoid fixture congestion ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Spartans.

“We’ve been hit quite badly with call-offs the last few weeks,” he said. “We managed to get a training session in on Saturday, which is better than nothing, but it’s frustrating not playing.

“When you look at the fixtures, we’ve a game on the 27th and a league game on the 3rd. To cope with those fixtures, you’re really going to need to be training between Christmas and New Year as well.

“Obviously it’s a semi-professional level, but it’s quite a hectic fixture list over the festive period so maybe there’s an argument for having the League Cup nearer the start of the season. I think we’ve already got four games to re-arrange, so if it’s any more than that you’ll be looking at playing Monday-Wednesday-Saturday towards the end of the season.

“Historically, when it was the East of Scotland, our manager used to treat the League Cup as part of our pre-season preparations. I suppose now – certainly for us and Spartans – when you look at the league, it’s the number one priority but Edinburgh City are running away with it a bit, so it makes the cup competitions more important.”

The winger admitted that with Mickey Lawson’s side having not played in the league since the first day of November, the combination of idle Saturdays and cup games hasn’t been ideal.

“You can train as much as you want, but the best thing to keep your form going is playing games.”

One thing that hasn’t been stop-start this term has been Manson and his fellow forwards’ ability to find the net. The No.7 is on 11 for the season and along with Aaron Somerville and Wayne McIntosh – dubbed the “Three Amigos” by boss Mickey Lawson – the trio have netted 38 of Welfare’s 45 goals. Manson has been pleased with the impact he’s made, and hopes to continue the scoring trend tomorrow.

“Mickey came out with those stats for the three of us last week. It’s always good to get goals, but the other two are out and out forwards whereas I’m more of a winger.

“Normally my target is double figures and anything on top of that is a bonus but with the formation we played at the start of the season with three up top it allowed me to get a few more on the board.

“Having said that, in big games a lack of goals has cost us – we’re scoring five or six one week and none the next, so maybe that’s why we’re dropping points.”