Stirling Albion will be our first opponents for the 2018-19 season and we were lucky enough to catch up with the Binos chairman Stuart Brown who took time out of his holiday abroad to speak to us.
When Dave MacKay took over the reins at Stirling, he turned the team into one struggling at the bottom of the league to a side that finished 3rd the next season. That must have exceeded your expectations, especially since this was his first managerial role?
Whilst our target at the beginning of the season was a Play Off spot, in all honesty, everyone at the Club, including Dave, was hugely disappointed that we didn’t achieve promotion. We got off to a fantastic start but injuries to key players and a loss of form for two sustained periods during the season were ultimately our downfall.
Last season you finished one point away from second place in the group stages of the League Cup behind Falkirk and Inverness. Are you a fan of the new format which enters its third year this season?
A huge fan! The straight knock out format was stale and unattractive to fans. We’ve been seeded to finish bottom of our group both years and we’ve finished third on each occasion. Aside from the footballing achievement, the financial benefit from doing so is considerable for a club at our level.
MacKay has signed seven new players this summer. Is there anyone that we should be wary of out of your new recruits?
All seven, Dave hasn’t signed them to make up the numbers! Seriously though, aside from those with a proven pedigree, I’m delighted for young Kevin Fell who was scouted for us playing Saturday morning amateur league football in Glasgow. He’s young, inexperienced and has loads to learn but his raw talent is there to be seen. I also understand a certain young goalkeeper, Calum Ferrie, is a very bright prospect but you won’t need to worry about him breaking your hearts on Saturday!
Peter MacDonald is still a popular fans favourite with the Dundee support but could he be the man to break our hearts with a few goals on Saturday? What’s your score prediction?
Peaso has plenty still to offer, including being a great influence on our youngsters but I’ll settle for a 90th minute winner from the penalty spot from him on Saturday!
Finally, what's your expectations for Stirling this season?
Pre-season has gone well but we’ve just been hit with the news that last year’s captain, Willie Robertson has had to put his footballing career on ice due to work commitments which leaves us short in midfield. Once we sort that and add one or two good loan signings, I’m confident we’ll be in the mix come next May. That said, I’m sure a good number of our rivals will be thinking similarly.
Preview and Stats
First up for The Dee in this seasons Betfred League Cup is a trip to Forthbank Stadium to take on League Two side Stirling Albion. In the Binos dugout will be a familiar face in the form of ex Dee Dave Mackay.
Another face that one or two fans will recognise will be Championship hero Peter MacDonald who will more than likely be leading the attack.
Stirling finished 3rd in League Two last year but unfortunately failed at the first hurdle in the Play-offs, beaten by Peterhead 4-0 over both legs.
MacKay has been busy in the transfer market with seven new players recruited, Jason Marr (Albion Rovers), Neil McLaughlin (Motherwell), Jordan Allan (Elgin City), Kevin Fell (UB United), Danny Jardine (St Johnstone), Mark Stewart (Dumbarton) and Calum Ferrie (Dundee, loan).
Neil McCann has himself been busy wheeling and dealing this summer. We have seen the arrival of five new faces going by the names of Jack Hamilton (Hearts), Karl Madianga (No Club), Elton N'Gwatala (Kidderminster), Nathan Ralph (Woking FC) and Jean Alassane Mendy (KSC Lokeren).
Stirling finished 3rd in their group last season, narrowly missing out on second place by a point while Dundee made it to the quarter finals, beaten 4-0 at home to eventual winners Celtic.
Head To Head
P60 W42 D15 L3 F138 A50
P4 W3 D0 L1 F14 A4
P2 W2 D0 L0 F11 A1
P2 W1 D0 L1 F3 A3
Top Goal scorer in the League Cup vs. Stirling
Bobby Flavell: 6
Most Goals Scored In One Match
Bobby Flavell: 4 goals, 6-1, April 8th 1953, League Cup Group 4
Highest and Lowest Attendance At Stirling
Highest: 15,000, 2-2, September 10th 1949
Lowest: 600, 3-0, March 6th 1968
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