Spartans determined to be competitive during rebuild

Dougie Samuel acknowledges that Spartans are going through a transitional period – but that won’t stop them striving for silverware this season.

Friday, 23rd August 2019, 6:30 am
Dougie Samuel has lost some key players at the wrong time

The Ainslie Park club have taken six points from their opening three league fixtures, back-to-back wins against Edinburgh University and Gala Fairydean Rovers atoning for a narrow 2-1 loss at home to BSC Glasgow.

The two-time Lowland League champions are currently ninth, seven points adrift of leaders Bonnyrigg Rose who have played two games more.

The Capital outfit have regularly been tipped as title contenders since the league’s inception in 2013 but not this year due to the spending powers of the likes of Kelty Hearts and East Stirlingshire.

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However, ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Gretna 2008, Samuel says his new-look youthful squad will be competitive at the very least.

“It is something of a transitional period at the club so it would be naive to try and dress it up as anything else,” he said. “We had some players move on late in the day so we hadn’t planned for their departures. The likes of Gary Cennerazzo, who we signed in January and were looking to build the side around and a few others, but then Kelty Hearts came knocking and it was just too good an offer to turn down.

“The market in our league has become completely inflated and distorted. But time 
might show that if that is the case then it’s going to take a lot of money for it to be sustainable.

“It’s been a bit stop start because of the challenges around selection. We’ve not really had a settled squad to choose from so it’s been 
difficult to put a side out on the park. I’m not saying that’s any different to any other side but I think when you’re working with a new squad you need to have a few things go in your favour. We’ve been unfortunate with one or two injuries, not just to key players but big personalities.

“We need to get Jack Smith back on the pitch as soon as we can but unfortunately his hamstring tweaked against Motherwell Colts. He’s one of the best strikers in the league.

“People have to remember it’s taken four or five years for guys like Blair Atkinson to become top players in the league so it’s not going to happen in four weeks. We just have to be patient and trust the process of developing them.

“We need to make sure we’re preparing our players the best we can and we’ve done everything on a Saturday to get a positive result then that’s the measure.

“Clearly, you’ll be judged 
by results and that’s fine because that’s the nature of the game.”