First Team

Ricky's Review: 2022/23 reflection

5th June 2023

The highs and lows of football are never far away when you're involved in the Braves. An entertaining draw against Gala, scoring in the last minute through Jamie Watson, was a taste of things come for us. I always encourage the guys to play with expression and freedom, but under a structure to be difficult to beat. It's not always an easy thing to master, but we showed at times that we could do that, Cowdenbeath at home and Civil Service at home for example.

We had some brilliant performances away to Berwick and Gala, where our energy and spirit was at the fore. Spirit and a 'never say die' attitude was one of our strengths.

Inconsistency is a word branded about but when we strip that away and look at the 'why', it comes down to things like; not being able to play the same starting team more than two times in a row, a high number of injuries to key players at key times, a lack of belief and focus in key moments against more established opponents, have all cost us.

Giving away 24 points to Spartans, Bo'ness, Broomhill and Tranent cost us a few places higher in the league. On the flip side, scoring 79 goals is a fantastic return as when we were good, we were really good. We had goals from different areas and phases of play which, from a coaching perspective, was pleasing.

In the cups, I was left bitterly disappointed with the showing at EK in the Scottish Cup. But, a really good run beating Talbot in the South Challenge Cup was a good return, missing out on the final was painful though. We were all delighted to win the Southern Counties cup final against Dalbeattie which was a great day tinged with sadness of some players moving on. The group was always fantastic to work with and all the happy moments we shared are invaluable.

On a whole, I am pleased with the season but with a taste that it could've been better with a bit of luck and more focus in our play.

We need to now refocus, recruit and refresh the group to bring them in at pre-season with a hunger to improve.

So the highs and lows continue, but we do need to remember were are a young club.

I always feel were doing things the right way by not blowing money at every turn and creating a club that we can be proud of. A sense of belonging should be what it's about.

Having that doesn't mean we can't progress, can't win or can't get promoted. It just means when we do, it will be all the sweeter.

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