Club News

Blue Toon benefitting from brand new backline

Thu 14 Dec 2017

The Blue Toon manager has praised his summer signings The Blue Toon manager has praised his summer signings

Peterhead boss Jim McInally believes bringing in a completely new backline has been pivotal to his team’s strong start to League 2.

After relegation to Scottish football’s bottom tier at the end of last season, the Blue Toon manager opted to make sweeping changes to his squad.

Several long-serving players were moved on alongside those on short-term deals while loanees returned to their parent clubs.

That cleared the way for a raft of new faces, notably an entirely different defence and goalkeeper.

The Balmoor outfit snapped up former Falkirk veteran David McCracken and ex Celtic youngster Aidan McIlduff.

Jason Brown joined from Inverness Caley Thistle having enjoyed a successful loan spell at Cove Rangers while Mason Robertson came in from Stenhousemuir.

Peterhead also managed to capture a new number one, Greg Fleming, despite Ayr’s attempts to hang on to the 30 year old, who was their Player of the Year last term.

McInally said: “Greg has been a star since coming in and it is only the last few weeks that we have had the benefits of big McCracken because he has had a few injuries.”

“The most pleasing thing is that , apart from the Stenhousemuir defeat when we were poor defensively, we have been putting out a really young back four at times.”

“When I look at Jason Brown at 21, Aiden at 20 and Mason, who is 23, they have been terrific.”

“I always listen to managers every week talking about how young their teams are but we probably have the youngest back four in the league.”

“They have done fantastically well but we need them to keep learning and that was why we brought McCracken in over the summer.”

“With his experience, he is able to keep them right and he has been a massive help.”

Peterhead have only conceded 15 goals so far and just five of those have been in away matches.

Giving little away at the back, coupled with the scoring power of talisman Rory McAllister, should make McInally confident his team can last the distance at the top end of the table.

The Balmoor boss continued: “I am a great believer that to defend as a team is really important.”

“There is a good work ethic about the players and, in the middle of the pitch, we have the likes of Simon Ferry, Willie Gibson and Jack Leitch, who work tirelessly to help out the defenders.”

“Jamie Stevenson also does his bit whether he is playing as a wing-back or a full-back and I always encourage the lads to work really hard because if we can match the commitment of the opposition, I always think we are going to win.”

“That is where McAllister comes in because he might not always put in the same shift as the players behind him but he is a gem when it comes to scoring goals.”

 

By Glenn Moir