Following the disappointment of losing the play off final when they were 12 minutes from the First Division has not left grass growing under the feet of Brechin boss Jim Weir. He has already got his preparations for their assault on the Second Division well underway. As he stood on the pitch at the end of the play off Final sportingly applauding the winning team he was obviously aware of what he needed to do next. It has allowed fans to reflect on the difference between Weir and previous manager Jim Duffy! With four unsuccessful play off appearances in five seasons it would be understandable if fans felt their permanent place was in SFL2 but Weir, at least seems to be planning to get out.
Weir has now been in charge since the beginning of last season having moved from Arbroath and the prospect of facing his old charges four times next season will make Arbroath fans savour the season. His reputation amongst the fans at Arbroath was soured by his leaving them last summer with only three signed players. Previously he was manager at Montrose but found himself sacked when they were sitting third in the league. This year he got Brechin on the TV with the Scottish Cup replay against St Johnstone. This was a club where he managed 13 years service as a player and assistant manager. Whether he remains at Glebe Park beyond next season will depend upon the promise he fulfils and judged on the squad he is assembling this could be THE year for Brechin.
One area that he may find some weakness in is in nets. First choice keeper, Craig Nelson is mulling over an offer having been sure he wanted to be the oldest keeper in town. His displays against Ayr United have rekindled the thought he could return to Ayr having previously been a fan’s favourite. If he leaves the search for a replacement will gather pace. The cover – David Scott has already resigned.
Strengthening defence was clearly a priority and signing Mick Dunlop and David McClune from Alloa means he can add to what he has got. Paul McLean has also resigned and whilst mystery surrounds what has happened to Andrew Cook – some reckon he is on his way to East Fife – the loanees who ended the season with Brechin have gone. Defensively that means Ewan Moyes and Roy McBain have gone back to their clubs. It’s an area that needed attention and if the two signings are it then loan signings early on may be needed as he has released David White.
In midfield Kevin Byers was released with Jamie Redman signing for Peterhead. Long term absentee Charlie King is due back which would be as good as a new signing for the club. Players resigned include Gary Fusco, Craig Molloy and Neil Janczyk. All were important last season and will likely be equally influential this coming year. With loanees, Jordan Kilpatrick and Mitchel Megginson back at their clubs this looks the strongest area already for Brechin.
The greatest non story of the year is in Brechin’s forward line. Rory McAllister playing the Clash! Let me help you – he WILL go. St Johnstone current favourites but over 25 goals for the last two seasons make it a certainty. Mark Archdeacon is back at Motherwell, Danny Mckay at Kilmarnock but with David McKenna resigned and the signings of Derek Carcary from Dumbarton and Graham Weir from Raith Rovers this looks like a dangerous front line. Jim Lister is still to decide if he will join them but if McAllister does go Brechin are sure that someone will fill those boots. After all can anyone remember what happened after Templeman left…
With such planning it looks like Brechin will certainly be up there come the end of the season. It would be heartbreaking to fail again at the play offs but Jim Weir certainly seems to be planning on going one better. It’s a strong squad already. They fell right away at the end of last season and they have to avoid that in the coming year and perhaps a few more signings would help them but the coming season may be a coming of age for Brechin City.