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Clyde In The Cumbernauld News 25/7

By Cameron Macdonald
Thu, 25th Jul 2002 12:00am

With the beginning of the new Scottish Football League season less than two weeks away, pre-season training is now in full swing at almost all Scottish clubs. The double sessions are all but over as ball work is now at a premium. The inevitable pre-season friendlies give supporters a chance for their first glimpse at new players, or a reminder of established ones. Managers and coaches get the opportunity to fine-tune their squad, to tinker with formations and in the case of Alan Kernaghan, the first opportunity to see last seasons walking wounded.

As a young manager just starting out, Kernaghan did not get the praise he deserved when taking over the club from Allan Maitland. The club had just lost in the cup to lower league opposition, and had been beaten at home by a side who were bottom of the table and would go on to be relegated at the end of the season. But the new manager lifted the players, and with a couple of additions to the squad, went on to secure the clubs place in the league for another season.

However, this season will be a big test for the manager. He has shaped the squad as he wants it and the players will be seen as his now. He has brought in experience up front in the shape of Willie Falconer and is looking to strengthen his squad even further in a bid to move Clyde forward again.

Seen by many as an established first division side, Clyde now have to move forward. The manager himself is ambitious and expects his players to be successful. The supporters want a team on the park who will be in with a chance of success at the end of the season. A team not looking over its shoulder at relegation but towards the top of the table and to promotion.

With the transfer windows imposed on Scottish football coming into effect at the end of August there will longer be the opportunity to bring in a player or two or for a loan signing to come in and make an impact if a side is struggling. You have to have your squad right by the end of August, as come January it may be too late to save your season.

Alan Kernaghan knows that if Clyde are to be the success he expects them to be, that he has to have things right and pre-season will tell him how close he is to having things right.