Whitehill Welfare boss explains tough start and importance of Newtongrange Star derby
Andrew Kidd is confident Whitehill Welfare’s fortunes will turn after a tough start in what is his first full season as manager in the East of Scotland Premier League.
It’s fair to say it’s been far from easy for Kidd who took up his first management job at Rosewell in November last year, at the club he used to be captain, with the Covid shutdown coming just two months after he came through the door, while they’ve struggled so far this season.
However, after putting their first points on the board last weekend in a 3-1 victory over Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, Kidd is hopeful they can build on that and look up the table rather than behind them ahead of hosting local rivals Newtongrange Star tomorrow.
“We’ve played better and lost this season than what we did when we won last Saturday,” said Kidd. “It was good to get our first win, we did well. The league is the main thing for us, we need to concentrate on it and get as many points as we can.
“It was a hard start, and it didn’t get off in the best way, in our first game of the season we arrived at Dundonald at 2 o’clock because there was a crash on the way there. There’s no excuses but we got caught short. It’s been a tough start, but we’ve not been outplayed, it’s been mainly mistakes that have cost us – we’ve gifted teams goals, we’ve not really been cut open and had good goals scored against us – we just need to cut the mistakes out.
“It’s happened in a few games when a team goes ahead or they equalise and we seem to lose a bit of confidence. We’ve got young lads in the squad who are 18 or 19 so they are still learning, but they will get there eventually.”
Kidd featured as a trialist for tomorrow’s opponents when they last met just a week before taking the reins at Ferguson Park with Chris King’s Star running out 5-0 winners. Whitehill’s squad has changed considerably since then, as Kidd revealed their new additions have been made aware of the importance of the local derby.
He continued: “We’re looking forward to Saturday, it will be a good game. I know a few of the boys at Nitten, Adam Nelson [played together at Bonnyrigg Rose]. It’s a big game because they haven’t started well either, they’ve only got a couple of points so it’s massive for both sides, either we can go a few points ahead or they catch up with us. It’s a big game especially at that end of the table.
“There is a few new boys that haven’t played at this level before, but there is guys there that know what the crack is and they’ve sort of been telling the boys that it’s a derby and to what expect. The boys know the importance of staying in this league and picking up more points. They are disappointed as well because they are a better team than what our results have shown, it’s down to them to go and prove it now.
“It’s a new squad so it is going to take time for things to gel and get them playing the way we want to play. I’m confident we have the quality and players there to do well this year.”