Team spirit key for new Darvel boss

By Gary Kirkpatrick

GRAEME Neil has revealed his new job as Darvel boss was too good to turn down and is optimistic about the remainder of the campaign.

The former Annbank co-manager has taken charge of the junior outfit on a deal until the end of the season after long-standing gaffer Scott Clelland was dismissed by the Darvel committee last week.

Neil left his post as U20 head coach at Bonnyton Thistle to take the opportunity and previously co-managed junior side Annbank United.

And Neil has admitted when he was approached by Darvel chairman John Gall about the possibility of leading the club as manager, it was an opening he couldn’t walk away from. Neil said:

“Opportunities don’t come around like this very often and to be offered the position at such a progressive club with great ambitions, I felt I couldn’t let it pass.”

However, despite the attractions of Darvel, he has also revealed that leaving Bonnyton Thistle, who play in the Scottish Lowland Football League after recently turning professional, was tough. He said:

“It was a very difficult decision because leaving at the start of a new project with new facilities and an ambitious long term project, the club had made it a difficult decision.

“I have left a really good squad of players behind and I wish everyone involved with the club great success for the future.”

Gall’s decision to sack fans’ favourite Clelland wasn’t well received by the club’s followers and also raised doubts surrounding the Vale’s immediate future in the Super First Division, the second tier of junior football in the West Region.

But Neil believes the squad spirit, which shone through in one of their most successful campaigns in the club’s history lat season, can bring further triumph to Recreation Park. Neil said:

“I met the squad last week and took training for the first time. The attitude, application and desire was fantastic.

“The quality and togetherness they have showed over the last two seasons can bring more success to the club in the future.

“I feel with a few minor tweaks to the current squad, we will be able to make progress and have a very good season and beyond.”


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