Stuart McNicholas wants to score and help Edinburgh Uni back-up biggest ever win

STUART McNICHOLAS could be forgiven for having one eye focused on his busy exam period, but he insists he is focused on ending his time with Edinburgh University as a winner.

By LEWIS ANDERSON
Friday, 19th April 2019, 6:30 am
Stuart McNicholas, centre, takes on Whitehill's Fabio Neto
Stuart McNicholas, centre, takes on Whitehill's Fabio Neto

The Students welcome relegated Whitehill Welfare to East Peffermill on the final day of the domestic season, fresh off the back of recording their biggest ever Lowland League victory just six days ago.

McNicholas, like many of his fellow team-mates, has been spending most of his time in the library of late rather than out on the training pitch.

However, the 21-year-old frontman is eager to bring the curtain down on his time with Dorian Ogunro’s team by scoring and securing a ninth-place finish.

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“It’s a busy time for the boys and playing football is a good release from our studies,” said the fourth-year Law and 
Accounting student.

“We’ve had a few away playing for the Scottish Universities XI during the week and more of us would’ve been involved had it not been for exams getting in the way just now.

“I’ve got a job lined up for September, so this might be the last time that I’m playing competitive football at this level. To finish with a victory and maybe a goal would be a great way to go out on.

“There’s always a big turnover of players after every season and a lot of us will be moving on soon, so it’s important for the guys stepping up next year to continue to set the standards the University team expect to perform at.

“We don’t want to be fighting relegation towards the end of every campaign, and hopefully these boys can carry that forward over the coming years.”

McNicholas watched on from the bench for much of the contest against Vale of Leithen last Saturday as they racked up six second-half goals without a reply. However, the striker claims his team-mates took the result with a pinch of salt.

“The only time we’ve been able to back up a win this season was in early October when we went on a five-game unbeaten run, so it was pleasing to string back-to-back victories together after the Gretna result.

“We’ve got to take into consideration, though, that Vale played most of the second half with ten men and their keeper had to go off injured.

“It would be great to end with three wins on the bounce. That would give the boys confidence going into the League Cup and it would be classed as another successful season.”

Elsewhere, Spartans must claim at least a point from their encounter with Cumbernauld Colts at Ainslie Park to leapfrog neighbours Civil Service Strollers on goal difference and seal a fourth-placed finish.

Dougie Samuel’s men held East Stirlingshire to a 1-1 draw last weekend to move on to 48 points, one behind Civil, who suffered a heavy 3-0 final day defeat by Colts.

Spartans made their first signing ahead of next season this week with experienced defender Michael Bolochoweckyj penning a pre-contract agreement.

The 34-year-old, who has played almost 400 senior games across seven different clubs, will leave League One outfit Montrose in the summer to join the Edinburgh club.

Head Coach Samuel said: “Bolo has had a great career in the SPFL, and we are delighted he has the ambition and desire to come to Spartans next season to help us try to regain the Lowland League title.”