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Jack Ross' Diary - Not All Doom And Gloom

By Graham Forrest
Wed, 3rd Apr 2002 12:00am

In this week's diary entry, Jack Ross reflects on the recent press coverage given to the financial state of Scottish football. He also talks about the Thistle game, and how his goal was one of the highlights of his career. He concludes it's not all doom and gloom in Scotland's so-called football crisis.....

Football followers may be surprised that I have retained a positive enough frame of mind to write this week's diary. If recent press is to be believed then we should all just hang up our boots and ditch our shin guards, for the death knell has sounded for Scottish football. I am not denying that there are difficult problems to address and hurdles to overcome. Indeed, I have often commented throughout this column upon the fresh economic hardships to be faced by clubs both big and small.

However, at present, the game is still rolling along and players as professionals paid for their efforts must ensure that a positive attitude is applied to both games and training. At Clyde, this is highly tangible at present, with a reasonable recent run coupled with major steps towards safety ensuring that there is a pleasant atmosphere around the dressing-room.

Another example of the importance of players to bond and unite when faced with adversity is that of Airdrie. We, on occasion, share the same training facility as the troubled club and it has been clear to observe that Ian McCall and Brian Rice have created a special spirit that has been significant in their achievements this season.

One of the doom factors highlighted by the dramatic soccer in crisis headlines is the number of players who will be leaving clubs due to freedom of contract, thus creating a somewhat lop-sided supply and demand scenario.

While the current financial climate has magnified these issues, the uncertainty of whether a player will be offered a new contract is not a new one. I can easily recall being told at 18 that I was no longer wanted at Dundee and clearly recollect the vast disappointment and hurt such news brought. Clyde have players in similar situations, from young apprentices to first-teamers. And, as the countdown to the end of the season begins, it is evident that those affected are beginning to talk more and more about what might or might not happen. Consequently, those supporters of Clyde may be watching vastly changed personnel next season. The manager and board will of course be the dictators of that.

I must finish on a more upbeat note and mention my delight in scoring what turned out to be a derby winner in midweek against Partick Thistle. I have mentioned on several occasions how enjoyable and atmospheric these games are - and thus to score on such an occasion has ensured another great Clyde memory to rank alongside winning the title last season and captaining the team. In my mind, I have learned to cherish these achievements and therefore a four-yard header becomes the newest.