First Team

Ricky: I Can See Both Arguments

13th January 2021

Ricky Waddell admitted he can see both sides of the argument, following the SFA’s decision to suspend the Lowland League for at least three weeks.
The decision, which affects every league below the Scottish Championship, will be reviewed on a rolling basis until 31st January.
“It’s just that little bit of uncertainty that everyone finds the most difficult,” the gaffer told BravesTV. “If it was three weeks for sure, people can deal with that, but I think it’s three weeks and it’s going to get reviewed after that.”
Understandably, Ricky wanted his side to keep playing but clarified that he fully understood and accepted the SFA’s decision.
“I come at it from different angle – it’s not necessarily the right angle - but it is an argument to keep playing and keep training. I think it’s good for people to play football and because these are part time professional players, I think it would’ve been, in my opinion, good to carry on.
“But I do accept it all. I couldn’t stand up and argue for sure because… people, who wanted it shut down, would say ‘it’s got to do with the health and safety of the players and the players’ and staff’s families.’
“I totally agree with that, I’m in that situation myself with two elderly parents myself who we rely on, who now can’t look after our children, so I totally get it.”
The decision by Scottish football’s governing body comes after weeks of increased cases and deaths in the country. Following a further national lockdown earlier this month, professional football had initially continued.
“To be honest, I found watching the news quite depressing – and I stopped doing it. It was just constant negativity, constant negativity,” Ricky said.
“That’s their job, to report on the facts, and I get that completely. For me personally, I had to switch off from it. I had to focus on ‘what are we allowed to do at the moment?’
“I took it game-by-game, training session-by-training session, and tried not to look at the news. At that point it was all speculation. It’s hard to not see any of it, but I didn’t want to let it influence me, so I carried on as if games and training were going ahead.”
However, there were some staff members who could not afford that luxury: Richie Salveta and Ross Anderson, who both took charge of COVID-proofing the club.
“They were absolutely magnificent – probably unsung heroes, I think. A lot of the work went unnoticed, a lot of protocols, especially at the start.
“It was very, very difficult - a lot of things to read, understand, interpret and put into practice. We all mucked in, the three of us, but Richie and Ross took the lead on it. It was certainly too much for me to put into my brain whilst trying to focus on first team and academy. Richie and Rossco were at the forefront so there can only be plaudits for those guys.”
Ricky also heaped praise on two club volunteers, who have been able to help out this season – Scott Dunn and Ross Gillespie.
“What you’ve got to remember about our club is we don’t have committee members like Bonnyrigg, for example.
“There was Scott and Ross, who came down on a matchday, which was a huge relief for us. On a matchday, everything surrounds the game, but when you’re taking temperatures and things like that, which Ross was doing, it just took a big relief off us with them helping out.”
The Braves next scheduled fixture falls on 6th February, with an away trip to Dalbeattie Star. Only time will tell if that fixture goes ahead, but one thing is for sure – Ricky and his team will be preparing for it until told otherwise.

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